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

1998 Memories

Alexander McQueen - Pinhead pin-up
(April, Face Magazine)
the World Cup

Kid Loco - Another Grand Love Story, Air - Moon Safari, Belle & Sebestian - the Boy with the Arab Strap, the Beta Band, The Cardigans - Grand Turismo, Chemical Brothers - Brothers Gonna Work it Out, The Divine Comedy - Fin de Siecle, Fat Boy Slim, Gomez - Bring it On, Lauryn Hill - the Miseducation of, Low Fidelity All Stars - How to Operate with a Blown Mind, Smith & Mighty, Manic Street Preachers - This is My Truth, Tell me Yours, Massive Attack - Mezzanine, Mercury Rev -Deserter's Song, Pulp - this is Hardcore, Rae & Christian - Northern Sulpheric Soul, Bob Sinclar - Paradise, Velvet Goldmine - Soundtrack

Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66, Boogie Night, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Live Flesh, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, South Park, Starship Troopers, There's Something about Mary, Titanic


1998 February 14

Organizer: the Renegades

Theme: Luv Affair

DJs: Extended set on four turntables:
Rocky & Diesel, Espress 2 (Junior Boys Own), Ashley Beedle OF Black Science Orchestra

Venue: the Docks (11 Polson St)

Full moon, around -10 degrees, not too cold, I've been looking forward to raves lately. Been resting well for 2 weeks at least but still struggling to recover from an awful breakup.

Anglo high school youngsters but all very into it. Not that many couples, mostly girls with girls and boys with boys. A group of not-so-cool Asian in the area but the music was too good to be bothered.

Progressive house beat and base mixed with soulful house vocal, rhythm and sound. Simple and not too many tricks but very danceable with build-ups and quiet-downs. We danced 3 hrs non-stop (except to get drinks and to catch our breath). The whole place was steamy with sweat and the vibe was great.

1998 May 21

Evening at the Guvernment with Norman Jay and Mha was surprisingly warm and friendly.

There is simply no way to predict whether an evening will be pleasant. I was actually very tired as I prepared to go . But I always believe that once you said you're going, then you should stick to your decision especially if someone else is involved. Mha, who was dressed from head to toe in W&LT, introduced me to a young woman designer. The music was good though not exceptional but the lighting system at the Guvernment was simply fabulous.

1998 May 23

Had a haircut at Pm's and it seemed we were both quite enthusiastic about it which had not happened for a while.

Had a nap in the afternoon and right before I woke up I dreamt of myself getting off at a bus stop struggling with getting the right amount of fare while the bus driver was very understanding. I got off and found F. looking fairer than before . I was surprised to see him and he said he especially traveled all the way from his home to come see me. I was moved. Then I woke up. According to my book of dream interpretations, it's a prediction of happy social times.
Had to fight my sleepiness before I left the house to Industry for DJ Disciples. The music was typical NYC with lots of variations and noise-like sounds. But the main event was A.D. with his long hair, a tan, rings in almost all fingers and a very slim silhouette. He seemed to know quite a few people and was moving from one spot to another. With all these people coming and going, we lost him. Then I decided we should seek him out. We walked round the back lounge area but could not see him. Then we stood by the counter for a few minutes. Then P. suggested we go to the other lounge area. I said we should start from the back. P. said we'd already checked that area but I was unusually firm (come to think of it now) and said that we should start from the back again and if we didn't see him this time, we'd leave. There he was in front of the women's washroom. He reacted strongly. He said he just talked about us a few days ago and that it must be karma. Said he had a band, been to Spain, Ibiza. After chatting for a while we went our separate ways but bumped into each other again on the dance floor. We danced close to each other but he always danced too close to the front of the amplifier. The noise level was quite intolerable and at one point I just wanted to get out of there. This seemed like deja vu --- He continued to be himself while we continued to be ourselves.

