Each year, the Red Bull Music Academy brings together a potpourri of some of the most innovative producers, vocalists, DJs and instrumentalists from all around the world—and one of them was Montreal's very own Poirier. LOOKOUT recently got the goods on the DJ/producer's experience during the RBMA in London, just before an exciting weekend for Poirier: Karnival v.9 at Le Belmont on Friday, JunoFest at Toronto's Wrongbar on Saturday, and the Juno Awards on Sunday. Cheer for him on March 27th, as he is up for his second Juno; this time around his album Running High is nominated for Electronic Album of the Year. Despite all that activity, this particular interview focused on one place and one moment in history: the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London. To apply for this year's Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo, or for more information, click here.
London is a unique place as home to many immigrants from around the world, and more specifically, as having a strong Jamaican diaspora. How did the RBMA's two-week-long session, and especially that exposure to the London scene, affect your music?
It had already been an influence for a long time. Since 1991, London, the UK, has deeply influenced my love of the bass coming from the sound system culture that Jamaicans brought into the UK back in the '50s and '60s (I highly recommend watching the BBC documentary Reggae Britannia about that specific subject). The UK urban scene, from ragga jungle to UK Garage, from Hip-Hop to UK Funky, has deep roots in the Jamaican sound system culture. Being part of the RBMA in 2010 gave me the opportunity to see that scene and be part of it. It also gave me a spot to DJ with Face-T at the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2010 at the RBMA x Major Lazer stage. Playing soca in that context was SO nice.
What RBMA lecture did you find the most inspiring?
The gold medal goes to Gabriel Roth from Daptone Records who was super honest and direct. I’ve been following what he's been doing since day one and I really respect what he has achieved. I remember buying The Daktaris CD a long time ago. It was discounted at Archambault probably because at that time nobody knew what the hell that afrobeat CD with lions on the cover was. I love when stores don't know when they have gold.
Mark Ronson was quite interesting, sharing some stories from the inside.
As well, seeing Steve Reich in person was something I was looking forward to.
I read that out of the sixty artists chosen for 2010's RBMA, there were four Canadians and three of those four were from Montreal. This can’t be a coincidence, if you ask me. What is it about Montreal artists?!
What is it about Montreal, we might even say. I think Montreal gives people a nice context to think, elaborate, meet and create. The city size is perfect. Big enough to be a big city, but not too big so people have time to chill and have a quality of life. These ingredients all together give artists fresh air to expand their thoughts into reality.
I was looking through this year’s RBMA application and it was extensive, but also really thought-provoking (for instance, one question made me recall the records that bring me to tears). Do you remember the funniest or most interesting answer you gave when you applied?
I still have the scans, let me check. To the question: "Which technical set-up do you usually utilize for your musical activities?" I answered: "The best plug-ins are IDEAS.”
And later to the question: "What's the things you can live without and why?" I answered: "Food. Water. It's pretty obvious."
Do you have any advice for this year’s applicants?
Do it. Be honest. No need to brag. It's about music. It's about the love of music. Making it, discovering it, sharing it. You don't need to pretend you're somebody else and if you're trying to be somebody else for any reason, please save yourself some time and go play outside with the kids.Read Less ↑
A common rebuttal by those fatigued and jealous of Montrealer's constant evangelizing on the vibrancy and community of their home is the assertion that the island goes dead during the brutal winter months. If that's truly how the rest of the world sees the city, consider Igloofest Montreal's extended middle finger, an outdoors electronic music fest that shows a joie de vivre in subzero temperatures most cities couldn't manage in perfect conditions. With too many acts to count packed into the fest's three weekends, here's our guide to what's worth seeing.
Thursday, Jan. 13:
Start the fest off easy and pace it right by checking out Rilly Guilty at the Virgin Mobile Igloo at 8.
Saturday, Jan. 15:
Saturday night definitely has the heaviest concentration of Montreal's own sons and daughters and it's probably the night we're most excited about. For a constant stream of Montreal's best artists, start the night at the Main Stage to catch the Night Trackin DJs' 6:30 set, then head over to the Igloo for SHAYdakiss & A-Rock's set at 8, before sprinting back to the Main Stage at 9 for Lunice's epic swagfest.
