A few weeks ago we saw Cafe Unwind pop up just outside Kensington Market where the Tortilliera used to be and I was excited to see what it was all about. Liz and I used to always get tacos as it was just a few doors down from our house so we were craving a new spot to walk a few metres to in a lazy morning. Today we finally tried out the food at Unwind and I’ve got to say it’s an instant favourite.
In a small corner lot at Leonard and Wales, this unassuming and inviting cafe has a variety of things on the menu but centres around their sandwiches and coffee. Today we tried the prosciutto and brie with fig mayonnaise and organic greens. We had each got different bread, but both agree the white bun was perfect while the whole grain left a bit to be desired. But the ingredients were fresh, tasty and combined some unique flavours for an overall amazing sandwich.
Their americano coffee was sufficiently strong but flavorful without being too bitter. Perfect compliment to the cranberry and almond biscotti, which is recommended if they’ve got it.
The inside of the cafe has been redone nicely and has a really relaxing feel but we sat down outside on the patio which is furnished with found wood and fair trade materials.
Unwind’s menu is quite expansive considering the size of the place, so I have no doubt that everyone would be able to find something they would like. Salads, muffins, and other deserts are displayed in a chilled case at the front. The coffee is made fresh individually with their fabulous espresso machine and the staff are really nice.
If you’re in the area, check out Cafe Unwind at 68 Wales Avenue and let me know what you think.. highly recommended.
Well, here’s a bit of a strange one.. Andy C is in the top 10 for a contest and the interweb has banded together to ensure that he rises to the top. But this isn’t your typical contest you’d expect Andy, RAM Records executive and #1 Drum and Bass DJ in the world, to be excelling at.
(Currently #7 at the time of this post)
Currently, Next.co.uk is hosting an online contest to vote for a series entitled “Make Me The Next Model 2011.” There is some fierce competition, such as Roland..
(Currently #1 at the time of this post)
… but is it possible we may just see Andy C trade in the plaid shirt and trucker hat for a pair of fitted jeans, designer top and some catwalk lessons to prepare him for his next endeavour? It’s up to you, fellow interneters. Vote Andy C for UK’s next top model now… You know you want to.
Well, the World Wide Developer Conference 2011 is today at 1pm EST and fanboys / haters are all frothing at the mouth to see what magical / terrible details Apple’s Steve Jobs will discuss. Strap on your suspenders, polish your pocket protectors and get ready! Click here for Engadget’s live blog, which is highly recommended.
What we do know about today is that we know absolutely nothing and that’s the way Apple likes it. However, we can reasonably assume that iCloud, Apple’s cloud based media system, is going to be front and centre and this may be the key to many of the new features we may see in iOS 5 and likely Mac OS X Lion. Another leak that’s been making the rounds is the extent to which Twitter may be integrated into the iOS mobile operating system. Having become more involved in Twitter recently, I see great potential to this but the main criticism is how it will work and if non-users will be able to completely opt out of its inclusion in menus, etc. Based on the way MobileMe and other optional features are integrated, I assume that Twitter won’t be smacking you in the face with every push of the screen, but will be neatly available for a variety of functions if the user enables it.
As far as my wishlist goes, I’d like to see a better notification system integrated into iOS, which is of course a big wish for most making their demands known across the internet. Recently, some real steam has been put behind this idea as Peter Hajas, the creator of MobileNotifier – the highly popular Cydia tweak – suddenly resigned from his activities as main developer for the system and has now reportedly taken an internship with Apple. So while we may not see a MobileNotifier type addition to iOS 5, we now have a jailbreak dev infiltrating Apple to hopefully bring a positive spin on the notification system.
Another thing I’m looking forward to is the possibility of more animated icons, or as Jan-Michael Cart describes them, “dynamic icons.” In the following concept video posted on Cart’s blog, he explores the possibility of app updates being displayed directly on the icons, which can be zoomed out into quarter-page sized widgets with more detailed information. I think this is a fabulous idea and maintain’s iOS’s aesthetically pleasing design with added functionality.
