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BOK back-to-roots at Secret Venue

alison87

TRIBE Member
That was fucking PROPER. After um-ing and ah-ing over Bounce and Sunnyside, i decided to stay home and nap instead so i'd have all my energy for BOK. Got in there around 1ish (i guess; i left home after midnight and only looked at my phone once all night). It was in The Usual Loft, but i'm pretty sure they brought in a different stack, because the sound was pumping. Mike Gibbs was up, playing his eclectic early night mix of house, electro and techy stuff. Not all my thing, especially the discoier numbers, but he had a run of three or four classic Detroit-y sounding tracks that really got me going. I can't put my finger on what Detroit-y tracks annoy the fuck out of me and what ones make me really dance, but i have a hunch it's the housier ones with straight-up analog synth lines that i like best. No wishy-washy strings and girly chord progressions. Which seems to be Mike's taste too, so, awesome.

Hali was up next, and he pounded out a bunch of 909-driven techno and house. I don't know why i loved that bass drum so much as a kid, because now it seems to hit me right in a "pain" spot; i had to put in my earplugs because the attack is too TAK and the release is too WOOM. Gimme an 808 anyday! (Though if you'd known me in the 90s you'd be laughing at this complete 180.) But the crowd was super into it. I was sleepy and sat down with my eyes closed for a few tracks, and when i opened them the dancefloor had gone from a couple of shameless dance fiends to a packed-out hall of nutters. Amazing job when an hour earlier there were only a handful of people in the joint. He played a few of those "big bassline" tracks that sound like a white guy listened to Mr Fingers and thought the whole point of Can You Feel It was MASSIF BASS YEAH? (thanks Dirtybird!) which of course everyone in Toronto loves. And then on to some more traditional American-style vocal house, which i happily bopped along to with a smile on my face and vodka in my hand.

But DJ number 3. Holy SHIT. I think it was Fabian, though honestly i've never met him and have no idea what he looks like so it might've been Ali Black, or both of them, or neither. Dude fucking rocked it. For at least an hour he was pulling out exactly the kind of stuff i have been buying and loving for the last year. I didn't recognize any specific tracks, but going through my mind was "holy fuck i'm not the only one who buys Little Helpers and thinks they'd make a good track all on their own". Minimal/tech-house with relentless loops, barely any breaks, barely any melody, NO FUCKING VOCALS, just funky percussive blippy bloppy goodness. Much to the disdain of my "serious" techno friends, i've realized a certain flavor of loopy tech-house is my favoritest thing at the moment, mainly because it's like techno without getting all dissonant and pretentious like techno so often does. The best part was when he pulled out one of those 8th-note-bassline German tracks, the kind i <3 to death and not-so-privately term "oompah minimal". For reference, that'd be The Chosen Two, Adler & Finn, etc. Pure silly dancefloor music with no pretentions of being anything but. I was just waiting for the trumpet to come in, but that'd probably be a bit too silly for Toronto.

At some point there were 25 DJs in the booth, plus an extremely enthusiastic dancer, so i have no idea who played what. But i recognized a bunch of classic house and techno tunes, and realized they had tricked me into dancing during the BOK free-for-all where normally i hear one too many cheesy anthems and just go fuck it. See, that's how you know the party is good - when you get so sucked into the vibe and the moment that the DJs can pull out all kinds of suck and you still have a great time. Never was this more evident than the closing track, which was that new Daft Punk song, which i'm not sure whether it was played ironically or because it actually doesn't suck as much as everyone says it does. Congratulations guys, you got me to dance to Daft Punk for the first time since Da Funk in 1996, and that's a fucking feat.

But all kidding aside, my point stands about a good party making the music less relevant, and this was a Very Good Party. Definitely the best party at this venue since the Gerbz ones of a year or two back. I think i even enjoyed it more because there wasn't as much "Industry revival" tunage that i don't give a fuck about because i never went to Industry. Really awesome friendly crowd (barring one douchebag who finally left me alone when i yelled at him to get the fuck out of my face; sorry if that bothered anyone on the dancefloor :S). Nice flow of music through the night, varied enough to get everyone dancing without ever going so far down a genre rabbit-hole that people left. Packed dancefloor from (i guess) 1:30ish till just before close at 6. The best sound i have ever heard in that venue. Just fucking proper all round. I really appreciate these BOK parties because they're done right, and once again it goes to show that attention to detail counts for WAY more than a purist musical policy. Dude. I danced to fucking disco. AND I LIKED IT. A+ would dance again.
 

alison87

TRIBE Member
PS, Mike Gibbs played that fucking track again that he did at Âme and seriously, if any trainspotters know it i'd be over the moon. It's kinda like a percussive/jacking house track with that silly Dutch house noise in it and tons of "stop the beat, play the silly Dutch house noise, bring the beat back" bits. In return, i can say that the silly Italo-minimal tune played near the end was A Tale Of Us - Another Earth (Minus), though i'm sure anyone who cares bought it already because IT FUCKING ROCKS.
 

318

TRIBE Member
Was this Sat. night? I got a flyer at the Actress show advertising this as the Actress afterparty. I got there 3ish. It was pretty good. Nice friendly crowd. I didn't really get into the music so i didn't stay too long.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
i remember hearing da funk when terry mullan broke it on toronto at transcendance. ace jam.

popped in from 3-430 after the back room vinyl disco clinic by ali black & pooyan at sunnyside (damier was decent). both were good shows.
 

Psyrel

TRIBE Member
Really nice review alison87!

Yep the 3rd dj was Fabio, I really loved his set as well as Hali's. Ali Black came on after, he was totally fun. Mike Gibbs was having a blast and responding to the crowd who were loving it. The other "surprise" djs were Gingy and Alphonse of AZARI & III.

I think the word that best sums up the night is "FUN". It wasn't about the perfect dj set (kinda impossible anyways with rotating djs) but some good tunes in a tiny busy space with an enthusiastic crowd in a decidedly party mood.

Liked the layout, smart use of space. The sound was adequate but only having 1 stack made it unbalanced. Not sure why they didn't have 2, perhaps the curvy wall? The only other prob for me was the smoke, I came home reeking like an ashtray. It's ok dealing with once in a while but I'm glad it's not the norm.

Kudos BoK crew, you sure throw a fun party. When's the next one? *purr*
 
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erika

TRIBE Member
i remember hearing da funk when terry mullan broke it on toronto at transcendance. ace jam.

popped in from 3-430 after the back room vinyl disco clinic by ali black & pooyan at sunnyside (damier was decent). both were good shows.
Yes Ali and Pooyan absolutely killed it at Sunnyside that night! We didn't end up hitting either late night party (though were intrigued by Graze) because we stayed right 'til the end at Sunnyside and were all danced out. :)
 

alison87

TRIBE Member
I've never heard Azari & III before, but all night i was admiring these totally fabulous dudes, who i only realized who they were after chatting with Sean Roman for a bit. When i got home i had a listen to their tracks and they aren't half bad. Will keep an ear open in the future.

Gingy killed it at KiNK a while back. Would like to hear more, though he seems to play in different circles from the ones i go out in. Fun fun fun to see such a mixed bunch. Highlight of my year.
 
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