Category Archives: raves, dance culture

Party Legend Ab Boles Turns 70




Ab Boles and Frankenraver at Architectures

Do you remember this guy?

If you’ve partied in Toronto’s underground within the last 20 plus years, chances are you’ve seen Ab Boles. A flamboyant fixture at countless raves, clubs and warehouse parties, Abs is the elder statesman of dance music culture in the Toronto. He recently got some recognition with a front cover on NOW magazine in August. So when I found out he was celebrating his 70th birthday at the ROUND venue in Kensington Market, I had to pay my respects.

Architectures on Thursdays is known for its chill, psytrance vibe and they delivered as usual. Special guest Living~Stone from Montréal ran the decks with accompanying visuals from Nostylejack. 20% of proceeds from ticket sales went towards Rainforest Alliance, a charity supported by Abs. Now that’s what I call conscious partying. At the rate humans are going, future generations might have nothing but a patch of scorched earth to dance on. Abs’ thoughtful gesture sets an example for many of us to follow.

When I first saw Abs, I was a youth at a rave in the 90’s. I thought he looked old enough to be my dad yet he danced like there was no tomorrow.  I got used to seeing him everywhere; at clubs, parties, The Guvernment, Cherry Beach. Everyone that I knew accepted Abs as he was and left him alone. He always seemed to be completely absorbed in a zone but his outfits were fantastic. I realized that past a certain age, most people retire from the club scene but not Abs. In his world, it was perfectly acceptable to party past middle age. This colourful elder demonstrates that when it comes to raving, age ain’t nothing but a number!

Tonight Abs was warm, effusive and basking in his blessings. I told him how happy I was for him and how much it meant seeing him on the dance-floor all these years. Other revellers approached with gifts. I even met his son. It was touching to see the reverence paid to this elder. Abs still looked the same as I remembered him back in the day. Enough of the age-shaming that is so endemic in western culture – Abs, I salute you for aging defiantly and dancing to the beat of your own drum.  May you live to rave much more!   

Copyright © 2019 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.

Roni Size / Reprazent New Forms Turns 20



20 years ago on this day, June 23rd 1997, seminal album New Forms was released by U.K. drum and bass producer Roni Size and Reprazent, a collective of artistes including Onallee, DJ Krust, Suv, Die and Dynamite MC. The successful mashup of spaced out jazz with hip-hop infused drum and bass earned Size/Reprazent the Mercury Prize in 1997 and heavy hitter status during the 90’s rave era.

I happened upon this album sometime in 1998. “Brown Paper Bag” happened to be playing on a T.V. where I worked and I was hooked. To top it off, the video was shot in Toronto! An extended intro featuring a double bass doing a seductive number with a flirty guitar, like a conversation leading back to bass place…that conversation par excellence helped that song become a bonafide hit. At first I got the single C.D. but later acquired the double disc. And that, in and of itself, was a revelation.

From the head-bopping infectious rhyming of Dynamite MC on “Railing” to the digital staccato burst of “Morse Code”  this mind-blowing album took me on a joyride through superlatively rich soundscapes. “Share The Fall” featuring Onallee’s éclair whipped vocals became a classic DnB anthem. American MC Bahamadia’s hypnotic heist on “Feeling So High” left heads speechless. Clearly, this maverick collaboration was a critical and commercial success. Roni Size graced the cover of several music magazines, somewhat overshadowing the Reprazent crew. Heck, I even saw Size spin at a rave in Toronto (he’d shorn the locks, I was disappointed! His set satisfied me though :).


Roni Size / Reprazent

It’s fair to say that if you have not heard Disc 2 of New Forms, you are truly missing out. If you listen carefully, it becomes evident that water plays a predominant part in the production. Which is hardly surprising when you consider that Roni Size is Scorpio, a water sign. Moody and playfully mellow, “Down” is anything but. I felt like a leaf, meandering down a burbling brook on an overcast day as the water swirled around me. Skillful breakbeats layered with jazzy instrumentals, strategic looping and clever phasing give this double album an atmospheric feel that is unparalleled. It is full of textures, ranging from mysteriously edgy to effervescent. I love playing it on a rainy day as it amplifies that warm cozy feeling that makes me glad to be indoors with a hot cuppa tea, getting a proper rinsing!