Finally, with just moments to go until WWDC kicks off, Joshua Topolsky of This Is My Next is reporting of an Apple messaging system service that may just put a stake in RIM’s heart. Could it be true? Tune in to your favourite tech news site now!
The year was 1995, I was 11 years old and I walked to HMV at Promenade Mall to pick up the hottest track of the moment, Robert Miles’ “Children” off his Dreamland CD. I had been saving my change and finally had enough for the CD single, so I picked it up and took it back to my house to play for my best friend. Needless to say, we listened to the CD over, and over, and over again until we burned right through it and he had to pick up a copy of his own.
Take a listen and enjoy..
“Children” and the Dreamland album were released by Arista Records in the USA/North America, which has played home to an eclectic mix of artists, including Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Milli Vanilli, and Toni Braxton in the early years as well as Avril Lavigne, Pink, Outkast and Usher more recently. The song was said to have forged a path for a new subgenre called “dream house,” which is evidence that segregating music into micro genres is not just a trend we’re seeing based on the saturation of the dance music scene. The interesting part about the creation of this subgenre is the story behind it though. Miles’, along with other top DJs at the time, took at a stand to create a more relaxing style of music to wind down the evenings due to a sharp increase in deaths experienced in Italy in the early 90s where young adults would be driving home from the raves and fall asleep or crash due to drug/alcohol intoxication (according to Wikipedia, the number was close to 2000 deaths since the beginning of the decade).
Unfortunately the history and context of this tune hits close to home with me in a strikingly eerie way as the best friend I used to listen to this song with when we were children ended up with a similar fate to those who this song was written for.
No matter who you are, if you were alive in the mid 90s and listened to the radio or music TV, the unmistakable sound of the piano riff in this song will surely engage you. Over the years many songs were created in this same vein – many that are superiorly produced and have much more substance to the composition – but none really come close to the pulsating simplicity of Robert Miles’ “Children.”
Nothing much to say here. Beat does the talking, especially if you’re as big a deftones fan as I am.
Credit to BullyJam.com for tipping me off to this.
Disclaimer: I’m not an Apple fanboy, I just happen to like their mobile platform iOS. I’m writing this from an Acer and my home PC is an MDG. But last week I picked up an iPad 2 as a partner to my iPhone 4 for the simple reason that I want to view Slingbox streamed from my TV on a bigger, better screen and wanted something a bit more up-to-date as far as a portable device goes. This isn’t a review of the iPad, but it’s clearly head and shoulders above the competition for many reasons. The one place it is lacking is in its refusal to support Flash. Now I don’t really care about Flash, but I was pleasantly surprised when discovering Splashtop Remote as now I can view Flash content right from iPhone or iPad!
Splashtop Remote is a remote desktop app that works much like the rest of them: download app on your mobile device and have the requisite streaming program on your computer(s) of choice. Check it out in action and I’ll explain the benefits after the break..
So basically, Splashtop Remote gives you access to your PCs but the difference between this and other systems I’ve tried (such as GoToMyPC) is that the framerate is much better. So much that you can stream live video, such as Flash or Divx (hint: icefilms), or even play games over the air! At first, the system was only enabled for WIFI access, but in their recent 18.104.22.168 update they’ve enabled the “experimental feature” of 3G/internet remote access. I’ve tried it on both my iPhone and iPad and there is a fraction of a second of delay. Works awesome!
The best part? The desktop application is free and the iPhone and iPad apps are ON SALE for $0.99 and $2.99 respectively.
Okay, fine.. I’ll mention it.. Also available for Android and WebOS. :P
Splashtop Remote is the obvious choice for those who want to explore their media remotely and can be an incredible tool for professionals who want to access their work on their mobile devices. GoToMyPC charged $10 a month and there is no monthly charge for Splashtop after paying for the apps. Obvious choice, amirite?
Enjoy, and let me know how it works for you!
