it’s a rare thing that gets everyone in the montreal dance music scene excited. solid bookings are, more often than not, met with scepticism, indifference, or mild bemusement. maybe it’s because in this scene, everyone is a critic, and the standards are high. maybe it’s because we’re jaded. but when the em15 (that’s mutek x elektra) team announced their minilogue headed avant-mutek event, a collaboration between em15 and toronto’s breakandenter, there was a buzz.
i arrived at espace reunion at midnight on friday – early. the bouncers and ticket-takers were friendly. even the mile long line up at the coatcheck was in good spirits. it was almost this strange parallel universe where montrealers were not completely unimpressed with everything except taking cigarette breaks and unmotivated half-dancing. the venue was packed to the rafters already, and minilogue were already settling into a steady groove.
everywhere on the dancefloor, there was smiling faces. it was the first time in a long time that it felt like everyone was there for the same reason. the music. every single person just shut the fuck up and danced. of course, we’ve had parties with amazing vibes – we’re lucky like that. but this party had something special. complete musical connectedness. it didn’t hurt that the music was out of control: deep, groovy, driving, and absolutely unrelenting. sebastian mullaert and marcus henriksson had their shoes off. we danced. we sweat.
by 3 am it was clear i wasn’t going to be able to review the night. what was there to say about a party like that? i started asking people what they thought. friends told me things like “i had to pee but i didn’t want to leave the dancefloor,” and “when i went for a cigarette, i felt like i was missing something.” when minilogue got in a cab to leave, people were fighting for a chance to shake their hands. my friend yelled, “you changed lives with your music!” and it was true. i haven’t felt the same since avant-mutek. i feel fresh excitement, like…there’s hope for dance music yet.
if this is any signifier of what mutek will be like, we’re in for something special. check out the mutek line up here and get your tickets quick.
** all photos by elise apap for mutek