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Bad Company / Vinyl Syndicate - The Docks Dec. 26, 2000


TRIBE Member
Boxing Day can be a zoo. Tempers would flare at mall parking lots between so-called "adults" over the nearest parking space since they couldn't afford to dress appropriately for the weather. Strange hands would try to grope at the rare wares of value at low prices, but would eventually wind up with something else instead.

But the ultimate Boxing Day bargain was at the Docks nightclub where the Vinyl Syndicate crew held a special party with Bad Company (aka )EIB( and Bad Co.) headlining. The concept sounded so good to be true that tickets were printed almost at the last minute. When I went to Tripp at Fairview Mall, I asked Erin (who works there) if she had any. She was apologetic, to say the least. So I had to pay $25 bucks to get in. It was still a bargain compared to all the bigger parties that were thrown during the year.

I arrived there fashionably late - the weather up where I live was the shits as I skidded into a snow bank while making a left turn. In the freezing cold, a lineup was moving quite quickly. Security was really tight, as patrons were being frisked and patted-down for contraband. One visitor from BC had to empty the contents of his knapsack for inspection.

Inside, I paid my $25 and headed into the main arena where the VS and Bad Co. were holding court. Caddy Cad, aguably Toronto's voice of Jungle, went head-to-head with L Natural in a lyrical tug-of-war while Slip and Sniper spun back-to-back. In the second arena, Located at the Aqua Lounge, the scene's newbies took charge with Stryka at the helm and the Res-Q spinning. Even though the crowd there was sparse, the up-and-comers were playing their hearts out as if the room were packed.

The problem was that there were no signs indicating who was playing at what time. Everybody knew that )EIB( were going to be onstage between 1:00 and 3:00, but what about the others? And if you weren't wearing hearing protection or paid attention to the MC's in either room, or if you were too shy to ask, you'd be too hard pressed to find out about the players in the second room. I could only recognize Res-Q, Stryka, Rudebwoy, Lucid and Vise from other parties, but the others were a mystery to me, except that a few of them did some pretty cool throwdowns.

Most of the evening consisted of back-to-back sessions with a string of MC's alongside: the main arena had Caddy Cad, L Natural, Trajedy, Bandit, JD, Friendlyman, Nai and Lal while the second room had Stryka, Rudebwoy, Lucid and a host of other up-and-comers. Stryka represented T-dot jungle's next generation and did his best to "big-up" the newbies, and on occasion would step out to greet some of the patrons who wandered in from the main arena. This gentleman should be the one to watch in 2001.

As for the main stage acts: those very familiar to the T-dot jungle scene would have no problem enjoying the veterans and their work. I've missed the Mystical Influence and Everfresh b2b, but then there'll be another one at another party anyways. The event was geared to the "all-ages" (read: under 19) set so the licenced area behind the stage was small and very crowded. When Bad Company took to the stage, everyone crammed into the main arena and a huge lineup to the licenced area formed up. The UK producers did a good set, pedestrian considered that their tunes and remixes could be heard and mixed in around the world. And yes, everyone's favourite overplayed tune, Konflict's "Messiah", was being overplayed, first by the Slip and the Sniper, then by Bad Co.'s Fresh. The local MC's managed to save the day rhyming and calling for reloads - somehow it sounded as if they called more reloads from Bad Co. than from any other DJ's in the event. As much as the UK performers did a fair job in keeping the partiers happy, it was the local talent who kept them dancing.

The remainder of the night continued with more back-to-backs and more MC tugs-of-war, which may be no different from past parties thrown by Empire, Urban Unit, Sound Warfare, Intimate or any other junglist promotion crew. But for the value, the quantity and the quality of the talent, the Vinyl Syndicate did at least a good job in securing the space, the time and the talent.

Verdict: say what you will about the headliners, good or bad, but the locals and the up-and-comers, namely the Criminal Beatz crew, put on best show so far this year. I'm hoping that Stryka and the others will be able to do more throwdowns to more people in the coming months.

As for the Vinyl Syndicate, they may be acused of being the Microsoft of junglist crews, but this event was such an abitious project that weeks in the making that they should be able to host more of them in the future, especially the Boxing Day specials!

If only they could get their tickets printed on time...

Respect, love and prosperity to the organizers, the players, the torontojungle.com crew and the tribe.ca crew and YOU. I'll be leaving for BC to do my stint with the Navy, so this party was very special to me. I have to get the T-dot flava into me so I'd be able to perform well while on ship. If you like to say hi, drop the prop off at misterjacques@hotmail.com . I don't know how long I'll be there, but maybe one day I'll be able to scam some time off to enjoy some down-home d'n'b. God bless and Happy New Year.

Peace, love, unity, respect.