1990 Quote

It happened in the Sixties too, of course, but the 'Summer Of Love' slogan first appeared on T-shirts around this time in '88, when the acid/Balearic boom was at its peak, when the clubbers opened their minds and loosened their clothes, and the party seemed like it would never end. Many of us felt it could never happen again. Nothing else could be that intense, that friendly, that big. Yet in the summer of '89, there we all were, not hundreds but thousands this time, driving round the M25, dancing in the fields. But the authorities moved in, and, for a while at least, the fun seems to be over. So what will we see in the summer of 1990? Rioting, say some, as frustrations bubble over; raving, say others, still optimistic in spite of the clampdown. Most, though, are pointing to the festivals, the gigs, the bands who came up in the last two years and are bringing an energy perhaps unseen in rock since punk. These are heady times: Adamski, New Order, and probably the Stone Roses to follow at number one; Happy Mondays considering playing Madison Square Gardens in New York... new music ;emerging from across the country. Much of it is awful of course: few of these bads will survive the initial hype, but that's not the point. The sun is shining, the attitude is there, and the summer starts here.

Introduction, the Face magazine, July 90 with reference to the article by Simon Dudfield titled, "the Third Summer of Love".


1990 Memories

Chaos theory

Nelson Mandela’s release

the Gulf Crisis

World Cup

New Age



Sinead O’Connor's haircut


The radio was playing "World in Motion" by the New Order. An uplifting song for the World Cup. I saw the scallies in their wide, mad flares and bowl-shaped haircuts in the Face magazine. The masculine, dramatic eighties must be giving way. Hippies coming in? We have our TV channel set to MuchMusic almost the whole day. They finally showed "Fools Gold". The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays - they are the freshest and the coolest. Went to Queen and bought a pair of velvet hot-pants. May go to a warehouse party tonight.

1991 Quote

In the year of our lord 1991, a seed was sown in the barren landscape known as the Toronto underground...

Printed on the back of one of the Exodus’ flyers

1991 Memories

Anita Hill & Judge Clarence Thomas, state after state of the Soviet Union declared independence Derek Jarmon The Silence Of The Lambs, Edward Scissorhands, Thelma & Louise, Life is Sweet

Galliano - In Search Of The Thirteenth Note, Lenny Kravitz - Mama Said, Massive Attack, Primal Scream - Screamadelica, Public Enemy - Apocalypse ‘91, St. Etienne - Fox Base Alpha, Ultra Nate - Blue Notes From The Basement, Young Disciples - Road to Freedom,, 808 State - Ex:el

Stussy, Hysteric Glamour, fake fur coats, platform shoes

1991 May

Muchmusic is playing DeeLite's hit. Mmm...I just have to buy that Puci immitation mini. There is too much black in my wardrobe.

1991 September

This office life is draining every drop of youth off me. No wonder my colleagues are so dead and behave like zombies. For months I spent struggling with the corporate restructure. Every day I make numerous phone calls just to end up getting only a tiny bit of information - one step up Sisyphus’ hill. People can be so indifferent. Only by escalating the issues i.e. cc. the boss, will I get some kind of a half-hearted response. The futility of it all!

1991 Winter

Went to that party P was telling me about at 318 Richmond St.

Unlike most warehouse parties at deserted industrial areas, this one was just a block south of Queen and suitably hidden from the crowd. Near Peter were a few neat, wooden houses with trees in between that stood there in their vaguely English, cultured charm. We walked along Richmond, entrenched in its coziness. 318 or the 23 Hop as they called it, was a grey and nondescript rectangular block with no coldness of the sort that big warehouses had. The character of its neighboring houses must have shielded it from its blandness.

When we arrived at the door, a tough looking young man with a pit bull on leash was standing there. He must be the doorman. He greeted us in a Scottish accent. Street-smart with a penchant for being tough, he was in fact rather friendly as we asked him about the party. We entered and walked up the stairs to a small entrance where a few more mature women sat next to the cash register. They looked like parents or relatives of someone in the party. Further in, there was a hallway leading to a few small rooms overlooking Richmond and a bigger room to the North. Most rooms were quite empty with only 5 to 30 people drifting from one spot to another. It was dark, but the laser above the DJ booth gave us a sense of direction. And the music went boom, boom, boom. It was a hard and steady base drum sound mixed with pop and soul vocals. Sometimes it simply turned frantic and the people went wild. What excited us most was they played a couple of songs by the 808 State which we would never hear in a party. We realized at the time that this was new. This must be a party for the techno crowd. It was fun. The crowd was not our usual warehouse crowd - black, gay, male models, stylists, fashion designers, hairdressers and poseurs in their Eighties gear. This crowd was so youthful and fresh. There was an enthusiasm never before felt. The set-up seemed basic and the room not quite filled but it was sufficient. A young boy, slightly built, came with his buddies to greet us. He reminded me of Ian Brown of the Stone Roses. A few of his friends were in wide, wide flares, loose soccer tops with whistles hanging down their necks. We shook hands and got to know each other a bit. Turned out they were from Scotland and they called their group, the Exodus. The host's name is A.D.. We later learned that he deejayed under the name of Tonto.

The atmosphere was student-like and civil. But techno all night seemed a bit much. By around three there were too many boys and not many girls around. And most people on the dance floor dancing were boys since the music turned faster and harder. A.D. stayed close to the amplifier almost at all times. I was amused and amazed.

When we left, the doorman was concerned that they did not throw a good enough party.

1992 Memories

Damien Hirst & his fish tank
The Brand New Heavies, Future sound of London, Jamiroquai, Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradise, M People, Neneh Cherry, Right Said Fred, Shamen, Soul II Soul, Spiritualized,

Naked Lunch

The Xuly Bet fishnet dress with Graffiti pattern looking like it was sprayed on - the 70s revival, Hysteric Glamour, the mandarin dress as party dress

Naomi Campbell

Anne Rice, Interview with a Vampire

1992 March

318 Richmond has been used by another organizer, Chemistry, to hold parties. The way the bar is set up there is pretty impressive. It is like a small room at the end of the hallway. There is a gate that can be pulled down to lock up that tiny make-shift bar with panels to hide it. The bartender is always very generous with the Scotch. Then with the introduction of the smart bar, I turn to smart drinks instead. It seems to suit me more as the night wears on and the sweat starts to drip. The house next door, 306 Richmond has also been used. That is their office and members' party venue. It is like going to a friend's house party. We dance in small bedroom-size rooms with the speakers in full blast shaking the floor. It is fun to run up & down the stairs going from one room to the other and finding the crowd as fresh and into the music as the previous. There is a sense of anticipation, hopefulness that reminds me of the Exodus parties but the crowd consists of more girls and the music is less hard. More trance and ambient sounds are played. There are always little treats like lollipops, candies, indoor fireworks, candles. Chemistry parties are always creatively decorated.

1992 May 16

Never thought that partying could be like this... We went to the Union Station and waited for the bus that was supposed to take us to the party where the location was kept secret. When we got off the station, we saw this tall guy in a big, tall hat. While we waited, he came to talk to us. We found that we were very similar in our attitudes and his name was G.. We then learnt where we were going. To our amazement and delight, the bus that arrived was a school bus. Wonder what drivers on the road thought when they saw a school- bus-load of young people at half past twelve in the morning.

