LEGACY: THE TRIBE MAGAZINE PHOTO EXHIBIT
Witness the birth of electronic music in Canada. Rare digitized film, slides and artifacts from tribe magazine will take you deep into raves, warehouse parties and events from 1993 and beyond.
Phat Pants, Toronto, 1998
These are phat pants. Phat pants became fashionable as raves grew more popular in North America. Gender neutral and worn low on the waist, they widened out from there. Some, like the phat pants on this raver, were super wide. Ravers insisted phat pants made dancing easier, and they also added a visual element to liquid dancing as they floated around a dancer’s legs. Some ravers duct-taped the bottoms to protect them from the ‘rave goo’ that accumulated on dance floors at parties.
JMK at the Phoenix, Toronto, 1996
JMK (Jeremy, Mike and Kenny) were a house music DJ crew in Toronto. Here they are guesting at Scott Cairn’s house night at the Phoenix Concert Theater in 1996.
There were seriously talented house music DJ crews playing in Toronto in the mid 90’s: Dino & Terry; Peter, Tyrone and Shams; JMK; Mark & Aki. Each crew was world class, and each attracted their own fans. It’s hard enough to be a solitary DJ, but working as a team playing live vinyl sets is another skill set entirely. JMK’s energy and experimentation brought new levels of deepness to Canada’s house music scene and attracted many new fans to the genre. Kenny Glasgow (later of Art Department) still DJs today and is a highly skilled music producer.
Don Berns aka Dr, Trance, Rites of Spring, Toronto, 1996.
I miss Don. He passed away a few years ago now and it was a great loss to Canada’s electronic music community. Here he is as Dr. Trance in the thick of his prime time set at his own event – no better place for any DJ to be, really. It was an epic, uplifting set and you know he just killed it.
Atlantis, Rites of Spring, Toronto, 1996.
The Atlantis rave company , run by Don Berns, DJ Iain and Big Claudio Dynamite was one of the largest rave companies in Canada in the mid 90’s. Atlantis was famous for throwing events in interesting spaces like the CN tower and the Toronto Island Airport. Rites of Spring happened at an old theater on Danforth Ave. near Pape that is now a fitness club. Tribe had a photo booth set up in the balcony seating area, and this is where I met Vera, who is a close friend to this day.
Kat Club VIP Pass by Mychol Holtzman, 1993.
Mychol Holtzman was an event promoter in Toronto as well as the gossip columnist for TRIBE Magazine in 1993. This VIP pass was for a weekly event at the Kat Club on Colborne Street in Toronto that featured deep and tribal house sounds in the lower level of the club with DJ Kevin Williams. The VIP pass was made with glow in the dark paper and cut and laminated at a Kinkos copy shop in Toronto, where most early Toronto promoters produced their event flyers. Mychol told me he was inspired to make the moving and shaking VIP pass after seeing fishing lures at Canadian Tire.
Flyer Kids, Polson Street, Toronto, 1998.
I found these two sitting in the dark next to a box of pHryl flyers at the large warehouse space on Polson that later became a club. Found them by the soft glow emanating from the three glowsticks taped to the dude’s hat. I like this photograph. So calm and peaceful, even in the midst of full audio mayhem and the thousand people dancing all around them.
MC Flipside working the party, Toronto, 1998.
Beacon of positivity. Killer MC. Talented DJ and Producer. Old Friend. MC Flipside working the room . MC Flipside and other MCs added another dimension to Jungle and Drum and Bass Events. Working together with the DJ on decks (these were vinyl days), they helped shape the mood of the crowd, elevating it and encouraging a deeper participation with the music.
Chill Out Room, Toronto, 1998.
Many of the larger raves in Toronto had chill out rooms; places where ravers could go to decompress, talk, rest, or cuddle. They were places where you could avoid the higher BPM music at the party. A DJ playing a chill out room would spin ambient, slow, beat-free, meandering, calming tracks. Chill out rooms were usually completely dark, or lit with very low light – a lava lamp for example, a black light, or even a simple string or two of Christmas lights taped to a wall.
You would never see any of the room when you were there, so it was always a joy to get the film back from the lab to see what my flash strobe had illuminated.
That looks like Justin, but I could be mistaken.
David Morales, Stereo Launch Party, Montreal, 1998.
I’ve always liked David Morales. His knowledge of disco and house music is immense, his remixes are some of my most favorite tracks. His remix of De La Soul’s track Saturdays (De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named ”Saturdays” (6:00 A.M. Mix)), is a perfect example of his skill as a master remixer.
So I was especially happy to be in the booth with him for most of his set at the Stereo launch party in Montreal in 1998. Shooting, listening, watching. I’d seen him play often, but I’d never seen anyone play on 1200’s with gold plated tonearms before, so that was a first. About midway into his set I watched David put a Jocelyn Brown accapella on the far turntable and turn off the power. Spinning it to speed with his finger, over and over, dropping vocals into an instrumental house track playing on another, powered, turntable. Holding the perfect pitch of the vocals with his spinning finger. I had never seen anything like it. After about 2 minutes of doing this live remixing he turned to me and said “Wow, I’ve never done anything like that before!”
Book signing at the smart bar, Toronto, 1998 .
I always thought it sweet that ravers would ask each other to sign notebooks. “Sign My Book!!!”, was often yelled over the music and you couldn’t really refuse. I usually just signed “Thanks for being a part of TRIBE, AlexD” because this is something I really meant. Others would draw complete artworks, self portraits, drop tags, maps to other groups of friends in the venue, or even complex drawings of the event itself. It was a way to memorialize the vibe of the event but also a way to it take the rave home later to enjoy again while listening to the latest rave cassette tapes.
* Tribe is a registered trademark of Alex Dordevic, used under license by tribe communications incorporated.