Archive for the '1993' Category

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.

Jimmy J

We know you’re still hurting from the Jays loss to KC last night. There is hope, but next year is just too damn far away. So to tide you over and help heal your wounds we’ve dug up some Toronto World Series rave history.

In order to restore your faith please listen to this quick two minute clip, then we’ll dig deeper below.

That wicked sound bite is from a 1993 Toronto rave called Unity. But let’s rewind even more, back to the first time we got to celebrate a World Series victory at a rave. It was Saturday October 24 1992 at event called Lost In Space – hosted by Chemistry Productions. The game went into extra innings and several ravers had tuned in on their car radios en-route to the venue. When they entered the party the news spread virally, the old-fashioned way. That involved humans communicating with each other in real time. It was called word of mouth. You see, instead of getting an update on your smartphone, an email, or text – another person would engage you in an actual conversation and tell you the news. Imagine that.

Unfortunately no audio from Lost In Space exists, or at least it’s never surfaced. But according to local legend, Chemistry’s Alex of London is said to have a stash of recordings tucked away somewhere…

But for now we’ll just have to flashback via the flyer from that magical evening at Scooter’s Roller World (a now defunct space-age roller rink that was tucked away in the ‘burbs.)

Chemistry Lost In Space Rave

Now back to Unity. Unity conceived as a fundraiser by a gentleman known as Trevor Hardcore. He was (and is) a personal friend of the Ben and Mike from Sykosis. The intention was to raise funds for the massive financial losses that occurred at Sykosis’ “Ravestock” which happened a few months previous. Ravestock was Toronto’s first rave festival – it was ahead of its time and that usually translates into a disaster on a financial level.

Sykosis Ravestock

Hardcore approached several rave companies and pitched the idea of pooling promotions with the proceeds used to repay the debts Ravestock had racked up. Several rave companies agreed, then bailed for one reason or another. Eventually it turned into a team effort by Sykosis and Infinity.

Unity Toronto Rave

I managed the recordings that evening and captured three sides of two 90 minute cassettes. Back then recording audio wasn’t as easy as clicking a button on a laptop. In our day you had to press record on a tape deck – remember to flip it 45 minutes later and then swap it out for a new tape after another 45 minutes. And repeat throughout the entire evening.

This recording is one of the most infamous Toronto tapes out there. Mostly due to the fact the MC (Clive G) repeatedly reminded the crowd that “The Blue Jays Won!” If you were at the rave that evening his voice has since been indelibly etched in soundtrack of your 1990s mind.

So without further ado…this is what happens when you’re at a rave and the Jays have just won the World Series…

And in honor of the Jay’s great 2015 season – have this never before released portion, on us:

Go Jays Go.

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