Every Sunday, discover the best of the electronic music scene in an environment created to stimulate the senses.
Spring is sweet in Montréal, literally thanks to maple mania, and figuratively with all the cultural effervescence of the season. From Digital Spring to music that will massage your soul with beauty and light, it’s all happening, right here, right now.
Digital spring fever
The sophomore edition of Digital Spring, on until June 21, showcases 150 interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music performances, art exhibitions and world-class events put on by 90 organizations. It’s overwhelming to say the least, but you can let the calendar lead your experience and follow the guide online week by week. The programming will take you everywhere from Piknic Électronik to the International Symposium on Immersion and Experience and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium,at the Space for Life complex. For something a bit more lo-fi, head next door for spring fever, Botanical Garden-style: butterflies fly free through the beautifully temperate greenhouses until April 26. The kids will love it.
Taste the season
It isn’t really spring in Québec if there isn’t maple syrup involved. You can enjoy a feast of maple goodness, either classical or revisited, in the city or further afield. In town there’s a slew of restaurants that have launched special seasonal menus (check out last week’s post to get you started), otherwise our guide to the best sugar shacks in and outside Montréal is the tell-all (or is that taste-all?) you’ve been looking for. Appetites soar in general with the thaw of spring, but that doesn’t mean pocketbooks get any fatter. Get your taste on regardless with some of these top 15 meals under $15. And if you’re hungrier still, what could be better than an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Listen to this
It’s been over two years since new music by Montréal-born, Jamaican-raised Face‑T was last heard on the reggae scene. March 27 sees the world-class singer return to the stage at Belmont to launch his first independently released EP, EP1. Alongside a new five-piece band, he’s sure to fill the room with his roaring voice and electrifying energy. On that very same night, down a couple blocks at Divan Orange, the eight-piece band Orkestar Kriminal launches Tummel, which means “chaos” in Yiddish. The songs on the album originate from Moldova to Morocco, Greece, Ukraine, Poland and Argentina, but have in common that they’re criminal songs of the 1920s and ‘30s. “What really makes it special, is that we used recording techniques from the 1920s,” explains Giselle Webber, of Orkestar. “We recorded it as a live set and controlled the sound by placing everybody at a specific distance from the microphone.” Over at SAT, on March 28, shake it and bask in the ultra-sensory experience of the Satosphere as Aun’s new album Fiat Luxe launches to their live sound, as well as that of Visions’, Terminal Wolf’s and Froid’s.
On Thursday night, March 26, Cult Leader plays Bar le Ritz PDB with Old Wounds, Dark Circles and Wrong Hands to open. Fayne bring their heavy, hearty darkness to Katacombes on Friday, March 27, while the night runs wild with Nomad Nation and the sounds of Made Them Lions, Noyze, DB Cooper and Kasador. Benny Benassi and Merk & Kremont get things pumping at New City Gas on March 28, while Cherry Chérie come to Rialto Theatre for a session of sweet and tangy Québec retro rock, and boy band Eleven Past One play Club Soda. On Sunday, March 29, the weekend is young thanks to Hot Since 82 at Stereo. On Monday night, March 29, take in the dulcet notes of Emily Kafoury at Casa Del Popolo, then on Wednesday, April 1, it’s Benjamin Booker time at Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre. If you have a hankering for some traditional New Orleans-style sounds, you’re in luck. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – hailed as “America’s best traditional jazz band” – will be hitting the stage at Place des Arts on April 2 as part of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival. Laissez les bon temps roulez!