Ronnie Ferszt is a busy man. After years of promoting house music via his infamous Escape warehouse parties and weeklies at RPM, Fluid, Buzz and Industry (Ferszt being a part-owner of the latter), he formed the Most Wanted Entertainment agency two-and-a-half years ago to promote Toronto DJs and take the music to the next level. With a roster including Kenny Glasgow, Peter & Tyrone and Chicago's Cajmere (a.k.a. Green Velvet), Most Wanted was soon contacted by others seeking representation. Ferszt and his staff of four now work with some of the top names in the biz, handling North American bookings for DJs and producers such as Derrick Carter, Erick Morillo, Ian Pooley, the Stickmen, Bob Sinclair, Paul Walker, Dave Clarke, Grooverider, Aphrodite and Freaky Flow & Flipside.
"I think Most Wanted has helped to put Toronto on the map as a mecca of dance music in North America," Ferszt says proudly. "When American promoters are calling Toronto rather than New York to get many of the biggest DJs in the world, they know something is going on up here."
Ferszt recently began a weekly called For Those Who Know..., Wednesdays at Tonic. Collaborating with club owner Jimmy Lightning, as well as Paul Walker and Evil P, Ferszt has been presenting top local and international house and techno DJs for a constantly growing crowd of those in the know. For this Wednesday's (Oct. 20) installment, the spotlight shines exclusively on T-dot.
"I want to offer a different special event every week, and I had to show people that we can do that with our own," says Ferszt. "People will see and hear that Toronto talent is just as good as, or better than, international artists."
Proving the point will be two of Toronto's most beloved label-runnin' producer-DJ duos, the Stickmen and Peter & Tyrone, each playing two-hour sets on four turntables. It's a treat to hear the Stickmen on home turf, as they're constantly touring, and to catch the massively popular Peter & Tyrone in a more intimate locale. As an added bonus, groovin' tech-house producer Vince Ailey will perform a live P.A. via sampler, synths and mixing board. Mark Oliver and Paul Walker will also mix things up in the back room. For Those Who Know... continues weekly, with Cajmere confirmed for Halloween week and Paul Oakenfold and Dave Clarke promised for November and December.
On Friday (Oct. 15), promoter Junior Palmer offers a special edition of his super-successful soulful house weekly, Phat Black Pussykat. Coming to Roxy Blu for his first-ever T.O. appearance is New York's Roland Clark, not only a respected garage and house producer, but also the voice featured in Armand Van Helden's massive hit "Flowerz." Clark will be on a bill that also features Nick Holder, Joe Rizla & Trini and Kevin Johnson.
Hold tight Saturday night. First, mega-popular house music producer, remixer and DJ David Morales drops into Industry for a full-on six-hour set. Matt C will spin whenever the decks are free. Then Lifeforce brings the Moonshine Over Canada tour to Jet with a bill that includes some of the Moonshine label's most popular producers and creators of mix CDs. DJ Dan drops his magic alongside the ever-popular funkmeister John Kelley (High Desert Soundsystem) plus Dara, Micro and break-laden Cirrus. Locals include Tim Patrick, Stretch and Hooker, Big League Chu, Dmonic, Robb G, Sniper and Mystical Influence. Finally, Metatronic presents a more cozy deep 'n' funky house affair called Leisure, at Weave. Jet-setting DJs include Innerlife, Munich/T.O.'s X-tian, Sasha, Jason and guests.
Original, internationally flavoured trance takes over the Opera House Wednesday (Oct. 20) for an all-ages affair featuring the U.K's infamous Banco de Gaia with labelmate DJ Cheb i Sabbah, an Algerian now based in San Fran whose beautiful new CD, Shri Durga, places traditional Indian ragas in an experimental and electronic context.