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Music

Sunday afternoon loft rave ends weekend right

Posted by Brendan Arnott / March 31, 2014

Sunday Afternoon SocialSunday afternoon is an underrated time for a dance party. Living in Osaka, Japan for two years, my first experience to the afternoon loft party came out of necessity - the response of promoters to archaic club laws being enacted that effectively outlawed dancing at night.

But Box of Kittens' Afternoon Social makes a great case for sunlit-dance parties, putting together a seamlessly run event emphasizing a relaxed sense of community. Arriving to friendly staff, a bar serving Caesars and fruit skewers, and an unbelievably gorgeous, winding labyrinthian space at Loft404 (seriously, the bathroom is classier than the entirety of my apartment), the event's coinciding to 2014's first balmy spring afternoon seemed like it couldn't be a coincidence.

Sunday Afternoon SocialGuests were transient between the North and South rooms for the first hour, most walking around transfixed by the beauty of the space. Hugs and warm handshake were plentiful, and a commendable lack of smart phones set the tone.

Sunday Afternoon SocialThe party kicked into gear around 3:30, when opening DJ Nuner provided a vision of summer. Playing Gigamesh's reigned-in edit of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" (which mercifully avoids messing with perfection by simply adding on some additional percussive thump) to a room full of dancers wearing summer dresses was like an aural antidote for seasonal affective disorder.

Sunday Afternoon SocialThe sunlight pouring in through the window perfectly complimented the music, and as I started to move, I remembered that this was probably what I'd be doing at home on a Sunday afternoon as well: dancing to Fleetwood Mac in sunbeams.

The "SECRET INTERNATIONAL GUEST DJ" that the party's invite promised certainly didn't disappoint, with Chicago house legend Gene Farris stepping up to the decks - surrounded by house plants and huge windows, he ran through a gamut of deeply satisfying peak time numbers, transforming line's from Mobb Deep's somber "Shook Ones Part II" into the chorus of throbbing tech-house.

Sunday Afternoon SocialWhen he dropped the Sante remix of Anek's "Come Out and Play", its Warriors-sampling dialogue and deeply satisfying bass drops made an infectious smile spread through the room, with plentiful whistling and polite cheering ringing out throughout the loft.

While Farris moved a now-crowded room of dancers, Gabor provided a chilled-out drum&bass infused house set in the North wing, providing some skittering ambient beats for those who wanted to take it a bit slower. Next to me, an attendee plopped down on the couch and immediately closed their eyes - not asleep, just comfortable enough to drift off into a world of their own - a rarity in the club world.

Sunday Afternoon SocialFollowing Farris' set, as the sun began to slowly wane in the sky, the Box of Kittens crew took to the decks. While Jamie Kidd, Hali, Fabio Palermo, Mike Gibbs will be back next week at Toronto's Foundry festival, opening for Detroit legend Carl Craig, they were in decidedly relaxed, loose-limbed mode, alternating sets with the ease and comfort of folks who've been dancing and DJing together for years.

Sunday Afternoon SocialWhile Box of Kittens are usually associated with techno fare, the mid-90s New York vibe that characterized the party fit perfectly for the space. The emphasis throughout the evening was on deep house that ebbs and flows slowly - tracks indebted to Kerri Chandler and Mood II Swing as well as a host of producers that are likely before this writer's time.

Sunday Afternoon SocialAs I left, I reflected on what a rarity it is to leave a dance party feeling more refreshed than exhausted. The well-curated venue, music and atmosphere make the Afternoon Social series a must-attend for anyone who's a fan of great dance music and getting a good night's sleep afterwards. Long live the Sunday afternoon loft party.

Sunday Afternoon SocialPhotos by Jeff Karpala. Find Brendan Arnott on Twitter.

Discussion

17 Comments

SunnyDay / March 31, 2014 at 11:15 am
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Why you indoors?
Chris CHill / March 31, 2014 at 02:21 pm
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great article, nice to see the more underground events receive some praise aside from the larger commercial events
... a special group of people doing quality events attracting a mature crowd who knows and appreciates good music... and dances!

could we refrain from referring to our culture as "raves"?.. the term and concept has been dead since 98'
testbest / March 31, 2014 at 02:36 pm
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Everyone there looks over 30. borrrrring.
KD replying to a comment from testbest / March 31, 2014 at 03:10 pm
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Well, that's what you get at a grownup party. People in their 30's.

Helps keep the wasted, belligerent undesirables away.
Agreed / March 31, 2014 at 03:53 pm
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... Agreed about the term "rave"
Old / March 31, 2014 at 03:56 pm
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Hey testbest - that's what made the party so good, no diapers.
Bong Man / March 31, 2014 at 04:16 pm
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the term RAVE is dead? why was i not informed...and the whole testbest comment...thank GOD everyone there is over 30...you kids and your pants down to your knees and ball caps on backwards....BOK kills it everytime...thank you for such a great party to all involved..i can't wait till the next one! light it up!
Right replying to a comment from testbest / March 31, 2014 at 04:40 pm
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Thank god no one had to put up with whiny little shits like you. Go back to your all ages club in Burlington and stay there.
rebrthofcool / March 31, 2014 at 04:46 pm
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Sign me up!
AJ replying to a comment from Right / March 31, 2014 at 05:48 pm
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You literally TOOK the words right outta my mouth!!!
Hali / March 31, 2014 at 06:19 pm
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These parties is all about the positivity. So let's be nice, guys! Testbest might not understand what the party is about, but that's totally ok.

And, I actually have very fond memories of my all-ages clubbing experiences! Mind you, that was Club Focus and RPM, but still! :) We all started somewhere, right? Let's not get all elitist. ))

Oh, and thanks so much to BlogTO for the kind words! What a nice little surprise this was. yay.
Kelly / March 31, 2014 at 09:09 pm
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I really need to start going to these.
Coxwell Queen / March 31, 2014 at 09:39 pm
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Brendan:

Not everybody understands house music.
Ray / March 31, 2014 at 11:05 pm
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when is the next party by house of kittens? they said in April?
Alexis / April 1, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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Great article. Can feel the positive vibes in Genna's posh NewYork style loft. Can't wait to be part of the next wave!
Benny / April 1, 2014 at 05:06 pm
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@Ray The BOK boys are together for one more jam before Hal goes back to Berlin. This Saturday at 99 Sudbury...they are playing with Carl Craig!
Sybil / May 16, 2014 at 11:15 am
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Are any of these parties happening again on Sunday afternoons? Would love to check one out!

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