i know, i know. “the last speaker session was last week,” i hear you say to yourself. you’re right. but i couldn’t wait to bring you the 16th volume of little city mixes, because it arrived just in time for the bootleg edition of grey area, courtesy of montreal producer/DJ, dull.
grey area is a series of bi-monthly underground dance music events run by residents/hosts michael armstrong (aka M4CR0) and michael flandez, who together form DJ duo michael & i. although the community project is still in its relative youth – it’s only three events old, to be fair – grey area has managed to bring something new to the table. true to its name, grey area is “neither here nor there,” pulling in references from a plethora of intelligent dance music genres, putting together events that speak to the thinker in all of us. where other events cater to that fucked up bass drop party til you drop tip, grey area favours conceptual dancefloor centric soundscapes, live performances, and boundary pushing DJ sets. so far, the grey area roster has seen artists like ana+one, zeina, like a tree, mir, and magnanime, playing alonside M4CR0 and flandez.
we’re extra excited for the upcoming bootleg edition of the event, which will take place at a super secret loft spot in the jean talon area of montreal. no word yet on where it is exactly, but because it’s not only a bootleg edition AND the halloween special, shit is gonna get weird. tunes will be provided by little city regulars billy dalessandro and zeina, alongside M4CR0, flandez, and special guest, dull. if this is the first you’re hearing of dull – real name marc bartissol – then consider this your lucky day. it’s almost as if grey area was conceived with marc in mind, such is the connection between his sound and the ideas projected by this event.
don’t let the name fool you; dull is an artist and his music couldn’t be further from the staleness his moniker would have you expect. so-called because of his friend’s pre-conceived notion of minimal electronic music, marc took up the dull handle in a kind of off-hand prove-them-wrong move. he explains it like this: “the idea of suggesting that i’m boring and unaware yet actually coming up with an interesting musical narrative and taking people by surprise is appealing to me.” the paradox between preconceived expectations and actual real life projections is perfectly in balance, and the whole thing is wittier for it. in brief, dull is dull simply because he’s so interesting. it’s a bit of a grey area in and of itself.
having grown up playing the piano (classical and jazz), marc describes his relationship with music as “distinctly clumsy.” with over 15 years of piano experience alone, i find that doubtful. marc is a native to pélissanne (a small village near marseille), france but took up residence in montreal to pursue a degree in film production. since, his interest in art – written, visual, and aural – has flourished. montreal tends to have that effect on us artists (i say “us” loosely because i am clearly not an artist but, you know what i mean)
“this mix is aimed at juxtaposing storytelling & groove, placing itself at the merging point of minimalistic electronics, acoustic soundscapes, romantic & serialist classical music.”
dull’s mix for little city is constructured with artistry. the intro is subtle and almost eerie. a projection of the weirdness that follows. the mix moves into minimal beats so strange, it’s as if the voices in your head have been set to music. the build up is achingly slow, but the anticipation is worth it. it pulls you in before ascending to silvery beats and smoky vocals. in short? it’s anything but dull.
follow dull / soundcloud
follow grey area / facebook