DAVE COOPER with JASON ULRICH at Una Mas (422 Adelaide), Friday (July 18). $10, free before 11:30 w/ flyer. www.cleanendeavours.com
He be a behind-the-scenes kind of guy, but if you're involved in Toronto DJ culture at all, you've been touched by Dave Cooper. If you buy records at Play De Record, you've probably had your taste subtly influenced by his suggestions and contagious enthusiasm.
If you're interested in Canadian electronic music, chances are your favourite records were distributed by his company, Roundtable Distribution.
If you've been going out to a lot of parties of any genre, at some point you've probably heard him spin.
And if you've heard him DJ, you'll know you can look forward to having a great time regardless of what he's playing.
"I pride myself on being able to please a crowd, whether it's three people or 500," says Cooper.
He plays almost any kind of DJ music, often in the same set. Go out to see him and you can hear anything from hiphop, techno, house and electro to booty, drum 'n' bass, soul, disco and all the steps in between.
"I can ride a mix for five minutes with the best of them, for all those people who think that's the most important thing, and I can slam records back and forth for people who like it choppy.
"I'm very adaptable. I can play under any circumstances. Even if there's just one working turntable I'll play with that one table and talk on the mike between songs."
On a good night he'll probably be on the mike, egging the crowd on and singing along. If there's no mike, he'll simply cut the music and yell.
That enthusiasm for music of all types led him to help start Roundtable four years ago as a way to help get quality music by emerging local artists out to the world at large, regardless of the genre.
"At the time, there were several Toronto-based record labels that were just emerging, all of them independent and artist-run. Most of these people had day jobs, and they couldn't really devote a lot of time to it. A lot of them were really creative artists but didn't know that much about the business. At that point I had been working at the record store for a few years, had numerous distribution contacts and knew what was selling.
"I found my calling - sharing music with people - and I think I've done my part. In all of this I never had any desire to make music. My angle is that I have an ear for music and I know how to sell it."