Thursday, Jan. 20:
Friday, Jan. 21:
One of Igloofest's absolute-can't-miss-shows is Toronto native and Night Slugs warrior Egyptrixx. Do whatever you can to be front and center at his 8:00 Main Stage set.
Saturday, Jan. 22:
The shows at Igloofest don't run too late, but MTL native Hatchmatik's 10:00 Igloo set ought to capture the late night loft aesthetic to a T.
Thursday, Jan. 27:
The safe bet for a great show is to stake out the Main Stage all night for Jordan Dare and the legend Carl Craig. Those more daring, or perhaps desperate for a change of scenery, might take a chance on venturing to Robyn's 10:00 show at Metropolis. Either way, there are no losers at Igloofest.
Friday, Jan. 28:
Let it never be said that fest isn't going out swinging. Once again, stake out the Main Stage all night for climactic sets by Ikonika and MTL's natural born riddim killer, Poirier. Miss any part of the night at your own peril.
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The Montreal don Poirier draws on reggae and dub for the piping hot riddim roundabout he put together for the third LOOKOUT mixtape. Much like Spectacular says on the track featured, Poirier is badder than dem, madder than dem and rougher than dem. The vibe is exactly that, but even so, culminates in a smooth tropical sound.
Named after Poirier and Ghostbeard's Sud-West party at Montreal's Lachine Canal, this mix is a must listen for patio lovers, and winter hermits alike. Much like the traveling DJ/producer, the Sud-West mix goes all around the Caribbean with conscious island jams from Mr Vegas, Alborosie, Richie Spice and more. Skank away.
Scientist - When I Love Dub
John Holt - Police in Helicopter
Alborosie - Rub A Dub Style
Mr Vegas - Mus Come A Road
John Holt - Strange Thing
Chezidek - Bun Di Ganja
Spectacular - Badder Than Dem
Junior Byles - Fade Away
Million Stylez - Fade Away 2006
The Tamlins - Baltimore
Milton Henry - Gypsy Woman
Augustus Pablo - Cassava Piece
Roots Manuva - Brand New Dub
Poirier - Mangnen l'boulé feat. Nik Myo (Riddim Wise Remix)
Mikey Dangerous - Don't Go Pretending
I Wayne - Living In Love
Richie Spice - Youths Are So Cold
Miike Snow - Animal (Mark Ronson Remix)
Poirer returns from the Red Bull Music Academy with a huge new track, titled "90's Backyard." The time spent at the academy must have had a had a big effect on Poirier; this sounds of this track are totally new for him. Sure, the energy and the bass are as manic as ever and the track hits as hard as any of his songs, but this one isn't particularly tied into any Carribean sub-genre. This isn't soca, cumbia, or dancehall, it's just unleashed!
This single was released in advance of his new album Running High. Poirier and his buddy/frequent collaborater Face-T are touring Canada at the moment to support the album, which is currently in stores. Their Montreal homecoming show is scheduled for April 29 at Passeport. You can stream and download the single below:
BONUS: Check out this mixtape Poirier compiled in celebration of his new album!
As he bids farewell to his time spent at the Red Bull Music Academy, MTL native Poirier recently put together a mix for RBMA radio. Bookended by his own edits and originals, the mix shows where Poirier's head is at after his experience in the whirlwind that is the RBMA. The stay in London must have supercharged his creative process - tropical rhythms powered by chest-caving bass pulse through the mix as per usual, but there's a newfound urgency and perspective that marks Poirier's evolution and growth. You can stream the mix and check out the tracklist below. Stay up for mixes from the other Canadian participants!
