A sprawling fusion of language, culture, style and taste, Montreal is – culturally and politically – one of Canada’s most important cities.
Held in venues across the historic port, M For Montreal is every bit as varied as the city itself. Clash is busy exploring a labyrinthine complex of venues, turning up a few surprises in the process.
Expect a full report when the dust settles, but for now here are a few tips direct from M For Montreal.
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Brian Borcherdt is central to Holy Fuck, allowing his arms to blend into a whirlwind of Krautrock rhythms behind the collective’s archive synth noise-fuckery. His side project Dusted, though, is almost entirely different- delicately etched songwriting, it’s sparse but completely effecting. Each note counts.
No, it’s not K-Pop. Seoul take their cue from the more blissful end of the Captured Tracks roster, but throw in some Balaeric synths for good measure. Seemingly only launched six months ago, Seoul’s perfect pop arrives in an almost immaculate fashion.
Best known as the vocalist and creative lynchpin in The Dears, Murray Lightburn has foresworn earnest indie for something rather more dramatic. A retro-Futurist sci-fi odyssey, his current project 'MASS:LIGHT' re-fuels The Human League’s pop engine, while the presentation – Lightburn wears an eye patch and is joined onstage by two backing singers dressed as angels – has to be seen to be believed.
Montreal’s electronic scene is dominated by loft parties, by abandoned spaces re-contextualised for club use. As such, the city has a habit of throwing up someone like Black Atlass: slate grey, ultra-moody songwriting, the beats are all pared down, ghostly R&B and shattered UK garage.
Canada is huge. Enormous. Almost unfeasibly large. Les Jupes hail from Manitoba – the prairie state – and their steady, well pieced together indie rock bares all the hallmarks of time spent brooding amid vast forests and gushing rivers.
A Tribe Called Red
Part of a wider movement within aboriginal arts to match traditional culture to the internet age, A Tribe Called Red is already a phenomenon in Canada. Speaking clearly, distinctly about the experience of the First Nations, the collective fuse this with pounding, hip hop production which has already won the approval of Diplo. A sampledelic guide to an oft-neglected aspect of Canadian culture, their set is – quite simply – a riot from start to finish.
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