Rave Alarm

DJs are doing live shows from a hidden apartment below a Toronto tattoo parlour

Below a tattoo parlour on Queen St. West, DJ Virus and MC Gobstoppa host the live internet show Rave Alarm.

They invite ravers, guest DJs and friends who bring positive energy to a heavily graffitied basement studio where they spin classic hardcore tracks on vinyl.

Rave Alarm's mixes and discussions focus on music from the 90s and early 2000s. They crack jokes while a small audience listens in-person and online.

They invite DJ friends for guest mixes and shout out raves happening around the city.

Virus and Gobstoppa are two longtime members of the Toronto rave scene, with many stories to tell. They have kept this monthly stream steady for nearly a year.

It's grown into a gathering place for oldheads and young ravers to enjoy tunes and conversations outside of a renegade rave or club environment.

Virus and Gobstoppa love to discuss what 'true rave' means to them. These sounds include oldskool, jungle, gabber, happy hardcore, j-core, breakbeat and nu rave.

It's all smiles as the DJs pull records from crates on the floor next to them while a red siren flashes between two painted boomboxes.

While many lockdown-era virtual events once flourished, many have died off in favour of real nightlife.

Rave Alarm began in early 2022 and keeps the energy up while friendly faces hang out and the Twitch chat cheers during the drops. Across three hours on a Thursday evening, it gives a taste of what it was like to party when electronic music was still relatively fresh.

Recurring segments include Gobstoppa's 'Rhyme of the Month' and themes centred on very specific genres no longer heard on today's mainstream EDM outlets.

A key Rave Alarm aesthetic choice is stitching in camcorder footage of parties and old (often German) television commercials that encapsulate the golden age of dance music.

The next Rave Alarm sounds off mid-March. You can watch Rave Alarm live on Twitch and find the archive on YouTube.

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