Opinion
3 min

From the Speakers

Deko-ze gets to know The Robotic Kid

In this edition of From the Speakers, Deko-ze gets to know The Robotic Kid. Credit: Darryl Mabey

DJ Robotic Kid presents his top-10 tracks of the moment

Hometown: Toronto

Bio: DJ The Robotic Kid — aka Michael Edward Barry — has been making people dance for over a decade. In the early 2000s, he played in Toronto’s self-described gay-folk-church ensemble The Hidden Cameras and later in post-punk duo The Torrent. An unwitting fan of Giorgio Moroder from a very young age, The Robotic has developed a sound that he calls robot disco. With DJ John Caffery, The Robotic Kid hosts the monthly Mighty Real party at the Round club in Toronto’s Kensington Market. He also plays regularly at the Black Eagle.

1. Bottin – “All for One (featuring Rodion)” 

Bottin has been around for a while and is associated with the stylish Italian Do It Better record label. This track is a good example of what I mean when I say “robot disco.” It’s from Bottin’s recent full-length, entitled Punica Fides and available on Bear Funk.

2. Joey Negro vs Horse Meat Disco – “Candidate for Love (Horse Meat Disco Mix)” 

A lot of people count Horse Meat Disco’s recent appearance at the Green Space party in Cawthra Park the highlight of Toronto’s massive WorldPride festival. This Joey Negro collaboration shows Horse Meat’s ability to take the listener on a journey, moving through a couple of different moods within the space of one track. Horse Meat Disco’s Jim Stanton plays with my DJ chum at Black Eagle this Labour Day weekend — a party not to be missed by lovers of soulful, classic and cosmic disco grooves.

3. Todd Terje – “Delorean Dynamite (Disco Mix)” 

Norwegian producer Todd Terje has been producing fantastic tracks with arpeggiated bass and ebullient synths (think Giorgio Moroder, Cerrone) for years now. This track is pure Back to the Future-era ’80s gloss. It pumps up a room and gets everyone feeling kind of ridiculously glamorous.

4. Fort Romeau – “I Knew (Original Mix)” (Live at Robert Johnson)

This track has a very simple, repetitive vocal sample and an ultra-smooth deep-house vibe. It catches you early somewhere in your middle region and has you jacking by track’s end.

5. Carter Bros – “Run (Original Mix)” 

I was turned on to this track by a couple of boys from New York — the handsome and skilled DJ duo known as The Carrie Nations. This is another repetitive, loopy kind of track that is pure peak-hour house magic.

6. Prince Dred – “Freak Like Me featuring Bunny Sigler (DJ Dan Mix)” 

The soulful R&B vocal rides over top a funky bassline on this sexy jammer from American club veteran DJ Dan. I often play tracks with no vocals or with only one little phrase repeated over and over during the track. It’s nice to pull out a jam with a bit more in terms of lyrical content. This also always gets everyone moving.

7. Funk the System – “Miss Rio

Recently discovered this label called Punch Out Recordings. All their record covers seem to feature pixelated Nintendo-style imagery. The track bounces back and forth between a disco/R&B sample heavy on horns and a colder, driving tech-house part. Me likey.

8. Pezzner – “All Night Dancing Party (Justin Martin Mix)” 

Two more West Coast American producers, David Pezzner and Justin Martin, team up to produce a spring/summer fave for 2014. This one is good for amping up the energy in the room, starting simple enough and then letting loose a sample and ending with an amazing, unexpected crescendo.

9. Grand Corporation – “Wonder & Amazement featuring Jeremy Glenn (Deetron Vocal)” 

Jeremy Glenn recently rocked our monthly Mighty Real party at the Round in Kensington Market, and I believe he is a local star on the rise. His warm, smooth vocal soars overtop an epic and rousing Ibiza beach-dancing kind of vibe. It’s not as recent as the other tracks I’ve picked, but I just had to include it because I love it so.

10. Catz ’n Dogz – “Booty Comes First (Original Mix)” 

This track is good for the later hours, after people have had a few drinks. The Polish duo Catz ’N Dogz are masters of bass, beefing up a classic warehouse party sound with contemporary tricks. A new take on an old acid-housey kind of trick.