Monthly Archives: March 2012

Strange Sightings Issue #109

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The sky ain’t the only place where you can see shit that defies explanation. Strange things are happening around us all the time. Kinda hard to notice if you’re one of those folks that are chronically hooked on your Ipod for life support, but these findings might make you think differently…

Photography: Frankie Diamond

Once considered the scourge of Queen St. West in the 90’s, rumour has it these trafficlight guerillas are back in action. Maybe these 2 are considering reviving the trend. Nothing terrorizes the shit out of downtown motorists more than semi-feral squeegee kids leaving streaks of tip-me-guilt on their working class consciousness as well as their windscreens. These ones seemed cool enough though – from a pedestrian’s point of view. Motorists might beg to differ…

Voted one of the Top 10 Groovy Employers in Toronto, this haven of high times makes a wonderful addition to any progressive-minded community. It stands to reason they pay minimum wage, but who cares if you can get blazed on the job? Boss is cool, everything’s cool, peace n 1 love Irie! Throw in a quarter of green goodness and you’re bound to have a host of happy employees. As any human resources manager will tell you, happy employees tend to be more productive at the workplace. Oops I forgot, this is a workfree drugplace. Forget what I just said.

I had to give up a smile AND some spare change for this neat little number. A little self-love every now and then makes life a heckuvalot more bearable ya? Using the favourite pastime of horny teenagers as a calling card for hustling extra loot sure takes gumption. Nevermind the fact that masturbate is spelt wrong – Missie gets kudos for creativity 😉

What better way to punk off an annoying relative than leaving this snappy one-liner in their mailbox? Aitor of Misanthrope has designed a subversively clever range of mini-postcards made from plywood. But it’s the 70’s retro labels that are proving to be hitmakers. The typewritten messages come in a variety of colours; some are even matched to actual moods which ensures punchy delivery. Other smashing terms of endearment include I Never Liked You, You’re Dead to Me, Thanks for Nothing and I Smell it Too. My personal fave: I Think of You When I Masturbate (well at least Aitor spelt it right). Rumour has it the artist is on hiatus and won’t be producing anymore of these nifty niceties. So hurry on down to Kid Icarus at 75 Nassau St. Kensington Market and snap one up while supplies last.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Yes, this is an actual menu from a Chinatown restaurant. I nearly choked on my Altoid when I saw item # 118. So I said to the waiter, “Hey, what’s in the Fuk-kin fried rice?” while my friend tried not to spray tea all over the table from cracking up. The waiter explained it’s fried rice with egg, squid, mushrooms and a creamy sauce. “A creamy sauce eh? Do you know what’s in it? ” The waiter shrugged nonchalantly. I’ll stick with Lo Mein, thank you very much. This is one place where you can say, “I want the Fuk-kin fried rice” and get away with it. Will wonders never cease…

 

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

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Carl Cox vs Green Velvet at Exit

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This killer back to back set features veteran heavyweights Carl Cox and Green Velvet throwing down at Exit Festival in Serbia. During the 90’s, the Mighty Carl commanded a whopping $10,000 per set which made him the highest paid DJ in the world. I got the opportunity to discover what the fuss was about when I saw him spin before thousands of adoring fans in Toronto. At 100 pounds heavier, Carl’s formidable onstage presence combined with that signature gap-toothed smile made a lasting impression on yours truly. There was an absolute joy for the execution of his craft that was tellingly obvious…much like a big kid in awe of his growing private member. “WOW… LOOK MA, NO HANDS!!!” Fast forward to EXIT 2009 – that infectious joy has not changed one iota. Carl kicks things off  by paying homage to the 80’s with hard techno-ol skool electro infusion, keeping the audience entertained with his trademark exuberance.