We made many new friends: DJ L, Mrc. & D., Stp & her sister, Mchl & Chrlt, Crs & Jn .These are people P. & I would seldom get a chance to meet in our routine lives. Now we have friends from Brampton, Ontario, London, England, Dundas, Ontario, and downtown. Some are sisters, some are interracial couples, some are designers, DJs, students, slackers, construction workers, bar managers. And the music unites us.

1992 July 18

The first outdoor rave in the history of Canada, Planet Rave 92 took place near Brampton on Derry Road. The original Centennial Park location had to be changed due to authorities interruption. What the hack! We had a wicked, wicked time despite the mud caused by the rain the night before. It was the most exciting thing ever happened. P. & I asked Mrk & his girlfriend to come with us since they had a car and could take us there. In the depth of the night, we could see all these cars going in the same direction as we were. We all shared that feeling of knowing that something wildly enchanting was about to take place at a location that only a privileged few, maybe a thousand, knew. Up above, the half-moon gave us its blessing. We parked our car along a narrow path with trees along one side and a wide, open field on the other. People arrived in an orderly manner. Once people got off their cars, they all checked everyone out as if trying to recognize the face of those in the know. One can tell how excited we were, everyone either walked really fast or ran towards the lights and the crowd. There was a grin on everyone's face as if something unprecedented was about to unfold.

It was like a carnival, a bazaar. There were stalls and booths selling all sorts of goodies like glow sticks, candies, smart drinks. There were food for the body like hot dogs and food for the mind: electroenergetic brain stimulator that was supposed to enhance your concentration, relaxation, clarity of thoughts and depth of sleep (according to the staff working at that booth). A.D. was there.

Behind the booths, a stage was set and a live band was playing. There was laser beams, video graphics and a thousand mostly white youngsters jumping in the mud. It was splendid. As we walked away from the crowd, we could feel a cool, calm breeze gently brushing the leaves in the trees. There was a stream at the side of the dancing crowd. And a veil of mist drifting around the row of trees at the far end of the other side of the stage acting as the backdrop for the laser beams. It was magical, like a fairy tale come true, dawning of a new era, technology reflected on nature. Even as I am writing this, I can still smell the fresh air, hear the techno beat and see the laser beaming on through eternity.

There were benches perfect in size, just right for the weary-from-dancing-for-hours. We were so flattered when the Exodus crew handed us their flyers for their party three times. They were a humorous lot. We received enough flyers to have parties lined up till the end of the month.

1992 October 17

Hanna after midnight was one cool street. It was like a gothic dream - dark, vaguely evil, a row of windows with broken glass almost closed off by overgrown weeds. A derelict forgotten and found. It was an abandoned warehouse with a long and wide space inside. A stage was set at the far end where the light source was. Someone's dog ran rampant. When it ran, colorful lights deflected from its body. Then Joey Beltram played. We stood in awe. All of a sudden the theme on the flyer made a lot of sense, it was the Realm of the Techno Gods. DJs & techno groups from New York, U.K. , Montreal and Toronto were there. It was a magical wasteland - people drifted about - heavy metals, long hair, t-shirt type, skin-heads in sports wear (sleeveless Tee with a big number at the chest), a topless punk girl. Silhouette of different tribes dancing to the rhythm of the techno beat. Rave as a pagan ritual . A religious experience. Death & the underworld. Fund raising for the A.I.D.S. Committee.

1992 October 24

When we were lining up for tickets to see Necromantic at the Bloor cinema at night, the street seemed unusually quiet. Then we noticed a lot of people were actually crammed inside bars having their eyes transfixed to the satellite TVs. Necromantic was a German 8 mm video shown on silver screen, a B-movie about a Blondie member look-a-like who loves everything in a corpse. Towards the end of the movie there was this scene where the protagonist wandered around the hillside. It was unnecessarily long and he seemed to be rejoicing for no apparent reason (which happened in B-movie a lot). Then someone in the audience shouted, the Jays won, the Jays won the World Series. I thought maybe they were just making fun of the movie but just before we left, the organizer announced that it was true.

So it was rejoice, rejoice. Honking cars in a long, long queue on the road. Everyone seemed to be out on the streets, cheering, shouting , harassing passers-by. It was almost as exciting as New Year's Eve on the subway at Yonge & Bloor. Everyone passing by on the street has a smile on his/ her face. We then took the subway to Union Station. It was free of charge. On every platform of every stop we heard cheering. One guy had his head stuck out the train door and made some chicken noise. Then he rapidly pulled back just in time before the door shut on him. Everyone laughed. Then as we got out of Union Station, millions of people walked towards the West. They must have just got out of Skydome and were cheering and shouting. A Canadian flag was waved and the kids jumped on the taxi car roof but the driver didn't seemed to mind. These people,(mostly Caucasians, some Asians) were actually quite orderly even when excited. Some stopped next to us and "high-fived" with us.

The Chemistry rave bus that we got on by the Union Station was delayed for half an hour because of the crowd. People climbed on to the roof of the bus and banged on it. Then they climbed to the front wind shield till the bus driver shouted. The teens next to us inside the bus were very cool and humorous. They used a lot of slangs and had a thick accent.
A.D. of Exodus shook hands with us at the rave but I could not make out a word he said because of his accent. A Vanilla-Ice look-a-like with his Asian girlfriend said he saw us at Bloor and could sense that we were coming to this rave. Mr. C made us dance till 5a.m. It had been a warm and friendly day/ night/ morning.

1992 December 20

Woke up from a nap that lasted for hours. It is now 7:32p.m.. The euphoria I felt this morning had worn off, replaced by a numbness & sleepiness.

For two days in a row, I had been feeling strangely serene and contented. The mere sight of the warm, orange light illuminating from the cheap chandelier hanging above the round dinner table could put me in a state of bliss.

Thinking back, the Babylon party at Go Gos last night at mid-night started off badly. The doorman could not find our names on the guest list. It was an easy matter to pay five dollars cover but we had been told by T. & D. at Babylon at least three times that we would be on the list. It was embarrassing but what the hell, we were there and we had to go in.

Go Gos was style hell. All the squares, the Eighties-fixated, the guys in casual jeans and the cheesy go-go girls were there. As for the music, Eighties music in a supposedly Nineties club - Rick Astley, New Order, Depeche Mode on one floor; Madonna, 2 Unlimited and what sounds like Chris Sheppard's selection of obsolete technos on the other. And the crowd cheered, what can I say?

Babylon's fashion show was o.k.. The male & female models all looked unexpectedly good and in style. Their hair was also done well, 2 buns on each side of the head. (I was wearing the same, ha). The clothes - Anna Sui's suits & knits, John Fluefog's shoes and Duffer of St. George's were all a bit misrepresented. They were all turned into grunge. Everything got turned into grunge simply because it's big in the States. Some low-key heavy metal/ hard rock was played to match/mismatch the clothes.

