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Joining the Movement : A recap of AIM's debut weekend

How do you start a movement? I'm not sure, but the organizers and DJs of the first ever Art Innovation Movement festival - or AIM - sure know how.

The inaugural edition of AIM ended just a few days ago - and I'm still wishing it hadn't. My goal in attending the festival was to see if I would be able to find the beauty of house and techno music. As someone who got their start in trance and dubstep, I got to the festival with my nose up in the air, and left with my feet in the dirt; humbled by the weekend's beautiful sound and experiences.

I have to say that I am absolutely blown away by the diversity of both house and techno music. There was a lot more house than techno at AIM, and although it was nothing like what I was expecting, it was everything that I would want to experience again. In an attempt to capture a minute amount of AIM's awesomeness, here's a recap of the best of the fest.

Best Set Overall

As someone who hadn't typically listened to much house or techno prior to this past weekend, I wish that I could choose just one "best set" to give you some kind of definitive picture of my favourite sonic experience. However, I am unable to choose just one. Instead, I'll pursue objectivity and relive some of the most memorable performances:

Four Tet's set is one of the most memorable for me. Even though I can't really put my finger on the genre of the music that the Londoner was playing; out of the hour and a half that he was up, the last 45 minutes really got me going. The music wasn't energetic as far as beat goes, but as a sucker for lofty, atmospheric melodies, Friday's pre-closing set was more than I expected in terms of enjoyability, and was my first real introduction to tech house, too.

Electro Acrylique: This performance was so cool!! Electro Acrylique is a group (consisting of DJ Pfreud and artist Alexi Stefano) that combines hi-tech and low-tech artforms via electroacoustic live painting performance. When Alexi's canvas is hooked up and he begins to paint, each brush stroke creates a sound, which he and Pfreud use to create rhythms, and eventually, a completely danceable sound and a beautiful piece of artwork. 

Geistboy: I don't think Geistboy was added to the lineup until the timeslots were posted on Facebook, but either way, it's a good thing. I don't think that people want to feel less talented than someone significantly younger than them until they absolutely have to. Still, during Geistboy's set, I was way too wrapped up in the music to feel bad about the fact that this DJ is only sixteen years young. It was a great morning set to get the vibe going at the Moog stage for the remaining 2 days of festival madness. An equal mix between his original material and selected tracks, the set was full of heavy grooves and fluctuated between minimal and hard rhythms that carried on seamlessly into the next set.

Eekkoo: I was really proud to see Eekkoo playing at AIM. I wanted to attend his set, because the last time I saw him, he was opening up for Deadmau5 for a crowd of about seven people at New City Gas last year. I know that there were a lot of people at the stage for Eekkoo, but I wasn't paying attention to anyone except the man himself and the infectious beats he was dropping. Hard hitting and danceable rhythms all around, and just the right amount of a progressive flair for a deep, but wild set.

Best Technical Difficulty: CRi's set was set to take place afrer Shash'u on Friday afternoon when it cut off about 10 minutes in. There were one or two periods of music, but the set was, for the majority, simply cut because of unforeseen issues. An honourable mention goes out to how bad the location's humidity must have been for everyone's equipment for the duration of the festival. I hope nothing broke!

Jamie xx

The Martinez Brothers

Tiga

Pat Boogie

Best Live Performance: Tesla Boy

I'd been looking forward to Tesla Boy because they're so different from the rest of the AIM lineup. Instead of one person having ample room at a table on the Moog stage. Tesla Boy's four members were cramped into the small space for a kicking live performance with bass, guitar, and drums. The crowd was into the music, and the fans of the group went wild when they played "Strong".  The best part for me was the last technical difficulty of the evening when the members of the band went in to a collective drum solo, only to resume the rest of their performance flawlessly.

Biggest Regret: Missing So Many Great Acts.

I regret sleeping! After reading about the AIM lineup, I don't think there was anyone I didn't want to see. I missed Kevin Saunderson, Nathan Burns & Soundshaper, Mightykat, Shash'u...I could go on, but I knew I wouldn't have time to see everyone. When looking at the remainder of the lineup after I woke up each day, it broke my heart a little looking at what I had missed.