20 years later, I still listen to New Forms. It sounds every bit as fresh as it did back then. Sure, I have bigger concerns than getting a fresh pair of cargos for the next rave but you know what? It just makes me all the more thankful that I had this amazing experience. Oh, and “Hot Stuff” is going off in the background, which brings to mind supers and laying down in bed, admiring my silver tone bubble chair and my Liquid Adrenaline poster which I will never forgive my mother for accidentally throwing out.

I could go on and on about the cool sound effects on each track like the windchimes on “Ballet Dance” but I suggest you discover this brilliant gem of an album yourself. Or revisit it from a mature perspective. There is much to love and appreciate about New Forms as we evolve over time.

Copyright © 2017 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.


82 Year Old DJ Sumirock’s Solid




Let’s face it: at 82, society thinks you’re washed up. Why, you’d be considered lucky if you could knit a scarf and walk to the corner store without falling down. You are old and for the most part invisible, a useless relic of a vibrantly youthful past. Or so they would have us believe.


This senior, seriously funky Japanese citizen is making jaws drop around the world. At an age where most people want the music turned down, she’s turning it up! Sumiko Iwamuro started spinning in her 70’s after her husband passed away and now has a monthly club residency in Tokyo’s infamous red light district. On top of that, she still works as a full-time cook at a Chinese resto which she has been doing for 60 years. I bet she makes a mean teriyaki!

According to CGTN, Iwamuro said, “My setlist is based on music that I feel like dancing to. I’m physically very strong. I stand all day in the kitchen, ride my bicycle home, walk my dog for half an hour so I don’t have a lot of free time. I can deejay at this age because I’m very healthy and I’m very lucky to have a place to work.”

Does this sound like an “old person?” Definitely not! An elderly lady with a taste for techno and dark glasses – most defo!

Kudos to DJ Sumirock for showing us that as long as you have health, you’re never too old to pursue your dream. In a world intent on discarding the elderly and invalidating women especially as we approach middle age, Sumiko Iwamuro defies the narrow minded stupidity of youth obsessed society. As I observe her on the decks, I admire her relaxed approach, calm focus and pure enjoyment, not to mention her sexy outfit!

DJ Sumirock, I hope you get to play in New York someday. You are a brave soul, a true inspiration and I know you will do a fantastic job. Domo arigato!

Copyright © 2017 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.


All Gender Bathrooms At Raves



Gender neutral bathrooms are a hot topic. In recent times they have been popping up in public and private facilities and their popularity is increasing. Laws were recently passed in America allowing school children and people to use the washroom that corresponds to their gender as opposed to their sex. These tentative steps toward gender parity are now in danger of being overturned by a regressive administration intent on fostering division and discord instead of peace and unity.

In the midst of all this chaos, it’s refreshing to know that in the 90’s rave era, washrooms (women’s in particular) became gender neutral during peak periods. For argument’s sake, let’s call this spontaneous occurrence AGBAR – this blogpost title in acronym form. When there are thousands of people rushing all at once and they need to pee (sometimes ALL at once), it truly doesn’t matter which friggin bathroom you decide to use. It was not unusual to see guys and trannies traipsing into the girl’s washroom and vice versa. Men actually preferred ours because they said it was cleaner. “Girls are so lucky! You don’t know what we have to put up with!”, a male raver once CONfessed as he washed his hands next to yours truly. Let me emphasize that at no time did I ever feel unsafe when men and transgendered folks needed to use the ladies’ washroom at a rave. Security was well aware of the situation but I never saw them intervene. AGBAR was in full effect, and although there may have been unpleasant incidents, neither myself nor anyone I knew ever heard of or witnessed them. Ecstasy is reputed to have a neutralizing effect on baser instincts that lead to violence. With everyone feeling all loved up and rushy-rushy, I’m sure the number 1 concern for ravers of all genders using the toilet was to make sure their pants or skirt was really down so as not to piss or crap all over it. Lord knows I’ve had a couple of close calls – can you say ECSTAPEE OH YEAHHHH!!!!

World renowned dance club Fabric London had gender neutral toilets that were conspicuously monitored by security personnel. Hilarious conversations would transpire around the circular sink fountain as guys and girls washed their hands together in peace, all gung ho for AGBAR and the great spirit of togetherness fostered by that overwhelming need to relieve that plagues all genders, all sexes, all nations! And we behaved like civilized beings.

