Electronic music comes in many forms, but the kind that the MEG Montreal Electronic Groove music festival specializes in is all about having a good time, whether that means dancing all night on a boat or rocking out in a St-Laurent bar. With over 70 artists at 10 different venues (yes, including a boat), this year’s festival, July 26 to August 3, celebrates 15 years of bringing artists and audiences together in the name of new electronic sounds…
What stands out the most at MEG, is the diversity of Montreal’s electronic music community and its international connections. The fest’s stages have seen no less than the likes of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Justice, MIA and Richie Hawtin, along with Montreal sensations Tiga and Chromeo. This year, as always, MEG’s mix of music runs from dance-floor-shaking acts to indie-rock-infused electronica, with a little hip hop thrown in for good measure.
The biggest show of the fest comes for free: on the night of August 2, right downtown at Place des Festivals, the Electro-Choc outdoor show with music from acclaimed Montreal DJ and producer Poirier, mixing hip hop and electronic dance music, Montreal-meets-Martinique collective Sous Le Ground, along with France’s Icess Madjoumba and Montreal’s JFL. The show doesn’t stop there though: follow that up with more at an after party at Cabaret Underworld with Geeraph and even more music from Poirier and friends. Rivaling the Place des Festival’s show for sheer spectacle is the MEG Boat, launching from the Old Port on the night of August 3: spend the night crusing on the St-Laurent river with The Hacker and DJs from the Montreal’s Turbo Recordings label.
MEG teams up with the Osheaga music festival on August 1 for Electromania, a crowd-packed night of feel-good beats and overpowering R&B-style grooves, with L.A.-based producer Shlohmo, France’s Sound Pellegrino, Thermal Team and Para One, and Tommy Kruise, all at Club Soda. While on July 25, the fest pairs with Parisian party Techno Parade on July 25 at the Phi Centre, with headliner Agoria and three more dance-music specialists. Osheaga’s influence comes up again at Club Belmont’s showcase of UK label Black Butter, with Rudimental, Kidnap Kid and Gordon City on August 1.
MEG’s major shows keep us out all night, as is the Montreal fashion, but the festival doesn’t neglect the city’s happy-hour tradition – called the “5 a 7” – either: combine an evening shopping trip with music at Montreal’s Lacoste flagship store (1011 Ste-Catherine Street W.), from 5 to 7 p.m. each night of the festival, with DJs Phil Fiction, Claire, Ezlv and Verness. And MEG wouldn’t miss out on Piknic Electronik, a Sunday afternoon staple at Parc Jean-Drapeau: on July 28, hear music from Magnanime and Locomote X Omni.
The indie-rock side of the festival is in full form this year too. Hear dance music of a different ilk on July 26 as duo Saxsyndrum combines saxophone and danceable drum beats at Casa del Popolo, and another Montreal duo, Solids, makes melodic grunge sounds at Sala Rossa, along with Complications and the return of must-see Duchess Says. Fans of frenetic drumming, wild synths and driving guitars populate the CTZNSHP and UN show on July 25 at Divan Orange. And on August 1, some of the best in Montreal’s indie-pop scene show up at at Théâtre Corona of a show that guaranteed to be good: The Besnard Lakes, Hôtel Morphée, Valleys and Dusted. Of course, this being a festival, there’s even more music packing the schedule – see MEG’s site for all the details.
MEG Montreal Electronic Groove, July 26 to August 3, 2013