Archive for the '1991' Category

Jimmy J

dj malik x live from exodus - a

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard thus far, and if Exodus’ flyer copy-writing speaks the truth, then this tape is “guaranteed to blow your mind.” I can’t be sure of the date it was recorded, only that it was made sometime during the second half of 1991. I am sure, however, this example is the earliest complete recording of a rave in Toronto. If there’s another one floating around out there, please prove me wrong – the more the merrier. I’m also certain this set is specifically Malik’s, given the selection of tracks, mic work and mixing.

I obtained this recording from Captain B. Mental. Thankfully he didn’t meddle with this mix as he did all other Exodus recordings in my possession. Even better news is that this copy was taped from the master so it’s about the best quality you’re going to get. Before you get too excited, keep in mind the original was recorded on the dirty 23 Hop DJ booth’s tape deck and then duplicated for me on another low-quality deck. Then factor in a few hundred plays, 18 years of analog decay and additional loss in quality when converted to mp3 format. Truth be told, it could still benefit from a Dolby Noise Reduction button.

Another interesting tidbit to point out is that, for some reason, the tape deck in the booth wasn’t recording the mic, so a few times throughout the recording the volume dips down when the mic was in use. Do yourself a favor and jack the volume during these times. Thanks to the needle on the live turntable, sometimes you’ll faintly hear Malik speaking. His chants are heard clearly twice: “Brampton crew in the house!” (11:35) and “What’s on your mind?” (22:50). And of course, there are cameos by the whistle posse throughout.

The tape starts off with a few classic tech-house warm-ups: Amnesia by Mr. Fingers,  The Dance by Rhythm is Rhythm and I’m Not So Selfish by Techno Grooves on the Mach 2 EP. Then “Oh no, not more bass!” warns us that Altern 8’s Infiltrate 202 is about to kick things up a notch. This tune and a few others on this side are obvious 1991 Toronto anthems, given Malik’s rewinds and mic appearances.  He makes sure to take the next mix slow and not rush it, mucking about for at least two minutes blending in White Form by Never Mind masterfully. K Groove’s The Future, frequently described by Malik as “aerobic-style techno,” is smoothly mixed in after being rewound again and again. Back from Detox by Dove People throws a little ragga style our way before Altern 8 makes a second appearance with Activ-8. “Top one, nice one, get sorted” is sampled somewhat conservatively compared to some other nights when it would be stuck in my head until the next time I heard it… a week later. Human Resource’s classic Dominator arrives on the scene followed by Hurricane by Sykosis 451. Then Antheama by Nebula II leaves us in a state of confusion.


Jimmy J

exodus flyer 1

Saturday August 31st, 1991, exactly 18 years to the day. This is the earliest Exodus flyer we have been able to track down. The date stamp indicates the flyer was probably used for multiple parties, was this the first? With memories understandably foggy no one can say for sure. But the general consensus with those who were present think it could very well be.

The drawing is an artist’s rendition of what would happen if the Cabbage Patch Kids started listening to techno. Surprisingly accurate if you ask us.

“$3 off with flyer” hand-written along the left edge meant admission for $4. Definitely the biggest bang for your buck in the history of Toronto raving.

Jimmy J

318 Richmond Street West Floor Plan

1. Aside from club kids scattered about you would never know a club existed here. The only signage was “tri-ad photo engravers” which previously operated in the entire building.

2. A journey up a flight of stairs to the the main floor where bouncers (one frequently brought a dog) greeted you with a pat down, then directed you to the first room.

3. The floor here is unique, it’s covered in fish tank gravel that glowed under the black lights. There’s a cover charge to the right. Admission to Exodus events was $7.

4. Continuing east, to the right was a front room which was a standing room with railings for drinks on the north and west walls were lit by spotlights.

23 hop front

5. The second room sometimes operated as a alcohol-free bar. In later years the drywall between the two rooms was removed and a second sound system was placed here.

23 hop front room

6. To the north and there was another room which was also a standing room with more drink rails on the north wall.

23 hop room

7. To the right was a third room that had a pool table in it or sometimes used for storage and locked.

8. Beside this room was the office which owners, managers and promoters had access to.

9. Continue north up a long graffiti laden corridor with a multi-coloured lighting effect originating from the  north end of the corridor. It made the walk in this direction seem endless.

10. The men’s unisex washroom had urinals and a stall on the north wall, sink on the south.

11. There was a small narrow coat check between the washrooms.

12. The women’s unisex washroom had stalls on the south wall and a sink on the north wall.

13. To the right there was an entrance to the rear stair case to exit below or continue to the top floor.

14. At the north end of this corridor lay the infamous transformable bar and elevator.

23 hop elevator

15. Continuing west was the the DJ booth, which was made up of concrete slabs with a few knocked out on the corner for dance floor visibility. There was a small stair case inside as the booth floor was elevated. Turn tables were located on the south wall and lighting controls on the north west wall.