As we were on the dance floor, I wish we could communicate in a different way. There were so many things to say but hadn't been said, I hadn't even mentioned Irvine Welsh. And we wouldn't be bothered to ask each other our phone nos. Yes we were connected by the music and all the respect we had for him for having brought rave to our shore but that night, he was not quite there with us. He was, as he had always been, completely in the music and the zeitgeist of the moment. I noticed his knees were wobbly.

When in bed, I just wish M. was next to me and made love to me.

Why are relationships so existential these days?

1998 June 27

Haven't gone out for ages. P. suggested going to a warehouse party announced at CIUT- Soul Fusion Express , DJ K.J. somewhere in 882 or 862 Queen West. We got on a taxi and could only see the park when we were around that number. We got off, walked back East a bit and heard some music and a notice outside a shut storefront indicating Bear's birthday party round the back. What coincidence! It was a nice, cozy, homestyle store closed for the party purpose. A lot of cool, well-mannered African-Canadians, men & women. Some white u-students, a Beck look-a-like. A dreadlocked DJ played some disco, soul, house, funk , with a touch of house-hits (that one with the jungle sound). Then another one played something of a slightly different style. We had a good time till around four. Just when we got to the door, Bear showed up with his hair all shaved off. We hugged and chatted and wished him a Happy Birthday!

1998 June 30, Saturday

20 degrees Celcius at night, the night before Canada's Day.

Junior Vasquez delivered from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Guvernment.

Guvernment is a great venue. High ceiling, excellent lightings, lots of chill-out rooms - Acid Lounge with fur walls and leopard skin bean bags. 80% gay people, naked from the waist up. Ventilation by fans were provided at the peak of the whole thing but there was so much sweat and moisture that everyone was soaked in the mist. The atmosphere was fantastic. Felt like Ibiza though the set was too gay-oriented. He mixed some borderline cheesy tunes with simple basslines, minimal throughout with some disco, some vocals, some hits, some rock such as Freddie Mercury's We Will Rock You and Jimmy Hendrick's Purple Haze.

With P. I stayed till five. Without him, I'd have left. Not much housey feel but the atmosphere, as P. said was end-of millennium-esque.

1998 July 2, Saturday

20 degrees Celcius at night

Took the day off the next day.

Judge Jules from U.K. - p/o the FULL-ON THURSDAYS organized by the Guvernment.
We should've known from the last turn-out that this one won't go on. We made the BIG mistake of not calling beforehand. We got there by taxi and the doors were shut.

We thought this whole week would be like party every other night but seemed like we'd have to settle for 3 a week --- Jun30 - Bear's b-day, Jun30 Junior Vasquez, Jul4 Dave Clarke. Still broken our records. Except this time, all turns out good.

1998 July 4, Saturday

19 degrees Celcius at night

Dave Clarke - Techno organized by Phryll at the Industry.

Right amount of people and a rave crowd with their innocent, pure, music-centred attitude intact! Also interesting in the crowd was a biker and his "chick", a few odd macho men here and there. The turn of the century feeling was there. Algorithym put us in awe with his "nice" warm-up-the-crowd set. He started with experimental sounds, adding more beats and base to it, rendering it more danceable gradually, then finally moved on to progressive house. Some of his sounds, however, were quite raw which sounded a bit coarse at the dance floor. This became more prominent when compared to Dave Clarke.

Dave Clarke started with a Bang . Happy techno quickly changed to menacing heart-attacks. He made the crowd completely mad and lose control. It was hard, hard and hard with short breaks at first - a bit like Carl Cox and later changed to longer riffs. It wasn't until 3:30 did he stopped momentarily to play funk and electro with Kraftwerk but swiftly turned back to hard techno. The highlight was the siren mix. The amp. was turned up so loud I could not bear to stand even at the edge of the dance-floor right in front of the bar.. Dave's music is very masculine. It energizes you and make you move. But it got too strong for too long and my eyes couldn't open by 5:00a.m. even though I liked it

1998 August 14, Saturday

Nice & Sunny day but I was full of existential angst. I was going through the post-breakup phase and had to try to stop myself from being obsessed with a new possible replacement. I listened to two Suede albums in a row, picking only those slow heroin-feel songs.

