Archive for March, 2006

The New Life of the Party: Soulstream Networks

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What with the demise of so many local house music venues in recent years, it’s a wonder Toronto hasn’t completely managed to stick a fork in the progressive dance movement. While some may consider house music a hangover from more innocent premillenial times others feel the itch of that phantom limb even more profoundly now that this city keeps amputating clubs that cater to those upstart soul sounds. Some even have enough audace to try and change the status quo.
Well as of last week, our fair city got its very own dance dance revolution when its premiere source for soulful, funky, underground house music got a facelift and a relaunch– and Soulstream Networks has never looked better. It’s always sounded great though, broadcasting for the past two years with a wide variety of DJs streaming wicked raw vibes 24-7 through your computer speakers via realplayer or sending sparks through those lil white earbuds as podcasted archive shows available from the website or through an iTunes subscription.
Soulstream Networks is the brianchild of some of The city’s best and brightest (and unheralded though that’ll soon change with the launch of the companion record label SSR) musicicans and producers: Martino Lozej, Marco Marquez and Adam ‘Suges’ Sugar. Their passionate commitment to this project and zeal for exposing those with discerning tastes to a underreprestented style of music ensures the quality of content on Soulstream Networks is always high. Soulstream’s commitment to the cutting edge is beginning to attract DJs from New York to New Zealand to contribute guest mixes and regular shows covering a wide variety of underground music styles from deep house to d’n’b, dub to disco, oldschool hip hop and even jazz for the purists with a Sunday night show hosted by Martino.

The Soulstream mission is simple: build a new, grass roots dance movement from the street on up. Getting organised and get down, the Future looks bright for the lads at Soulstream. Watch this space for updates on Soulstream live events and record releases from SSR artists.

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BETA rocks!

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I've been climbing for a few years now. I love the sport, find the culture totally fascinating and i'm still only just acquiring the lingo.

When I started climbing MEC was (and still is) the place to go for most of my gear. Luckily though, i've had the fortune of climbing at the same place as Dave Smith, part of the braintrust and creative team behind BETA clothing. Dave has been climbing forever and knows better than most that climbers have special needs when it comes to the fit of their swag. He's also got a great sense of style and design so BETA gear easily makes the transition from climbing gym to the street.

BETA clothes are super-functional– just ask any climber who's had an average t-shirt ride up over their harness while stretching for a hold on the crux of a 5.10+ why a little extra length is a good thing. They're also totally stylish– i almost feel guilty climbing in my fave UPS brown BETA tee.

Aside from the great styles and colours, BETA is committed to using amazing fabrics (the cotton for their shirts are the softest i've ever come across) and offers them at reasonable prices. Their attention to detail is outstanding and their commitment to customer satisfaction is second to none (Dave'll always bring a couple of sizes of whatever clothes you order just to make sure what you order fits).

I've always understood beta in climbing terms to mean the advice your belayer gives you while you're climbing. According to the website, BETA is actually an acronym that stands for 'Beyond Everything Tried Already'. Whether or not that's true, it does describe the philosophy behind the merch.

BETA clothing is available in at a few select locations and online.

the opening salvo

only in the past 6 hours have i discovered a dirth of toronto-inspired weblogs but hopefully i can add to the pixel riot with a slightly different spin on all things four-one-sixish.