The Palais Royale was packed last Saturday (July 27) for the RNB/Expansions co-presentation of DJ Jazzy Jeff. Arrived just as DJ Serious was wrapping up his hiphop set, after which DJ Jazzy Jeff stepped up to the decks and proceeded to mess with people's expectations.
He started off with the anticipated fast-paced cutting and scratching of disco and funk classics, but quickly moved on to the deep vocal house territory that he stuck with for the rest of the night.
While he played a very respectable house set, many hiphop fans felt cheated, and complained loudly. One disgruntled partier was overheard saying, "This isn't DJ Jazzy Jeff, this is DJ Faggy Jeff," which demonstrated how far apart the hiphop and house scenes sadly still are. On the other hand, those on the dance floor seemed to be having a great time and were happy to let the hiphop icon go off on whatever tangents he wished.
Closing the evening was Flow 93.5's Starting from Scratch, whose high-energy style of mixing gave the hiphop heads the beats they were craving. He would frequently scratch in the chorus of a well-known hit only to cut to another track after 30 seconds, leaving no time to get bored. It's easy to see why he's so well loved in the urban scene -- his set flowed smoothly from classic house to old-school jazz funk, contemporary hiphop and R&B without missing a beat.
The return of Fukhouse went well last Friday, and saw System Soundbar filled to the rafters with partiers ready to be
pounded into submission by slamming techno. It was very strange to see such a mixed crowd at a serious techno event again. When was the last time anyone saw glowsticks at a party like this?
Morgan Page may not have been the best choice to play at 2 am. While his live PA was more upbeat than his new album, it was still way more laid-back than what any of the other main-room DJs were spinning. It did, however, provide a gentler counterpoint to the acid-drenched thump of Woody McBride, whose set seemed even more slamming in comparison.
The green colour scheme provided a nice, dark atmosphere for the event, and the Mettle crew threw down sweet funky deep techno in the side room all night for those who needed a break from the madness.
Checked out the monthly Electric Workers party last week -- it's an electro/techno type of shindig the last Friday of every month at the Manhattan Club, a low-key bar with a certain back-alley charm that suits this event nicely. Not a huge crowd, but many were dancing and the vibe was good. It's a fine electro night out for those turned off by the indie-rock electroclash scene or the 80s retro electro/new wave events. Top-notch mixing and a good variety of bleeps and bloops without too much self-conscious irony.
The annual Bump N Hustle party at Harbourfront last Saturday was a massive success. By midnight the venue was packed to capacity, leaving tons of people (myself included) stuck outside in line waiting to get in. Even local deep house heroes Dino and Terry could be seen peering over the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of the performers.
Fortunately, we could all hear the ace Bump N Hustle band rocking the classic disco funk styles, and if you craned your neck you could see vocalists Alana Bridgewater, Divine Earth Essence and Graph Nobel belting out soul anthems. Nice one.