Tag Archives: techno

82 Year Old DJ Sumirock’s Solid

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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.

ENTER DJ SUMIROCK

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.

 

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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.

Deko-ze spins Donna Summer @ Guvernment

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Guvernment’s Glow Party was disappointing to say the least. To be honest, I had lowered expectations for this event, judging from the horror stories I’d heard about The Guvernment’s slide into the abyss of commercial drudgery over the years. The days when proper raves actually occurred on their premises were looong gone. Now it’s all about $$ and newjacks sorely lacking in party etiquette…but I won’t waste a whole lot of space bewailing the loss of Toronto’s foremost underground juggernaut. Just as I was about to pronounce the entire thing a write off (what with cheesy techno and commercial dubstep), something rank and nasty ripped through the airwaves, reeking of da underground. Instantly, I was affected with a serious case of happy feet, as I  bounced around gleefully.

I looked towards the stage, wondering who was playing this hardcore shit…and saw the buffed out torso of the one and only Deko-ze, looking like the Amazing Circus Flea. But of course!!! Who else could it possibly be? As if to prove me right, Deko-ze dropped a searing remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and it was over. All the hassle and hideous behaviour I endured throughout the night was redeemed by this act of grace. Thank God we still have DJ’s like Deko-ze in Toronto. All is not lost!

Green Velvet Rocks the Boat @ Beats Ahoy

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 Footage and photos by Frankenräver

          On May 27th, some lucky party people boarded the River Gambler and set forth on Beats Ahoy courtesy of Activate-Footwork. Green Velvet presiding over the decks. Manzone and Strong, Addy, The Junkies, Evan G, Jonathan Rosa and Robb G were also in attendance. Despite the tantalizing lineup, Beats Ahoy was not packed, perhaps due to the rather exorbitant ticket price ($50), considering we’re in a recession and all.  

However, the draconian antics of Fortress Security was a disgrace to mature partygoers. The security bitches practically raped the contents of my purse, turning up condoms, ditching my stash AND my gummy bears in the bin and trying to prevent me from bringing peanuts on board (tha nerve!!!). Fortunately, her supervisor said I could bring snacks onboard as long as they were sealed. My friend was then subjected to an excessively stringent 10 minute search, during which they chucked his hand lotion. Apparently they weren’t satisfied they couldn’t find anything suspicious on a black man, so they made him remove his baseball cap twice. Quite frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t make him strip right down to his socks. Conclusion: having to work security on a Sunday sucks ass, so why not make things difficult for the peeps who are having fun? In the future, Footwork should consider hiring a far more courteous security team, if they care anything about ensuring a positive experience for patrons.       

The crowd was a refreshingly wonderful contrast compared to the commercially drab Glow party debacle at The Guvernment the night before. Peeps who know how to party, with love and respect, looking out for one another – PLUR in effect. It was great seeing some graduates from the Class of ’99 reprazentin. Kudos to the male security guard for not giving me a hard time as I barfed ginger ale over the side of the boat. And when Green Velvet came on, well…it was smooth sailing all the way. He even joked about the weather, saying everytime he comes to Toronto, they say it’s going to rain but it never does. As a matter of fact, the weather held up beautifully all day long. Of course GV made a huge splash when he performed his hit, “La La Land”, with the boat rocking wildly as enthusiastic ravers jumped up and down, really getting into the swing of things. Evan G and others kept things going on the lower deck, though not much action was happening down there. My baby powder would’ve been perfect to get some footwork happening on the concrete floor. Thank God I forgot to bring it, else Fortress Security might have thought I was trying to smuggle meth on board and trashed it. Green Velvet was the perfect gentleman; surprisingly humble, approachable and kind. “Hi, my name is Curtis”, he said as I introduced myself. He willingly posed for pictures and chatted with adoring fans. After five hours, the River Gambler returned to harbour and the party was over. Upon the suggestion of my friends, I went to the bin and lo and behold – my stash was sitting there, waiting for me.  I didn’t have to look far. There is justice in the universe after all.  

 

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.

 

 

R.I.P. Donna Summer, First Lady of Techno

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Disco legend Donna Summer passed away on Thursday May 17th at age 63, after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Massachusetts, this musical powerhouse has influenced a generation of aspiring divas. Throughout her illustrious career, she has collaborated with artists such as Barbara Streisand, Musical Youth and Quincy Jones. Known for her formidable vocal prowess and Top 10 Hits, Mrs. Summer was one of the few artists who survived the death of disco. She even managed to have a successful career into the 80’s and beyond. Though Donna Summer will forever be associated with the disco era, she will also be remembered for her contributions to groundbreaking single, “I Feel Love”, arguably the first techno song ever created. Uber producer Giorgio Moroder utilized cutting edge technology to create a track that has withstood the test of time, in addition to being ahead of the era in which it was released (1977). If you’ve ever had the good fortune of hearing “I Feel Love” at a rave, you ‘ll know exactly what I mean. Donna Summer’s deceptively breezy vocals combined with Moroder’s creative genius detonated an explosive dancefloor bomb and chart-smasher. It reached number 6 in the U.S. and number 1 in the U.K. Summer also scandalized listeners from all over the globe with her infamously orgasmic “Love to Love you Baby”, (another Moroder production).

Summer’s phenomenal voice had its beginnings in gospel, when she stunned members of her church with her singing as a small child. Such a ginormous talent could not be confined to a small town forever; after trying out for Hair (the musical) in the late 60’s and losing the part to Melba Moore, Donna accepted the same role in the Munich production and subsequently moved there. This decision played a crucial part in her musical destiny , for she teamed up with producers Pete Bellotte and Moroder while in Europe during the 1970’s. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My childhood memories of Donna Summer include singing the bridge of “Dim All the Lights” into an oscillating fan, in an attempt to replicate the trippy reverb. And of course, trying my darndest to sustain that incredibly long note near the end of intro to said track…and always running out of breath. Summer had staying power and unbelievable control which puts many so-called singers of today in the shade by comparison. This lady had first class chops. Any doubting Thomases reading this article have only to listen to her numerous tunes on Youtube for further enlightenment on the subject…

In addition to being a kickass vocalist, Donna Summer was also a visual artist. I once saw her work on display at a gallery in Yorkville during the early 90’s, and was stunned to discover a side to her I didn’t know existed. Donna certainly believed in diversifying and expressing the multi-dimensional aspects of her creative self in every way. Rest In Peace, Donna Summer – you will be sorely 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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.