I’m slowly getting back to what’s supposed to be normal life. After spending two weeks blasting my ears out to electronic music in two festivals, it’s now time to give you my impression about this year’s Mutek festival.

Here’s a list of the best and the worst acts this year’s edition had to offer.

The highlights

Plastikman, Amon Tobin and an Echospace mention – Mutek: A music festival for the eyes
Plastikman, along with Amon Tobin, was the most awaited performance of the festival. He didn’t disappoint. Being front row for this visual experience was magical. Had it been for the music itself, his live set wouldn’t have necessarily been anything to remember. (Or to quote a friend, “Mutek:   A music festival for the eyes.”) It was Richie Hawtin’s birthday the next day, and there was a great atmosphere in the crowd, especially when people started to sing Happy Birthday after his set! Honourable mention as well to Echospace, who set the bar high and put us in the mood!

Arp and Organ Mood
The surprise of this festival came on Thursday night during Para_Nocturne at the S.A.T. While trying to escape from the Metropolis, I found exactly what I was needing: experimental yet accessible electronic music. I caught the two last songs of ARP and almost had a tear in my eye. His beautiful music and beautiful visuals made me promise to myself to get his LP as soon as possible. I was also impressed with the Montreal band Organ Mood. Make sure you check out their next concert here!

He’s been around for quite a while now in the Montreal electronic music community. I never paid much attention to him…but now know how big of a mistake that has been. His set during Piknik Elektronik on Sunday literally blew my mind, with the perfect blend of house music to make you dance and get sunburns like there was no tomorrow. Check out his next party on June 17th. The party goes until 4am, and that’s another reason to be happy!

Danuel Tate and Radiq
It was a great way to end the festival. Even with the little energy I had left, I was still able to get in a dancing mood. Danuel Tate from Colbblestone Jazz with a world premiere, and the Japanese Radiq doing his North American debut, both proved that house music can be intelligent and sensible.

Last night a local DJ saved my life
Honourable mention to Jacque Greene, though I missed his first ever live set. Every person I know told me how solid it was. He’s now escaping to Detroit for two weeks to make music with Jimmy Edgar.   Billy Dallessandro also rocked the Savoy room when I darted from the main show at Metropolis because I couldn’t stand Modeselektor.


The lows

Modeselektor and Anstam
Don’t get me wrong. Moderat’s performance blew my mind a couple of years ago, but as much as Mutek sometimes gets too intellectual for me, I think Modeselektor was too easy. During a festival with a mission like Mutek’s, I’d rather not be bouncing around to hip-hop-inspired beats with a thousand   underage kids.

Rocketnumbernine and Four Tet
It was not bad; it was just not what was needed on a Saturday night. After a day spent at Piknik Electronik and three nights of the festival already, these downtempo acts were not the recipe to encourage people to keep going. We all regretted not having napped longer, and I even have a friend who decided to go back to his hotel until the party got started   – which didn’t happen until at least 3am!

Photo from MUTEK Montreal Flickr.

We’re back in Montreal trying to communicate what we experienced in Detroit. No words can describe it. It was like a religious ritual, and I’ve already started the countdown until next year’s festival. The whole experience was magical, and I have to say that for such a big event, the crowd was really communicative, and there was a peaceful, friendly vibe. The free massage station in the V.I.P. area was appreciated, since I’ve never danced so much in my entire life!

Whether it was Kerri Chandler, Soul Clap, Marc Houle, Ambivalent, every stage had something good to bring to the festival, but since we were in Detroit, the Made in Detroit stage was the way to go. It was the loudest stage, and housed artists like Delano Smith, who played killer remixes of Depeche Mode and Claude Young, which made everybody there cry of joy while he was mixing with his mouth. I think that’s where I really understood the meaning of Detroit Techno!

The last day started early at Old Miami. Seth Troxler was organizing an event outdoors with many artists more wasted than the crowd behind the desk. They still managed to mix, so a big shout out at them! Our local DJ Vincent Lemieux made us all proud and was quite impressive, especially when he dropped a vinyl that had been melted by the sun and still managed to mix it!!!

Don’t forget that it was Memorial Day…they had to stop the music in order to let the disco regiment of Windsor fire their guns! My friend actually received a projectile on her, and it was hilarious to hear people starting to have bad trips after that!

We finished our journey in a loft in a ghetto area with Theo Parrish’s friend Marcellus Pittman spinning for a crowd of locals and true Detroit techno lovers. It was a way to say thank you and goodbye. I’m holding my breath until next year’s festival. Being back in Montreal is a bit sad because, like a friend said: “I’ll take a candy raver instead of a hipster anytime. At least candy ravers dance!”