Spoke with D. who was smart to flaunt her best features, her cleavage and her lily white flesh.
At A Rave New World organized by Chemistry (also their 1st year anniversary), everyone we had ever met at parties came to greet us. Other than that, the music was not that great. It was the people this time that made it worthwhile. There was G. (the guy in a tall hat at Union Station), the girl we shared a cab with last time, A.D. of Exodus and an angelic, English looking friend. A.D., P & I exchanged compliments. He mentioned his ambition to open a private club. An older woman who showed up in many Exodus raves also danced there. I wished to myself that I could be as free when I reached her age. It would be nice if people of all ages can share the same experience.

P. & A.D. both played the virtual reality game and both lost. They said their vision got blurred.
The sweet aroma of x's cologne stayed on my mind

1992 Rave Flyers

1993 Memories

Bill Clinton as President of the United States, Sprinter Ben Johnson failed drug test, Michael Jackson turned "white", Waco, Texas

Beavis & Butthead, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Boxing Helena, Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, The Wedding Banquet, Jurassic Park, Groundhog Day, Jamon Jamon, The Cement Garden

The Beloved - Conscience, Bjork - Debut, Jamiroquai - Emergency On Planet Earth, Nirvana - In Utero, Suede - Suede,
backpacks, pea coats, Converse One Star, Chippie silver sneakers, Patrick Cox’ Wannabe shoes, belly, eyebrow rings, wide-legged trousers

Roddy Doyle - Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha

1993 Rave Flyers

1993 June 12

It all happened this week. Or should I say not happen? P. called the Exodus line a few days ago and the operator said the line was no longer in use. He called the Chemistry hot line and all we heard was Alx of London saying they would leave it to the newcomers and he would remain as consultant. Is this the end of an era and perhaps the beginning of a new one?

Went to Love last Saturday, all the omens were there: The entire sound system of the House room had been detained at the American/ Canadian border. As a result, no house music until 3 a.m. Met H., he began to look tiresome with the same old boyish demeanor. Plus it did not go well with his tall physique. He could have carried himself better. Even though he seemed to know quite a number of people, he always seemed to dance by himself. Same with Mishl. She is another frequent party-goer who knows many people but still seems very much alone.

Went to Nitrous' new set-up, Atlantis this weekend at the Science Centre. Tickets were selling fast. W e could only get the last 3 at Play de Record which we had to pay more. It was fun. Lots of people walking around trying out the games and tricks but the dancing was not that great. More power to the young girl who wore a transparent dress with no undergarment. This kind of event is for the fun of it rather than for the music. Gone is the dark, mystery and the slight possibility of danger that makes parties at night attractive & repulsive. What's left is the healthy, happy, childlike atmosphere of the Science Centre.

318 Richmond has become the home of Pleasure Force. The organizers seem alright with a door policy that welcome only the genuine reveler.

1994 Memories

Richard Linklater, Slacker

Richie of the Manic Street Preacher disappeared, Kurt Cobain died, Oasis - Definitely Maybe, debut gold album, jungle emerges from ragga, Mary J. Blige - My Life

Pink mohair sleeveless top baring mid-riff




1994 March 26

Went to Back to Basics organized by the Better Days at Commissioner St. with DJ Quicksilver. Most memorable were the people we ran into: the 1st generation Toronto ravers, if I could call us that. That feeling of comraderie was there.

1994 April 2

It was all very sad and yet uplifting. I had a wild time at the Opera House at what seemed like Exodus' departing party. A.D. was on stage with his long wavy hair deejaying and the light behind him made me think I saw Jesus. The music he played got us all hooked. Nothing seemed to matter for a few hours there. We were all slaves to the rhythm. We completely gave in.

1994 April 16

At Cinespace with DJ Sasha, Dimitri of DeeLite and many more. The vibe was absolutely brilliant. One DJ played "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. It was the ultimate moment. It simply transcended the entire evening if not my life at that time for a full 2 minutes. Sasha carried us all through. His music gave us a beautiful ride on the clouds with gale force thrill as the breaks built up and died down. Ran into J. who aspired to be a DJ. He introduced his Asian girlfriend to us.
Saw A.D. but he was so high we could hardly talk. Felt our gap unbridgeable.

1994 July 21

The World Cup Rave was a huge event combining supporters of Pleasure Force and Better Days. Unfortunately, I am not much of a huge-event fan. All there is is a lot of young people and a whole lot of positive vibe. L. came with us to take pictures of ravers. She is a crusty and this is her first rave experience. She is excited but that is about it. She will never be into it. Saw A.D. and his friend at a distance. It is simply reassuring to see old ravers even if we do not get to talk to each other.

1994 Quote

In the beginning there was Jack, and Jack had a groove, and from this groove came the grooves of all grooves and while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared, "Let there be house." And house music was born. .... And you see, no one man own house because house music is a universal language, spoken and understood by all...You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew or gentile, it don't make a difference in our house. And it's all about luuuv.....

from the Mix tape by DJ Tonto Vol. 1 94

1994 July 30

Just a few steps up the broken stairway on Victoria street at the back entrance of some buildings is a secret venue where Bear and his partner hold their parties. Their music is mostly house. DJ A.K.. , the cool Japanese-Canadian plays there. He mixes soul with progressive house. Alongside A.K.. is an African-Canadian DJ who plays a lot of vocal, soulful house which gives the place its warehouse feel. It is usually very dark in the room with a few old standup fan whirling away at both sides. When the crowd gathers, the fans become crucial. Once I have to stand right beside the window to stop myself from fainting from the heat. But the atmosphere is beyond description. It is the ultimate house party venue. All the "fashion" people, authentic ravers , house-partygoers, genuine clubbers are there. And of course, the coolest guy, A.D., wore his white Chinese jacket there tonight. He smiled when he saw us. He had that smoothness in him tonight as he swayed among the ladies. I bought an E at $35.

1994 July 31

We were exhausted after last night but we still went to see Todd Terry at the Oz. Did not see A.D. but saw his "family" or the gang of people who usually went to parties with him: the older woman, the tough and sexy guy wearing a t-shirt with the number, 3 at the front. 3 happens to be my number. But he was holding hands with a dark hair woman wearing a see-through blouse with wide hips. Then there was this other guy who I ran into very often near my office who was there too. Love is in the air.

1994 September 10

No. 3 stood next to Chrs who stood next to me for a moment. We chatted a bit but his Scottish accent was so strong I could only make out a few sentences. The John St. venue was nice. The whole night had been very pleasant as we ran into Dn & Ien . Dn. rolled her joint in and out her mouth with her tongue without butting out or burning herself. Cool

1994 Quote

Heads thrown back in rapture, these wildly dancing figures display the effects of ecstasy...

FIGURE 13-5 Maenad and Satyr- a description of a stone carving displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Stephen L. Harris & Gloria Platzner,Classical Methology --- Myth & Insights

1994 October 14

October 14, 94

Finally tried my first E. Now I know that grin x has on his face that night. In half an hour, I could hardly remove it from my face. I dissolved it in cranberry juice to lessen any effect on my bladder. Two hours of bliss listening to Beloved's Conscience three times. Tried Cocteau Twins, too slow; Pet Shop Boys’ Disco 2 , too cold; watched TV real close (my eyes were 6 inches away from the screen). Liked those car commercials and music videos. Loved the light from the dining room chandelier.

