Summer 2011 from HouseAddict

September 4th, 2011 | Blog | irgo | Comments Off on Summer 2011 from HouseAddict

Hi Friends,

With summer coming to an end, I thought of doing a little review to provide a snapshot of how the electronic music scene touched me this season.  It’s safe to say that in Toronto, the usual madness gets started as the warmer months approach.  Boat cruises, beach parties, and other alternative venues become the go-to places as people just want to maximize their time in the sun.   With all of that happening, this review will take a look at some of the more unique happenings that occurred.  Ya know, the ones that just stood out and made me think…SHIT, I’m glad I’m here experiencing this right now.  YEAH MAN!!!!

Favourite Seasonal Series – Bounce @ Keating Channel Pub

The Bounce crew are a really tight bunch, and have been a great presence in Toronto for years now.  Known for throwing hard ass jams with the likes of Sneak, Derrick Carter, Sonny Fodera, and DJ Mes, the Bounce boys are also known for using some pretty unique venues (i.e. a loft space above a shwarma shop that rocks until 5 am?!).

So their summer series comes as no surprise to me.  It’s simple; every long weekend in the summer, they throw a FREE 14-hour daytime jam on the patio of a local pub: Keating Channel Pub.   A jam at a pub you say?  It may seem unusual, but that’s just how Mike and Justin roll.  This series actually started in the summer of 2010, with a local partner, The Preacherman (who now resides in the USA….so sorry to see you leave man).   The great thing about this series is that each party has a different theme from the one before it: nu-disco, techno, funk, deep house….  They hire their favourite local talent to complement each theme.  Speaking as a dude who has had the pleasure of throwing down some beats at these parties, I can say that without a doubt, the 2011 series exploded!!!  Especially with the beefed up dj booth on the back patio (as provided by Justin from Promise).  My god, a pair of CDJ2000’s, usually with an Allan & Heath Xone 92 mixer, all sitting aloft FOUR MASSIVE BASS-BINS!!!!

So this summer’s series has really come together well for these boys.  With the weather cooperating on pretty much every event, people have just loved the experience.  I know I always say that I’m gonna hang for the whole jam, but the Kronenburg Blanc’s tend to kick in pretty early on the patio, which shamefully sends my ass home early.  Man….I’m so predictable these days 😉  Each event starts with people hanging at the tables and bobbing their heads.  While there is a pretty sizable dance floor in front of the booth, many early dancers tend to keep the party to their individual tables.  Of course, as the day progresses (and people have more Blanc’s), the people move to the dancefloor.  As the sun goes down, you get this amazing view of the western sky as the beats pick up in tempo and volume.  Typically, by 10pm, the whole place is on its feet, hands in air, and just screaming out loud.  It’s pretty funny actually.  For those that arrive a little later, you actually wonder what the hell is going on out back as the front door seems so tame.

One thing to keep in mind.  While Justin is a permanent fixture next to the booth with shades on, head bobbing, and looking uber chill, that event is a ton of work for these boys to put on.  Long hours and hard work goes into these events.  For that, I’m thankful I experienced every single Bounce party at Keating Channel Pub this past summer.

 Album of the Summer: M A N I K – Armies of the Night – Ovum Recordings

The first time I met Chris Manik was on Canada Day this summer.  We had him booked to do a great underground gig at Li’ly on College St. that night as part of his 2011 tour for his latest album on Ovum Recordings: Armies of the night.  That was a really emotional day actually….a misplaced work visa….a flight cancellation….I was shitting really.  But man, he came out of the terminal gate cool as a cucumber.

What I really want to talk about here though is this album.  There is so much creativity behind it, I just don’t know where to start.  Well…I guess with the music…. A more diverse album I have yet to hear.  From the hip-hop grunge, to the down-tempo melodic , right up to the cranking tech-house.  M A N I K has everything going on in this album.  BPM’s range from 88 to 125 in this 17-track compilation.  That’s a range of 37 bpm!!!!  Vocals come from the man himself, with cameo’s from Ovum label boss Josh Wink, local friend Ted Patterson, and international representation from Luca Bacchetti.  The entire album is inspired by so many things it seems: his love for music, family, friends (& foes for that matter – just read the leaflet inside the CD), the 80’s, and of course his home New York.   The interesting inspiration for the album really stems from the 80’s cult classic film of New York gangs: The Warriors.  You can tell by the artwork design on the front (done by a local friend), and also from some of the samples you hear in the tracks throughout the album.  In the true spirit of keeping his work all in the family, bio photos inside were shot by his father.

I experienced an interesting moment as the Canada Day gig was coming to an end.  We were getting our things together and loading up the car, when a fan came over and thanked M A N I K for the CD.  A passer-by stopped and asked about it.  I told him it was a house music CD, and he kind of looked at me funny (i.e. he wasn’t interested).  M A N I K asked the dude what type of music he was interested in.  Dude replies: “hip hop man!”  M A N I K responds “yo man there’s hip hop on this CD as well”.  They then proceeded to discuss a few more things about the album and the various genres that are represented on it.