We’ll slowly go back to our routine, but let’s not stop the music yet. Mutek has just started and I’ll be covering it.

So keep reading!



See more photos by Mathieu Grondin from Movement 2011 via facebook.

Sleepless is the best way to describe my weekend, but a good vodka Redbull diet served me well, and kept me moving.

On the second day of Movement, we were able to enjoy the music of Soul Clap, Ricardo Villalobos, 69 (Carl Craig project) and Delano Smith. During the sets there was a tornado warning; I seriously thought “this is it” during the Soul clap set, which added some strange yet funny anxiety to the day!

Villalobos was able to get through the boarder; but that was quite surprising, especially since he was so intoxicated during his set! You can’t change him. We cracked up laughing when he unsuccessfully tried to put drugs in his pockets while deejaying, then he decided to go hide under the DJ table while thousands of people watched.

My interview with Marc Houle from M-nus records, was one of the highlights of the first day. We talked about Project Noise in Montreal, and the noise complaint issue to which he said: “Toronto is there for people who wanted to be quiet, not Montreal!”

Here’s my complete interview:

With a name like yours, it would be easy to think that you’re from Quebec!
I am actually from Windsor, Ontario. I love music from Quebec. Actually a lot of music I listen to is from the early 80’s in Quebec. There’s some obscure music like Echo 83. Nobody knows them, even people from Quebec don’t know who they are.

Really? It’s more like new wave?
It’s more like Kraftwerk, it’s beautiful. It’s three French dudes. It’s one of the best album of all time.

Tell me about how you started deejaying?
It was at Richie Hawtin’ club: 13 Below. I used to play new wave music – it was fun! We had one room, and throughout the club we had televisions with different Ataris; so people were sitting at the stations playing old video games and I’d be playing new wave music that’d go along with it, and they’d bring the cartridge to the DJ booth and trade them for other games. And I’d talk to people: Oh ! You just played Tick tock, it’s beautiful eh! Try Mister Do! You’ll love it!

Now you’re based in Berlin. What made you move there?
When I first started playing at clubs, one of my first shows was in Berlin, and it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen before. People swinging from the ceiling, everyone screaming, it was like a fake movie; it was surreal, but it was normal there. Then you come to North America and everyone is standing there and talking to each other. Usually you can hear people talking about work while you’re deejaying, but there it doesn’t happen. Every time I went back, it just got better and better, and better. I decided that if wanted to stay the same, then North America was fine, but if I wanted to grow as an artist and live as an artist, I had to go to Europe. It’s just so different.

Do you have a new release coming soon?
I don’t think so. It’s tough for me because I just make songs everyday and my goal in the studio is to make songs for Magda dj. She’s always been my inspiration. If Magda likes it, then I know it’s good, because I trust her judgment. If there’s a whole bunch of them that are really good, then I can put out an album, otherwise I just keep making songs, making songs, making songs.

How do you create your music?
I’m lucky enough to have my studio in my house, so if I’m like making eggs or something and I have an idea, I just take the eggs off and run to the studio record really fast. It’s like a game or something, it’s really fun, it’s never like work and if it became work, that would be really sad.

We survived the festival for a second day and were lucky enough to catch Derrick May and Juan Atkins in a tiny bar. Unfortunately the party got busted by the cops around 5 am, but we add plenty of time to dance like there was no tomorrow!

Marc Houle – On It (Original Mix) by E – Music LA

See more photos by Mathieu Grondin from Movement 2011 via facebook.

Covering an electronic music festival is like practicing extreme sports. No matter how careful you are, chances are you’re going to end up wrecked.

The fun started in the car where we pumped up techno music during the 10 hour drive to Detroit for Movement 2011. We were already destroyed the first night but a disco nap gave us force to check the opening party with Cassy. It was taking place in a tiny basement bar, the Oslo. The place was really dark and the sound system was insane! Then we checked out a party where the legendary Juan Atkins was performing. We learned the hard way that bars can’t serve alcohol after 2am. Thanks god we had three bottles of hard liquor in our hotel room and….the swimming pool was still open. Naked gin party was the way to go.

Woke up still drunk to make this interview with Aril Brikha (who turned out to be my favorite artist in the first day of festival).

Hey there! So, you’re playing tonight on the Detroit stage. What’s your set up like?
I use Ableton live and midi controllers.