Things get down n dirty at 13:00 when Green Velvet takes over with some nasty ass industrial track that sounds like a Transformer with attitude popping off the occasional unapologetic fart. Other highlights include tribal house with melodically enchanting reeds at 55:00 accompanied by dancers on stilts, the acid remix of Daft Punk’s “Around the World” at 1hr:08 and Green Velvet rapping at 1hr:28 about the afterparty and those little pills that kill a million braincells. Exit cheese, enter quality

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Misstress Barbara Banging Live

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Misstress Barbara

In the predominately male world of disc jockeys, it’s still a rarity to see women behind the decks though we’re gaining more prominence these days. Back in the 90’s, you were hard pressed to find female DJ’s in the rave scene but when you did, they kicked ass. Enter Misstress Barbara. This ol skool veteran was known for her banging hard house sets that rocked the shit out of any rave she happened to detonate. Originally from Sicily, Barbara moved to Montreal during her childhood. She discovered drum kit at the age of 12 and began her musical odyssey in 1995 when she became a hardcore turntablist.

Misstress Barbara’s passionate style of mixing has led to collaborations with luminaries such as Carl Cox and John Digweed. She’s gigged around the world from Europe to Asia, produced and released her own albums, including “I’m No Human” (2009) where she flexed her songwriting, arranging, vocal and instrumental chops. Now that’s what I call talent

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Frankenräver’s Ol Skool Jungle Playlist

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For those of you who like ol skool jungle / dnb of the jump up variety, this playlist ought to make you wax with nostalgia. Eargasms are most certainly guaranteed with the likes of Adam F, Topcat, Congo Natty, Aphrodite and Chatta B in da house!!! Can’t have proper jungle without an MC spitting rhymes all over it now, can you? Copy paste rewind>>>>

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8BE0A44DBF14A030

Rave Reviews: Cable Nightclub

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Photo: Theo Sindica

          It’s after 8 on a Sunday morning, you’ve just left Fabric or whatever hole you’ve managed to crawl from, and you’re whacked out of your friggin skull wondering where the hell you’re gonna end up next. Going home is not an option. Not when you can’t read the bloody directions on a TFL map cuz all the words are scrambled in some unintellible jargon. You know it’s time for an afterparty when some kindly stranger has to help you make sense of the Jubilee line, lost in a snakey tangle of colour coded tubes like some cruel cosmic joke. Come on down to Cable! Inconspicuously tucked away beneath the tunnel at 33a Bermondsey Street near London Bridge, this joint is perhaps the most happening afterhours club in town. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty easy to walk right by and miss the damn thing if you don’t know where it is.

            At 9:30 a.m. I found myself waiting in line with an assorted cast of characters; clubbers, stoners, 9 – 5ers, semi-wastoids, and an odd selection of eurotramps. Two Russian girls dressed to the nines are chatting amongst themselves, passports in hand. A socialite wannabe tries to blag her way in ahead of everyone else, but the stone faced bouncer dude’s not having it. She is told to get in line like everyone else. Miss Cosmopolitan had no choice but to trot indignantly to the rear, while everyone snickers at the Blag-gate debacle. Cosmo tried to save a little face by sweet-talking a few guys in the queue but to no avail. So far, it looks like Cable espouses an equal opportunity ethic, which I find difficult to disparage. And they’re not letting people in without wristbands either. Fortunately my acquaintance and I managed to score some coveted wristies from a steward before we skipped Fabric. If your name’s not on the guestlist or you don’t have a wristband, you will be denied entry. Talk about strict door policies…

            As we approached the entrance we were greeted by two formidable slabs of security muscle who politely demanded to see our I.D. These guys looked like no-nonsense, seasoned old pros, or better yet, former porn star extras hustling extra dough on the side. My bag was then passed through a metal detector. One of my newly acquired party friends had a membership and tried to get me in for free, but to no avail. However, bouncer dude decided to make concessions for my cuteness at £8. After the airport security drill was over, we were given the all clear. “Welcome to Cable! Enjoy yourselves now,” chirped the hostess at coatcheck. 

