Tag Archives: house

Honey Dijon, Stacey Pullen and Carlo Lio @ Pride

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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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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.

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.

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.

Rave Reviews: Fabric London

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 Located at 77A Charterhouse Street in Farringdon, Fabric is a force to be reckoned with. After all, how many clubs do you know of that boasts a 24 hour drinking license? Things can get mighty hectic on a Friday night, especially when super heavyweights such as DJ Hype, LTJ Bukem, MC Conrad, Goldie, Fabio and Pascal hold court over hundreds of screaming ravers at weekly soundclashes. Techno -house rules the roost on Saturdays where special guests like Adam Beyer, Mark Farina, Magda and more preside over the decks. Saturdays can be good; however, it can sometimes be hit and miss with an occasionally mediocre lineup and sparse crowds. Quite frankly, Stacey Pullen and Brendon Moeller were the only ones that prevented me from abandoning ship prematurely during my last techno night in August of 2011.

Mayhem at Fabric in Room 1

 Fabric is renowned for its stellar roster of international talent, featuring a mixture of well established acts and blossoming newcomers. Craig Richards as resident DJ and program director ensures the lineup remains fresh while staying true to its classic roots, alongside fellow resident Terry Francis. Founded by Keith Reilly and Cameron Leslie in 1999, the club has somehow managed to survive the  recession – thank heavens! During my time in London, this erstwhile edifice was a mecca of sorts for lovers of underground music. Fabric was the name on virtually every clubber’s lips, spoken with a kind of whispered reverence. People’s eyes literally glazed over when they mentioned the F-word, as if slipping into some kind of euphoric trance. Free entry wristbands were frequently distributed outside of 93 Feet East on a Sunday night for the lucky souls who didn’t have to work Monday morning. Of course, I wanted to know what the fuss was about so I ventured down one Friday night to find out. 

Ever the resourceful clubber, I bought my ticket online to avoid getting stuck in the queue. Actually, my ex-boyfriend was generous enough to buy it for me! Cost: £19.50. I must admit I was impressed by the pristine layout of Fabric’s website. They’ve got student discount rates, a fabricfirst membership option with tempting perks such as free mix cd’s and line bypass privileges. A monthly calendar of events proudly displays all the luminaries in attendance so pilgrims can plan their next outing in advance. Already, an impression had been made: Fabric was geared towards providing the ultimate party experience by engaging their audience on multiple levels through their website. I believe that’s called clever marketing.

I arrived just before midnight. Other peeps planned to get down there around 4 am for the half price special, but I wasn’t having that. No sirree Bob, I wanted the whole shebang from the get-go! With printed voucher in hand, I was waved through the advance ticket line faster than floral bacteria in a sheep’s digestive tract. Once inside, I was cordially greeted by a female bouncer. She proceeded to check my purse and frisk me silly. A guy bouncer struck up a friendly conversation (well, flirty was more like it) and advised me to have a good time. Have a good time. Did I hear right? Bouncers that actually smile and say “Good night?” Every last one of them! I didn’t know what kind of alternate universe I’d fallen into, but I was definitely feeling this. The coatcheck was located up a winding staircase to my left. I braced myself for what I thought would be extortionary rates (£5 at least) at this first rate venue, but was amazed to discover it was only a measly £1. I experienced immense gratitude for the respect management showed towards patrons by not insulting our intelligence with jacked up coatcheck fees – unlike many other clubs.

The highly organized security team kept traffic flowing smoothly by directing everyone downstairs as soon

Fabric holds a 24 hr. drinking license…rahtid!

as we’d finished up with the coatcheck and digital ticket scans. It was obvious Fabric ran a tight ship. Blagging odds: 1 in 10,000. Damn….anyways, I ventured into the cavernous depths of this nocturnal beast to Room 1 or should I say, Portal 1 where Hype was mashing tings up large. After all these years, Da Big Dog was still on top of his game, sending the next generation of 20 something junglists off their heads. Room 1 was a hot, steaming jungle of pure mayhem. Heat was damn nigh unbearable but  shit was insane up in here! Frankenräver was forced to strip down to her bikini top (yes, I came prepared). A virtual moshpit had metastasized on the dance floor, with ravers gleefully pushing against one another. The floor was so wet that people slipped and fell down – if there was enough room to fall. Room 1 was jampacked to the nines. Despite the absence of ol skool whistlecrews, this screaming crowd of euroravers compensated for it with sheer enthusiasm. What I found especially fascinating was the semi-ravey atmosphere of what many would consider a commercial club. There was more than a smidgen of underground flavour here that harked back to the good ol daze of yore; hi-5’s, non-intrusive security, random conversations and guys decent enough to buy you a drink – and drinks at Fabric ain’t cheap either. I must admit I had not encountered this kind of friendly social vibe at a club anywhere in a long time… 

Upstairs afforded a different perspective on the action where one could look down at the dancefloor and trip out on vortex style lasers. At the back of Room 1 was a stage facing the DJ booth on the opposite end. It was occupied by mostly shirtless, sweaty guys who decided to brave the sweltering heat and strut their stuff. More power to them. I only lasted about 3 minutes before I had to come down – or risk passing out from the intensity.

