It’s been a while since I last made an entry. Fall is here and the days are getting cold. All is good though, because with fall comes a new school year, and new school years equate to new students, many of them ladies, with their eyes full of youthful exuberance and their pockets full of government issued student loan money.
When I last posted I was gearing up to go to Toronto to play System with Sandra. That night was really fun. I’m told it was one of the better nights they’ve had at system lately, both vibe-wise and numbers-wise, so for that I was happy. I played some fun jiggy stuff…nothing too heavy, as I was playing 11am-2am, but good times were still had I think.
The following week I hit up Ottawa for my Surface bi-monthly. As per usual, this gig didn’t fail to disappoint. The club was going through a change in promotional teams and there wasn’t as much hype as there usually is and it seemed the numbers suffered a little bit, but on the whole it was still awesome. It was my good friend and colleague Fingers Macphee’s birthday so, as you can imagine, much carousing took place. We tagged till around 4ish then I played the rest of the night till 6am by myself. Lots of fun new records were played that night, with one of the standouts being Luke Fair’s remix of Piece Process which will be coming out soon-ish on Max Graham’s Shinemusic label. Luke also has an EP of new material coming out on Bedrock in a little while and there are some fantastic cuts on it. As is par for the course in Ottawa, the festivities continued past the(somewhat early in my opinion) 6am closing time of the club, and the gang retired to Chateau Smith for some cocktails and tomfoolery. My old roommate Mike has the distinction of being the only person alive to regularly have afterparties that rock, and manage to do so without anything even approaching decks and a mixer. Perhaps the fact that he lives above a store that rents “adult material” might have something to do with it….I’ll give it some thought and report back later...
August 20th brought me back to System in Toronto, this time for a resident’s night with my good friends Luke Fair and Steve Mack. Steve was playing some cool crunky house when I walked in which was perfect for the time and tone of night. I was running a wee bit late so I hopped on right away and played 2 hours of varied stuff. My residency at this club is still pretty fresh, and up till this day, I had only ever opened there, so I banged it out a bit more than usual since I was playing the middle slot. I played till around 3 and then Luke did his thing till 5. I really enjoy a lot of the stuff Luke plays, and this was the first time I had heard him DJ in a club in years. Luke and I have known each other for a long time now. He actually booked me for my first gig out of Ottawa around 5 years ago, so it was really fun for us to be able to play together again after so long. At around 5am Luke and I went back to back for the last hour or so till the club closed at 6ish. I think it worked out well and I’m looking forward to doing it again sometime.
Last weekend, Sep 10-11, I was in New York to play Avalon with Sandra. I flew down a day early and went out to Crobar on Friday night to check out John Creamer and Stephan K. The club, as you can imagine, is very lavish and has a big frig-off Phazon sound system that’s loud enough to wake the dead. I wear -15 db musicians’ earplugs when I’m in clubs and I STILL found it loud. Then again, it is a 3000 person room so I suppose a little volume is necessary. John and Stephan are working on some tracks with a new vocalist and they played a few special versions of these tracks off of CDR without the vocals. The vocalist hopped up on stage with a mic and did the vocals live. It was a cool sight and people seemed into it. We didn’t stay too late, but as I was leaving Stephan K was tearing Crobar a new one, so props go to him. Saturday night at Avalon was probably the most fun I’ve had warming up for a DJ ever in my life. A lot of the times at these warm up gigs the crowd is there to hear the headliner, not listen to dance music, so a lot of what goes on before the headliner steps on is largely not paid attention to, unless its outrageously banging and over the top. Saturday night the crowd was attentive from the moment I started and stayed more or less with me right through the 2+ hours, even though I didn’t at any point play anything too banging. Standouts from the night were 2 U&K tracks, “Horny” and a bootleg remix of an old LFO track called “Nurture”. U&K are 2 of my favourite producers. They have such a unique quirky sound that works so well in a club. Their engineering of late has also really hit a new level, and their new stuff sounds so full and thick on a big club system that it’s a real treat to play. I also played one of Luke’s new tracks that has a wickedly bouncy bassline and a sick Hammond-like organ part in it. Luke is really coming into his own as a producer and has landed on this infectious housey sound that you simply have to enjoy. I was supposed to play again after Sandra, but the club closed at 6am so I only got to play a record or two after her. She did an excellent job and had the room eating out of the palm of her hand for the duration of her set.
Tonight I’ll be joining Seb Fontaine and Deko-Ze at System for the third installment of the residency. I saw the track list for Seb’s new Perfecto CD and he is definitely playing some interesting stuff these days. He’s included the 16 Bit Lolitas’ remix of Sander’s “My Lexicon” track. Anyone who’s rocking a Lolitas’ record is A-OK in my books. Those guys are rapidly becoming one of my favourite production teams. Everything they do is just sick. Also on the agenda for this weekend is a night at Surface with my homeboy Steve Porter. I am over the moon with excitement for tomorrow night for several reasons, not the least of which is the opportunity to play an earlier night set in Ottawa, as there’s so much quality music I don’t get to play there playing late slots all the time.
I’ll be posting again in a few weeks to keep you all in the loop. Till then, enjoy the last bit of non-jacket weather and be good!