            Banging house greeted my ears in the main room. A well stocked bar conducted brisk trade to my right while revelers grooved to pulsating rhythms on the dance floor. Cable is packed at 10 in the morning. Oddly enough, it seems rather small despite the 1000 strong capacity. I attribute that to my currently rampant state of blissful inebriation. Evidently, this is the place to get your afterhours freak on in L-ville. All the cool party peeps from Brick Lane and elsewhere are here, smiling and having a wicked time. “Hey man, long time no see! So this is where you’ve been lately.” Incidentally, Cable offers an interesting mix of mature ravers and clubbers; no kids or riff raff up in here. People are friendly, outgoing, and easy to talk to, so you don’t have to worry about catching wallpaper syndrome if you show up solo. And all you tabloid freaks will rejoice to know that sometimes the occasional celebrity can be spotted getting a slice of underground action.

            A semi-swanky mezzanine hosts an additional bar/chill out lounge, but the real action’s to be had downstairs. Louis Vega style deep house is swinging in the back room, making us nightowlers go nuts. I clambered up onto the mini stage facing the DJ booth and danced my ass off. The über friendly vibe and warehouse atmosphere makes Cable an absolute delight for hardcore ravers. They also cater to drum and bass, grime and dubstep with events featuring Metalheadz, Chew the Fat!, Shogun Audio and more. I can’t recall who the heck was spinning but let’s just say they effing killed it. Sunday mornings never felt so good! At this urban audiochurch beneath Bermondsey’s arch, you could get twisted ‘til the cows come home. Sometime in the afternoon, I decided to call it quits before I passed out from overnight exertion. Apart from losing the back cover for my mobile and barfing orange juice at London Bridge station, I had the wickedest time. For those of you craving the ultimate afterhours fix, Cable ties it all together nicely.

 TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF CABLE:

– Get on the guestlist or obtain a wristband ahead of time if you can.

– Remember to bring your I.D.

– Blagging’s a bust unless you happen to be a rockstar, superfamous, or super hot.

For more info, visit www.cable-london.com/

 Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Kenny Glasgow featured in NOW mag

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(l to r) Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow

Those of you lucky enough to have heard Kenny Glasgow in the 90’s knows this brotha’s got some serious vinyl humping skills. This Canadian icon never ceased to amaze me and my ravemates with his versatile mixing chops. When it came to hard, slamming house, Glasgow was the man. Whether it be full blown raves or spectacular showdowns at Industry, Kenny’s sets always managed to tickle the shit out of our cerebral folds with raw edged nastiness that pounded the living daylights out of our skulls. Some of us were rather disappointed when he switched to industrial in the late 90’s – that harsh, grating sound really wasn’t my thing – but we realized he was evolving as an artist. I remember saying, “Damn he’s so good! – what’s he doing in Toronto? He needs to go somewhere else with that kind of talent.” According to NOW magazine, Kenny relocated to London and recently teamed up with DJ / producer Jonny White to form Art Department. They’ve apparently found success in Europe, which really doesn’t come as much of a surprise (read second page of article for more details). See Kenny? Leaving Toronto was a good idea after all…

Obviously I had some catching up to do, so I scoped out a selection of canvasses in the Art Department. “Without You” has this strange, pathological vibe that sounds like some mean ol vixen chewed up Kenny’s poor little heart and spat it back out in a cube. Imagine a guy’s feelings being reduced to a mere bouillon of morosity to flavour a bubbling stew of discontent – that’s what this track entails, more or less.”Tell me Why” has a slightly more upbeat arrangement, with Kenny’s yearning vocals teetering on the edge of despair. “Living the Life,” a collaboration with Seth Troxler, is more my speed; soulful house augmented with edgy synths. There’s even a jibe about Canadians halfway through the track as Kenny intones with dark humour: “I’m sure to read the book when it comes out…but if you’re like a broad number of Canadians, chances are…NO.” (Yes Kenny, you really hit the nail on the head with that one).