Best Visuals:

AIM put a lot of emphasis on the fact that there would be projection art at the festival. Somehow, when reading about that, I didn't expect a feel-like-you're-tripping style light show when I walked up to the main stage at one-thirty in the morning, but that's what happened. Edu Imbernon's visuals were absolutely crazy. Flashes of strobe lights, lightning, and dripping kaleidoscopes of flashy colour were among the projections that lit the stage for the set, and brought the high-energy music to an entirely different level.  

Dreems at the Multi Culti Stage

The Best Hidden Gem: The Multi-Culti stage: 

In a spacious corner away from the rest of the festival was where I decided to end my weekend. It was a little oasis that only came to life on Saturday night. As opposed to the other big stages that were surrounded by concrete and electronic visuals, this humble set-up was decorated in tiki lights, tree branches, ferns, and spiced with incense. Groovy psychedelic sets with dreamy, ethnic beats and sets dominated the two days that the Multi-Culti stage was active. At the heart of it all was Thomas Von Party. There's something truly unique about this guy that I can`t quite put my finger on. He's got an enthusiastic energy that carried through his sets and permeated the entire dance floor; as he danced between the crowd, the turntables, backstage, and around again. Auntie Flo, Dreems and DJ Three were some of the others that made up Von Party`s entourage and kept the significantly smaller crowd on their feet until the ending hours of the festival.

Needless to mention, after I watched Nature Of Music's emotive performance, the Multi-Culti stage is where I spent the last hours of my AIM experience. I hope that AIM continues to grow and expand their horizons and how they view the festival experience. It came with a unique atmosphere and set of performers that are all set up for immense success as their careers continue to blossom. Aside from some minor technical difficulties that set one of the stages back a little bit, I believe there's only one way they could improve on their first edition of the festival: have a second one.

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Want more AIM? Listen to Thinkbox's interview with Tesla Boy's Anton and Electro Acrylique's Alec Stephani on the July 3rd Edtion of The Machine Stops.

Thinkbox hosts The Machine Stops every Friday from 9:00 to 10:00am, only on CJLO 1690AM.

All photos are credited to Vivien Gaumand - This is HERD.

FRINGE 2015: A conversation with Choses Sauvages

On Thursday night June 20th, two bands performed at le Divan Orange during the homestretch of the Music at the Fringe Festival series.

The bombastic Mehdi Cayenne Club opened at 10. Mehdi, the lead singer of the band with a happy-go-lucky personality, added some extra spice to their already explosive musical set.

When I asked the girl sitting right next to me what she thought of the show, she answered: ”Je sais pas ce que j’en pense, mais j’embarque”.* Turns out, she’s a blogger named Valerie Poulin. If a little French reading doesn’t scare you, head over at Feu à Volonté to get her impressions on the concert.

Later that night, there was the funky eclectic Choses Sauvages. It means Wild Things in case you’re wondering. And they’re as untamed and wild as their name entails.

I spoke to the band members — Félix, Tommy, Marc, Philippe – and their occasional guitarist from Foreign Diplomats, Élie — for CJLO at le Divan’s backstage, or as we call it around here, the underbelly.

Read more to see our conversation, translated into English from the original interview in French:

...

Frantz: How do you feel?

Choses Sauvages: After this show? Good. It all went super well. Our performance was tight.

The venue manager walks in and interrupts the conversation

CS: Sorry about that! Did you enjoy the show, Frantz?

Frantz: I loved it! A bit earlier, I was discussing with Philippe the way you played with your rhythm. You got me real good! I was sure your were using somewhat exotic measures and time signatures, but he told me it was all the good old standard 4/4.

CS: We do insert a beat, or bar of silence here and there. We also try to insert some weird beats on more pop sounding riffs. We make dancey music so we’re just trying to have fun while playing.

