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WOMP Reveiw...

The Electrician

TRIBE Promoter
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The DJ's vinyl case read "We Want Your Soul." And as I looked around at the 200 people dancing, I saw that the DJs had succeeded in attaining many souls this night.

As soon as we reached the door, security greeted us as if he already knew us, welcoming us inside. As I entered the Labyrinth Lounge I felt instantly at home with the soft red glow of the bar, sprinkled with white Christmas lights gleaming through a chandelier of wine glasses placed neatly in their rack. For people on a tight budget, the $5 cover allowed people to come out whom normally can't find the time or money to expend. The $15.75 pitchers were slightly dissatisfying, but the $3.50 Green Apple Liqueur/Blue Curacao "WOMP shots" seemed a better option for the drinking crowd any ways. And the free pitcher of water placed on the bar later in the night was a kind gesture by a dedicated crew of true music-lovers who know the meaning of the word "vibe".

Stylish dancers moved upstairs in the glow of blue lights and a small candlelit DJ booth. A few dancers got a little overzealous and skipped the tables, kindly being asked by others to "please step away from the DJ booth". A lot of people on the Pure Rave website attended, as well as kids from Brantford, Hamilton, and Nova Scotia. The amiable atmosphere made it easy to meet new people and exchange positive feedback about sick dance steps. Head bands, track suits, army hats, skirts, trendy red and black hair, and tall socks with stripes created an overwhelming fashion of old school 70's breaks combined with sleek Toronto sophistication.

The dancefloor was treacherously slippery for most of the night, but didn't deter risk-taking break steppers. While the slick conditions could be intimidating to some, it provided a window of opportunity for those hoping to better their glide moves.
We wandered downstairs into the cave-like settings where the Up-and-Coming DJs dwelled. The thick pillars scattered throughout the dance floor made a difficult maze to navigate at times, let alone dance around. Plastic Motive delivered fat bass, new school, electro, Goa-esque, smooth beats, but unfortunately only a handful of people enjoyed, as most of the crowd was upstairs listening to The Phat Conductor.

The Phat Conductor was moving people with many commercial favourites altered into a state of break beat pandemonium. Rage Against the Machine's "Killin' In The Name," White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and The Clash's "Rock The Casbah" were among his track selections. He strutted to the beats and attracted an enthusiastic crowd.

As Kristen S from Nova Scotia took the Toronto decks for the first time, the crowd responded. "This is the best set I've heard in a long time!" one guy exclaimed. "I'm glad I picked up a CD!" Kristen S has been labeled " one of the most sought-after DJs from Halifax"* and said of his time in Toronto, "I like the variety here. I plan to come back in February." His style was smooth and his songs were almost progressive in nature, borrowing deep bass lines and unpredictable flows to create his set.

"I'm having a great time!" said The Electrician, with a big smile on his face. His end of the night set kept the whole room moving, even at 3:30am. He spun a few of my favourites, including a unique blend of Underworld's "Born Slippy" and Plump DJs' "Bumper". His build-ups paid off, the mixing was superb, and the smooth mixture of jungle, funk, speed garage, and new school breaks demanded attention. The crowd went wild to hear recognizable songs mixed with Samuel L. Jackson's famous biblical quote from "Pulp Fiction".

The Electrician has been involved in the Toronto rave scene for a solid eight years and decided that the local breaks scene needed a comfortable place where attitude and politics are left behind, all are welcome, and thick bass lines are a must. His first WOMP event was November 17th 2001 at the Labyrinth Lounge and it has since taken off, packing both small rooms every time. The Electrician admits that he always worries around 10-12, but then at 12:30 there's a huge onslaught. This was evident tonight as he broke-even prior to midnight, making the night a success on all levels.

WOMP events have achieved the delicate balance between having a cozy, friendly vibe and a wildly enthusiastic crowd. As I get older, it's a rare moment where I can honestly say I didn't stop dancing the entire night and I had an all-around amazing time at a great price.
 
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