Will you be playing a lot of your songs today?
I only play my own songs since it’s a live set. I just don’t know what to play yet. It’s a bit nerve wracking. I still have to figure out how to work the new controller I got in Chicago two days ago. It may be stupid or it may be a good thing. The crowd seems to be really open-minded, so it’s a good occasion to try new things! But, at the same time I did my first ever live set in Detroit in 99 so it’s like coming home, and I get nervous because I know a lot of people here.

You just released a track on your own label Art of Vengeance. Do you plan on releasing tracks by other artists or it will remain your own music?
At the moment the reason why I started the label was to get my music out quicker than most labels usually do. At this point I just have too much music that I’ve been sitting on, and actually the thought of releasing other peoples’ music was never on my mind until somebody actually mentioned it. But yeah! If I bump into something I like… and I have friends making music as well. If they have something that doesn’t fit anywhere else and I like it, I’ll put it on the label.

What are the other artists you want to check out during Movement?
Little Dragon, fellow Swedish band and I’m probably going to try to see more discoish artists like Morgan Geist and DJ Harvey (who unfortunately canceled the gig). I’m also going to check Adam Beyer. Hopefully I’ll discover something new actually! That’s what festivals are for…yeah or at least it should be! Rather than going to see the artists you already know.

The whole day was magic. Marc Houle (interview coming soon), Kerri Chandler and Aril Brikha were my highlights. Nothing beats the after party though. Omar-s proved that not only is he one of the best producers of the moment but, he’s also the best dj! The party was taking place in a café so no alcohol was served…except upstairs where there was an illegal free bar with vodka and old Detroit legends like submerge owner. They accepted the little Montreal groupie in their crew. Maybe the tutu helped…at least it gave me free access to the party!

Omar S – day by Dolls 2

Photos by Mathieu Grondin

Today we’re launching the series of Detroit interviews, which will preview the Movement Festival, with Justin Martin of the Dirtybird family.

The San Franciso producer has been around for almost a decade now. He has been booked at Panoramabar, Exit Festival and our own beloved Piknik Electronik. He has been mentored by Claude Vonstroke and was in the first four releases of Dirtybird records. I asked him a couple of questions concerning his background and the DJ lifestyle.

How did your love for music start? Do you come from a musical family?
I come from a very musical family. My parents used to blast everything from classic rock to classical music and my dad’s vinyl collection was pretty insane.

Did you study any instruments?
Both I and my brother Christian took piano lessons from a very young age and I eventually moved on to play the saxophone in quite a few jazz bands growing up.

What was the first concert or DJ set that blew your mind?
One of the first concerts I can remember blowing my mind was going to see A Tribe Called Quest perform with The Roots when I was in high school.  I was a huge Tribe Called Quest fan growing up so I’m glad I got to see them in their prime.

What do you like the most about being part of the Dirtybird family?
It’s just really nice having a group of real friends that are all on the same page musically. Everyone in the crew is very down to earth and I look up to each one of them for different reasons. We truly are a family when it comes down to it and I always find inspiration from them. I feel very lucky to be one of the Dirtybirds.

Can you tell us about a magic moment you had while deejaying?
I played at the Exit Festival in Belgrade for the first time about 5 years ago… it was by far the biggest gig of my career. I was really nervous because I was playing a sunrise set for over 10,000 people right after Roger Sanchez. I remember shortly after I started playing looking up and seeing even the police officers on duty dancing all around the stage, and all my nervous energy just turned to joy. That was probably one of the best gigs of my life.

What was the weirdest thing somebody ever told you while you were mixing?
Someone once asked me if I would have sex with their mother.

What is your favourite track at the moment?
Oh gosh… so many favourites…I really like this track called Sexual by Tanner Ross and Soul Clap. Those guys are making beautiful music!

Mr. Spock by Justin Martin & Ardalan by dirtybird

Justin will have a crazy weekend! He’ll be playing at the I Love You But I’ve Chosen Techno party on Saturday, then in Las Vegas on Sunday and back to the Movement festival on Monday, where he’ll be playing on the Beatport stage at 7:30 pm. Make sure to catch his set!

In a couple of days I’ll be heading to Detroit to attend one of the most exciting electronic music festivals in North America: Movement. Not only is the line-up incredible, but it’s also taking place in a city steeped in music history. This will be my first pilgrimage to the city that gave birth to techno music and I’ll be there from May 27th to May 30th,   keeping you posted on the great stuff happening there. I’ll also be doing some interviews with the artists I respect the most.