The effect wore off in 2 hours. Felt a little sad. Maybe it was the news of a Korean tourist being killed by a cop or a thug who kidnapped a taxi in Hong Kong. Migraine headache with a stiff teeth-grinding jaw and nausea by the 6th hour. But I fell asleep and woke up feeling tired the next morning. The next day my neck muscle was sore all day but the feeling of warmth and contentment went on all through Sunday.

1994 Rave Flyers

1995 Memories

Jelly (transparent plastic sandals)

Rumour has it that Alan of Pleasure Force was forced out of the country and his brother hung himself

1995 February 5

Richie Hawtin was magic. It was at Club Generation on Isabella St. just off Yonge St. We bought a can of food for the homeless. The doorman really feeled me up but what the heck. It was hot & humid inside and the area around the dance floor was so filled with smoke/dry ice from the smoke machine that I could not see beyond arms length. For 2 hours I was totally in a mystic world driven by the rhythm of his transcendental beat. But the crowd was not much into it. They moved around from room to room aimlessly even though the hallways were so packed that it was actually difficult to do so. Many were into socializing and not dancing.
Went to bed in the morning at 7:00a.m. and slept all the way till 3:25p.m.. I woke up to the music of last night in my mind and was so tired that I could hardly move. When I got up I had trouble focusing.

1995 April 8

Very good vibe at the Dreams in Goa rave organized by the Pleasure Force at the Cherry Beach venue. Mr. Nivoc from France put me in a trance with his set but the toilets were jammed by shit piled high. We had to line up for a full twenty minutes to take a leak. Security guards stationed by the toilet entrances keeping order. What a job! Heard later on that crap E might cause diarrhea.

1995 April 27

Had a hunch I should walk all the way from St. George Subway Station over to the R.O.M. to get a copy of the latest issue of the Now magazine. Somehow I did not want to miss another concert like I did when the Blur, Portishead and Oasis were here. There, right before my very eyes, the Stone Roses' coming concert was advertised. Though it said tickets were for sale the next day at 4:00p.m., I still called to see if reservation was possible. But "no" , they said.

1995 April 28

At the office, my heart started to pound 10 minutes to 4. I picked up the phone, dialed & re-dialed, dialed & re-dialed till what seemed like 50 times before I got through and it was 5 minutes after 4:00p.m.. The guy on the other side of the line at Ticket Master told me it was all sold out. I started to lose control and ranted on till my face turned red and my heart almost jumped out. Hearing me talking like a madwoman, he said, "Wait, let me try this again." After 2 minutes, he said he could get me 3 tickets. It seemed that someone's VISA has been rejected. He then checked his machine again and said I had just bought the last 3 tickets 6 minutes after they were on sale. Wonder if this has broken any records. He then asked me who the Stone Roses were etc., etc. I thanked him most gratefully and it had made my day.

Glad that I was the one to buy the tickets instead of P. or his friend, Er because they would not have been so enthusiastic and would have called much later. Then I had this thought: Maybe it was fate. Maybe something special would happen since today is the 28th, the day of the performance is the 18th and the location is terminal 28. What a coincidence!

1995 May 17

I phoned Er to persuade him not to go. The thought of his lazy, luke-warm, unenthusiastic company made me feel like giving the ticket to someone who deserves it. Amazingly, he misunderstood my explanation earlier thinking that I had not got his ticket and had already made other arrangements. This just worked out the way I wanted.

1995 May 18

P. & I stood at the entrance and found scalpers all over the place trying to sell their tickets at an even lower cost than the purchase price. Just when I cursed myself for having told Er not to go, P. suddenly started to talk. I turned around and saw him talking to A.D. .He seemed sober, brighter in complexion and more light-hearted in his conversation. He told us he had been back to Scotland for an entire year but had returned to Canada and was now managing his father's bar in Brampton. Raves and the music have brought the most diverse people together, people who are physically and culturally so far apart. I was really very happy to see him keeping well.
Seeing the Stone Roses on stage was very exciting simply for the fact that they stood for the sound of this era. They brought back memories but objectively, their performance was not that great.

1995 May 20

Very educational video session (part of the Transcendence rave) at the Planetarium of the
Royal Ontario Museum before heading to the party.

1995 October

Buzz opened at College & Spadina. Good housey vibe, small venue. Ran into many of the good old ravers.

1995 Rave Flyers

1996 Memories

the Pillow Book

My first personal computer

The Aloof - Sinking, The Beloved - X, Billie Ray Martin - Deadline for My Memories, Carl Cox - at the End of the Cliche, Elastica, Everything but the Girl - Walking Wounded, Fiona Apple - Tidal, Fugee - the Score, the Prodigy - Firestarter, Spice Girls, Suede - Coming Up, Underworld - Second Toughest of the Infants

bomb bag, 60s wallpaper pattern blouse (Prada-imitation), electric blue, acid green & tangerine clothes, camouflage, Walter Van Berendonck - W< / Wild & Lethal trash, the Justine Frischmann haircut


1996 January 1

New Year's Eve in search of the ultimate Party. We took the TTC down to King and planned to check out the 390 King site. All the way along King, there were quite a number of people, mostly African-Canadians. Many women were all dressed up for the New Year. The problem was, they were all standing on the street looking annoyed. We realized not long after that 390 was refusing many ticket holders' entry. Sensing unrest, we swiftly walked up the street towards John. With all these annoyed loiterers and disgruntled ticket holders standing near the door, a riot might start any time. We reached John Street, checked the VIP room behind Oz, then walked up to Oxford at Kensington. Then we turned to College and glanced at the Latvian Hall but found no action. By that time, we could sense that mid-night must only be a tick away because the cars started to honk. We quickly turned down Oxford and walked along Spadina. Knowing we had missed the kissing & hugging, we thought we might as well stay at the Second Cup till 2:00a.m.. The crowded patio seemed to tell us that many party-goers were doing the same . These are not the usual Queen Street Second Cup young crowd, these are more mature people. A huge plastic/ make-shift tent was set-up at the patio to accommodate and warm up the New Year clientele. As we sat there enjoying our warm tea, we saw, through these wrinkled, plastic "curtain", kids walking by. Heard that there was some skating events at Nathan Phillips Square that brought all these young children and parents to Queen at this hour of the night. The traffic lights in bright red, yellow and green, distorted by the curvy plastic sheet, surrounded us like a life-size, modern, impressionistic polaroid wallpaper.

We finally walked up to Buzz since no other known after-hour party venue seemed to be operating. Most kids must have gone to the PBS (Pleasure Force/ Better Days/ Sycosis) rave out-of-town. As a result, not a single known soul until P. said Cln in a Destroy T-Shirt was deejaying - classic, progressive house & later lots of soul/ gospel. He was brill after a while. Upstairs someone span Hip Hop and it was not just the ordinary kind. There were quite a few well-dressed young boys. Menswear look-a-like, etc. Many were quite flirtatious.

It has been a pleasant night.