Usually at times like these, the club scene helps. Of course good music is crucial. Andrew Weatherall at Industry (Fukhouse event) completely blew my mind. His strong hard beats were non-stop, revitalizing, completely displaced the down, low, negative thoughts from my mind. All these events held by other organizations at Industry had been quite good especially in the sense that there were more and much, much, more dry ice from the smoke machine, worm-pattern red laser lights, darker atmosphere and the mood was insanely hedonistic. People were very into the whole thing and both guys and gals danced enthusiastically. There was a healthy blend (though it takes some tolerance for their sweaty naked bodies) of gays, Portuguese, Italians , ravers, Anglo suburbanites, artist-types. A lot of ravers were not there probably because of the rave with Roy Davies Jr. elsewhere. Many people were very open about hooking up, though all those who said it out right were not the good looking ones. P. was made miserable by the sweaty ones. We danced almost non-stop from 1:30 to 5:00.

Chrs greeted us and said he went to Molson amphitheatre to see the Beastie Boys and came right after. He seemed to have come by himself. Jn has gone to Ireland and other European countries. He told us excitedly that he got a job at Chrysler. All respect to him for continuing to attend these events.

Was dead tired when I got home but in true, good spirits. Got kicked in the toes twice at the club and hurt myself mildly in the big toe twice as well. The scar from the heated oil on my left hand was healing (it happened the weekend M. & I broke up) but not entirely. It's a 2- inch mark. Or no, I won't let him or anyone leave a mark on me. Remember that Teenage Fanclub song

1998 November 7

Both P. & I were all up for the party tonight at 63 Polson. Everyone was into the music, or maybe it was my positive and fun-loving vibe that had spreaded. Music was house with a twist but not dance-oriented mix. K.J. of CKLN liked to experiment a bit. Sightings of Cameron's owner, fashion editor of the Flare magazine (per P.), the ex-doorman at Buzz, a few British guys and a few with black plastic rimmed glasses. The women were tough and street, dressy, classy and casual. From the way the crowd dressed, one could deduce that there must be a party somewhere else and they came for the after hours. The venue was not bad - high ceiling, o.k. sound system and acoustic, it was a studio-cum-club, relatively expensive sofas, 5 toilets without doors, just drapes creating some embarrassments. Anyhow, nights like these have been rare and precious. Hope the venue and the vibe stays on.

1998 December 19

2nd time Frankie Knuckles is at the Industry. Now he's won the Grammy, thought he'd be sold out. He started with some slightly cheesy soul vocals and Everything but the Girl pop single. His dance timing is very often plausible. He's definitely not a dance-oriented DJ but more into the vibe, the build-up. Even so, his build-up took a wee bit too long. He's the kind who would keep all the slow, quiet bits at the beginning, who would play almost the entire "song" with minimum mixing. Or have I simply missed it? Was it too subtle? Or was he simply lazy? But then towards the end, he delivered. He span a few deep, deep, house, hard house, underground house, Gospels and take-me-higher vocals. There were a few climatic baseline buildups, at least 2 sweet, lovey-dovey jazzy tunes, very E sound. I was happy then.

The crowd
Gays, Italians, strippers, raver kids. Some good-looking lads. Overall crowd o.k.. A rave girl massaged me and shared water with me. I shared Coke with her. She went on to massage the guys, all with an innocence that deserves respect -- a plumb, sweet redhead with a ciggy in her mouth - great combination.