Room 3 was a tiny antechamber with not much in the way of excitement going on as a lesser known DJ was spinning here. It’s easy to lose your sense of direction in this place – Fabric is fucking huge (for a nightclub that is) with a capacity of 1800. Even the toilets are a trip; unisex, clean, and well attended by security. The communal handwashing fountain provided interesting opportunities to bond with fellow ravers. And bond I must for I’d received a text from my friend saying the line-up was thick outside and he couldn’t get in. Oh well… Pascal, Zinc and Fabio rounded things off beautifully, dropping dirty ol skool gems in da mix. Fabric has state of the art soundsystems installed in each room, including the bodysonic vibrating dancefloor in Room 1. Honestly, I didn’t notice any vibration in the midst of all the ruckus going on in there, but I thought it’s worth mentioning anyway. 

Nevermind the bodysonics; there was one man that I had journeyed here especially to see. A drum and bass maverick that I had somehow managed to miss during the 90’s and I simply could not live with myself until I had seen him in action. At 5 am, this phenomenal High Priest took to the stage after Hype, Fabio and others paid their respects to the legendary master with honorary 5 minute guest spots. What can I say? It was absolute heaven as LTJ Bukem ripped shit up tremendously on the decks with flawless mixing, augmented by skillfully woven melodies on the verge of transcendence. Ravers screamed their heads off and demanded more, more, MORE! Danny Williamson continued to dish it out, track after track after track, killing us all with fantastically resonant sub-lows. The energy flowed pure and true from his superbly gifted hands. Bukem was cool as a cucumber, smiling beatifically while MC Conrad played off rhythms with the confident skill of a seasoned veteran.

“It’s like a dream come true!” gushed an Italian raver who’d befriended me. He came especially to see Bukem too. “What’s he doing in Room 2? LTJ Bukem is a star – he should be in Room 1,” the Italian opined. I had to agree, though LTJ seemed right at home in his present location. It seemed as if nothing could faze this dude. He was totally in his element. Supreme confidence is naturally alluring, so I went to the front of the stage to get a gander. LTJ looked so handsome in his trademark tinted visor, charming smile and flat cap. Heck, even his arms were buffed! Bukem exuded a gentle, charismatic vibe all his own. I felt blessed for having such ravishing eye candy in addition to the spectacular aural stimulation I was receiving. Bonus! Damn it Danny, I think I’m in love! 

The Celestial Boomfest ended around 8 am when we shuffled out into a gorgeous Saturday morning. From the moment I entered Fabric, I did not sit down. The music was far too brilliant to waste precious time that could be spent transcending the boundaries of material existence. I was completely energized and bouncing off the walls on nothing but pure energy. Upon arriving home, I raved to my flatmates about how wondrous the night was and how they missed out. At 9 am, I was still trying to settle down so I could get some sleep. With its relaxed, übercool atmosphere, Fabric is a haven for the Spirit of Rave in a post 90’s party world and an absolute must for any raver visiting London. It is more than just another concept club – it’s an experience.

 Check out Fabric’s jaw dropping roster here: www.fabriclondon.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.

The Incomparable Miss Honey Dijon

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AFRICAN HISTORY’S DJ OF THE WEEK – MISS HONEY DIJON

 

Honey Dijon

In the predominantly male world of disc jockeys, Miss Honey Dijon is a striking anomaly. During the 90’s rave scene, only a handful of female DJ’s were making the rounds and I most certainly never saw any black women behind the decks. So Miss Dijon is a happy compromise. She is the first black, transgendered DJ I know of that has gained prominence and respect for her abilities on the decks. Rumour has it that she is one of Derrick Carter’s favourites. And that’s no small accomplishment. Arguably, it could be said that as a transgendered artist, Miss Dijon would not have achieved the same degree of success in the commercial arena as she did within rave culture. Which just goes to show how this underground movement embraces diversity of all shades and genders.

So what motivated this flamboyant Chicago native to join dance culture resistance? Great music of course. Classic pioneers of house such as Frankie Knuckles, Mark Farina and Ron Hardy captured Miss Dijon’s discerning ear during her youth. In the 1990’s, she moved to New York where she befriended Danny Tenaglia, who encouraged her to become a DJ and the rest, as they say, is history. Miss Dijon has blazed a scintillating career path across the globe; from spinning at raves to entertaining prominent fashion noteworthies at events hosted by couture giants Hermes, Visionaire and Givenchy. Dijon also spiced things up at legendary venues such as London’s Ministry of Sound and Pacha in Ibiza. Her style can best be described as an eclectic mix of house, electro, tech-house, tribal, funk and disco. She cleverly adapts her set according to the vibe transmitted from her audience. Part psychic intuition, part osmosis, the end result is always the same – fantastic! My fondest memory of  Honey Dijon was when she rocked the I-Dance rally  at Nathan Phillips Square back in 2000. Her set injected a glimmer of hope on a bittersweet night as thousands of ravers united in an attempt to preserve the legitimacy of dance culture in the face of overwhelming political opposition. 

In addition to gigs across Asia and Europe, Honey now has a weekly residency at the Hiro Ballroom in Chelsea’s lower West side. It’s amazing to see this itinerant disc jockette still in action after more than a decade of dance culture. I applaud Miss Dijon – not only for her vinyl popping skills, but for the courage to be herself in a discriminatory world and succeed despite the odds stacked against her. Respect. 

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.