To be honest, I’m not a fan of the commercial sound Art Department has embraced, but it seems to be working wonders for them. Evidently, international success is finally catching up with Kenny. And I’m glad for him and Jonny White who I’ve never heard of til now. Jonny took credit for getting Kenny to step up his game on the production side of things. By the way, if any of you’s got an ol skool mix of Kenny Glasgow’s in mp3, hit me up. I’d love to hear some dutty beats 4 real >>>

For more info on Kenny Glasgow’s involvement in Toronto’s early rave scene, check out the link below:

http://www.plurkids.com/kenny_bio.html

Support Your Local Talent!

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Frankenräver’s Top 10 House Playlist

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On a frigid Saturday afternoon, I thought it would be great to share my personal playlist with you all. A treasure trove of 90’s gems that rocked da floor (& the airwaves) back in the day. Including classic French house by the likes of Bob Sinclar & Daft Punk balanced out with the soulful grooves of Roy Davis Jr., Lil Louis Vega and more. Judging from the comments on Youtube, nuff people are pining for tracks of this calibre to come ’round again. Truth be told, the 90’s was an era that can never be duplicated; much like the 60’s, but we could at least listen & learn. Well, I’m about to go sniff some vinyl…copy paste enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL105A9109071339EA

Dave Angel Vintage Techno 1999

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Dave Angel

When it comes to brilliantly subversive techno, Dave Angel is the man. Detroit sure is a long way from Chelsea, but that’s how far this British born DJ’s ambition has taken him. Angel grew up listening to the sounds of Miles Davis and learned to play drums at the age of 8. He even bore witness to the acid house explosion in the U.K. during the 80’s, snagging a stint on pirate radio station Phase 1. His bootlegged remix of Eurhythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” launched his career into the stratosphere and he’s been soaring upward ever since. But enough of the chit chatter…listen to this mix and be amazed >>>

http://soundcloud.com/fxxp/dave-angel-motorlounge-detroit?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter&utm_content=http://soundcloud.com/fxxp/dave-angel-motorlounge-detroit#share

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Raver of The Month: Buddy Holly

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Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly recently came forward and fessed up about his youthful hedonistic exploits. Better to get all that guilty joy out in the open instead of letting it fester, ooze and mutate into a raging mid-life crisis (oh the horror!)…For the record, Buddy is light miles away from mid-century meltdown. Turns out this dude is a walking encyclopaedia on North America’s partyland past. I told him he should write a book but as you can see, Buddy’s well, a little bit shy. I could create a 12 part mini-series based on Buddy’s überwild escapades, but I’ll stick to the simple stuff – for now anyways… 

F: So Buddy, tell me when you first got into raving.

B: When we were club kids just going downtown Toronto to a couple of spots where they were playing house music.

F: What year was this?

B: 1991, 92 maybe. Like Bassline and Shelter. And then you could go to Oz; that was Factory back in the day. And they used to have these techno parties…there was a place called Freakshow behind City TV – we’d go there. Me and my one friend, we started a trend with our friends and it was like, we were into the music. We’d go down to Nathan Phillips Square, we’d go to a meeting point and get a map. It was just like a musical adventure, you know?

F: At that point, how many people were showing up at these events?

 B: They started small but they started getting commercial…in the beginning maybe like 400 people, like the warehouse parties. Then they got really big like even ’93, 94, the big Atlantis parties and stuff like that; you would get about 2000 to 3000 people at those parties like Dose, Better Days and Destiny.

F: Speaking of treasure hunting, what was your most memorable find related to that era?

B: Awwh man…like mixtapes and records. ‘Cause I used to collect records but nothing too crazy. I remember my first two mixtapes were Syrous and Renegades parties with DJ Hype and Kenny Ken. That was like ’94 when I bought my first mixtapes. It was just an experience you know…

F: Have you ever embarked on a cross-country raving adventure?

B: We went to Miami once – the World Electronic Music Festival which was cool, ‘cause that was the first year they had it.

F: What year was this?

