THE PARTY: SCRATCH By the time hockey-crazed fans arrive in Saskatoon for the finals of the World Juniors Championship, the city's nightlife may be spinning to a new beat. Neil Malik's Scratch restaurant and nightclub opened last month and is already turning heads in Toon Town (dinner reservations are a must).
The venue combines Malik's love of food and music: Start the night off with a Middle-Eastern-inspired menu of tapas, then let the DJs (both local and far-flung) take you into the morning. "It's really cool to see people so amped on this place," he says. "What we're doing is pretty new to Saskatoon … I cannot wait to keep building this scene." Scratch Restaurant Nightclub: 215 2nd Ave. S., Saskatoon; 306-477-3070; twitter.com/scratchclub.
THE MUSIC Resident DJ Mike "The Gaff" is one-half of the team that hosts The Get Together every Friday night. While the locals remain a constant, the guest DJs are a revolving door of Canada's finest (Vancouver's The Freshest Kids play New Year's Eve) and a growing number of international artists checking out Saskatoon's buzz.
The Gaff, who likes to play "funk, disco, soul, breakbeats, hip-hop and dance music all cut up, scratched and remixed live," breaks down what you can expect at Saskatoon's newest party:
- Jeanne and The Darlings - Soul Girl "She's not a soul man, she's a soul girl."
- DJ Nu-Mark featuring Chali 2na - Comin' Thru Jurassic 5's DJ Nu-Mark plays Scratch Dec. 18.
- Wale featuring Lady GaGa - Chillin' (Skratch Bastid Remix) "Bastid uses a bunch of classic breaks to make this one."
- Marvin Gaye - Calypso Blues (The Gaff Remix) "Marvin Gaye doing Nat King Cole songs from the early sixties. I heard it and knew I could make it into a track for the dance floor."
- Neighbour and Spilt Milk - Get With This "Neighbour's a real talented multi-instrumentalist/producer."
- Kraak and Smaak - Squeeze Me (A Skillz Remix) "A Skillz makes some of the best music out right now."
- Quantic Soul Orchestra - Pushin' On (Rough as Nuts Mix by Audit) "Audit likes to make mid-to-up-tempo hip-hop instrumentals."
- Awol One and Factor featuring Tash and E-Swift - Waste The Wine "Factor lives here. ... This song is great!"
- Fort Knox Five - The Party Pushers (Smalltown Romeo Remix) "Fort Knox's music perfectly describes what the night is all about."