Monthly Archives: April 2012

Psytrance Love-In @ Why Not Wednesdays

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Why Not Wednesday provides living proof that Toronto’s psy-trance movement is alive and kicking. This bi-weekly microcosmic gathering takes place in an urban cave, true to its underground roots. What’s refreshing about Why Not Wednesday is the super friendly love vibes permeating the atmosphere. It’s the closest thing I’ve experienced to the 90’s rave spirit in a long time. I love how this place gives capitalism the royal finger, bringing music and joy to an alternative community.

To top it off, WNW is free, making this a recession friendly way to get your groove on. They have a licensed bar and serve tap water, unlike the ruthlessly self-serving commercial clubs. Hippies and psy-trancers danced the night away to the psychedelic sounds of DJ Kadmon and Johnny Machinelf, whilst tripping out on brilliant paintings by Canadian artist Neil Gibson. The afterparty continued at a gorgeous restaurant on College St. West, where the owners kindly allowed us party animals to carry on a little while longer. In these challenging times, Why Not Wednesday is a testament to the power of peace, love, community and transcendence of duality through music.

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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Amsterdam Coffee Shops Fight Gov’t Policy

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Last year, I heard whispers about the Dutch government’s plans to ban foreigners from coffee shops, thereby restricting access to Dutch citizens with memberships known as “weed passes.” Months later, those dreadful snippets of hearsay turned out to be true. Fret not – the Dutch got bollocks. Café owners ain’t taking this lying down. Lawyers acting on their behalf are attempting to derail government policy before it takes full effect. And rightly so. Coffee shops were the number one reason I chose to visit Amsterdam. See, I just had to confirm whether all those fantastic rumours I’d been hearing were true. Tales of weed menus and prostitutes in display windows peaked my curiosity no end. Let’s just say my life was never quite the same after a trip to The Magic Mushroom Gallery…however, the coffee shops proved to be fantastic places where one could relax, unwind, and toke in peace without fear of harrasment by authorities. The level of professionalism and customer service was second to none. Needless to say, I was completely bowled over by the experience, not to mention the varieties of salad on the menu. ..

            Holland’s civilized approach to psychoactives is light years ahead of many other countries, including North America. But now that forward thinking, gloriously liberal reputation is in danger of being greatly diminished. These restrictions will not improve health and safety, as the Dutch government claim. In fact, it may do the very opposite. According to Lucy Miller at http://news.nuggetry.com:

Many coffeeshops in Amsterdam rely on tourists to keep their businesses alive, and would likely have to shut their doors should the Weed Pass program take effect in the city.  Studies completed in response to the introduction of the Weed Pass program indicate that it will lead to an increase of black market drug deals and an increase of crime, which is why the Netherlands’ drug tolerance policy was initially put into place in the 1970s.  

            So the Anti-Fun Brigade is not simply satisfied with screwing up responsible drug culture, it seems they’re hellbent on destroying the economy and pushing the Netherlands back into the Dark Ages. Much like a hare-brained idiot’s pistol going off under a pillow, this moronicism will ultimately come back to haunt them. How ironic then, that the Dutch government collapsed last weekend over failure to agree on a budget plan that would have introduced austerity measures.

            History textbooks clearly demonstrate that escapism increases during times of recession, so it makes more sense to maintain safe outlets for peeps of every nationality to get high, not ban them. The Metro stated, “The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.” That being said, there’s still time for the opposition to gain momentum and for sub-culture aficionados to experience the unique joys of coffee shops before exclusionist policies take hold. Looks like it’s high time for another visit to Amsterdam folks!

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

 

 

DJ Damage Mixtape Archive

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Ol skool audophile DJ Brian Damage has amassed an impressive collection of mixtapes from Toronto’s musically checkered past. Beginning from the early 90’s all the way up to 2002, Damage has ripped a truckload of celluloid spanning a variety of genres. Everything from breaks, tech-house, ragga jungle, gabber and more, Brian’s got all the bases covered. I even discovered sub-genres I’d never heard of previously – old skool chilly jungle, happy gabber and trance-piano. My personal faves: Marcus, Everfresh and Prime on Prophecy, Dr. Trance’s radio show on 100.7 FM and Adam Beyer’s retro brand of psychedelic techno. The files download instantaneously which is great news for those of you with ADD.