1996 January

I suggested going to a party, but P. wasn't prepared. We dined at Masa. Tried the deep fried ice-cream which was quite memorable. By night time I fell asleep. It was bitter cold outside and I did not want to go anywhere. But P. said it was my birthday and I should go. He said he was about to go by himself to a new venue - Spadina & Darcy. I finally agreed to go. There we saw Cln dancing by himself. Ann & Vn were there. I talked to Cln briefly. He gave me a flyer. They (Mark Anthony & others ) will be at the Shoom (Queen & Bathurst) Sunday night. The Peter, Tyrone & Sham crew was spinning when we left. As we walked up to College on Spadina, police cars were outside Buzz. We learned later that a few guys from Brampton went on a shooting rampage due to some girl-friend problem. Three other guys who intervened were hurt. One guy was shot more than twice at the back. No one died. All suspects arrested.

1996 February 17

The bass was way too loud at Buzz. Ran into Dn pairing with a new guy, Tm of the now gone Babylon. He still recognized me. Glad to know he was doing well though not in Canada but in Miami which explained that tan at this time of the year. Chrs & Jn had fake dreadlock which was really amusing.

1996 March 6

Once we got off the taxi, we could already hear the pumping rhythm of the base drum and immediately felt the rush. Once inside, laser beams dissected the warehouse, the music charged us. Trip-hop was played at the entrance, house in the next room & progressive house in the main arena.

Ran into Stph & Jen in their baby doll look. They came with a cross-dressed friend and were excited about Paul Walker. Many of the dressed-up revelers disappeared very soon. A few people were in Afro wigs and some were like fashion models. The guys were mostly too casual. They all loved to stare but not too into the music. Too many simply walked back & forth. The lack of coat check also spelled problems -lumps of bags & clothes were laid in the middle of the dance floor.

A fifteen-year-old asked if we wanted grass. We refused politely. He then asked if I was watching my daughter and how old I was. I said 62. He looked confused and explained he did not mean to say I was that old, just that we were a mature couple. Ha ha ha, very funny

1996 March 30

Transcendence - Live Performance/ Rave

Split, The Stickmen, Mark Farina, Ritchie Hawtin, Mayday, Jarkko, Legion of Green Men, Autechre, Mark Broom, Space Time Continuum, Sunkissed, Algorhythm

123 Union Street close to St. Clair West. Another crowd of the black community gathered at a corner nearby, possibly hotspot for parties. Low ceiling, slightly claustrophobic interior. Few corridors to rectangular-shaped rooms. The entire interior lined with silver (fireproof?) linings. Reminds me of Cristo (the artist who wraps up islands.) Lines of tiny blue Christmas lights lined the corridor ceilings. The lighting effects warmed the place & went very well with the music. Merely 2 Portable Toilet facilities - main reason for my leaving at around 4.

Two rooms - Performance room - extremely loud when high notes hit. Had to stuff the ears. The bass physically vibrated the nose. The House Room - crowded but everyone rather enthusiastic albeit not well-dressed enough. Loudspeaker acceptable.

Suitably crowded. More guys than girls (the recent trend). Wide mix - travellers/ cyberhippes, cultish hippies, older gentlemen in floral shirt, bald, bespectacled U students, pop-mag writers type, ravers, trendy/gay African-American clubbers, plenty of out-of-towners (Richie Hawtin Windsor following?) who dress in casual T-shirts & jeans, Brits (the street tough type)

That buzz I get these days when first entering a venue has not waned. This time was especially prominent since the silver lining, the bare/minimal light/dim atmosphere truly fitted the music & the crowd. As we walked towards the house room, we just wanted to melt with the music & the universality of the human spirit. Along the corridor linking the two rooms, tribal drums were played & the kids danced to it. The occasional flash lights left the silhouettes of revelers' backs ingrained in my retina. The atmosphere was really good. What broke this spell, however, was the neglect to the basic needs - toilets, coat-check (We had to drag our garbage bag full of our parkas from place to place, which made you reluctant to move around much, and this in turn made you feel stuck to a spot. You would then have to constantly keep watch. People trampled on your bag, because it was dark & the mud on the floor stuck to the bag also stuck to your pants, your shoes, your hands as you pick it up. No good music can truly erase this inconvenience. It definitely dampened the music. The body & mind works together!

There had been no human touch. No A.D., Anns, Vans to warm our hearts. The music was fine but we only stayed for Mark Farina's performance & some unknowns. We have missed Autechre which was the sole reason we went. We simply did not think it was worth suffering for . I had to pee & the line-up for the 2 toilets is a mile long.

1996 August 20

We have lost faith in raves long time ago. But events like these we just have to give it a try. No, the DJs are not particularly attractive. To get me excited in progressive house these days takes more than just the usual crescendo & descendo. It has to be like the Underworld's latest CD - Second Toughest in the Infants - Rowla (the 4th song) at least; or the Chemical Brothers'. It's Masonic Temple that attracts us. Well, it's a temple, has its history, its classy & it reminds us of A.D. during the heydays of Exodus.

I was all dressed up but expecting the least. I had my Afro done. This is going to be the last time in a while since summer is near & I have already made my appointment for a haircut. I have my nails painted pastel green & pink. When we got out, the weather was mild but the wind was unkind. We struggled to the door and was warmly welcomed by Ein & Nk. They were high as kites & lovey dovey. We kissed & exchanged numbers. Nk had these long, flappy eye-lashes & a Liam wannabe haircut. There was only a small line-up & the guys really did not dress up much.

When we got in, there was just the right amount of people which we finally concluded was due to lack of interest rather than a deliberate attempt by the promotors to reduce the crowd. We appreciated the efforts they had made to decorate the place. There were clocks all around the surface of the second floor balcony. Four wooden Egyptian statues on stage, superior lighting system (though a bit monotonous in rhythm) & a truly respectable, never-heard-before sound system. It was STEREO SURROUND SOUND!! Too bad the music was not so great. And the crowd barely aroused your attention. They were not offensive either.

Downstairs were the jungle, hip hop, trance, chill-out room next to the clean toilets & drinks room. This couple who sat in front of us snorted lines of coke. The guy next to me pushed acid. There was a plumb Indian lady in rave gear improvised to the house music with her operatic voice.

In spite of all these, we were not having such a good time. We were saddened by the poor attendance, the button-pressed response of the crowd, cheering to the cliche-ridden progressive house. We felt sorry that PF, having spent so much money & yet not being able to create an atmosphere that inspired. We left at around four. If we had not been so poor, if there had been a better party nearby, we would definitely had gone on.

Another respect we paid to the scene. But raving is definitely a gamble these days

1996 July

Ran into Ien on Queen, he was on his way to a new club at a converted Country 'n' Western bar at 901 King Street East called Industry. One of his high school friends was one of the owners. P & I went to check it out a later and was astonished by the way the organizer could somehow round up all different crowds together in one place - ravers, indies, bikers, strippers, gays, transvestites, more sophisticated clubbers, out-of-towners, tourists, DJs and artists. This happening in a club environment was unprecedented.

1996 August 10

P. was on call all day. He did not get much sleep. I was quietly by myself all day. Got used to this solitude now since there was so much to do - grocery shopping, laundry, video-taping, reading Ecstasy by Irvine Welch and the Face or experimented with our sampler.

Unlike the week before last, I felt sleepy & could be very relaxed & lied down in bed almost any time. By midnight I could not just sleep any more. Watched Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. Took a while to get used to her drawl. Is that real twenties New York drawl? We went out at around half past one.