The festival only lasts three days, but with all the artists booked I’m really not sure if I’ll have time to sleep. The festival goes from noon to midnight every day, and I’m not even going to get into the topic of after-parties today! Dj Harvey, Sven Väth, Carl Craig, Paul Kalkbrenner, Justin Martin (an interview I did with him will be up soon),  Ben Klock, Richie Hawtin and many, many more will keep festival goers dancing all week-end. Not to mention the legendary Ricardo Villalobos, who was confirmed last week to perform at both the festival and an after-party on a boat!!!

Here’s an interview I did with Jason Huvaere, Director of Operations for Movement Electronic Music Festival.

When did the festival start? What gave you the idea to start a festival like this?
The festival, now in its 12th year, has taken many twists and turns prior to our organization, Paxahau, becoming the producer in 2006 but the essence of it has not changed.  It is still an event that is all about the music and the people who love it so much.  Since 2006 we have worked to improve upon each year’s production, and put together a line-up that is representative of where the music is today.  As the music evolves so will our festival.  Movement today, unlike when it first started, is an international music festival, and we intend to maintain that status for years to come.

Is there any incident that made you regret being a festival promoter?
I don’t really get to dance anymore, and we are exposed to challenges that remind us of the magnitude of the responsibilities we have accepted.

Which booking are you the proudest of this year?
Each artist who performs at Movement is important to the overall experience of the event for fans.  We are proud to have them all at Movement Electronic Music Festival.  Dr. Atmo and Sven Vath are the two I think of first.  They have been with us in heart since the beginning of the Detroit scene but these are their first performances at the festival.

What is the spirit of the festival? What should you expect if it’s your first time attending Movement?
It is a very friendly, community oriented environment.  If you are a person who truly appreciates electronic music you will find that there are many people like you who are in attendance.  Expect to dance.  There are five stages and each one has something going on and the performances will have you moving your feet and body all day long.  You should dress for the weather.  Be sure to have comfortable shoes on.

For anyone who want to experience the city outside the Hart Plaza, what are the must-sees in Detroit?
We have many great venues and restaurants.  We encourage people to explore while they are in Detroit.  We have partnered with a bike rental shop in the city called Wheelhouse Detroit and they are giving tours of the city.  We think people should take advantage of that … it will give you a sense of history and a great tour of the city and its Techno landmarks.  The website www.digdowntown.com has a lot of great listings.

The festival will also promote visual art. Paxahau have teamed up with Creative Corridor Center (DC3) and Community Arts Moving Projects (CAMP Detroit).  DC3 and CAMP Detroit reached out to their artist networks to seek applicants from Detroit’s creative community to submit a proposal for their installation idea.  More than fifty artists showed interest in the project, and in the end six installations were selected.   The installations represent a wide range of mediums. Most will be interactive. Some will be technically complex and involve electronics. Each is sure to inspire. The artists who developed the installations include recent art school graduates, community arts leaders, architects, graphic designers, and electronic and mechanical engineers.

Time to get ready…well to sleep as much as possible so I can go on a 3-days no sleep diet!

If you’re not able to make it to Detroit this year no worries! You’ll be able to catch the event online!
On May 28, 29, and 30 from noon until midnight fans of electronic music will be able to visit www.ResidentAdvisor.net to access five media players being powered by the folks at www.Awdio.com to hear live performances from six of the festival’s stages.

For those interested in seeing the creative side of Detroit, there’s a great documentary made by Johnny Knoxville who shows us the positive aspects of the city. Watch it here: http://www.vbs.tv/en-ca/watch/uneven-terrain/palladium-detroit-full-new-credits–3

Computer problems, rain every day, cold weather and the Torries getting a majority; the beginning of May was not good for the spirit. I didn’t let myself get too depressed because at the end of the month something amazing will happen. After years of lacking either money, friends to go with or time, I will finally step a foot in Detroit for their 2011 electronic music festival (DEMF), Movement. I won’t tell you too much today, but keep reading my column for more details, and interviews with the artists as the festival approaches. As an appetizer, I propose you a playlist that reflects the line-up of this year’s festival.

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Ambivalent Zoo Trip
Let’s start the playlist with something on the minimal side. Ambivalent is part of the M-nus crew, and he recently teamed up with Alexi Delano to deliver Brooklyn Weekdays, an EP with a minimal sound (you can’t escape that if it’s released on M-nus records) but with a touch of house and some great groove.

