The latest EchoIsOne and Fundamentals collaboration brought together a synergistic series of names from Canada and France under the banner of dub techno. Location-wise, praise to the teams for having chosen The Hive, an increasingly popular event location which has seen the likes of Akufen, Vincent Lemieux, Flabbergast, Paul Birken, A Lobster Theremin Showcase, Kassem Mosse, Leo Pol, Marc Milner, Saverio Celestri, Hashman Dee Jay, Titonton Duvante, Matt Thibideau, Convextion, etc. used by numerous local organisers (Outsiders Montreal, Raw Feelings, Bolting Bits, LCC). Its spacious and minimalistic setup has a terrific balance between a dynamic dance floor for the physically inclined, a close-by break-time spot, and a more distant lounging and socialising area, all delimited by the sound system positioning. The balance was present in the superb sound fidelity as well, the speakers produced little hearing fatigue after hours of dance-floor presence; can’t say the same for the public’s legs, as the crowd was dancing until the end. Even though the location was dark, the only traces of dynamic illumination were the delicate, minimalistic visual creations of Jhota Gomez, projected with the crowd comfort in mind.
EchoIsOne resident Ricardo Rocco provided the appetiser for the night, assuring a smooth and steady rhythm for our souls to open up. Ricardo has been deeply involved in the Montreal nightlife, his name having appeared in events alongside Stefny, Nina Kraviz, Recondite, Ozen, everywhere from Stereobar to Salon Daomé. His set made us flip the first pages of the night’s story, establishing the context and imagery of the music, setting up the snowball which kept growing with time.
The follow-up was assured by Adam Solomon, one of Montreal’s underground authorities, having been present alongside Steve Bicknell, Jeff Mills, Voiski, Ben Klock, and co-author of the night through Fundamentals. Picking up where Ricardo left off, Adam’s melodic narrative took the floor in the echoes of applause for his predecessor. His sounds gave us an ever so slightly more dynamic exposition of what was to come, still flipping through the book, framing the gravitas of the night’s apex, building upon the inertia he received.
The continuation was drowned in applause as Adam gave the decks to Upwellings. While lights were flickering in his gear, audio landscapes started to appear. The book, with clearly defined pages, temporarily became a continuous scroll under Vincent’s performance. Melodies blending seamlessly, imagery transitions almost imperceptible; an experience to be felt with both body and soul. His sustained, audio panoramas were engrossing; a work of love. The feelings seemed to be reciprocated by the unstoppable crowd.
What might be a mistake to believe at this point is that the snowball had stopped rolling after Upwellings. This story went kept on going with CMD’s preserved energy which she released over the crowd in the last hours. CMD’s portfolio touched the labels Basic_sounds, Fur Trade, Low Noise Productions. Corina has been seen and heard at the 16th edition of Mutek, continuously in Montreal’s nightlife, and more notably on CKUT 90.3 FM with her respectable Modular_Systems recordings.
This story never ended. It remained in the spirits of the artists, the public; every one of us took something unique from that night: lingering emotions, obscure imagery, slight physical distress, the sense of belonging. It was an intimate exploration of dub techno, an exchange of energy, be it either emotional and/or physical, between the artists and the public. EchoIsOne and Fundamentals showed us how music is an universal language, with it uniting two countries over an ocean away.
Review: Filip Popescu
Photos & Video/Editing: Seif Bourguiba