The tracklist is as follows:
Cham - Rude Boy Pledge (Poirier Remix)
Tippa Irie - Bad Boy (Bad Boys Riddim 2009)
Chedizek - Me Nah Run (No Borders Riddim)
Vybz Kartel - Money Hustler (Good Life Riddim)
Poirier - Let Them Hate ft YT (Mungo’s Hifi Remix)
Poirier - Pickney Too Bad feat. Serocee
Sabo & Cassady - La Curura
Mapaputsi - Kleva
Fulgeance - Low Club Anthem (Edit)
King Cannibal - Aragami Style
Fort Knox 5 - The Wonder (Stereotyp Remix)
Partysquad - Pull Up
L-Vis 1990 - United Groove (MJ Cole Remix)
Danny Scrilla - 12102009
Atki2 & Dub Boy - Tigerflower
Crazy Cousinz & Aidonia - Bounce
Busy Signal & Mavado - Badman Place (Poirier Remix)
Poirier - Enemies feat. Face-T (Sticky Remix)
If you don't know anything about the Red Bull Music Academy, then you need to check out the site immediately, stream the custom radio, and delve into what is one of the most into what is one of the most insanely stacked music collaborations in the world.
If you do know how exciting and exclusive the program is, then now is you chance to live vicariously through the 4 participants! The Exclaim! blog is providing a platform for the 4 Canadian participants and their own staff writer to share their unique experiences from the Academy's inner workings. Already, the artists Lunice, Amenta, Poirier, and Ango have written about private lectures and performances from talents as diverse as A-Trak and Dam Funk.
Dam's overriding advice? "Keep it gangsta." Well put, that's why LOOKOUT is proud to bring Dam Funk to Club Lambi March 6! LOOKOUT wishes the best of luck to all the participants, enjoy the incredible opportunity!
Dec 18 @ SAT w/ RBMA 2010 participants Poirier, Lunice, Ango, Amenta + Hudson Mohawke + Mike Slott.
Photos by anothersidewalk.tv
Before hosting Mr. Poirier at Banana Split Sundaes, we took a sec for a quick interview with a Poirier, a Montreal local with a big buzz on the internat. music scene.
How did the original Bridge Burner party, your collaboration with Khiasma and Megasoid, come about?
It was initially Rob's idea (aka Speakerbruiser from Megasoid) . In May 2007 he took his van under the Van Horne overpass, set up his gear and sound system with his Megasoid partner Hadji and played music in front of 250 people until the police shut it down. A month later, Rob was excited to repeat the experience and it's at that moment that Khiasma and I got involved since we're all friends and since we like to push urban music in many directions. It was for St-Jean. Word of mouth and Facebook helped to spread the word. We played from midnight until 2am. The police were very cool about it because they said they're more permissive when it's the St-Jean holiday. They let us play for 2 hours and stayed around the event without disturbing us. About 1500 peoples came and it was a huge success. So that was the second one, but for many peoples they refer to St-Jean 2007 as the first Bridge Burner.
There was a huge response for this year’s Bridge Burner, how did you feel the show went?
It was way more than what I expected. I mean, I was expecting lots of peoples, but not that amount ! 5000 ! Everything went very well and I was happy that we all played 2 sets of 50 minutes. The first set of each was more mellow, block party style, and the second set was more dancefloor oriented. We played a total of 5 hours, the event was free and the vibe was very good. I think the point about Bridge Burner is to have an outdoor DJ-oriented event on the Québec national day--something that nobody else really offers.
You’ve had a pretty busy year, releasing remixes, playing some big shows, and coming off a string of original releases. What’s been driving this prolific output and what’s next?
I like music a lot, it's a passion, and the more you do, more you wanna do. It's just a positive circle. Everything is related and helps to drive the next thing, the next move. I've got so many ideas--it's non-stop.
Through all your experiences, what is your favorite city to play to? Is Montreal any different than the others?
Montreal is different because it's my "laboratory", this is where I test my stuff--it's where I built what I do and it's where I'm building the future. I like playing in San Francisco, Edmonton, London and Bristol in UK, Malmö in Sweden. It's playing in all different contexts that brings me good experiences. But just naming a few cities doesn't do justice to all the good promoters and to all the nights that I've played at.Read Less ↑