1999 Memories

The All Seeing Eye - Pickled Eggs & Sherbert, Armand Van Helden - 2Future4You, Basement Jaxx - Remedy, Beck - Midnight Vultures, Blur - Thirteen, Death in Vegas - the Contino Sessions, Eminem - the Slim Shady, Gay Dad - Leisure Noise, Groove Armada - Vertigo, Leftfield - Rhythm & Stealth, Ludovic Navarre a.k.a. St. Germain - from Detroit to St. Germain, Les Rhythm Digitale - Darkdancer, Suede - Head Music

The Blair Witch project, Celebrity, Fight Club, Mifune, Romance, the Spy Who Shagged Me

1999 March 4

Lo Fidelity All Star - at Lee's Palace. It was heavenly

1999 April 24

At the newly opened System Sound Bar near the corner of Peter & Richmond, Roy Davis Jr. was spinning. The sound system was o.k.. Lighting was minimal and the decor was rather cheap. The crowd was mainly the more mature ravers mixed with some suit-wearers. There was obviously more men than women.

Just after Gabriel and Armand Van Heldon's Flowerz have been played, an early twentyish boy in a Mariner baseball top (cute and well built) came rushing to me with the corny opening line so corny that it's funny especially delivered with his innocence, "Sorry I tripped." referring to his being a wee bit close. He's cute, young and slender; right height too. Instinctively, I went along.
In no time we went from exchanging names to dancing close to kissing. Terrific dancer. He asked me a few times if I wanted to get comfortable in the sofa nearby. Again I was left with the decision to sacrifice the music which was what I came for or to go along with my luck. I wasn't horny that night. So I told him no. He walked away.

Soon he came back. Now Roy Davis Jr. was spinning You Don't Know Me. We danced a bit more. I was undecided. Then he asked me if I needed water. Again I told him to go ahead if he needed some. He kissed me and asked me to wait I was worried for a while if I should just leave. Then P. suggested we went to what seemed like the VIP room. We sat down, chatted a bit and felt it was time to go home. Just when we were getting close to the exit, my sweet lover boy came in with a petite young girl, looking all serious and proper. I thought it was truly amusing and it just suited me SOO well. The situation has resolved itself.

1999 May 29

Organizer: Clublife magazine

Venue: Temperance Street right in front of the Cloud Garden

Mixed - rarely seen cultured types, John Lennon lookalike, the young guy from Buzz, hippies, Anglo-Saxon, pensive types, Jamaican accented, Italian stallion with mane, beautiful bodies, men & women.

Good house. As P. says, felt like N.Y.. It was a life-affirming experience to see all those hot bodies, men and women. Suddenly it made me wonder why anyone should get hung up on one guy or gal. There's a whole big world out there with good-looking people of all sorts. The idea itself satiated me. The only thing missing is alcohol to loosen me up. The smell of pot all around is soothing.
It's most promising to see an event like this, in a nice street with a garden, where people are so into it. So together, so urban, so real.

International Centre at Mississauga (close to the Airport)
Suburban sports centre, minimal construction, totally functional. Set up that day with minimal design, a big tent for the techno room plus a house and jungle room. High security, clean and numerous washrooms.

Jeff Mills - too mechanical and steady in beat, Bob Sinclar - house, French funk, hip hop mix, special but the venue is not right for his kind of music.

Ravers and suburban boys, some very young. The girl in the washroom recognized who Mao Tze Tung was (I had that T-shirt on). Impressed. But not in the mood to talk.

1999 June12

DJ: Paul Van Dyke

Venue: Industry

Music: Unimaginative old-fashion trance/ techno

Ugly. We left within an hour.
The best healing for sadness is to be able to buy the things you like. The Jean Colonna trench coat was 70% off. They took my bargain for 1/2 price. Then there was a Helmut Lang long slit-sleeve flesh tone splash (Jackson Pollock reference) top. Ultra cool.

2nd Venue: F oundation on Brant & King. 2 rooms and 2 separate clean washroom facilities.

DJs: JK, Dino & Terry

Music: O.K. house, gospel, jazz etc.