Aril Brikha Forever Frost (Original Mix)
A Swedish producer inspired by the Detroit sound, Aril Brikha first got noticed by Derrick May, who released his first EP in 1998. Over ten years later, Brikha has now released a new EP, Forever frost on his own label The art of vengeance. It’s not the first time he’s played at DEMF, and every time he visits the festival he leaves an amazing impression on music lovers.

Sammy dee Lirum Larim
You can’t have an electronic music festival without a Berlin artist. Here’s Sammy Dee who’s been working with Guido Schneider to produce some great music. Blessed with great DJ skills has residency a lot of famous clubs such as, E-Werk, Robert Johnson, Ostgut and Tresor.

Kerri Chandler Moon Bounce
Kerri Chandler is a legend. Coming from a musical family (his father was also a DJ), he brought truly innovative sound to electronic music. He’s known as the creator of deep house and has been deejaying since he was 13. Having such a strong background, he’s one of the Detroit Electronic Festival artists that I can’t wait to see.

Art Department Living The Life (feat. Seth Troxler)
This is the second time that Art Department is featured in this column. They’re an up-and-coming duo that recently released a full length album, The board game on the label Crosstown Rebels. It seems that every song Seth Troxler puts his vocal on is meant to be a success. This one is no exception.

Soul Clap Lonely C (feat Charles Levine)
When DJ’s are asked to get involved in a music foursome for the need of a compilation it can be a disaster. I mean, they can have quite an ego, and it can sometimes sound like there’s a lack of homogeneity. This is definitely not the case in the most recent DJ kicks compilation. Duo, Soul Clap and two guys from Wolf Lamb, got together to deliver a mix that represents their collaboration over the five years at the Marcy Hotel in Brooklyn. If you can’t do the trip to Detroit you’ll be happy to know that both Soul Clap and Wolf Lamb will be performing in an all-nighter on May 21st in Montreal.

Space Dimension Controller The Love Quadrant
Coming from Ireland, this twenty year old kid is getting a lot of notice in the electronic music scene. Will he be able to pass the stage test? In the meantime, he’s putting freshness into the music world.

Portable Inside Your Mind
This last song has nothing to do with the festival but it’s so good that I couldn’t wait until next month to deliver it to your ears. Born in South Africa and now living in Berlin, Alan Abrahams released has most of his tracks on Perlon records, but this release marks a return to the label Karat records.

This playlist was mostly influenced by the Detroit Electronic music festival which takes place from May 28th to 30th at the Hart Plaza. It’s not too far from Montreal, the lineup is insane and tickets for the three days are only 60$. Plus, you get to see the most important electronic artists from the past, as well as the new most talked about? I am in!

Want tickets? More info? More facebook pages to like? …it’s all right here on the Movement page.


You liked it and now you want more? Tune in to CISM 89.3 FM every Saturday from 9:30 to 11pm (or anytime since you can listen to past shows on internet).

If you stumble into an incredible song and want to share it send me a shout at Cesoirondanse@hotmail.com.

Lindsay Djin’ photo from djfameorshame.com and Movement photo from residentadvisor.net.

Too many parties too little time to sleep

Thursday night in Montreal used to be the holy night of partying. I’ll always remember Frigid and Mini’s infamous night at Parking. Over the past couple of years the scene slowed down a little; finding party goers in lack of great places to go on Thursdays. When promoters are booking an exceptional acts like the one we’ll have to chance to see tomorrow night, you don’t have to think twice before putting your dancing shoes on and running to the venue.

David Kennedy a.k.a Ramadanman and Zed Bias will both be playing at club Lambi on St.Laurent. Ramadanman has an impressive career. He’s still in his early 20’s but he’s already the boss of the great label Hessle Audio, one of the most talked about producer and is behind the 56th Fabriclive compilation, and Carl Craig re-edited one of his track. He’s related to the dubstep genre but his productions go beyond that. Sometimes more jazzy and even tech-house; you can be sure that you will fall for his beats.

Big thanks to Rilly Guilty and Lexis for another great booking. Make sure to arrive early to avoid line-up and see them warm-up the club.

Since we’re talking about things to do to start the weekend I might as well tell you a secret. On Friday night you should attend: This is not a secret (love). It’s the second party hosted at this great venue near Ste.Catherine and St.Laurent; dance studio by day party, space by night. Two reasons to go are: to listen to best local djs, and a party that will make you sweat until the sun comes out. Make sure to wear a bow tie to look sharp and skip the outside line-up.