Alix Perez has to be one of the freshest, most innovative young producers the Drum and Bass scene has encountered this decade and it’s been a long time coming for his return to Toronto. The last time he was here, Empire Productions and and our Two-Tone Promotions outfit brought him to Inside for the Blacklight Ball and boy did it go off! So I’m glad that Element5 has put together a flawless night of music at a brand new venue called Faces at 224 Richmond Street West in Toronto.
Headlining the night along with Mr. Perez is a fantastic line-up of local talent. On the main level, you’ve got Lush B2B Diligence which is reminiscent of the Empire days and Gremlinz B2B NC-17 which is a hot pile of sweet sweet darkness I’ve been waiting to see for a while. Suffice to say that the main room is going to be nuts with nuff trainspotting a gwan. I expect all DJs to pull out all the stops as far as new releases and forthcoming deliciousness.
On the rooftop patio (YES, FINALLY AN AWESOME ROOFTOP!) we’ve got my boys Mowgli and Mr. Charlton most likely going through the full gamut of cutting edge electronic music in addition to PluggedNotThugged.com‘s Mandelephant and Billionaire.
Hosting the night are Trajady and Bandit, so you know the mic situation is sorted properly.
Take my advice and DO NOT miss this event. I haven’t been out in ages, but I will most definitely be reporting for duty for this one.
Truth be told, I couldn’t recall hearing of Hotflush Recordings until a post by El Guapo (guapica.tumblr.com) on Torontojungle.com featuring this very mix. With so much incredible and terrible music out there, it’s increasingly hard to keep track of everything and I’ve relied on internet radio to keep abreast of new music these days. As a result, I haven’t really paid attention to track names, or labels, or anything, which is a massive shift from collecting dubs from all the latest local and international producers as I did a few short years ago and priding myself on knowing just about everything there was to know about the music I was listening to. But taking a step back allows me to just listen to music and appreciate it for it is and what it isn’t, like I did with Hotflush Podcast #15.
The opening track is a beautiful yet simple piece of 4/4 by Toronto’s own Kevin McPhee. This one’s a bit of a throwback in that it sounds so old but is brand new at the same time. The beat is rigid and yet practically disjointed as the tune crackles and pops with a soft vocal. As sweet and soulful as this song is, it sets no example for what’s to come as every track seems to get better and better, while being completely independent of the tune before it.
Next up is a bit of a darker club style house tune with a bendy bassline with a rolling vocal “We Be The Infamous.” Benjamin Damage and Doc Daneeka’s “Infamous” is suitably hypnotizing; one of those pull your hat down, dance in the zone type of beats.
“… To hide my, to hide my, to hide my, to hide my, to hide my, to hide my, to hide my face..” Fabulous brand new tune by Seafloor entitled Bouse enters the mix as a low pass filter brings up the repeating vocal almost as if it’s being unearthed from a world beneath us. Real tribal feel to this with off beat rhythm and truly satisfying syncopation. This is the type of stuff that makes me love producers that experiment with house music without listening to what’s going on elsewhere.
Now, I won’t ruin the experience for you but that’s a taste of the type of shit you’re going to hear on this one and overall I have to say it’s my favourite mix of the minute. One that you can play on repeat and it feels like it just never ends. Do yourself a favour and check this out for yourself; and make sure you turn the bass way up!
What do you think?
Kevin McPhee – Your Side (Dub)
Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka – Infamous (50 Weapons)
Seafloor – Bouse (Dub)
Braille – Riverbed (Forthcoming Hotflush)
Sepalcure – Your Love (Braille Needs It Remix) (Dub)
Krystal Klear – We’re Wrong (Dub)
Machinedrum – ddd (Forthcoming Lucky Me)
Darling Farah – Grace (Dub)
Unlisted – Unlisted (Dub)
Julio Bashmore – Batty Knee Dance (3024)
Jack Dixon – By My Side (Brownswood Electric)
Braille – A Meaning (Forthcoming Hotflush)
Gugu – Rockabyebaby (DVA Records)
Addison Groove – Make Um Bounce (Tectonic)
Rainbow Arabia – Blind (Salva Remix) (?)