I was not in the rave mood or shape. But I had no complaint - flushable toilets with toilet paper. No line up at the entrance or outside the toilet. Polite ravers - Anglo but tough , not the stylish party crowd but these people seemed genuinely into the vibe. Carl Cox definitely set the right vibe. There were people walking back & forth at the dance floor but it was understandable - they needed refreshment . We were all soaked to the bones with sweat but were all happy. That happy vibe was there! When I first got the spot we settled down to dance, the guy in a goat-tee and black t-shirt turned back and smiled at me. He knew how to dance too. If these guys are so in tuned to this rhythm now, when they grew older, they must be a gentler and kinder lot. There may be hope in this country or even this world.

Carl Cox's mix was impeccable. A new beat or sound was added every 8 bars or so. Three turntables and a three hour set. He came out at a good time too - 3:00 a.m. The stage was set professionally with good lighting and fog/ smoke from the dry ice/ smoke machine filling the whole room. The dance-floor extended over a great area. People were even dancing in front of the water bars. The vendors moved and shook with the beat. We saw nobody we knew, however, except perhaps one of the girls at the Rail. C.C. created crescendos and drum rolls with suspended silence and frequency increase of bass drums every now and then. There was hardly any repeated sound. He continued to play until around 6:00a.m.. I was in good shape at first but by five I just had to let a few climaxes go while everybody around me jumped and cheered and had their hands in the air. P and I were quite at ease. I was happy to just stand by the bar rail and moved to the beat.

Had a very deep sleep for seven hours straight from 6:30 on. Felt refreshed. P. said there were not that many situations where you consciously knew at the very moment that you were happy., Usually you think about it afterwards and realize how precious that moment is. But in this rave, he had that "luved -up" feeling that he knew he had a good time. I cannot agree more

1996 August 24

Better Days Production - Land of Milk & Honey

DJ & Venue:
Sasha at the Warehouse 3:00 a.m. to 6:00
Laurent Garnier at the Guvernment 4:00 a.m. to 7:00

A bit of chaos at the entrance - bouncers disappeared, people rushed to the door, not enough space to body check. We waited for 20 - 30 mins. to get in. The line up crowd at 3:00 a.m. outside was very discouraging - some kept whining, some kept saying they did not want to go in but still stood there. A guy hit a bouncer at the side of the line but was hit back. Most guys were dressed very casually. Not the club-goers or ravers crowd.

One of the electronic sounds was so electrifying I felt like I had been charged.

The Warehouse did not look as good as when Carl Cox was there. There was much less light and the heat & lack of oxygen was very prominent. We could not see the DJ. Everyone seemed to be dancing facing the stage which was full of half naked men dancing facing back. We suspected the DJ was behind this stage crowd which cut off the communication between the DJ & the majority. Sasha was a real slow builder this time. There was even less build up than last time. A disappointment.

By four, we started to look for the route to the Guvernment & found that we had to go outside the building. It was a ridiculously narrow path full of people going in opposite directions. But once we got in, we were quite happy. Laurent Garnier was already spinning. There was good ventilation/air conditioning, right amount of people , the place was reasonably well-decorated. This is the first time I have ever been to the Guvernment since it first opened not too long ago. It was not as trendy as I expected. The owner must have put away some trendy furniture which we saw in the newspaper.

Laurent Garnier was a true delight though he did not execute as precisely & tightly as Carl Cox, but he had the right mix of different kinds of music - Chicago house base drum, the Buckethead percussion, disco bongos, highheads, the Richie Hawtin minimalism, hip hop, jazz, house, progressive house electronic beats.

Memorable Moments:
Our bodies were in autopilot by 6:00

Looking back at the crowd under the white flashing light, all shapes, forms, postures, guys with their cool shades, I was moved & happy & felt distantly united with humanity, with youth. The ecstasy/ climax sorely missed was back; when he did his crescendos with the flashing light. There were quite a few black guys (big burly ones but very polite & friendly) & girls (which was very rare in raves) who smiled at us. We smiled back. The music had worked its magic. We've broken our records , we left at 7:15. If P. did not have to go to Atlanta in the afternoon, if my feet had not been hurting so much (2 inch heel & no padding) , we would gladly have stayed. I took a glimpse at the entrance at around 7:00, it was bright & sunny outside. Where had the night gone? As we walked closer to the door, sunlight poured in from the outside and splashed over a group of youngsters . It was golden - their faces, sideways, their brown and red hair, their young faces. It was, I frantically searched for words to describe this, to imprint this in my head and the word 'heaven' came to my mind. It was a painting of a pagan paradise on earth.

As we walked outside, we saw those tired partied faces with traces of happiness. The crowd was still going strong at 7:15 in the morning inside and a big chill-out crowd outside. We could hardly walk and limped to our taxi.

I could not sleep a wink. I could only lie down and rest for two hours till my knees were less weak. But I felt better than the mornings after most raves. I put on the St. Germain album, then Massive Attack's Protection. I felt love when I saw the sun reflected from the tree leaves outside. I was so in tuned with my feelings that even hearing a song at Shoppers Drug Mart can fill my eyes with tears.

The Summer of Love had not truly happened to us, (or to Toronto?) till 1996. This feeling of love as I walked on the street (mostly along the philosopher's walk and around Queen's Park) has been experienced by P. as well. The night club experience, the tuning in to the scene & the music has empowered us and also softened us with a warmth. St. George St. is being expanded & revitalized; so is Spadina, so is our new home. I don't know how long this will last. For the first time I have come off-guard; off my usual guard of pessimism at least for a longer period than I have ever let go. This has been quite a strange experience.

1996 Quote

I grow warm, I begin to feel happy. there is nothing extraordinary in this, it is a small happiness of Nausea: it spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time...A few seconds more and the negress will sing. It seems inevitable, so strong is the necessity of this music: nothing can interrupt it, nothing which comes from this time in which the world has fallen; it will stop of itself, as if by order. If I love this beautiful voice it is especially because of that; it is neither for its fullness nor its sadness, rather because it is the event for which so many notes have been preparing, from so far away, dying that it might be born. And yet I am troubled; it would take so little to make the record stop: a broken spring, the whim of Cousin Adolphe. How strange it is, how moving, that this hardness should be so fragile.

Nothing can interrupt it yet all can break it.

The last chord has died away. In the brief silence which follows I feel strongly that there it is, that something has happened.


Some of these days

You'll miss me honey

What has just happened is that the Nausea has disappeared. When the voice was heard in the silence, I felt my body harden and the Nausea vanish. Suddenly: it was almost unbearable to become so hard, so brilliant. At the same time the music was drawn out, dilated, swelled like a waterspout. It filled the room with its metallic transparency, crushing our miserable time against the walls. I am in the music. Globes of fire turn in the mirrors; encircled by rings of smoke, veiling and unveiling the hard smile of light. My glass of beer has shrunk, it seems heaped up on the table, it looks dense and indispensable. I want to pick it up and feel the weight of it, I stretch out my hand...God! That is what has changed, my gestures. This movement of my arm has developed like a majestic theme, it has glided along the song of the negress; I seemed to be dancing.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, translated from the French by Lloyd Alexander

1996 September 14

Organizer: Escape

DJs: Deep Dish, Emily, Andy Roberts & George Morel

Palaise Royale - more suitable for summer, like a summer palace with doors all the way from one end of the dancehall to the other.

