TRICKY MOREIRA with ALVARO G at Ice Lounge (222 Richmond West), Friday (July 4). $5. www.worldfamousplayground.com Rating: NNNNN
Not only is FLOW now the only station playing much urban music (now that KISS has gone adult contemporary retro), it's also the only commercial station playing house music. Friday nights from 3 until 5 am, Tricky Moreira hosts This House, a mix show that tries to reconnect house music with its urban roots. So how did Moreira stumble into such a dream gig?
"I did an internship with FLOW for a while, and once I was in there I'd try to pitch the idea to them that house is part of urban music. Whatever club you go to, at some point in the night the DJ will play some house.
"After my internship, they called me up and asked if I wanted to do the show. That was eight months ago, and it's been going strong."
Since its early days in the gay black clubs of New York and Chicago, house music has become more and more detached from its links to hiphop and R&B. It's not uncommon for younger house heads to be totally unaware of that history and to see their music as completely separate from the jiggy side of things.
The average hiphop head sees house as an outgrowth of rave culture and feels completely disconnected from it. As Moreira explains, playing house for an R&B radio crowd is a different ball game than rocking a warehouse party.
"On the show you have a vast audience who listen to a lot of different types of music, but in a party the crowd will usually follow the music, so they know what to expect. I try to keep a sense of the roots of the music in the show. I do play some classic house, because I used to play it when it was new.
"Right now it's the only house music show on commercial radio, and commercial radio reaches a very strong and wide market. We get people listening from Italy on the Internet, and people in Nova Scotia and Buffalo are tuning in to the actual signal. Most of the audience is heavily into urban music, so we'll play house remixes of R&B and hiphop to bring them into the music through that."
Folks in the house scene probably know Moreira through the World Famous Playground parties that he helps throw. Instigated about three years ago, World Famous Playground is known for club jams as well as more intimate, semi-private late-night loft throwdowns. Playing since 1990, Moreira came into house pre-rave, which makes him suited for the work he does with FLOW, as he still remembers when the lines were much more fuzzy.
"When I first started, I was playing everything, because back then it wasn't just about house. I was playing the early house that was just coming out, and early hiphop and a bit of dancehall reggae. After a while, though, you want to narrow it down a bit, so I ended up with house."