23 hop dj booth

16. The main speakers, laser unit and smoke machine were on the north wall of the venue. Tweeters and large tube strobe lights hung from the ceiling throughout.

17. The dance floor contained numerous rafters that were moved about. A go-go dancer made an appearance once a night on one of these platforms situated towards the center of the room. She was covered in body paint that glowed under the black lights from the ceiling.

18. There was an exit to the cover charge room at the south end of the dance floor. It was time to leave when the DJs completely flooded the dance floor with smoke sometime between 5 and 6am.

The photography above was primarily taken in 1992 during 23 Hop Sykosis parties and other events in the years that followed. Photography from Exodus and other 1991 events is extremely rare, please contact us if you have some.

Have any 318 memories that we missed? Please speak your mind below!

Jimmy J

Located at 318 Richmond Street West, 23 Hop began operating in the summer of 1990 – when the term “entertainment district” was still years away from being coined. “Hop” was the ultimate example of a warehouse club: a raw space tweaked with just enough fire exits and suitable washrooms to legally qualify it as a hall. The venue was located in a pocket of the city that still housed more empty warehouses than nightclubs –  an apparent hangover from a once-flourishing factory district. In the 1980s nightclub prospectors saw potential in these parts. Situated just west of the downtown core they were void of residential properties, and better yet, the rent was cheap. The property owners were delighted to see signs of life in the area and most of them jumped at the opportunity for consistent rental income.

But how did 23 Hop come to be? The idea was conceived in the winter of 1990 while founder Wesley Thuro was running his sound and lighting business. It dawned on him that he could have a place to store his equipment and make use of at the same time. After conspiring with DJ Chris Sheppard by June of 1990 the venue opened its doors as an all-ages spot with top-notch sound, lighting and laser system compliments of Thuro. The DJs included Shep, Mark Oliver, D-Nice and Deadly Hedly Jones who ensured a packed house full of rambunctious teens. Unfortunately, like most all-ages club nights in those days, the positive vibe got overruled by fights which were happening all too often at Hop. This element turned management off and prompted their decision to operate the venue as a rental hall while they concentrated on another project.

23 hop card

In January of 1991 the one-part genius, two-parts frugal concept called The Bovine Sex Club was was born on Queen Street West. “I’ve been to the Bovine Sex Club, now I want to go home” was the slogan used on the original laminated 23 Hop neon membership cards indicating that 23 Hop had an after-hours friendly format. In the early 90s liquor sales ended at 1am, and with a limited variety of venues to entertain Toronto clubbers, the illegal booze business was the biggest Toronto had seen since prohibition. No rocker in (or out of) their right mind could be convinced to attend an after-party unless it was a boozecan, and 318 was well equipped to operate as such. With no liquor license associated with the premises there was no risk of it being suspended or revoked in the event that alcohol service was discovered by the cops. Better yet, the likelihood of being caught was slim given the unique features of the venue summarized in this July 2, 1992 edition of Eye which discusses one of the many incarnations of the venue, The Zombie Club.

zombie club 318 richmond street west

Boozecans were a part of the the venues rentals, but mostly the two-floor hall offered refuge for numerous underground scenes, warehouse jams and small concerts.

23 Hop FlyerWhere did the name “23 Hop” come from? You’ll discover it was partially derived from its address by answering this skill testing question: 31-8 = ?  “Hop” may have been chosen because it was a three-letter verb that ensured the name would be made up of characters that had a 23 influence [23 (2) Hop (3)].

What’s the hoopla about 23? Some believe it goes beyond simple math and this is where things start to get a little weird. DJ Chris Sheppard, who reportedly lent original BSC owner Wesley Thuro half the investment for Bovine’s launch, was also involved in the 23 Hop project. Chris Sheppard (aka DJ Dogwhistle) was born on October 23, and had a fascination with the number well before Jim Carrey did in the film, “The Number 23.” That film was based on the phenomenon experienced by millions who believe important events are connected to the number 23, and I agree with them.

Bovine Sex Club 23 Hop Card

In 2011 Rick Toxic put together a blinder of a mix on his radio show (FullyCharged) in honor of 23 Hop:

Jimmy J

This is the first in a series of Radio London recordings. It was recorded from the radio in 1991 sometime between September and December.

If you read the previous entry on DJ Malik X it won’t take you long to realize this recording is a shinning example of everything that was Radio London and Malik. We’ll let it speak for itself.

Track List:

  • Dance No More – E-Lustrious
  • I’m Alright – Y.F.B.
  • Electrofear (beatsmix) – Nation 12
  • Discovery – Masterminds
  • Noise Factory – Noise Factory
  • Can You Get Ready For This – 2 Unlimited
  • Machine Dream – Dimension
  • Bumrush the Sound – Supermatic