It was a cool, damp night. We were tired as hell . We spent the day at Ikea buying furniture and had to carry the mattresses to the cashier. We arrived at 2 a.m. and left at 5 a.m.. There was no trace of Deep Dish and no one seemed to know.

Bonus - one of the new Exodus organizer gave P. a flyer for next week.

1996 November 28


Organizer: Better Days

DJ & Venue: Sasha at the Warehouse

Theme: Goodlife

Progressive house revival, later with break beats (his latest album). He keeps missing 1 bar but better than last time at the warehouse. The music cleansed my emotions.

Multi-colour computer-controlled lights behind the DJ deck on ground level. Bars all around, decked with silver balloons.

Crowd: Suitable number of young & enthusiastic people.

1996 Rave Flyers

1997 Memories

Teletubbies & its cult status

Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole, Daft Punk- Homework, Death in Vegas, Jimi Tenor, Radiohead - O.K. Computer, Spiritualized - Ladies & Gentlemen We are Floating in Space, Verve - Urban Hymns

Lady Diana’s death, Hong Kong returned to China, handover rave with Paul Oakenfold, Pete tong, Boy George, Grace Jones live, Gene and ardent fans

the South Asian look


1997 May 2

Organizer: M

Venue: Warehous

DJs: Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez & Little Louie Vega - Masters at Work (M.A.W.)

Decor: Practically none except the usual smart drink booths


Kids - but very polite
One group of kids sat right in the middle of the dance floor with a candle lit in the middle. One Asian boy with blonde hair did this stretching exercise with the girls i.e. they stood back to back , both people locked in the arms, the boy bent down so that the girl lied on his back and was "stretched" in the upper torso. This whole thing was done IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DANCE FLOOR surrounded by the "voyeurs" at the front rows and the dancing crowd left, right and centre. Then the antic was followed by them sitting in a circle in the same spot chatting. Some of their friends lit up some rolled-up joint that smelled like burnt shit. They were very polite & friendly but I was furious when the music started to sound pretty good. The blond girl smiled at me and fingered me to sit down with them. I looked back and smiled and the Oriental girl/ boy also did the same and I bent down to realize that they wanted me to sit with them. I couldn't help but told them that they shouldn't sit there. Then feeling that I was a bit blunt, I added that the music was too good and that they shouldn't waste it. One of the older boys got up and left them soon but the other two remained seated there. I was surprised to find that P. also supported my view . Even though I could have been more diplomatic, they deserved a lesson.

They started with an unending sequence of treated/softened dance drum beats/ base mixed with continuous rather trancy soul singing gradually turning to stronger, wider, more open dance beat sound mixed with more popular tunes such as Move your body (only the keyboard part) and some sounds from Bucketheads, then to their Nu Yorican Soul - a mix of salsa, Ibiza, Pet Shop Boys and tribal drum beat. By that time we decided to leave (5:45a.m.).

The schedule indicated M.A.W. to play in Arena 2 at 3:00 but no one seemed to know where Arena 2 was. Finally a security guard told us it was going to be at the Guv side at 4:00. Luckily P. went to the other room to check and found them playing there. Bad organizing. Plus the crowd was not mixed enough. First two rows at the front of the stage were surrounded by DJ worshipers. They only stare and did not dance. Then the people behind them weren't too enthusiastic either. If they had spun at a real warehouse it would have been sublime.

1997 May 13

DJs: The Chemical Brothers, Supporting - Orb

Venue: Warehouse

Best ever seen (both groups) - movement very much in tune with the music - typical of British pop culture. Simple patterns yet very well designed.

Very powerful . At one point it felt like there was something hovering above your head. The music whirled while the drums & bass sounded like explosions.

From basic to exciting though not as fancy as the 808 concert

Glad to see older women dressed street/ rave. People seemed taller than those in raves. I saw a few bespectacled cyber-hippy types and long-hair U-grads. Most people swayed along to the music. P. said the new generation of concert-goers moved more and chatted less than those of the Eighties.

The crowd did not respond too well at the end. There was a time when the brothers played a taped conversation going, " Music, response, music, response..." But nobody responded much. They left shortly after that. They played from around mid-night to three. We took the next day off.

1997 Quote

Nietzsche recalls the old legend where King Midas seeks out Silenus, the constant companion of Dionysus, and asks him:

"What is man's greatest happiness?" The demon remains sullen and uncommunicative until finally, forced by the King, he breaks into a shrill laugh."....why do you force me to tell you what it would be your greatest boon not to hear? What would be best for you is quite beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best is to die soon!"

The Dionysian spirit in music makes us realize that everything that is born must be prepared to face its painful dissolution. It forces us to gaze into the horror of individual existence, yet without being turned to stone by the vision. Only through music can we face the horrible message of Silenus.

Laurence Gene, Nietzsche for Beginners

1997 May 18

DJs: Armand Van Helden, Erick "More" Morillo, DJ Sneak, Junior Sanchez - all from N.Y.C.

Venue: Industry

Decor: the Usual

Wide Mix with a group of unusually high profile beefcakes on the dance floor. Some pumped-up dancers on stage in bra-tops, a group of what P. called "girls from Rimini" in their colorfully coordinated clubwear, hair piled high, S&M gays, Seventies-influenced polyester top, Primal Scream hairdo, flare-trousered guy, ravers, plumb young girls, the coat-checker from Guvernment who's forever dancing stylishly, hedonistically and drugged-out like, some obnoxious Asian guys, some suburban Brits.

The Asian barmaid is forever so friendly and smart. She will handsign you to find out what you want before she comes over.

Industry is the only place where you'll see people dancing even when they are queuing for their coats at the coat-check regardless of whether they've just arrived or are leaving.
Courteous securities.

Erick Morillo span mostly N.Y. deep house with soul vocal. He paused too often to search for that atmospheric build-up. But the last song was rather memorable --- deep but with a bright jungle base mixed in. The first time I hear something so deep, so fast in such a danceable song.
Amand Van Heldon was god. He started with Blondie's icy, dreamy voice mixed with a hip hop beat, then gradually built from hip hop to dance/ house, from progressive to deep but keeping the hip hop tempo,( kinda relaxed) interspersed and not too packed. He always mixes classic house such as Move your Body with other basslines or drum beat, then gradually moving to deeper, more soulful N.Y. house with vocals adding siren or other sounds. At one point he used an apocalyptic, wailing, electronic, string sound as the intro, then sneaked in a dance beat but rhythmically halting to a kinetic silence that drove the crowd completely wild. They chanted the rhythm and the power was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Maybe it had to do with the location I was at at the time. I was standing by the end counter of the bar with an almost panoramic view of the dance-floor. What I heard was no casual chanting. It was an out-right begging-for-more. It was at this moment that Armand brought in the bass drum while the light flashed like lightning and the crowd brought to a climax. It was a celebration of life, hedonism at its highest, pagan ritual rapturing in full form.

P. likes to describe that kind of soulful voice, "punishing". It definitely has to do with suffering transcended. I was melted and almost on my knees. Industry has never looked so good. He then played a few more songs with a jaded, husky, Euro-female voice overlaying the dance beat. Very classy indeed.