For a dance culture movement that has been much maligned by politicians and mainstream media, it’s funny that ravers helped pioneer a successful social experiment in gender inclusivity, well ahead of the curve. Outside of that peace loving party atmosphere, the reality of rape culture society sets in, making the scenario outlined in the previous paragraph unthinkable in everyday circumstance. Despite the fact that ravers in the 90’s were often perceived as dirty, drug addled degenerates, I was never sexually assaulted at a rave. Not even when I wandered for hours in a sea of Ecstaticans after being separated from my friends. People were so kind, respectful, and they looked out for you. Hopefully one day, stone cold sober society will catch up to where we were. And remember to wash up on the way out.

Copyright © 2017 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.

3 Years of Frankenräver



Today marks the 3 year anniversary of Frankenräver. At that age, I was a screaming mass of raw energy; temperamental, curious and testing the boundaries of my parent’s patience. Although I haven’t posted anything in months, it doesn’t mean that I’ve given up. Au contraire, I’ve been quietly, constantly evolving and so my point of view on a number of subjects has shifted drastically.

After much consideration, I’ve concluded that there’s nothing about Toronto’s party scene that holds much appeal for me anymore. Raving as I knew it in the 90’s is dead, done over – ain’t never coming back. Tough shit. Sorry to dash the hopes of all you ol skoolers still striving to “bring back” that flavour with your sentimental little bashes. The truth is, many are far too self-centred, distracted, emotionally obtuse in this society to invoke the spirit of PLUR on a grand scale, but that’s not to say it’s still not happening. Just not in Toronto.

Call it maturity (or even ennuie), but I feel the energy calling me somewhere else. I can’t say much right now, except to say that I’m pretty excited about it. Instead of clinging to the past and false hopes of long lost glory, I’ve opened myself to new horizons, broadening my scope on a fantastic scene that has spread around the globe. In 2013, Frankenräver garnered hits from 114 countries from some pretty surprising places including Qatar, Benin, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Algeria, Venezuela, Estonia, Peru, Vietnam and Egypt. I’m happy to know that rave culture has touched so many lives on this planet and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Thanks to all of you for your support and readership. Stay tuned for new and interesting developments to come in the near future.

Raving is like a retrovirus. It never truly left me and I don’t think it ever will. Beats herpes anyday!



Copyright © 2014 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 Takes Off


exit left

After being in the blogosphere for just over a year, Frankenräver will be going on hiatus, which is a fancy way of saying I’m done blogging for a while. I haven’t been doing much raving to be honest, so I’m not exactly living up to that vainglorious title. Admittedly, it’s difficult to do that in Toronto, whose party scene has pretty much gone to the dogs. Relocation is in order! Besides, anyone who’s been a part of that world knows that it’s next to impossible to get anything constructive done long-term. Currently I’m working on a number of creative projects which require my full attention to bring them to fruition. 

That being said, I’ve had a blast blogging about underground culture, and hope to resume at some point in the not too distant future.  From time to time, I will post anything I find of interest, and update you on how my other projects are coming along. I hope that you’ve found the articles interesting, informative and entertaining.  It is my sincerest hope that more folks across the globe will continue to enjoy them. Frankenräver generated traffic from 109 countries last year, and I’m happy to know how global this scene has become.  Thanks to all my fellow bloggers, readers and followers for your support. Special shout-outs to Brian,,  Rosie and for your positive vibes and awesome contributions to keeping dance culture alive.

There comes a time in every raver’s life when you have to prioritize your goals and let go of that lifestyle, so something fuller and richer can blossom in its place.  In my heart, I’ve never stopped raving, and as long as I have life in my body, I will always be engaged with The Movement one way or another. A seed was planted many years ago, and now I’m happy to say that rambunctious tree is bearing fruit!

The 90’s was a very special time for those of us who were there. I’m not discounting the validity of the post 90’s rave experience; however, the energy at that time was completely different. It was truly out of this world. If it’s one thing I wish they’d bring back, it would be those massive sound systems! To this day, many of us carry that Light, that youthful Vibration  forward into every aspect of our lives.  I see it everytime I run into fellow tribe members still resisting the status quo in their own way.  Indeed, there is more to Raving than meets the eye. The Movement has had its ups and downs, but thankfully it’s still here, still evolving. I can’t wait to see what will come exploding out of the Underground next. I hope it will be every bit as dynamic as raving was at its peak – even more so. The world needs more Light, now more than ever.