April has arrived and it’s time to deliver some fresh beats to your ears. I am particularly excited about this playlist, but I guess, these days I am just very happy in general. Some exciting news that I can’t reveal yet, but soon, dear readers, you’ll be in the know. Turn on your speakers and let’s start the listening session…

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DJ T Burning (Art Department mix)
Sometimes a song is begging to get to your ears. That’s what happened with DJ T’s latest single. I first heard it on a mix that DJ Deep did for Get the curse. I immediately thought that the opening track was exactly the kind of song I dig. Low voice, almost creepy and a downtempo house beat. Because of the lack of track listing, I thought that my chances of finding out what the song was were pretty slim. Next thing I know, a friend of mine sent me a song recommendation and to my big surprise it was THE song. Now it’s your turn to enjoy it.

Tom Trago feat. Tyree Cooper What you do
Trago released his debut full length album on Rush Hour recording. So far, I’ve only listened to the three songs that came out on the teaser a month ago. They’re all exceptional and I really had a tough time choosing which one would appear on the playlist. I am a big Tyree Cooper’s fan so the featuring won my heart. I can’t wait to hear the whole album!

Solomun Love recycled
Remember the sample in Bran Van 3000’s Astounded? Yeah, that great Curtis Mayfield sample! Well, this time it’s a house producer who decided to use it. It could have been tacky and too easy but Solomun really made something great and not too easy out of it. It’s all about slowing down the tempo and producing a sexy deep-house groove. I am sure this song will be responsible for some one night loving session this summer.

Fritz & Lang Crash (Maya Janes Coles remix)
Don’t be fooled by their name, Fritz & Lang are not another German producer duo. One is French and the other guy comes from Argentina. Their first EP came out on Airdrops Records. Maya Janes Coles is helping the song, by making it more dance floor friendly. She’s relatively new in the game but expect to hear a lot from her in the future.

Peter Power Take it slow
I am kind of losing my words on this one. It’s a soulful gem. The first release of the new Berlin label CrimeCity Disco is actually a split vinyl with Josef Jaktmark, available only in a limited 300 copy edition. Power is involved in the Berlin nightlife as the booker and resident DJ of Kleine Reise.

Maceo Plex Vibe your love
Vibe your love is the first single of the new Maceo Plex’s CD, released on Crosstown Rebels. Some people are already betting on this one as the 2011 summer anthem. Maceo Plex has been producing for over ten years now. If you want to have a listen at his other stuff you might want to check his pseudonym Maetrik.

Trujillo Looking up through you
Chill out downtempo beat perfect to enjoy a mojito on a late afternoon. Maybe it’s the Venezuelan origins of the producer that are reflecting in his song but I picture myself listening to it in never ending 5 à 7 this summer. It was released on the new Spanish label Apersonal Music.

Metronomy The look
I kept my favourite for the end. It doesn’t really fit in an electronic music column but who said I couldn’t cheat from time to time? This track comes from Metronomy’s   third album, The English Riviera. They now have a girl drummer who’s also doing some vocals. I guess we can say this album is more mature; I’m not sure if it’s a good thing for a band like Metronomy, but I still enjoy it. The best track by far is their single that is closing this month’s playlist. So catchy, one listen is just not enough.

You liked it and now you want more? Tune in to CISM 89.3 FM every Saturday from 9:30 to 11pm (or anytime since you can listen to past shows on internet).

If you stumble into an incredible song and want to share it send me a shout at Cesoirondanse[at]hotmail[dot]com.

I recently spent four months in Berlin and I’ve wanted to write about the nightlife over there for a while. Berlin became THE place to be in the last couple of years, so everybody and their mother are talking about it. I’ll try to be a bit different and show you the night in my perceptive. I’ll stay away from the obvious like Watergate and show you some less known venues. I am not better than anyone and I don’t pretend to give you the ULTIMATE Berlin party experience, but believe me, living in an attic kind of obliged me to go out every night.

Let’s start the tour with my first night out in the German capital. It was my first Friday in town and after having attended a vernissage and triumphantly retrieved my wallet from a pickpocket’s hand in the u-bahn, I got introduce to an original venue located in Wedding, the Statdbad. The program is varied and goes from vernissage to rock shows. It’s an old public bath converted, and you can still smell chlorine. Dancing in the tilted pool is tricky but who never dreamed of making the split in front of a large crowd?