Obey City – Snickers (Dub)
Roska – Abrupt (Hotflush)
Virgo – Going Through Life (Rush Hour)
Braille – The Year 3000 (Rush Hour)
Unlisted – Unlisted (Dub)
Graphics – D-Transition (?)
Hi, my name is Ian.
When I was a kid, I used to read tons of books. My mother told me she used to find me asleep with literally a pile of books around me, which is ironic because now I can’t even finish a book I started two years ago. As I grew up, I felt like I would always want to write a book but, truth be told, my life isn’t that interesting so I suppose that’s why I’m starting this blog. Not to say this is going to be an uninteresting pile of crap, but I just wouldn’t call it a literary masterpiece in the slightest.
I’m 27 years old now, have a loving girlfriend of 8 years (as of next Tuesday) named Lizard, operate the family employment agency business and have an eclectic bunch of interests that I feel passionate about and will subsequently write about. Most topics will stem from interests I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and some have been developed later into my life. The main interest I’ll explain to you off the bat is my love for all kinds of music and how that came about.
First, to explain the name of the blog. I’m “darksideflow”.. yeah, no story behind that except that it was my moniker as a DJ in the Toronto Drum & Bass scene for just over 4 years as I gained a name for myself booking, promoting and performing at events around the GTA. Along with my partners Chris and Matt at West-End Productions in the early years, and Drei and Pat at Two-Tone Promotions in the later ones, we brought some of the best DJs and producers in the business pushing boundaries and not settling for the status quo.
DJing and promoting professionally was a natural progression for me as I was making techno mix tapes with an old Technics turntable, CD player connected by a line-out, and a newer turntable that my parents bought me along with a 6 channel mini mixing board from Radio shack from the age of 11. My brother (2 years younger) and I used to use a CB radio to broadcast out to all the truckers in the area, or so we thought.. In all likelihood, absolutely no one was listening as not many truckers go through Thornhill and I’m fairly certain nobody else had a CB radio in the area.
Noticing my passion for music and the arts, I was enrolled into Baythorn Arts Elementary as my parents tried to encourage and cultivate the talent I had. I was assigned to the Alto Saxophone in grade 7 and became quite good at it, performing for the school and competing at Kiwanis festivals around Ontario. Our band was one of the best in the province and learning music theory gave me a really good basis for my wide range of music interests as I grew up. I pursued music at Arts York at Unionville Highschool for grade 9 but decided to go back to my local highschool of Westmount C.I. But taking the bus to and from Unionville from Thornhill exposed me to a group of friends, Simon, Josh and Matt, and together we formed “Crackerjack System,” a metal/rapcore band that featured myself screaming my lungs out. There were various incarnations of the band which followed including other members Scooter, Danny and Roy, but throughout it all we performed in Toronto, Thornhill, Newmarket, Oshawa and other places opening for a few pretty big bands. The pinnacle of our music career was opening for Kittie at the massive Sega Playdium video game arcade in downtown Toronto. At that point, I would have never guessed that a few years later I’d be performing at the same venue with nothing but a bag of records and CDs except the place would be much different and called Republik.
After re-realizing my passion for electronic music and DJ culture, I got involved in promoting with Empire Productions and I attribute my growing success to Ryan Ruckus and Tones, who ran Empire and also gave me my first shot at the absolutely legendary System Soundbar LOADED events. It all grew from there and by the end of it I had rotating residencies at Guvernment complex and Footwork, played and ran nights at virtually every popular club in the city within the scene, and contributed to a wildly successful run of events with our own Two-Tone Promotions at Inside Nightclub. However, with the closing of Inside, so came an end to a good run for me and I found myself taking a step back to really enjoy music again on a personal level.
My aim for this blog is partly to give me an outlet to post music that really defines my loves for beats, but also to discuss and be critical of those beats to ensure that I, myself, don’t become stagnant in my preferences and always push myself to seek out great music, whether it be old or new. There will be no boundaries here; don’t think genre or style, think texture, feeling and BPM.. and expect to see a lot more than electronic music too.
Hope you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to post your comments, whether you love or hate what I’m posting or talking about.