Copyright © 2013 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 One Year Later


Frankenräver circa 1999

It’s been one year since I started this blog on 11/11/11. So if any of you’s got a thing for numerology well…you know I’m onto something 🙂 17, 050 hits later, Frankenräver’s still going strong. True, I could have more than twice the number of hits if I was a jet setting, social media whore, but I do have moral objections to having some corporate entity owning whatever content I happen to post on my page. Ironically, this hasn’t stopped my blog getting traffic from Facebook , which says a lot right there.

When I first started this blog, I had doubts as to whether anyone gave a rip about rave culture anymore. I’m happy to say that some of us still do. Although the scene has changed drastically from what it once was, it’s still reassuring to see the Movement is alive in some shape or form  around the world. Contrary to popular belief, raving is not just about dance music and drugs – it is a form of resistance to the status quo. Although it hasn’t always been easy to find stuff to write about, it’s been a pleasure to witness how the blog has evolved over the course of one year. I promised myself I would quit once I get to the 121st article, but who knows what might happen from there? In the meantime, I intend to enjoy myself, dammit!

Thanks to all my readers, followers and fellow bloggers around the globe for your support and your vastly amusing search engine terms. It’s really refreshing to know that you’ve stumbled across my blog with entries like “sara dopstar porn.” Watching Sara in action (spinning techno as opposed to bumping uglies) I’m sure must have been an enlightening experience for that particular seeker. I sincerely hope that Frankenräver continues to be a source of viable information and entertainment for all you Ecstaticans.



Squat Parties Won’t Stop!

croydon squatheygate nowheygate herecamberwell squatnewham noticeratstar freeshop
ratstar artnot a benchpink panther partysquatters paradisebroken telephonestand up

Squat Parties Won’t Stop, a set on Flickr.

As of September 1st 2012, squatting on residential property is now a criminal offence punishable by arrest, a 6 month prison term and or a £5000 fine. Talk about draconian. I won’t even bother devoting space to the names of the lowdown dirty scoundrels (politicians, newsmedia) involved in this oppression; you can find that information all over the net. For those of you who have no clue what squatting is, basically it means taking over an unused, usually dilapidated property and making it your home. The crucial part is securing the property without getting caught, urm…breaking in. Prying the Sitex off the window and smashing a pane is usually how most gain entry, but you could be charged with criminal damage if caught by police. Essentially, squatting is a social movement born out of necessity in many parts of the world. It has a long and distinguished history in England, dating back to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 right down to World War II when thousands of people, including ex-soldiers, occupied empty homes and land, claiming they had a right to do so because they had nowhere else to live.

Fast forward to 2012. The last I heard from my links in London was squatting would be made illegal in 2013, but apparently the bastards on Parliament Hill decided three months was too long of a wait, so they decided to speed things up. Squatting has been a controversial topic, especially over the last four years. Several articles have been written about hapless homeowners returning from holiday, only to discover a bunch of strange, dirty hippies have taken over their property, scrawling filth all over the walls. To add insult to injury, most of their belongings ended up doing time in the frontyard. Horrors. And if that wasn’t bad enough, said homeowners had to get a court order to evict the squatters at their expense, since they couldn’t bloody well kick ‘em out due to a provision in Section 16 of The Criminal Justice Act. And who could ever forget the infamous Park Lane squat party of 2010, when thousands of peeps took over a £30 million property for one raucous night of festivities which resulted in road closures, police in riot gear and salacious pics of ravers on the rooftop.

Entrance to a squat. If you look closely, you will spot the Section 16 Notice, top left. Photo: Emilian Zalewski

Yet, with all that being said, only a minute percentage of news articles on squatting ever exposed the real truth behind squatting. The reality is the majority of squatters appropriate abandoned, usually dilapidated homes, hundreds of thousands of which are slowly going to rot all over London, while entire families languish for years on council waiting lists for affordable housing. The reality is most people squat because they can’t afford to pay the extortionate rents that are so typical of London. The reality is most squatters tend to be young, intelligent, artistic types who are keenly aware of the injustices perpetrated by a system intent on keeping them enslaved mentally and economically. In recent years, there has been an interesting shift in the type of people traditionally involved in squatting. This paradigm now includes, quote on quote, “upwardly mobile citizens” with careers in finance, engineering, even science, who previously would not have squatted, but have opted to because they realized how deeply they have been duped by an unfair system.