Without a doubt friends, I can honestly say that Armies of The Night has something for everyone.  When you get a chance, check it out.  It’s available for listening and purchase in all major on-line stores.  And if you really like it, feel free to give him props in person, as he returns to Toronto this Fall.

Who made the best jam sandwich?

With Toronto having so many events going on this summer, it’s really hard to nail down where I had the most fun.  International talent coming to Toronto isn’t foreign to us anymore, so the competition was tough that’s for sure.  If I had to choose one single event that was the most memorable, I’d say it was the Lee Foss Boat Cruise, branded as the Modern Love Affair, put on by Footwork & Jazz Spinder.

There are so many reasons why this event turned out the way it did on a hot and steamy Sunday in July.  Man, it must have been mid 30’s C on that deck too.  Everyone was just sweating to death.  No matter.  It was my only attendance on a cruise this summer, so I’m sure that had something to do with my decision for this blog.  Boat cruise parties tend to mean more beers as well.  Hellloooo!!

Seriously though…..this cruise had a great vibe going.  With an all local line-up on the lower deck, and then with Lee rocking it for a few hours upstairs on the main deck, it was a recipe for super fun!!  For those of you that remember, probably the most amazing party favour on this boat was the bubble machine!  That thing brought the disco vibe to the party like nothing else can.  Where the hell do you get one of those things anyways?   Apparently this particular one was purchased in a garage sale.

My favourite set that day was delivered by Rich Hope.  A man who truly knows how to jam, had me dancing for his whole set.  Great job Rich!!

A taste of Classic House from Ian Pooley

A weird thing happened to me this summer.  I was on facebook and received a message from Fred Everything, a man with whom I have never made contact before.  He tells me he’s celebrating 5-years of his record label (Lazy Days Recordings), and is bringing Ian Pooley over from Germany to do a jam at Piknic Electronik, Montreal.   He wondered if we’d be interested in doing something in Toronto the day before Piknic.  “Hell yes!” was my response.  And so the preparations began for August.

The day of the event ended up being pretty hectic as different flight times had me running all over the city.  Big thanks to close friend Craig Anderson for taxiing Ian for me!  It was interesting when we actually greeted Ian off the plane.  His passport indicated he hadn’t been over to Canada in 15 years!!!  Craig took Ian back into the city, while I waited to pick up Fred and his lovely girlfriend from San Fran.

Once all parties were settled in, I was able to get about 5 minutes to relax.   Ahhhhh…..okay back at it!!  A quick bite with my wife Jennifer and her friends, and then I was off to Revival.  At this point, I was ready to see what these boys were going to deliver.  I was fortunate to have another friend on my side that night as well.  We were behind on a few things, and so Jay Cleary was able to taxi the Fred, Colleen, and Ian to the club.  Props to ya Jay!!

So, I could go into descriptions of how each set went, but we were fortunate to record the whole night.  All I can add to these is that Fred really went for a cutting edge feel, and Ian just brought out the classic big guns.  Ian really worked the three CDJ’s that night.  Constant mixing for his entire set.  I was really blown away.  Please enjoy these sets friends….

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=false”][/soundcloud]

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=false”][/soundcloud]

Finally, I’d like to thank another close friend Sarah Maddix (my favourite Canadian blogger) for getting a time lapse of the event.  Man….5-hours of event photos boiled down into a minute!  Enjoy…

Fabricated – the brand

Fabricated is a party that happens on the 3rd Friday of every month at Stone Lounge, in the basement of Revival Bar.  A tight crew of what appears to be life-long friends is running this jam.  They’re on two years now, and it really seems to be working.  Fabricated has a consistent vibe to it, that is attributed to their sound, but most importantly, their patrons.  It is without a doubt in my mind the people that make this event so successful.

After two years, they are down to one main resident: Matt Coleridge.  Matt and his partners program the events each month, and do a really good job of changing up the sound.  This summer seems to have worked really well for them though.  In a time of year where most people are hitting patios and rooftops, this basement venue continued to fill.  The 2-year anniversary party featured The Timewriter which was a real treat for house music lovers.  Here’s a taste for those of you who missed it:

[soundcloud params=”auto_play=false&show_comments=false”][/soundcloud]

A very cool addition to their line-up was also the introduction of the night: Regressive House.  Matt and local friend Brad Copeland get out the progressive house vinyl from the early 2000’s and rock it out together for 5 hours.  The latest one in August was amazing!!

Finally, they teamed up with some other local promotion companies (bringthebeats, & spek-e-ze) to throw just an amazing party at School Bakery in Liberty Village with Dana Berquist!!  This jam really complemented the work they do up on College St. every month.

Well done Fabricated!  A brand that has really come into its own this summer.