D-monic on The Local Breaks Scene

The biggest hitch with the local scene is the dire need for new breaks fans. While some people love the intimacy of Toronto's scene, seeing the same dedicated fans every week and the friendly atmosphere, this can also prevent Toronto breaks from flourishing.

Local DJ/label boss/promoter D-monic explains the simple logic: "I know for a fact that everyone that hears breaks for the first time loves them. We need for the people already in the scene to go find new people and bring them out to experience a breaks night. Once people start doing that, you'll notice a HUGE improvement in the scene. A bigger base means more parties. More parties means more variety. More parties also mean more opportunities for new DJs to play. There is a bigger picture that many promoters, DJs, and partygoers don't see. Getting new people into the scene means a better scene for everyone on every level."

Prior to the new millennium, it was commonplace for the average partier to hear many different genres under one roof and come to appreciate them all. But since the crackdown on large illicit parties, attendance plummeted from 12,000 to 1,000 within months and nightclub owners now had a stake in what was played at their clubs. Now segmented audiences have to choose between all-breaks, all-jungle, all-house, or all-trance events, etc. At the rare large event, the breakers are in the breaks room, the junglists in the jungle room, house fans in the house room. "Also gone is the open-mindedness," D-monic sighs. "Now people will go to these nights expecting to hear the music that gets played there, and if there's any variation, then people get upset." In an ideal atmosphere, partygoers would bask in their unity as "electronic music lovers" and would appreciate all music, instead of separating into different groups.

Another problem D-monic specifies is that many Torontonians don't really know what "breaks" are. "With all the big progressive guys playing breaks on a regular basis, the average club-goer thinks of breaks as 'The new house', or 'The new trance'. So when they see a 'breaks' event advertised, they don't know what that is and won't go".

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Compared to other breaks scenes, Toronto is currently situated somewhere in the middle. Barring Rennie Pilgrim's monthly Fabric night or Meat Katie's occasional event, breaks parties in London UK average about 200. On the flipside, average Florida breaks events pull in 1,000 on a weekday! D-monic stays focused and motivated by retaining the memory of Pure Phunk's 1 Year Anniversary party at System, which drew 1,000 people, holding down the record for the highest attendance at a local all-breaks event. "I want desperately to return the breaks scene in Toronto to the state that it once was," he confesses, flipping through the photos of a more thriving time.

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