So now that the laws have changed, what does this mean for the future of squatting and squat parties in particular? Fret not my friends. Squatting on commercial property is still legal – for now, at least. This means that squat parties are far from finished. What does a typical squat party consist of? Noise, squalor, and lots of booze. Which ain’t necessarily a bad thing…unless the toilets don’t work. “Pass the plunger please – wait, it’s got a hole in it – oh shit…” Squat parties range from a late night soiree in a council flat to a full on rave in an abandoned warehouse. This scene has played an important role in facilitating the spread of minimal and tech-house circa 2007 onwards. When it comes to squat parties, nothing is sacrosanct. Not even a former Buddhist temple round Kennington way, which once hosted a heavy metal screamo / drum n bass mash up complete with a hot and cold vegan buffet. Damn, that sweet potato soup was da bomb! Fortunately we left shortly before fighting broke out and the cops were called. Violence can be problematic at squat parties due to its clandestine, barely legal nature, not to mention the possibility of bad drugs. Better to get your goodies ahead of time from a reliable source than from some shady lurking near the backwall. After all is said and done, squat parties provide legitimate alternatives to the mainstream mush that is standard fare in Central London nightlife. They are not always about loud music and kids getting out of hand; they have been known to host poetry nights and community style gatherings where people can exchange information and ideas that foster growth. The kind that would make the cronies on Parliament Hill shit in their pants. True, squat parties are far from perfect, but until steps are taken to genuinely address the root cause of social inequity, people will continue to occupy spaces abandoned by those who hold the reins of power.

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 Hadiman Keeps it Real



 Hadiman’s one of the coolest cats in town. So cool that I thought he was Brazilian. Forgive me Hadi, ha ha ha…. Actually, he’s from Dubai but currently based in Toronto.  He blew me away with his banging drum and bass set at OM Festival in June, not to mention a killer turn at Bassculture. After hearing his name whispered with admiration on the lips of psytrancers , I decided to sit down and have a chat with the affable DJ to see what makes him tick.

F: Hi Hadi, it’s a pleasure running into you like this and I’d just like to ask you about some of your influences. What inspired you to become a DJ in the first place? 

H: I think my inspiration came from what’s in me. It really was just the idea I can go home and mix music that was just really, really interesting and fun for me personally. It all started when I went to school for sound engineering and I remember one of the first classes I attended, one of the teachers asked who was a DJ and I remember everyone raised their hand except me; I was the only guy who wasn’t, and that really sparked interest in me; just DJ’ing and mixing music in general, so a friend of mine lent me some records and I would just go and borrow people’s turntables and I just really picked up from there. People started supporting me and I did it in my own bedroom for three years without even telling people that I’m DJ’ing and I started getting small gigs here and there, so yeah, now I’m here. I do play a few very different things. One of which is drum and bass and I was influenced by the South American tropical rhythms. 

F: Like cumbia for example?

H: Cumbia, actually I love cumbia, especially the old cumbia. Cumbia and chicha and Afrobeat or Afro-Latin and all the subgenres of Latin music. And I’m not South American but I have really good appreciation for that music from the past 40 or 50 years ago. I think they made incredible music that we still listen to today, so I would hope to see more Brazilian or Latin drum and bass influences in music, and I think that at some point in the mid 90’s, there was a lot of Brazilian drum and bass. It’s not around anymore and I wish someone would start mixing Brazilian drum and bass.

F: Can you name some of your favourite Brazilian artists from that era?

H: I don’t really remember the names, but where we had records, we would go buy records that didn’t even say any name on it or not even the track; you know it would just come blank, what we’d get in a sleeve and we would put it on and it would be Brazilian drum and bass. So it was poorly advertised let’s say, in North America or in Toronto, and I may just not have enough knowledge about it. I started DJ’ing at a time when this genre in particular was dying so I didn’t pick up on it.

F: What about guys like DJ Marky?

H: DJ Marky is one of my favourite DJ’s, and it’s like he’s really one of the pioneers of drum and bass, and I wasn’t aware that he’s Brazilian. Is he?

F: He is.

H: Ok, now I know! DJ Marky…yeah, I’m a fan of DJ Marky. So many good liquid drum and bass that you could use, old and new and I love him, I love DJ Marky for sure, and I’d love to see him in Toronto if he comes.

F: Speaking of Toronto, in terms of the scene that Toronto has at the moment, where do you see it going?