An awesome venue for house and techno lover is Farbfernseher in Kreuzberg. I went there to see Tyree Cooper on a the following Wednesday. You’d never be able to tell that this small house on Skalitzer Strasse is actually a nightclub. There’s generally no cover except a charge of one euro on your first drink. The dance floor is tiny so it would be hard to show your flashdance steps to other people, but your consolation prize will be an awesome sound system and you’ll be so close to your favorite dj, that you’ll be able to tell by the smell of his breath what he had for lunch before the gig.

Next suggestion is not for everybody. It’s a hate it or love it kind of spot. Imagine fluffy pink walls, multicolor lightings, an overweight transgender bartender and trancy pop music. No, I wasn’t on LSD but it felt a bit like it. The place is called Roses, and it’s also located Kreuzberg. It’s the kind of place where everything can happen. Good or bad. Like a guy trying to rub his dick on your arm or a Turkish guy selling you fake drugs or somebody stealing your purse. Sounds a bit negative, but honestly all these incident can be quite funny and the positive aspects make up for everything, and by positive I mean: a tranny giving you every left over drink in the bar while kissing you, über gay steward paying for your shots, everybody dancing and being friendly. Oh, and of course a feel good place open until 8 am. You got the image; this place wasn’t my favorite hangout spot for no reason!

Let’s say its 8 am, Wednesday morning. You’ve been kicked out of Roses because they were closing, you’re still thirsty and Berghain is not an option since it’s not the weekend. Well it’s time to walk out of Roses and discover Rote Rose, a few meters away, on Adalberstrasse. The place is a dive bar where you meet both party animals and old German customers. It’s been open nonstop since for 25 years. Yeah, you heard me…24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over half a century. Walking out of the bar at 3 pm is something you should experience once in your life. Not something to make your mama proud of course.

The last one is my favorite place in Berlin. It’s a bit further, in Treptow, but it’s worth the walk. Welcome to Wilden zu Renate. Based in an abandoned two-story house, Wilden zu Renate is open every weekend until very, very late. You get all types of people but it’s mostly locals, who are reluctant to give information about the place. There are rooms with beds where people are washing their chemical experimentation away, two rooms with djs, and a front yard with a trailer decorated like a cabane à sucre where djs keep pumping house music. The booking is always different, sometimes there’s a thematic and you need to dress up, but mostly   you go there to dance your night/day away and be part of the wasted Berlin youth.

That was just a glance of Berlin’s wildness. Anything can happen in that city and like anything in life the best is to go with the flow, talk to the locals and immerse yourself by the freedom of the places and people. If you’re running to the closest travel agency to book your trip already, check out Ex-Berliner and Berlin.There’s also, Unlike which is a guide created for the mobile, English generation. It’s sure to help you discover the German capital.

Now back in Montreal where I suggest you to go see Mount Kimbie at Le Belmont tonight and just before that, at 9pm, tune in to CISM 89,3 fm for another edition of my radio show Ce soir on danse.

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I have a love/hate relationship with the month of March. It’s almost the end of winter, so that’s sweet, but at the same time you always have a last week of Antarctic cold that makes you dream of moving to Cuba. It’s my birthday so I get free drinks for a week, but that also means I am aging! Anyways, long story short, I guess March = mood swings for me and that’s a bit what this playlist is about – it goes from synth-wave to deep house. Enjoy catching spring fever!

*Playlist is in order of song description.

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Shit Robot Take em up
As the snow will start melting, my love for pop music will return. Shit Robot made the perfect song to match my spring fever mood. With Nancy Whang from LCD soundsystem and Juan Mclean fame on vocals, this single from Shit Robot’s debut LP From The Cradle To The Rave will stay in your head.

Omar-S Here’s your trance now dance!
The latest release from Detroit producer Omar-S came out on his own label FXHE records. When I first heard it I unconsciously started to smile. Since then I’ve listened to it every day. It’s a feel good song that will undoubtedly become a great dj tool to make the crowd go crazy at seven am.

Laurent Garnier The man with the red face
This track is not new at all. It came out eleven years ago. Why am I putting it on this month playlist? Because Garnier will perform at Théâtre Telus on March 24th. It will be a five hour performance including both a live and dj set. Don’t miss the chance to see this French dj who started his career over 20 years ago at the mythic Hacienda.

Steffi Yours (ft.Virginia)
Last February, the Panorama bar dj released her first album Yours & Mine on Ostgut Ton. The result is a soulful deep-house record. The Berlin artist is more known for her dj set, but this release places her high in the producer hierarchy.