Crowd: O.K. but of course comparatively much better than the Industry crowd these days.
Bear is now called Phat Black Pussy Cat

1999 June 18

Norman Jay at Bauhaus, saw Ivana Santilli, nice crowd, rarely encountered, cultured, African-Canadian women. Very special and very rare groove

1999 August 21

I was quite energetic, having rested for weeks. The night air was nice, almost fragrant. Arrived at Industry by taxi as usual. Women in the line-up seemed quite dressed-up for the party. But as we got to the dance floor, the obnoxious dancers, older ravers and body-builders became irritating. Then we discovered everyone was dead drunk. From the moment we went to the bar, the guy next to me already seemed to have lost control of his body, then the women (big, tall ones) on the dance floor elbowed their way in & out, plus the topless sweaty undefinable gay imposter walked round and round in circle and rubbed past me. At one point this hideous big blop of sweat, despite my stare, returned to "rub" against my arm; right after that, this other guy pressed me from behind. They actually pushed you if you didn't move. Then this big drop of condensation from the ceiling fell on my forehead for the umteenth time. I just had to say to myself, "that's it!" I'm leaving the dance floor at least and should think twice next time if I should show up at all at Industry. But that was not the end, when I got to the platform where the sofas were, all the kids were hyper and bumpy also.

Although there were some boys who were well behave, and some said sorry after bumping into you, the frequency of being hit, I mean literally, (1/3 of my drink was spilled, while the busboy also spilled drinks into my banana bag) was way too high. I left earlier than P., just like the recent past few times.

Graeme Parker's music was competent. The beginning few songs were good vibe, good groove. The atmosphere throughout was disco, a bit of funk, some soul vocals mixed with dance beat. P. said the ending was quite special. If I was given space, I would've danced all night. But I could not even find a spot where I would not be bothered.

P. saw Alx L. leaving the same time he did, by himself. Though he did see him with his black girl friend earlier. She must have got fed up like I had and left early. Such a bummer.
There were all kinds of topless men, bums and a few party girls but not many Anglos like there used to be. What's happened to the scene?

1999 August 28

Organizer: RNB Production

DJ: Frankie Feliciano from NYC who has worked with the Masters at Work

Music: Garage sound

Sunnyside Pavilion - built in 1925 next to the beach but the entrance to it was blocked. The Venetian garden was slightly disappointing. Its decor seemed over-simplified and fake. Felt more like a film set than an authentic Twenties' construction. At night, it was not lit well enough for the guests to admire its beauty.

A nice, decent crowd, a few ethnic mix, and the Roxy Blue, Movement crowd. Some women dressed more progressively in a blouse with Nehru collar, silver & long-sleeves matching a maxi dress. Another one in a blouse with a longer flap at the front and a utility skirt . Too bad it was made from cheap material. P. joked about the body size of the men being noticeably smaller than the Industry crowd last week.
The degree of drunkenness, and lack of consideration i.e. walking across the dancefloor, bumping into you, topless man of dubious sexual orientation sliding by you with sweat and dripping ceiling are comparably less.

Competent but terrible mixing. At one point he just let Aretha Franklin's voice die without giving it a pump. Some unusual mixing of fusion guitar solos with dance beat. A summary of House hits this and last summer - the elephant chant number, etc.
Almost full moon. Seemingly the last hot day in 1999, the temperature was 29degrees Celcius by day but gradually dropped to 22 at night. Still to be considered one of the best parties in '99 considering the unusual venue.

1999 September 4

We went to see the Beta Band at the Opera House. They did a real fine performance. Fresh, pure, at times dancey, like a stripped down Low Fidelity All Star, at other times their existential streak comes out. Their backdrop slide projection fits in with the music perfectly. Very artsy - the whole band dressed like Air, in what seemed like space-suits.

We went home at 1:00 a.m. I was so tired and my eyes were so dry I fell asleep and woke up at around 2:00 a.m.. Then got ready to go to see Daft Punk. The warm weather helped. Especially since this is already September but with the humidity, it actually feels very much like summer still.

Organizer: Syrous and Clublife etc.

