Tape moi dans le…

The Frenchmen’s final word was inaudible, but not past the stretches of my imagination. Unfortunately, it provided little insight in response to my inquiries about his thoughts on Quebec. But oddly enough, his spanking desires ended up being one of the most coherent conversations I had at “the world’s greatest nightclub”, London’s fabric.

I arrived slightly before midnight and skipped past the two block line to waltz through the guest list. I checked my coat and wandered into the infamous Room One. Inside, Boys Noize was playing the first of his two sets that night, but the DJ table was far from the first thing I noticed.

The shaking floor… ridiculous lasers in every direction … smoke machines on maximum output… a mammoth disco ball… thousands of well-dressed dancers… and, of course, the endless security.

Everywhere I looked, it seemed as though there was a clubber being removed from the premises for raving just a little too hard. I couldn’t help but wonder: if 50% of your clientele have dropped a day’s pay at the bar and 40% are rocking dilated pupils, then shouldn’t the standard for public decency be just a hair below the Changing of the Guard?

For most, I imagine Room One is too much. While Boys Noize delivered on every level a grimey-electro DJ is expected to deliver on, the constant lasers and ground-shaking bass (literally, thanks to the “bodysonic” dancefloor) caused me to seek new discovery somewhere else.

Room Three was for the real dancers thanks to the absence of a crowd and more tribal-based rhythms, but Room Two was where I found myself most impressed.

Room Two featured an eyebrow-raising lineup of genuine instrumental artists that still managed to create an intense dance party. A definite highlight, Visions of Trees worked through a wholly original synth-heavy set. I guess downloading their limited, but growing discography immediately when I returned to my laptop that night is evidence enough of my appreciation.

But beyond the dancefloors is where I kept myself most entertained—specifically, the massive outdoor smoking “corner”. Throughout the night, a constant flow of hundreds of people stood together, surrounded by buildings and miscellaneous trees; smoking, conversing, and relieving themselves from claustrophobia.

It was there that I met the previously mentioned Frenchie, along with what was apparently preparation for the 2012 London Olympics of Clubbing. Ravers of every nation were represented, in fact, I can’t recall ever meeting more than two groups from the same country. I spoke with individuals from Chile, Italy, Germany, France, England, and likely a few I’m forgetting in hindsight.

All of them were eclectic and unique; undoubtedly helping make my potentially isolated night far more interesting. If anything came across, it was the reminder of an old cliché: it’s not what you do, but who you do it with.

Still, I experienced a satisfying night of randomness, leaving past 4am, though never really coming across anything unforgettable. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe the circumstances just weren’t right, but either way, I made my final exit and gave the nod to a gentleman relieving himself in the street. I could relate, because after all, I too had just been pissing in the wind…

Visions of Trees by Visions of Trees

For more photos, visit us on facebook.

To a certain (albeit small) percentage of the world, London’s Fabric is the Mecca of nightclubs.

Founded slightly over a decade ago in a (paradoxically) historic building, Fabric boasts more height than width. Three separate dancefloors on three separate stories create an atmosphere appealing to anyone who subscribes to the mantra of “variety is the spice of life”. Each floor hosts multiple DJs a night and hundreds, sometimes thousands of dancers. With a roughly 2,000 capacity, every floor is always packed.

If there’s any variation in clientele per room, though, it is likely due to one of Fabric’s biggest draws—Room One’s “bodysonic dancefloor”, in which 400 bass transducers emit the deepest frequencies of the already bass-heavy music being spun by the current DJ. Fabric views music as a multi-dimensional experience and allowing clubbers to literally “feel” the music vibrating up through their feet to the rest of their bodies is a necessity in floor design.

FabricLive, their Friday night “soundclash” is all about the bass: Room One is likely most akin to an all night earthquake that thousands of British clubbers felt like starting a dance party on. Each DJ and room focuses on various genres, but dubstep, drum & bass, and electro are at the core. Almost every self-respecting, bass-obsessed DJ has made an appearance at FabricLive, and one of the highlights of this upcoming Friday will be Room One’s dedication to Boys Noize Records.

Boys Noize have made a name for themselves within the hard electro community, playing at multiple festivals across the world, and are sure to put on an intense show along with their fellow record-label companions.

Not all artists at Fabric are as universally accepted as Boys Noize, though—because Fabric has made a priority of helping to break out and showcase underground DJs. It’s all about the music and having the most memorable night possible, so a big name isn’t all it takes to get on the bill.

Fabric has its priorities in order and that’s one of the key reasons it is consistently ranked as either number one or close to number one on every club ranking possible. And five sound-systems, three bars, 25,000 square feet, a 24-hour liquor license, and unisex toilets probably don’t hurt either.

So in advance, I would like to thank the promoters at Fabric to granting me access as a member of the press, because no matter what happens, my night at Fabric will generate a story worth retelling.

photo one drom.sk and photo two fixup.se.

Did the Habs win again?

Mass arrests, tons of damage, Prince Charles under attack, police under fire for doing way too much or not doing enough. Yes, London was the site of some pretty intense riots last week, which is funny considering they don’t even have a hockey team…must be football. No, wait, it’s actually over student tuition hikes, something that means something. Pardon my confusion, but I’m from Montreal and that just seems strange.

Don’t get me wrong, we do get unruly for the right reason every now and then. The Villanueva riots in Montreal North last year are a prime example, as is the annual anti-police brutality march that somehow always manages to end in police brutality year after year (next year, try writing “anti’ bigger on the posters, maybe that will help, just an idea), but overall it’s riots inspired by the Canadiens that we’re known for.

It’s not even for the Habs losing, but getting into the semi-finals or just past the first round. Somehow rioting to celebrate a corporate and state-sponsored team winning has become our version of smashing the state.

Even Toronto has us beat. Breaking windows to break the G20 is at the very least a narrative that makes sense (not getting into the whole undercover cops jumping on cop cars issue here), while our story sounds kinda lame these days.

It didn’t use to be like that, either. Back in the 60s Montreal activists got rowdy for a purpose. Now, not so much. We take to the streets quite a bit for good reasons but only go nuts when Guns n Roses leaves the stage early (my first concert ever, had to throw that in here somewhere) or when the Habs stay long in the playoffs.

We do take to the streets quite a bit in Montreal for good causes and personally, I prefer peaceful protests as the message comes across much clearer. Usually it’s the cops that provoke the violence as in the G20 and recently in London. Activists there have to fight hard to get messages like this one from a fifteen year old student discovering protest for the first time out to the public. Here we have to contend with the notion that we only really care about hockey.

I probably shouldn’t direct these thoughts at activists, as it’s probably not them doing most of the hockey rioting, maybe some anarchists who believe that smashing the symbols of capitalism doesn’t need to be tied to anything and is always a good idea take part, but I digress. Instead I’m speaking to Montrealers as a whole:

Let’s do something, anything, to let the world know that we’re a city that stands up for ourselves and our oppressed neighbours both here and around the word and if things get rough and stuff gets broken, you know, just like in London, that it’s for the right reasons.