Frantz: You guys go from pop, to rock, to funk, to jazz …

CS: The thing is, we’re four guys who don’t necessarily listen to the same things at the same time. Choses Sauvages is lot of ostinage* to reach a final product that we can all agree on.

Everybody laughs

From the get go, we are friends who enjoy playing music together. There’s no preset structure to the band and you can hear how eclectic our first EPs are [“Late Night” in 2013, “L’épave trouée” in 2014, and “Japanese Jazz” in 2015]. But on the album we’re working on —

Frantz: There’s an album coming!?

CS: Yeah … hmm… We’re working on it…

Frantz: Any release date in mind?

CS: It’s all in the air for now. We’re giving ourselves a good year to compose new material and see where we go from there. We feel that as a band, we have reached a cohesive sound. We’re somewhat all into funk jazz and Herbie Hancock right now. So we’ve decided that we want to play jazz even though we’re not jazz musicians.

Frantz: I heard this was your last show…

CS: …our last for this summer. Actually, it’s only our last show in an official Montreal venue. We might still busk at Place-d’Armes during lunch hour.

We’re also going to Sorel, where there’s the Fast Festival. That’s pretty cool. In fact, Sorel is like the Liverpool of Quebec. There’s the Port and the Old Town and people chew tobacco.

But actually, we haven’t booked that many shows. It’s been hard to manage: keeping the buzz alive, coming up with new songs, preparing sets for shows and performing — all at the sametime. We want it to be a smooth ride from now on, take it easy, and simply concentrate on composing new material.

Frantz: Are you guys all from Montreal?

CS: We’re from the North Shore. St-Eustache. Rosemère. And Ste-Adèle in the deep Laurentians. We’ve been living in Montreal for the past five or six years.

Frantz: Did you guys all meet at the same CEGEP?

CS: (Félix responds) I didn’t go to CEGEP. It didn’t want me.

Frantz: I have the impression it’s actually you that didn’t want CEGEP.

Everyone laughs

Your set is in Frenglish. You sing in English and talk to the audience in French. How does that work?

CS: We don’t know? Actually, let’s throw that question back at you.

Frantz:  (laughs) Sure! What’s the question again?

CS: What do you think of our Frenglish set?

Frantz: I find it truly interesting how you manage to reach two crowds here in Montreal with a bilingual show.

CS: Would you keep the set as is?

Frantz: Yup

CS: Right now, Frenglish seems to work better in the Hip hop world. It’s not as widely accepted in “rock” bands. People have a hard time labeling us, and it’s something that becomes really complicated when we’re applying for festivals or trying to persuade record companies to sign us up.

If the question is: do you sing in English or in French? We go with what we feel. We write music and lyrics the way we feel like. We don’t really think of language and whatnot. We’re not making a statement. If we lived in the best of worlds, that wouldn’t be an issue.

It’s funny. Around the world, you will have a band — be it Swedish or whatnot — that will sing in English, even though it’s not their mother tongue, and no one bats an eyelash.

Here in Quebec, grandma and pops are still asking us: “Pourquoi tu chantes pas en français?”***

(Everyone bursts out in laughter)

Frantz: One last thing. I noticed Félix sang, dealt with the sound guy and touched about every instrument that’s on stage. What’s up with that?

C.S.: (Félix responds) I have the least musician-like qualities of all the guys in this band. I have no formal training in music, and I know that shouldn’t get in the way of making music. I enjoy playing with rhythm.

Tommy, with his formal training, plays melodically. I think it makes for a strong and beautiful contrast in our sound.

Marc and Philippe are the ones with the theoretical knowhow. They can write and read sheet music.

We try to all play with our strengths and switch instruments regularly. In reality, we basically are four bands in one.

 

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Footnotes (French to English)

*"I don’t know what I think about it, but I’m going all in!"
**French for bickering
***Why don’t you sing in French.

If you want to learn more about “Choses Sauvages”, Check out their Facebook page right here. You can also download all of their EPs for free here on bandcamp.

Frantz-Patrice Séïde Cameau is part of CJLO’s Official Fringe Team covering the sights and sounds from the 2015 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival.