In addition, Brian provides detailed descriptions which turn out to be brief historical accounts of all the players involved in that particular mix. Track listings are actually provided in some cases, either courtesy of Brian himself or an enthusiastic commenter.  Pop over to http://mixtapes.demodulated.com and be prepared to journey back in time when life was a heckuvalot simpler. Kudos to DJ Damage for preserving a portion of rave’s musical past, sharing and educating listeners for years to come.

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.

Promise Rave with Frankie Bones

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Footage and photography: Frankenräver. Additional photos courtesy Jason Clarke.

Promise’s 12 year anniversary party was like a high school reunion for Toronto’s raving community. It was amazing to see all the old headz come out that night to celebrate in style. Indeed, the Promise crew took raving back to its roots by hosting the event at Zero Gravity’s training studio; a gorgeous warehouse in the west end. The authenticity was evident everywhere; from the classic coatcheck set-up to the funky décor complete with chill-out spaces. I really liked the fact that Promise recognized we’re responsible people – they didn’t bother checking our bags; just like da good ol’ days!  

 

NYC legend Frankie Bones at Promise

Ali Black warmed things up nicely in the main room, ahead of NY’s Big Apple appearance. I must say the acoustics creamed Footwork’s puny sound system which was a relief. Frankie Bones came on surprisingly early at 1, and dropped some of the nastiest remixes I’ve ever heard, combining classic hard house with Technotronics “Pump up the Jam” and Snap’s “I’ve Got the Power.” Bones was focused, intense and on point. The Empire State beaming in the background was a  clever tribute. But I was somewhat disappointed to see the hardcore veteran using cd’s instead of vinyl. And his set was super short too; just under an hour. Oh well…Lee Osborne made up for it with a pumping set of proper house that got everyone moving.

Cee Cee Cox and Koen initially got off to a good start, but then the bass cut out and they started playing some loopy tracks that just killed the whole vibe. Any underground DJ worth his salt knows that you have to keep that groove pounding, right ‘til the very end; not mellow things out when peeps are still peaking. And then, just like that it was over. At least it ended one hour later than Footwork at 5 a.m. Truth be told, for the kind of party this was, the place should’ve been rammed out. It never really got packed which was rather disappointing. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to sign o’ the times or inadequate promotion. However, receiving a warm handshake from Irving as I exited the venue reminded me of how much Promise has done to keep the true spirit of raving alive in Toronto. It’s obvious these guys put their hearts into what they do, and for that they are to be commended. After all, these are the folks who bring us the Cherry Blossom Party, Om, Cherry Beach and more, year after year. Big ups to the Promise crew for keeping it real >>>

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Jeff Mills Tears up Toulouse

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Jeff Mills tearing shit up in Toulouse on Friday 13th. The French certainly know how to do things up in style with spectacular lighting and stellar displays, featuring cosmically themed geometric patterns projected onto pyramids. It’s a stage show truly befitting this otherworldly entity gracing us with his presence on tha decks. And of course, Jeff drops some of his time-honoured classics like “Jaguar”, amongst others. What a treat! If he ever decides to swing by Toronto, I’m soo there>>>

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.

 

EDM Lounge Kicks Ass

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EDM Lounge recently followed yours truly on Twitter so I decided to check ’em out. What I found blew me away. These folks run a blog devoted to electronic dance music based in the States. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s new and exciting in the underground scene, giving exposure to rising stars and established acts such as  Crizzly, Noisia, Big Chocolate, Weekend Wolves, Skrillex and more. For the latest on what’s happening down south in the Land of Rave, visit http://www.edmlounge.com/

High Park Cherry Blossom Party

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On a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, dozens of people descended on High Park in west end Toronto to celebrate the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Due to the unseasonably warm weather in March, the blooms emerged earlier than usual 🙂 The Blossom Party is really just a laid-back, chill out session where friends and families come together as one, peaceful community. It’s all about a celebration of life and love, and it’s a great place to connect with like-minded souls. Friday the 13th was a special day; I met some truly amazing people and the energies surrounding us were unbelievable. With ambient music supplied by Rollin’ Cash, it was a day to remember indeed >

Photography: Frankie Diamond

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.

Frankie Bones or Honey Dijon? Hmmm….

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My heart was all set on seeing Honey Dijon throw down at Footwork this Saturday, and I know some peeps who’re hellbent on checking that out as well. Then I found out Frankie Bones will be gracing tha decks at Promise’s 12 year anniversary party. Frankie Bones?!!! Damn! I hate having to make tough decisions. I mean, I love Dijon n all but Bones is a legend.  Torn between two lovers is never easy, especially when they’re both competing for centre stage at the same time. What’s a girl to do? Things were looking hopelessly hairy ’til I stumbled on this clip:

 

Damn…I hope Frankie plays some hard, nasty shit like that on Saturday!

