Posted: March 28th, 2021 by Jimmy J

Out for a night on the town in early 1990, Aaron ultimately ended up at a dark and dank hole in the wall located at 318 Richmond Street in downtown Toronto. With only a strobe light, fog machine, and some strange new sounds pumping from the bass bins courtesy of none other than Mr. C of The Shamen, this would be a night to remember! Acid House and Techno were already hugely popular all across the UK, and “unlike anything I had ever heard before. I vividly remember sitting on the edge of a stage taking it all in, everything just made sense. Not to sound cliche but it was very much a religious experience!”.

That would be the evening that would change everything for the 20-year-old electronic music enthusiast. “I became obsessed with early hardcore techno and breakbeats trying to recreate what I was hearing out on the weekends”. Fast forward a year… through a mutual friend, Aaron was introduced to promoter Alx of London (of Chemistry fame) who would give Aaron his first opportunity to showcase his music at one of Toronto’s earliest large-scale rave productions: “The Magical Mystery Trip” went down on Saturday, May 16th, 1992.

Chemistry The Magical Mystery Trip

“It was on River Street in the East end. I was set up on top of this scaffolding monstrosity” Aaron chuckles. “During my set, some dude scaled up the side and said he wanted to bring me to Rochester, NY the following weekend to play at his club” and with that, the artist known as ‘CHAMELEON’ would be born.

chameleon first live PA chemistry

As Rave culture spread, so did Chameleon’s popularity being the first person in Toronto to swap turntables for synthesizers and drum machines and perform live becoming a mainstay at all the top rave events in Toronto.

Chameleon Rave PA 1994

In 1993 Chameleon would release his first 12” titled ‘Abc’s & 303’s’ on DUBHOUSE RECORDINGS (his label co-owned with Pleasure Force’s John E and Michael Stein) which would be licensed by none other than Casper Pound of Rising High fame for European release. 1994 saw the release of the well-received ‘4 brakes e.p.’ showcasing Chameleon’s versatility and musical growth with the ever-changing sounds of the underground.

chameleon (ca) · LIVE PA Pleasure Force

If you attended any of the big rave events between 1992-96, then it is a safe bet you experienced one of Chameleon’s infectious live sets.

His performance at Virtually Reunited on Boxing Day 2020 was 25 years in the making and a great homecoming for Toronto’s own CHAMELEON.

On June 26, 2021, Chameleon returned with an encore Virtually Reunited performance featuring tracks from his 90s vault along with brand new tunes.

You can catch up with him on his YouTube or SoundCloud accounts.




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