You can contact Frantz by via email: lobster.mtl@gmail.com

News for July 3rd, 2015

The Montreal SPCA is at full capacity as of Thursday.

According to CTV news, the situation is common after July 1rst, which is Quebec's moving day.

The agency argues that the influx of abandoned pets is due to wide-spread no-pets clauses.

The SPCA is lobbying to prohibit such clauses, as the Quebec government tabled legislation last month regarding the status of animals as "sensitive beings".

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Advocates have been criticizing Canada’s strict new voting rules, claiming that thousands of voters could be turned away from the polls because of insufficient ID.
 
According to the Globe and Mail, the Fair Elections Act has made it so that voter information cards are no longer accepted as identification, creating problems for students, aboriginal people and the elderly.
 
The Council of Canadians and Canadian Federation of Students have asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to grant an interim injunction to the Fair Elections Act to allow voters to identify themselves using their voter information cards.
 
There are still 39 forms of ID that Canadians can use when voting, including Canadian passports, birth certificates and student ID cards.
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The World Health Organization says that Cuba has successfully eliminated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child.
 
According to BBC, the achievement comes after years of effort to grant early access of testing, drugs and prenatal care to pregnant women.
 
Through the use of antiretroviral [anti-retro-viral] medicines, the risk of transmitting HIV drops from 15 or 45 per cent to about 1 per cent. 

Pan American Health Organization member, Dr. Carissa Etienne, says Cuba's achievement provides inspiration for other countries to do the same -and help eliminate the transmission of such infections. 

July 3rd, 2015

Hosted by: Julian McKenzie

Stories by: Patricia Petit-Liang, Emeline Vidal, Catlin Spencer

Produced by: Emeline Vidal

CJLO: Stoked for Heavy MTL Giveaway Madness! Tune in to win!

CJLO, in collaboration with Evenko, want to send you to Heavy MTL! Tune in to the following list of select shows over the coming weeks for your chance to win a set of double passes! Heavy MTL is happening August 7, 8 & 9th at Parc Jean Drapeau and features a killer line-up, including Faith No More, Meshuggah, Iggy Pop, Lita Ford, Cattle Decapitation, Small Brown Bike, The Agonist  & More! See full line-up here.

Text CJLO your name and "Heavy MTL" (514) 848 7471 between the following show block time slots for a chance to win a double weekend pass! Texts must be received during the show block and we will giveaway AT LEAST one pair of passes per block! Get on this- Make Summer 2015 a Heavy one!

Giveaway 1: BVST (Wednesday July 8: 7pm to 9pm)

Giveaway 2: Radio Fun (Thursday July 9: 8pm to 9pm) 

Giveaway 3: Sublime State of Doom (Monday July 13th: 8pm to 9pm)

Giveaway 4: The Noisy Loft (Sunday July 19th: 8pm to 9pm)

Giveaway 5: Hooked on Sonics (Thursday July 23: 6pm to 8pm)

Giveaway 6: Burnt Offerings (Sunday July 26: 6pm to 8pm)

Giveaway 7: Beyond That Graveyard! III (Friday July 31: 9pm to Midnight)

Giveaway 8: Grade A Explosives (Sunday August 2: 4pm to 6pm)

 

  

 

 

 

Wednesday July 1st 2015

Hosted by Catlin Spencer

Stories by Catlin Spencer, Patricia Petit Liang & Saturn De Los Angeles

Produced by Emeline Vidal

News for July 1st 2015

LOCAL
by Catlin Spencer

 

A massive Montreal water gun fight that was scheduled for Saturday at Lafontaine Park has been cancelled due to lack of a permit.

According to CBC News, the event started as a planned gathering amongst friends, that quickly turned into a giant event on Facebook with more than 38 000 participants.

Unfortunately, event organizer Matthew Orsini was too late in obtaining a permit for the event to take place, and says the city was dismissive and unhelpful in trying to resolve the situation. 

For now, the event has been postponed until next year.

Police will also be at the park on Saturday, in case any of the participants show up regardless. 

