Piknic at Osheaga: 3 acts that should already be on your festival radar
In the late '90s, local afterhours spots began catering to a clientele that demanded both 'techno' and 'hip-hop' rooms. While some saw these designated spaces as confining music to a particular public, hence creating divisions that weren't there in the first place, it also gave more than a few ravers (listen, we are talking about the '90s here) the chance to break up their tribal tech-a-thon with a few 'urban room' interludes, and vice versa. That spirit of club night curiosity, cross-genre pollination or whatever the heck you want to call it is still alive and well - and at outdoor music fests, no less.
10 years later, the argument could be made that the very nature of clearly defined music genres is simply preposterous and that everything we listen to is just a hodgepodge of influences. Totally. Nevertheless, it's great to see a large-scale fest like Osheaga make a conscious effort to appeal to those who get seriously amped about a miscellany of electronic textures, glitches and basslines. Osheaga organizers have invited Piknic Électronik back to program 3 days' worth of top-notch DJs and live acts. Here are three you'd be crazy to miss out on if you're at Parc Jean-Drapeau this weekend - whether you're a house, hard rock or hip-hop room kind of individual. Forget those boundaries and live a little, why don't cha.
1. DâM FunK (U.S.)
What it is... Tender boogie funk with vintage synths
What you need to know... Damon G. Riddick is a modern funk singer, electro-R&B DJ and producer with a particular fondness for the ‘70s and ‘80s. But don’t mistake him for a one-note throwback act; this guy is a walking, breathing, contemporary bag o’ tricks. I mean, he’s even remixed Animal Collective’s "Summertime Clothes"...
Why you should skip Sia for this... Because of the sheer unpredictability of his fluttering soul and sophisticated electro-funk. Make a date with the future of funk, DâM right!
When? Saturday at 5 p.m.
Give this a listen... "Hood Pass Intact"
2. Robot Koch (Germany)
What it is... Eclectic glitch-hop: unusual, intimate, filtered, fiery. Okay, perhaps Koch describes it best: “It’s like Motown with lazers.”
What you need to know... This Berlin electro whiz is the mind behind futuristic dub trio Jahcoozi and post-rock/hip-hop act The Tape vs RQM. He produces and remixes artists like Rustie and Amanda Blank. 'Robot' is actually a nickname, stemming from the fact this German beatmaker doesn’t sleep much.
Why you should skip Ratatat for this... Because his dark, galactic compositions are the perfect complement to a setting sun. Also : To tip your hat to the guy who doesn’t sleep so you can dance. That, plus he’s been praised by everyone from Modeselektor to Flying Lotus, so I rest my case.
When? Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
Give this a listen... "Hard To Find"
3. Jamie xx (U.K.)
What it is... Lush, melodic, sensitive bass music for hopeless romantics
What you need to know... Along with Romy and Oliver, Jamie Smith is the third, more self-effacing member of The XX. Mega-prolific producer, you’ve most definitely heard his Florence and The Machine, Glasser and Adele remixes, and you should look into his stellar remix LP of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’m New Here. This guy is reformatting beats like it's going out of style.
Why you should skip City and Colour for this... to embrace the serenity and musical savvy of Jamie’s spirited dancefloor magic.
When? Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Give this a listen... His debut solo single, the tropical "Far Nearer", out on Glasgow label Numbers
Full lineup for the Piknic Stage at Osheaga:
SATURDAY JULY 30
13h : Seb Diamond & DuVall (Ca)
16h : Egyptrixx (Ca)
17h : DâM FunK (US)
18h30 : Jacques Greene (Ca)
19h45 : Robot Koch (De)
21h : Girl Unit (GB)
SUNDAY JULY 31
13h : Shaydakiss & A-Rock (Ca)
16h : Dillon Francis (US)
17h : Jeremy Ellis (US)
18h30 : Jamie xx (GB)
20h : Claude VonStroke (US)