Theme: 6th Anniversary

DJs: Josh Wink & Daft Punk

Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd., minutes from the Airport
Never-used venue. A bit like the International Centre, huge space, but better ventilation.
Very professional lighting systems. It's like 3 concerts going on at the same time in interconnected yet sufficiently apart space. The light and the energy in the jungle area was like fireworks. Rows of portable toilets, not too stinky. Minimal decor but professionally done. Security minimal (real police) and less aggressive than that time at the International centre (with Bob Sinclar).

Mainly young teenagers but also quite mixed. People are surprisingly trying to revive that original rave spirit - 3 people shook hands with P. .Some are polite about knocking me at the shoulder. Some women did try to dress up a bit - the Mandarin top...But still... something to lament about the way ravers/ party-goers are these days - their lack of style, the men taking their tops off, the way they walk across the dance floor. Lovers swinging each other at the people around them, obnoxious dancers, starers. The half-naked sweaty arms wiping their body fluid against yours and their constant moving around within the confine of the dance floor is a major problem. I thought it was just Industry or some poorly organized raves but nowadays, it's become a common phenomenon.

This is the Labour Day weekend, truly the last summer rave of 1999 for us. Another rave will be the one with Green Velvet and Derrick Carter.

Josh Wink was pleasant. Mainly lively house.

Daft Punk (the skinnier, and darker one) started with a slow soulful tune and moved immediately to a funky house beat. Every tune is slightly different. He played some rock guitar solo mixed with house beat and that most talked about Celebration (Madonna's) remix. He also played some Eighties funk, their Daft Punk signature scratchy sound, some progressive house with sirens (climatic!). Towards the end, one of the duel even did what seemed like a live number, twisting the knobs alongside DJ Sneak. Their performance consists mainly of pounding beats of different bpm which did not come to much. Then they left the stage with a re-mix of the Madonna hit, Holiday. Highlight of the morning was their introduction to one of the summer house anthems of 1999. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the song. (not the elephant sound,...) The whole event was a delightful surprise considering the fact that I've been very tired the entire week and during the day.

1999 September 17

DJ Deep at the Roxy Blu - heavenly

1999 September 18, Sat

Unusually mild for a Sept., 22 degrees Celcius. Sunny all day.

Was a bit down after seeing Pas de Scandale by Benoit Jacquot and then Peter Greenaway's 8 1/2 Women. Felt the need for some strong musical vibration.

The moment we entered the door of Industry, we could feel a surge of steam. Even the entrance was foggy. Industry has packed a full capacity of people if not over. The crowd was mixed, more women than usual and slightly less gangster type. Same mix of ravers, half naked men. P. said tickets didn't seem to sell well. Industry must have packed their members in to fill in the room. There was some visuals (slides) and of course the dripping ceiling but the steaminess (not smoke from the smoke machine) was more severe than anything I've ever experienced there. I dared not venture in the back room/ the fountain room despite P's urge lest I might faint. (A girl almost did). There was not much oxygen in there.

But the music was great. The Basement Jaxx's brand of house hits this summer, treated and mixed with their own hits was refreshing. What's most impressive was the crowd. Everyone, women and men were enthusiastic despite the humidity. Everyone was drenched with sweat. The men who took off their clothes were hideous. People were also quite friendly and I got used to the ever moving crowd.

This whole week had been like a dream - the film festival, J's excitement over the Nick Drake CD I lent him, the Friday DJ Deep party with the cool crowd and Basement Jaxx plus my taking Monday off...

1999 November 7

Andrea Parker span at the B-side next to Fez Batik. It was a very cozy place. Small but big enough for the show-ups. Like a nice student type party. Warm, chatty, ethnic and no attitude. Just like Andrea Parker's mix. Hip hop, electro, funk. Had a fun time.