B: I guess it was 2000 or 99.

F: That sounds about right.

B: Yeah, I think it was. We used to go to Montreal Black and Blue parties. It was amazing, like 30,000 people at the Bell Centre. Unbelievable parties in Montreal. We went to Detroit once or twice, (then) New York city.

F: Who did you go to see in Detroit?                                                      

Buddy's most prized possession circa 1995

B: I went to see Derrick May once; we saw Richie Hawtin. It was a music festival – the Detroit Techno Festival. They had everybody there, like Jeff Mills.

F: I remember seeing Richie Hawtin, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson spinning at a rave in a parking lot downtown once. It was one of the most amazing parties that I’d ever been to.

B: (Aside) Hey man, can you flip that cassette? (To Frankenräver) An actual cassette! (Chuckles).

F: Do you know anyone who OD’d or G’d out on your sofa?

B: Not really; I mean, you would see it at parties, the ones my friends went to especially.

F: What about that guy you told me about that G’d out in his car?

B: He was a really nice guy; he used to party a lot with us and we went to Bassment one night at Bathurst and Bloor and he G’d out right at the corner in his car, like, in the middle of the intersection with streetcars backed up; he was there G’d out for half an hour with the car running.

F: Do you know what happened to him?

B: I think he was arrested that day and basically G was like the end of the rave scene for us; G and K, that whole vibe that came into the rave scene with the juicemonkeys and the strippers – that’s all they did. I remember the first couple boat cruises we had, like the Jennstar boat cruises – there was no G in the scene. They were the best parties in the world.

F: Tell me more about the boat cruises.

B: They were amazing. On the River Gambler they’d have like Derrick Carter, Cevin Fisher, Sneak, all these Industry guys. They used to throw the best parties and it was just that vibe and this was just before G and three years later. With G-heads like that, they had to actually get taxis to come and take people off the boat; there were bodies everywhere (laughter)…it was just really embarrassing, you know? I just think people could act more mature when they’re partying and be in control.

F: So how baked were you after staying up all night and then going to the boat party in the morning?

B: I’d be pretty baked; at Sundays they were called church, it was like a religious kind of gathering with all our friends, we’d have all the energy in the world. We’d go to friends in the morning and just stay by their place you know?

F: What was your time-honoured recovery routine?

B: Probably like a day, yeah like Sundays. Sunday nights you were okay; ready for work on Monday.

F: What was your most memorable moment at Industry?

B: Roni Size, Reprazent tour awwh man – that was such a killer party! Live drum and bass, two drummers, backup singers. Just live drum and bass; it was one of the illest things I ever saw. Besides that, it was Sneak and Derrick Carter on four turntables.

F: Do you remember what your last rave was like.

B: (Raps to Kenny Ken in the background) The funk phenomenon, I’m rhyming you like Lebanon! (Laughter). I can’t remember my last rave.

F: So when would you say raving as you knew it ended?

B: 2000. Like, 1999…I remember that party. It was just like, the energy wasn’t there, you know what I mean? It had become a business; it wasn’t about the music or the scene anymore; from the promoters, to the vendors, DJs, the runners – everybody. It was just all about making money; selling water, whatever – you know? Charging $6 for a bottle of water is murder.

F: And shutting off the cold water so you couldn’t refill your bottles. Yes, I remember that. I just think it was disgusting.

B: You see that; that’s not about love, you know?

F: No it isn’t.

B: That’s not love, that’s corruption, and once you have that in the scene, you can’t call it love or pure or ecstasy; it’s all about business, right?

F: Do you think it’s possible to overdose on Ecstasy?

B: I think you can overdose on anything…(laughter)…I overdose on apple pie everyday. I’m Buddy Holly!

F: If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

B: Nothing. I had such a great time.

F: On a final note, what word of advice do you have for today’s current generation of ravers?

B: Eat your wheaties! Stay in school.

F: Thanks for your time Buddy.

B: You’re welcome. That was awesome!

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.