Scene & Heard

SOUND SEEKERS: Zattar guests at Kitchen Party, plus Munson, Carroll, The Ethics, and Jack Pine

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

DJ Zattar, aka Alexandre Mattar


Alexandre Mattar is waxing nostalgic about, well, wax — and a bit of acetate too.

Mattar is known by his DJ handle, Zattar, and as one of the cats that started the good-time monthly dance party called TimeKode.

Zattar been collecting records since he starting DJing a dozen years ago and has, of late, taken a shine to labels such as People’s Potential Unlimited, an American mail-order business that has re-released some boogie-funk records from back in tha day on seven inches.

Zattar took it on as a personal challenge to prepare a new set using only 45s. He will play that mix Friday at Kitchen Party 9, a monthly dance night that, as the name implies, takes the hang-out-by-the-sink house party vibe and transfers it to the neighbourhood pub.

“In the digital age, there’s this appeal for analog forms of knowledge,” Zattar says. He likes the idea of one song from one record. From a crate-management perspective, it’s refreshingly simple: pull, play, and re-file.

There’s also the toy aspect to the format that appeals. “It’s cute and small and it brings to mind those old toy players, like the Fisher-Price model,” he says.

As for Kitchen Party, hosts Jose Palacios and Pawel Skorupski (aka DJs Hobo and Sweet Cheeks) came up with the concept last June. The two were brunching at The Rochester Pub, which does a steady business from the across-the-way government buildings during business hours but attracts only loyal locals on the weekend.

They pitched the idea of hosting a monthly party at the pub. Being tucked behind busy Preston Street, it’s slightly out of the way, yet practically equidistant from the Hintonburg and Centretown neighbourhoods where all their friends live.

Having heard about Zattar’s 45 collection, Palacios and Skorupski invited him in as a guest DJ for this month’s edition. In anticipation of the evening, Mattar prepared this mixcloud mini-jam of new soul and old soul sounds. (Long time Ottawans might recognize the voice off the top. It’s CTV Ottawa’s J.J. Clarke reminding you, in his booming vocal, that “it pays to listen.” That little sample came from an ‘80s-era acetate promotional record known as a sound sheet possibly for CKOY-AM Ottawa, where Clarke was the morning man for five years. A friend gave it to Zattar who finally found a use for it.)

Kitchen Party 9. Friday, March 9. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $5. Rochester Pub, 502 Rochester St..  


  • A lot of people start talking about Jeff Buckley after they hear Claude Munson play. It’s because the songwriter has got that kind of quivering falsetto. Munson, who will release an album on the Ottawa label Up and Up Music later this year, plays a free show at Café Nostalgica on Friday, March 9. 10 p.m.
  • He’s got a drawl that draws comparisons to Tom Waits and nicotine. Ottawa troubadour John Carroll, who recently released the album Everybody Smokes in Hell, plays the Elmdale Tavern (1084 Wellington St. W.) on Saturday, March 10. 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • The Ethics will be joined by a band from Kingston called The Gertrudes — they are positively gang like, given they have 11 members in the band. Those people come together to spin out folk tunes by adding epic layers. Both bands are at Irene’s Pub (885 Bank St.) on Saturday, March 10. 9:30 p.m., $10.
  • Gareth Auden-Hole, aka Jack Pine, plays the afternoon slot Sunday at the Black Sheep Inn (753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield) with his band The Fire. March 11, 4 p.m., $10.