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NATIONAL 
by Patricia Petit Liang

 

 

A law created to forbid non-Mohawks from living in Kahnawake is being challenged by 5 people with the help of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations.

According to CTV News, complaints were filed with the Human Rights Commission because of the "Marry-Out, Move-Out" law, which has caused “mixed couples” and people born to mixed couple parents to be ordered off of the territory.

The law was created back in 1981, but has only been enforced in varying degrees over time. 

Although the federal and provincial Indian Affairs ministers have criticized the discriminatory law, Kahanawake Grand Chief Joe Norton claims that preventing non-native spouses from living in Kahanawake will help preserve the community’s culture.

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INTERNATIONAL
by Saturn De Los Angeles
 

 

Greece is inching close to bankruptcy after it failed to meet the deadline to pay its debt on Tuesday.

In a report by the BBC, the country still has to figure out how to pay the 1.5 Billion Euros it owes to the International Monetary Fund.

Both Greek and European Union officials will be discussing a potential new bailout plan on Wednesday.

On the streets, civil unrest is mounting as protesters rally in front of the Greek Parliament where a referendum is slated for this weekend.

Citizens have to decide whether they rather have their services reduced in order to help pay the debt, or have them left alone and be forced to leave the Eurozone instead.

What's Happening for Canada Day Despite the Weather

While the forecasted gloom of rain and thunderstorms may be dampening your spirits for this upcoming Canada Day, both CTV News and CBC News report that the following activities are still a go:

 

- The Canada Day parade will be taking place, beginning at 11 am at Fort and travelling along St Catherine Street to Place Philips. Festivities will be held, and it is rumoured that there will be cake. Enough to feed about 2 000 people.

- Speaking of cake, there will be more of it in the Old Port, as well as a 21-cannon salute and concerts including Elizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, Lisbonne Telegramme, and Too Many Cooks. However, the inflatable attractions and hockey zone may be canceled if the rain becomes too heavy.

- All activities in Westmount are scheduled to go ahead, as well as St. Lazare, Cote St Luc (which will be moving into the Confederation Annex of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park in case of rain. The fireworks though will be moved to July 2 at 9:30 p.m.), and Sainte Anne de Bellevue. Activites in Lasalle and Lachine have been pushed back to 4 pm and 7:30 pm respectively. 

- The fireworks at LaRonde will be going off with a bang, as per usual.

- There is expected to be activites all day in Quebec City on the Plains of Abraham and around town. Some may be cancelled if the rain becomes heavier. 

 

If the rainy weather isn't your thing, the following activities have been moved to days with better weather, so you can still get your National Pride on:

 

- The Beaconsfield fireworks have been moved to July 10th.

- Celebrations in Dollard Des Ormeaux, Dorval and Montreal West have been pushed back a day to July 2nd. 

 

And of course, all activities for those planning to stay home and celebrate in their own way are completely unaffected by the weather.

Happy Canada Day to all, party responsibly. 

FRINGE 2015: Fringe Tunes – Mozart's Sister

June 19th. It was the last Friday night of the Fringe Fest.

On the streets of Montreal’s Plateau neighborhood, flocks of cheerful and light-hearted people were meandering from one venue to another hoping to witness their favourite theatre show.

Amidst all of the commotion, I was dashing through the crowded streets to reach my destination when a silhouette – much like a ghost – walked right past me and evaporated into thin air as quickly as it had passed through the doors of le Divan Orange..

Completely unfazed by the unusual yet underwhelming apparition, I continued to walk towards my own finish line.

I opened the door, and right before my eyes, I saw this mysterious silhouette on stage getting ready...

Adorned in a twisted rendition of a 90s bleached Canadian tuxedo (perhaps intended to channel her inner Britney Spears of yesteryear?) – the floating silhouette I saw was that of songstress Caila Thompson-Hannant, also known under her alias Mozart’s Sister. Accompanied by the latest technological innovation in MIDI controllers and launchpads, this eclectic, one-woman electro-popper was ready to perform and test her newest material to an anxious crowd, collectively looking forward to dancing their mojo out.