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.

The Electric Daisy Carnival Extravaganza

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The Electric Daisy Carnival is the biggest electronic music festival outside of Europe. Dubbed the “American Ibiza,” EDC kicked off in 1997 at the Shrine Expo Hall, and has morphed into a massively successful enterprise of epic proportions. Some purists might argue that it is nothing more than a commercial rave solely geared towards maximizing profit, but I say that’s a natural consequence of its ginormous popularity. Bottom line is promoters, organizers and artistes need to get paid. EDC’s creators are smart enough to monetize various aspects of their brand, thereby ensuring they will continue to attract the biggest names in electronica as well as huge crowds. 2011’s stellar line-up included Skrillex, Infected Mushroom, Green Velvet, Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Steve Aoki, David Guetta and more. The inclusion of carnival rides, fireworks, performance artists and stunning visuals means there’s never a dull moment at this 3 day extravaganza. The fact that this is an in-your-face rave occurring in prestigious venues such as the Los Angeles Coliseum and Texas State Fair Grounds, speaks volumes about the progression of rave culture in the U.S. of A.

            However, EDC is not all flowers and unicorns. In 2010, the death of 15 year old raver Sasha Rodriguez, resulted in negative press, a wrongful death lawsuit and a subsequent investigation by the Los Angeles Times into Insomniac Inc.’s event management protocol. Mind you, this was 1 fatality at a rave of approximately 250,000 people. Though of course this incident is regrettable, statistically speaking those are very good odds considering the scale of this event. To put this in perspective, EDC provides on-site medical personnel and emergency services to deal with the influx of revelers suffering from heat exhaustion, alcohol intoxication, drug overdose and injuries related to crowd control (trampling etc.). All of these occurrences are commonplace at large carnivals throughout the world, including those of Trinidad and Brazil. It appears substantial efforts are being made by the EDC to ensure the safety of partygoers, so they are being vilified unfairly by what amounts to media histrionics and straight up playa hating. Realistically speaking, there is always the risk of death or injury at any event involving humongous crowds (think holy festivals in India and Toronto’s Caribana), so the media needs to get off their high horse. One positive outcome from the  fallout is EDC has been forced to improve their safety standards. Some implementations are an 18 years and over age restriction and the hiring of Investigative Advisory Group (IAG), to improve operating procedures and security.

Free spirited fashions rule at EDC
Source: dankrauss.blogspot.com

The arrest of EDC’s CEO, Pasquale Rotella, on corruption charges in March, throws the festival’s future into the spotlight once again. According to Spin, Rotella could face up to 13 years and 8 months in prison. Rolling Stone reported, “Rotella is one of six individuals charged in a colossal corruption case concerning Los Angeles’ historic stadium, the Coliseum, where the EDC has been held many times. According to L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley, more than $2.5 million of Coliseum money was rerouted to the personal accounts of Coliseum Events Manager Todd DeStefano and General Manager Patrick Lynch via back-room deals.” No kidding. Greasing the skids is (shock, horror!) standard procedure in the business world, so in all likelihood these accusations might have some credulity. If this was some bigwig mafia don, I’m sure investigators would look the other way in a jiffy, but because this involves the retention of  the hallowed Coliseum for a rave (read: a traditionally illegal youth event), it’s a big effing deal. The magic pony predicts Pasquale will  pay a fat ass fine and skip stir altogether. Either way, somebody is going to make a ton of moolah…

            This minor hiccup is unlikely to prevent the mammoth festival from moving forward. If Rotella’s Facebook page is any indication, he’s got major support from the dance community, many of whom consider his potential sentencing to be excessively stringent. With events slated for New York in May and Vegas in June, the EDC shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It’s obvious that this massively colourful machine of hedonistic mayhem will continue chugging along, despite the protests of angry moms and a biased mainstream media. 

For more info, visit  http://electricdaisycarnival.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.

Four x Two @ Footwork

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Four x Two at Footwork was fun fun FUN! The most fun I’ve ever had at Footowork thus far. With DJs like Deko-ze and Iron Mike on the bill, how could anything go wrong? When those vetz start dropping ol skool  bombs like acid unicorn elves it’s over. I’m really looking forward to Honey Dijon’s gig on April 14th with Baby Joel and Sno-men. Definitely not one to be missed!

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.