1997 August 9

Organizer: Better Days

Theme: One

Jeremy Healey - Partner of John Galliano, he does all his fashion show music and after-hour parties. Todd Terry's Canadian Debut

Long stuffy warehouse at Caledonia, North of Lawrence.
3000 People but still spacious, well organized with playstations and beautiful classic laser lights and a few blinding flashes.

J.H. brings back that good 'ol days feeling, his mix is typical British, steady, almost "marching" base drum beat with handbag voices. But he works very hard, jumping up & down and changes the beat very often. It gets tiring after a while. Todd Terry plays all the recent house hits mixed with very often distinct dance beat constantly adding sporadic soulful voices in the background. Not a particularly danceable DJ. Certainly less enjoyable and less remarkable than Eric Morillo or Armand Van Heldon.

Memorable Moments:
Chrs & Jne came and chatted. Jne's lost a lot of weight while Chrs seemed to have gained some.
I did my Afro but due to the humidity, it was all flat by the time the second DJ came on stage. I looked flustered and tired.
Woke up in the morning feeling a little sad about the scene. How even Chrs & Jne seemed so sober and bored that night, how the DJs didn't quite deliver and how the kids seemed so clueless as to what good music was. They were all there for the sake of going. The music didn't move them much. Unlike the Industry crowd.
The coolest and most beautiful in the warehouse that night were two girls in black. One was very leggy and in hot pants while the other one was in asymmetric top and mini skirt. And they danced like they were hooked and drugged. Amazing pair.

1997 August 30

Event: Tony Humphrey / DJ Magazine Party

DJs: Dino & Terry to start and then Tony Humphrey at around 2:00a.m.

Venue: Industry

Theme: DJ Magazine Party

Better than the usual Industry crowd full of beefcakes and bimbettes. A good mix of people: ravers, semi-naked gays, soul brothers, sophisticated ladies, Indies, Anglos, Italians, go-go dancers/ strippers, Asians are all proportionally smaller in number rendering the place more spaceous and less elbowing problem.

As good as usual. Very live saxophone and drum sounds. Very standout but not put-offish bass sound. The best among clubs as per P.

Due to the suitably smaller crowd and well-mix of people, it was very enjoyable. Everyone was, as always at Industry, as into the music as you could expect in Toronto clubs. Everyone had a good attitude and very polite. Unlike some days when it could be too raunchy or tacky (the way they act or dress).

One guy in black plastic glasses, red Adidas track suit, danced like the Beastie Boys was always beside us. There was also one of those well-groomed black couples who danced well (as most of them do) and who genuinely enjoyed the music. The only thing less than perfect was the smaller no. of women compared to men. P. & I danced till we were tired and sat down for a drink and chatted for a while and found that sometimes the music continued to be good but when you are too tired to appreciate it on the dance-floor, it might be better to sit down and you could hear more of the greatness of the mix.

Tony Humphrey's mix was disco, N.Y. house mostly, with some Chicago house occasionally. He played house hits or anthems with a twist i.e. mixed with other killer basslines or dance beats. Lots of vocals but because he changed often with perfect timing, one did not find it "handbag" but very encouraging. Whether it was deliberate or coincidental I did not know but all the soulful vocals he picked were about freedom (e.g. Free by Ultra Nate), " you're free; free to do what you want to do...." or don't give up. Only one song is about "give it to me". He seemed to have avoided that overly meaty "I need your love" kind of songs. He also created a unique mix of jazz, saxophone sound and the quintessential disco keyboard riff. P. said earlier before we decided to go that maybe T.H. is too old school and he may not be that great. Although we agreed that the records he span might not be the latest but his suspicion was proven wrong. It was divine. Both P. & I had some "Moments" on the dance floor. This had been long overdue and much lacked this summer, just when we both needed it most it finally arrived. (I had a whole month of emotional and work-related turmoil) The only minor flaw was his tempo being a bit too slow. He liked to keep that relaxed kind of beat all the way through without being monotonous like some DJs tend to be. Compared with Danny Tenaglia who span last week, D.& T.layed a lot of slow, suffering, soulful gospel-like vocals and remained sparse and slow all through. It was very releasing at first but it got too predictable towards the middle of the set. Compared with Carl Cox (those British ones) T.H. is much more soulful and relax. A nice way to end the summer.

1997 Quote

A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to

rediscover through the detours of art, those 2 or 3

great and simple images in whose presence his

heart first opened

Albert Camus

1997 November 17

Full moon, 0 degrees, no wind.

The roads were piled up with snow at the sides but the pedestrian side-walks were carpeted with a white film. The whole day I'd been feeling rather energetic while P. was in a humorous mood, possibly because his demo was almost finished.

By the time we went out, I was very sleepy and planned to stay only for a short while expecting little pleasure. But I was wrong.

The line-up at the entrance of Industry was surprisingly short and there was not that many people inside, which was good enough for me. Dimitri of Amsterdam wasn't too impressive at first - some progressive house with a touch of vocal house here or there, but later on, it got better. He was quite experimental, using more rhythm than base and he avoided some mixing or deejaying cliches which sometimes made dancing a bit difficult. At one point I felt like he refused to bring us to the climax and just let the build-up drop.

Ien, who we hadn't seen for a long time tapped on my shoulder. We hugged and he told me he had a wonderful party last Sat. Real glad to see someone so excited by anything of the like. Alx, in a smart suit and well-combed hair, with his beautiful African-Canadian partner, looked at me and smiled. I didn't recognize him at first.

Among the crowd was a Sikh Indian wearing a turban dancing away. A John Lennon look-a-like and some old ravers. What really moved me was a guy in a wheel-chair dancing by maneuvering his wheelchair. This is the way things should be in clubs. At around five, when I could no longer manage to dance, I sat at the back of the dance floor looking towards the stage. Dimitri played some deep drums which brought to my mind this image of ten thousand tribal drummers in the African desert strumming and stomping while the people on the dance floor became voodooed. One hip-hop girl break-danced like she was wired and charged. The word "underworld" immediately came to my mind. The bass drum was so deep that it seemed like the whole population there that night was one big family in the Underworld. The silhouettes of people were like that of a Chinese traditional watercolour picture where the mountains closest were darkest in colour with the next layer of mountains in between while the lightest layer were the furthest in the background. I also thought of the paper-cut scene in Martin Scorcese's Vampire when the movie related the history of the Turkish Empire while Count Dracula of Transylvannia was the King killing the enemies and piercing the corpses in spears stuck up from the ground.

It was a very powerful sight . It completely swept me off my feet and blew my mind. It was extremely amazing that all these people could be so united or connected by some sounds, some rhythm. The scene made me instantly positive about the future of humanity, the fact that there was, in existence, a common language or feeling that could link so many people (albeit only those in the club that night) was an exhilarating thought.

While P. & I were resting/ standing by the tables near the bar, some people around us who were standing around chatting were suddenly "charged" by the rhythm or the beat and all of us moved. Nights like these heighten your senses. The next day, both P. & I are especially sensitive to soft music. Beth Orton's voice made me cry.

1997 Rave Flyers