And I tell you, she didn’t disappoint at all.

She pleased the crowd with her very own uncanny, yet danceable and oh-so-catchy song structure grounded on very strong verses and choruses – with songs such as  "Salty Tear", "Enjoy", and "Don’t Leave It To Me".

Incorporating concoctions of synth loops, cartoonish sound bites and reverbed baby-voice vocals to her powerful and soulful singing, she created a kind of sound she labels as “Weird Pop” — a sound that is reminiscent to artists such as Aqua, early Britney Spears (remember Hit Me Baby One More Time?), and Kashmere Cat.

The work that she puts into her music production is splendid, making her finished work very pleasing to my ears, but seeing her perform before my very eyes is another story. It’s hard to say whether the emotions you feel in her recorded work equate to what you experience live in terms of how she brings together her stage presence and her interaction with the audience.

Her presence was wooden – or in this case (and pardon the pun) – it was plastic, and sarcastically fantastic, just like a Barbie doll.

Beyond instances of gratitude between songs, she expressed a few emotions. So few that it felt empty. And because her heart was so empty, that emptiness unfortunately bled into her performance, disrupting her connection with the audience and making the entire concert experience uncomfortable.

It’s a shame that her absence of human sensitivity might be the reason why she lacks much of the exposure and support towards her great body of work. It’s heartbreaking when you think about it. Moreso if you were there.

The concert ended. I detached myself from the crowd just after her encore. Everything was becoming fuzzy. My eyesight became unfocused as the concrete became abstract. My arms floated around while bodies touched other bodies as the speakers emanated bubbly noises and heavy synths.

Everything became a blur and my eyesight transformed into a misty, sweet-and-sour flavored glittery cloud...drifting within my consciousness.

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For more information about Mozart’s Sister, check out her website!

Joana Cumo is part of CJLO’s Official Fringe Team covering the sights and sounds from the 2015 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Joana hosts Charts and Crafts every second Friday from noon – 2pm; is CJLO's Assistant Promo Director, and occasionally co-hosts Champions of The Local Scene every Wednesday from 6 – 7pm, not to mention the host of her signature radio show Je Suis TBA.

You can contact Joana via email: joanacumo@gmail.com.

Credits: Photomontage by Joana Cumo, and photos provided by Claire Milbrath. 

News for June 29th 2015

LOCAL

by Patricia Petit Liang

 

 

Volunteers are getting ready to handle hundreds of abandoned animals as moving day is just around the corner.

According to the Montreal Gazette, a volunteer organization called The Freedom Drivers picks up animals from pounds near Montreal, and transports them to rescue organizations in Ontario, Quebec and even the Maritimes.

Between 50 to 70 percent of cats left at pounds are euthanized, but the euthanasia rate for dogs is significantly lower.

The Freedom Drivers are currently looking for new volunteers who can help them transport the abandoned animals.

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NATIONAL
by Saturn De Los Angeles
 
 
 

Four fishermen were rescued Sunday morning after their boat sank off the Maritime coast.

According to CBC News, the fishermen from Tignish PEI were found 93 kilometers northeast of the town by the Joint Task Force Atlantic.

 
A Hercules helicopter and Coast Guard vessel both responded to the distress signal, and the men were airlifted to Charlottetown for medical treatment.
Lt.-Cmdr. Bruno Tremblay of the Task Force says the sea conditions at the time of rescue and why the boat sank remains unknown.
 
 
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INTERNATIONAL
by Tom Matukala
 
 
 
 
The financial crisis in Greece, ongoing for the last five years, took a turn Sunday. 
 
After over 8 hours of debate, the cabinet has decided to shut down the banks for six straight working days starting Monday.

CTV news also reports that there will also be restrictions on cash withdrawals for citizens, capped at 60 euros or 66 dollars canadian per day. 

 
Bank cards issued out of the country for the tourists and foreigners, however, will not have restrictions.
These events are putting Greece's financial future and membership in the shared euro currency and European union into question.

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