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Club Vibes

Dynamix in the house tonight at Tommy’s

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Who: Mark Dynamix

Where: Tommy Africa’s

When: Thursday, Feb. 17

Tickets: $17

This is a banner week for house music fans, and it starts tonight (Thursday, Feb. 17) with a visit from one of Australia’s Top DJs.

Mark Dynamix is a regular at Sydney’s Yu Bar and Sounds On Sundays when he’s not touring the country playing for crowds of 10,000 at outdoor events like Big Day Out and Field Day. On the scene for more than a decade he has 22 high profile mix CDs to his name, 13 of which are compilations and mixes for Ministry of Sound Australia.

Dynamix has played alongside Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, and Paul Oakenfold. Tonight’s show at Tommy’s marks Mark’s first time spinning in Canada.

Tickets are $17 available in advance from Snomotion, with 50 tickets reserved for the door. DJ Garth spins the opening set. For more info go to www.tommyafricas.com.

Also at Tommy’s this week: local favourite DJ Vinyl Ritchie returns to the eclectic Wednesday club night Humperdinck Slapptyback. The night is back in full effect after a period of alternating weeks with a Whistler edition of STACKed – featuring DJ Lush from Celebrities nightclub in Vancouver. Opening for the Vinyl-icious One on the Humper-decks is DJ Ace.

The following night features Japanese house music DJ Shimizu with interactive digital visuals by VJs Kazuma, Fujimoto and Fsuchiya. Bonzai!

DJ Dan is still the man

Who: DJ Dan

What: Foundation

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Tuesday, Feb. 22

Within the nebulous non-entity of electronic music there are the "DJ’s-DJs" and there are the "DJs of the people."

The former maintains the respect of their astute, progressive-minded peers but often it’s at the risk of alienating the dancing masses.

The latter plays to the delight of Joe-partygoer but runs the risk of fronting rehashed signature sounds and becoming – gasp – boring!

In a world that disregards the star system of mainstream music the standouts are the DJs and producers that have their foot in both pools – constantly progressing sonically but at the same time maintaining a familiar and welcoming presence behind the decks.

Long-time West Coast DJ Dan is one such superstar – deemed "the DJ’s DJ" by one interviewer on electronic music website Resident Advisor, who later notes how he "defies the conventional wisdom that the DJ has to retain a kind of standoffish mystique."

The balance has sustained a healthy career since the early ’90s, making his name in the Los Angeles rave scene and migrating north to hook up with the Bay Area Funky Tekno Tribe, a group influential in the creation of a distinct West Coast house sound in the mid-1990s.

Over the past decade, along with a healthy career as a globetrotting club and festival DJ, he has racked up an impressive list of production credits, remixing for Keoki, Groove Armada, A Tribe Called Quest and Orgy.

DJ Dan has also racked up an impressive discography of signature albums purveying his brand of beats laced with enough funky basslines and jangly guitar and electro samples to make house music’s detractors take another listen and thrill the already converted. The most recent is Accelerate , a two-CD effort released last fall.

Despite his recording successes he brushes off pinpointing his specific sound.

"Music is harder to categorize now than it's ever been," he has said. "I don't think it should be classified. It should be based on if it's good or not. A good record is a good record."

Dan takes to the decks at the weekly Foundation club night this Tuesday at Garfinkel’s. For advance tickets contact Dirty Beats Records at 604-935-3135.

Bassnectar infuses the GLC

Who: DJ Lorin

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC)

When: Thursday, Feb. 24

Tickets: $30

Enigmatic San Francisco-based DJ Lorin brings his deep bass breaks and ethnic-sampled psy-hop grooves back to Whistler on Thursday, Feb. 24.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Lorin’s energy behind the decks is more rock ’n’ roll than aloof DJ-demigod. It’s a throwback to his younger days as a grindcore/black metal guitar player, which seems worlds away from the ethereal electronica he plays now.

"It was hard, dark, expressive music," Lorin has said. "But I have always been a gentle, kind-hearted person. I just like my music to be extremely deep."

That music is Bassnectar, the name of his label/production house and a life philosophy expounded on his Web site, which he also uses as a platform for his strong political beliefs subversive to the current U.S. administration. The sentiments often take up in the music, with one of the artist’s best-known tracks sampling the fiery Saul Williams speech Not In Our Name.

Lorin last visited Whistler in November, 2003 to spin for Soul Kitchen at Tommy Africa’s but most Whistler party people know him by his transcendent sets at events like Burning Man and Shambhala. An admitted prankster who will throw down the unexpected, he is also known to ask the dance floor if they would prefer the set "fast and crazy, or slow and grindy."

What he has planned for Whistler on Thursday is anyone’s guess.

Opening for Lorin at the Garibaldi Lift Co. are DJ Hoola Hoop from Nelson B.C. and local DJ Milton. For tickets call 604-966-4744.