Femme Télégraphe
Addictive lo-fi and 80’s inspired French songs. That’s what Femme is about. I first got to know the band during my recent Europe trip. They were playing in an 18th century castle two hours from Paris. I immediately fell in love with them. They just did a mini tour in the USA, so hopefully we’ll be hearing more from Femme on this side of the ocean soon. If you’re into that kind of sound I recommend this great synth-wave compilation.

Automelodi Schéma corporel
Might as well continue with the French music suggestions. For having tested it on Berlin’s dance floor, I guarantee that you don’t have to understand the lyrics to appreciate this song. Automelodi‘s the latest project of Xavier Paradis. Oh! I forgot to mention that they’re from Montreal and you absolutely need to see them live.

Bicep Darwin
Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar are not only behind one of the most interesting music blogs right now, but they also know how to make you dance. Darwin came out on Throne of blood last December. Check out this interesting edit by Retro/grade.

Recondite Robur
Let’s finish that playlist with a hypnotic beat. Not a dancefloor banger but a beautiful melody that will keep you dreaming until spring is really among us.

If you’re craving more new music tune in Cism 89.3 fm where I’ll be hosting my radio show Ce soir on danse. The fun starts at 21h30 every Saturdays.

Photo gregdelon.fr

In Montreal life can be hard if you’re a promoter. You can book the best act in the world but you’re always playing Russian roulette. One snowstorm and it’s over. Your venue will be half packed. This is kind of the same scenario that happened for Daniel Bell’s dj set last Saturday but instead of fighting against a snowstorm the 13% crew was fighting against a way bigger monster: La Nuit Blanche. I had a lot of friends interested in seeing the legendary techno dj but when you can choose between hundreds of free activities all night long or a dj set costing $35 most people will pick the first option.

While walking to the venue I was quite impressed by the industrial surrounding. It was a bit spooky but exactly the kind of playground you want for some techno music. The staff was friendly, not the usual aggressive afterhours bouncers. Daniel Bell was already on and a few people were dancing. It remained like that most of the night. The venue could have hosted a hundred or more people, but the vibe was good.

I wasn’t too impressed with the music and I was expecting way more from Bell. I thought he was playing very linear music and wasn’t taking very many risks. But still it wasn’t a bad night. The dozens of different shooters I tried at the fairly priced bar were quite enjoyable. I guess at that point I decided that kissing my neighbors and leaving the club without my winter coat was a great idea! Sometimes going crazy is the way to go. Especially when the dj’s most famous song is called Losing control.

The 13% crew is bringing amazing acts to town. Keep an eye open on their bookings. Next one will be Masomenos on March 18th at U.N.

Photo: espacereunion.ca

This weekend you had to make a tough decision between two electronic music gods or to pop wake-up pills and hope not to get
a heart-attack on the dance floor. As I’m almost a quarter of a century and my body can’t deal with sleep deprivation anymore,
I decided to pass on Chez Damier at Stereo and rest on Friday
night to be top shape for tonight’s set by the legendary techno producer Daniel Bell a.k.a DBX at Espace Réunion.

Bell has been around since the early 90’s. He’s lived in many cities including, Detroit where he formed Cybersonik with Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva. Under the name DBX, he’s responsible for
one of the biggest underground techno hits Losing control, which was released on Peacefrog Records in 1994. The international
popularity of the song lead Daniel to create his own company, Seven city distribution, which he used to help smaller labels get distribution in overseas markets. Like this wasn’t enough, he also created three labels: 7th city, Elevate and Harmonie Park. The busy man had to put his music on hold for a couple of years to concentrate on his new music businesses, but he came back strongly with his first mix cd in 2000. The cd entitled The button mind of Daniel Bell was released on Tresor Records and was voted the second best mix of the decade by resident advisor’s readers.

Drumcell will also be part of this night. It will be your chance to see the Los Angeles rising star make his Canadian debut. Local djs Ostrich and Milton Clark will make sure to warm the night up! Check out these Soundcloud mixes if you’re not convinced yet:

DBX aka Daniel Bell Live PA @ 5 Days Off, Melkweg – 05-07-2008 by R_co

Drumcell Live @ Detroit Movement Festival (Beatport stage 2010) D.E.M.F by drumcell

Montreal is getting more and more exciting electronic music booking these days. It’s mostly because of the increasing amount of promoters in the city. I strongly suggest checking out 13% crew. They’re the one to thanks for tonight’s booking and they will keep you dancing in the future with acts like Masomenos coming to town next month.

If you’re craving more music recommendations have a listen to my weekly radio show Ce soir on danse live every Saturday night on Cism 89,3 fm from 21h30 until 23h.