WHAT: Soul Kitchen 8 th Anniversary
WHERE: Tommy Africa's
WHEN: Sunday, April 8
House music has become common place in Whistler nightlife. Any club serious about attracting locals and international guests hosts a house night featuring guest DJs. And anyone who's been around the resort for a few years knows that DJ Czech and Tommy Africa's Soul Kitchen is the leading force on the house scene. In fact, Soul Kitchen is the longest running underground night in North America. While that statistic is a nice number to add to a resume, Czech says it's not enough to go on reputation.
"Actually being a DJ, buying and listening to the music everyday, knowing who's hot or not, it all helps," says Czech.
Working four or five regular nights a week in Vancouver, Czech is privileged to meet some of the world's best DJs and says networking is what it's all about. Czech's contacts can be largely thanked for the bigger names that guest in the Soul Kitchen. DJs that are used to playing to rooms of over 500 will often make an exception for the opportunity to work - and play - in Whistler.
"I guess I'm lucky to have these hook-ups. I travel all over North America as well as Vancouver. And these people I meet on the circuit want to come and play for me, and very inexpensively. I get people who cost $4,000 or $5,000 U.S. to play, and they'll come here for $600. And of course I do the same for them when I go to their cities."
Just as important is bringing in the new and relatively unknown up-and-comers to the wheels of steel. Names, such as Max Graham, that have made a stop in the Kitchen have gone on to climb to the top of the market. Soul Kitchen is an accessible club for younger DJs but provides a positive and enthusiastic crowd due to the loyal Sunday night following.
This year's anniversary guests promise some experienced hard house. DJ Haitus is a hot dish out of Toronto. This rising spinner/producer is seeing particular success with his latest track Space Invader, which is getting mega play across the continent. And fellow Torontonian, DJ Jelo, is no stranger to the resort. At the tender age of 23, his stylings can already be heard on 2 Warz Records. His "I don't give a fuck, let's dance" attitude is gonna keep the Kitchen tasty.
Czech makes no apologies to those who might happen into the Kitchen and find house is not their cup of tea.
"This night has been going for eight years, so I'm not going soft for nobody. There are other bars or clubs you can go to. This night has always been geared to locals. and I want to thank everyone in Whistler for supporting us. The staff at Tommy Africa's is made up of cool, hip kids. They help keep it going too. They're always pumped up when they come to work on Sundays.
"But mostly this is the place where when people get off work, they can come and just hang. And it's a great combination of people who have been here for years and others who move in and out of the area. We all keep the scene rejuvinated."