H: Well I think we have a very good music scene in Toronto, and it’s only germinating right now and the vision I have is that it will really flourish in 10 years. I think Toronto is going to be one of the coolest cities in the music industry. What we have here is very eclectic and the multiculturalism is creating something new that not many people have. For instance all the art collaborations that are happening in Kensington Market; we have people from all over the world collaborating so naturally, and that creates you know, the future for Toronto and a reputation. And you go all over the place now, even in New York and you say you’re from Toronto, and all of a sudden they speak very highly of the music scene that we have cuz now we have more top artists in the world; they all come to Toronto very often so that’s a good sign that our music scene is very healthy.

F: Tell me more about some of these collaborations.

H: Well we’ve been doing the Pedestrian Sunday Collective day and what we try to do is something very interesting; collaborations between DJ’s and bands. We have a gypsy band, we have Brazilian percussion bands, we have just indie music bands and then you mix all of those bands together in a one day event and have an incredible event that keeps people really happy and people are talking about the event for a long time. I think it would have been different if they came and saw only one band at a time; it wouldn’t be the same as coming to see a bunch of bands, say 10 bands performing in one day in a very eclectic way.

F: Can you tell me whether you’ve worked on producing tracks of your own that you’ve released independently or are you signed to a label ?

H: I have worked with a lot of different music but unfortunately I never took the step to get signed. We had a band called Masala Sound Kitchen; you can check them on Google. What we did was really interesting. We actually were, just in a way, jamming and recording at the same time, and we made lots of world fusion music mixed with some electronic and that was one of my biggest projects but then I think I got sidetracked  by DJ’ing for a bit and hopefully I’m coming back to producing and it’s gonna be mostly electronic music, ambient and chill out music; downtempo.

F: On a final note, do you see DJ’ing as a career that you would like to pursue on a full-time basis or is it just more of a hobby for you at this time?

H: Well, it all starts as a hobby it’s becoming very, very serious for me, but I do think I’d like to focus on producing now, I want to create my own sounds and my own music. It’s been a pleasure mixing people’s music, but I think a good balance between the two, mixing your own and people’s music would be very satisfying for me and more interesting.

F: Great! Thank you Hadi.

H: Thank you.

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.

Full Moon Rising @ Cherry Beach


What better way to celebrate Canada Day than a rave at Cherry Beach! Still reeling from the aftermath of Pride, I cooled off at a pool party before heading down. I’d heard how much it had changed from the good ol’ daze when people would just show up and start raving in the woods on the east side of the beach. It was strictly through word of mouth, never advertised and all you had to do was come prepared to party well into the wee hours. No dress code, ID, or cover charge required. It was absolutely glorious and too good to last. Due to a thoughtless act of naïve journalism about “Toronto’s best kept party secret” by a NOW magazine writer, cops swooped down and killed the last CB party of the summer in 2006. I was told that since that time, the event had been moved to a different location in the same vicinity, wristbands were required and they were now charging $5. Not to mention sketchies galore. So of course, I had lowered my expectations long before I even set foot on the shore. Boy was I in for a surprise! Hundreds of party peeps were chilling out on the beach, grooving to the bombastic sounds of Rollin’ Cash, LeeLee Mishi, Zum One, Machinelf and more. Everyone was laughing, dancing, have a good time. Sizzling samba satisfied the senses courtesy of CB stalwarts, Samba Elegua, with firespinners scorching the shit out of the scene at nightfall.

 It was reassuring to see some familiar faces from the rave and psy-trance community, though we were outnumbered by clubbers and 905-ers somewhat lacking in party etiquette. And there was a bodacious full moon to boot. A full moon party on Canada Day at Cherry Beach? Long weekends don’t get much better than that! Wading in warm water while prog techno bounced and the moon beamed was therapeutic to say the least. At times, the loud pop of fireworks going off made me wonder whether some stoned dandy might not end up losing a finger or 2. The Rave Gods were definitely on duty that night, ensuring that all Ecstaticans remained safe and sound. “This is the best I’ve seen in a while,” exclaimed one attendee. “There’s a lot less sketch than usual.” Sheesh… Maybe frumpy security personnel dressed in black, marching through beach blanket posses wielding flashlights like they’re in a friggin club might have something to do with it. An acquaintance of mine ended up having her knapsack stolen, which really sucked. So if you’re planning to check out Cherry Beach in the near future, watch your belongings! Beach blanket bonanza in effect every Sunday ‘til the end of summer, weather permitting. For the latest updates on CB, follow the Promise lads  on Twitter @cherrybeach. Peace out >>>


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.