1999 December

Organizer: Fukhouse
Venue: Industry
DJ: DJ Slam of Scotland
Music: Techno, trance, house, very pleasant and danceable

Industry has changed it's decor and interior with a bar counter surrounding the dance floor making it more orderly. I sat nearby. Had a nice view of the action and feeling comfortable. There were lots of humorous things going on. Never had I had so much fun watching --- two big tall Eastern Europeans with two rather good looking women kept looking my way . They also kissed and hug each other (the two men looked alike); A skinny Anglo looking rather funky sometimes danced in a funny way shaking his bum; two guys, one good -looking danced with two Japanese girls who were so energetic that they ignore one of the guys' softer touch. The two girls danced really amusingly - like these silly Japanese commercial, childlike and very well synchronized.

1999 Dec 31

RNB Millennium party at the Irish Rover

All that anticipation and excitement about the end of a Millennium during the year was tainted by more hype about the Y2K Bug and its possible disaster-inducing ability. By December, all I heard was the Y2K bug and what to do when it happened. There was little talk about what big name DJs to arrive on our soil. Yes, I've seen flyers saying how the organizer has been preparing for this end-of-Millennium bash since whenever but when New Year's Eve actually comes, there really isn't that many interesting choices to choose from. At the office, most people prefer to stay home when New Year comes. I do understand that there is a kind of uncertainty in the air that kind of make one cautious of what might happen; a kind of catastrophic vibration lurking behind, with all those people waiting in Times Square in New York and Harbour Front, Lakeshore. There could be riots, accidents, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, looting, crowd stomping, swarming...

By the evening, I almost wanted to stay home but the thought that there could and hopefully would be only one end-of-millennium New Year's eve in my life, made me decide to go see the fireworks by the waterfront.

When P. and I board the TTC, people inside were all excited but not THAT excited. In fact, I didn't see people behaving any more animated than any other New Year's eve. They were not that dressed-up either. We got off at Union Station and followed the crowd. There was that fear of being trampled if anything unexpected happened and the crowd turned hysterical . But people were quite orderly amidst the whistling and shouting. There was also less people than I expected.

We walked over towards the East where the stages were but the fireworks seemed very far away. The amplifiers were either cheap stuffs or there was not enough. We could hardly hear the tacky techno, classical and What a Wonderful World that were played. What's worse was we didn't even know New Year had arrived until we saw the first sparkle in the sky above . There was no count down! And worst of all, was this panhandler, who was quite neatly dressed (for the occasion?) , who stood in front of P., turned around at the very moment the first sparkle was seen in the sky, and asked P. for money. I was worried he was more than just a panhandler and stared at him until he walked away. P. did not give him anything and that was understandable. With the crowd being around, he could easily be a robber if we pulled out our wallets. After he left, we struggled to concentrate on the sporadic fireworks above us. With a lame soundtrack, and an
ordinary line up of firework tricks, we were completely disappointed. There was hardly any sense of awe as we watched. In fact, the people around us were not that interested either. Many looked around as if wondering if there was anything more interesting to do. Some talked a great deal. Some lovers kissed but the New Year spirit was simply not there.

As the firework died down, we walked further east to the Irish Rover pub where the RNB party was held. The short walk from Lakeshore east to the pub was a deserted, industrial, run-down, abandoned strip of land. This really wasn't the sight I had in mind for the year 2000's dawning. P. and I was quiet all the way. We both wished we were somewhere else.

But then, once we entered the Irish Rover, things seemed a bit more tolerable. The Irish Rover is a house built in the middle of nowhere, among the highways and by the side of a short bridge going towards the industrial shore of the lake. There were only a few people at the door and once I walked in, I could hardly recognize it as a pub --- a huge tent was set up outside the pub to accommodate for the crowd. Regardless, it was a warm and welcoming atmosphere. One dance floor was indoors and the other one was on sandy ground inside the tent where the music was special. We even heard YMO remixed which was a delightful surprise. There we danced a bit and we moved to the indoor dance floor and had a pretty good time.

A girl approached us and we kissed and hugged like people should during New Year's Eve. We chatted politely for a bit and left not too long

1999 Quote

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

1999 Rave Flyers