This edition of Residents’ Hour comes in loud and clear from Canada’s hub of Montreal. Lexis is the founder and resident of Music Is My Sanctuary and one of the longstanding figures of Montreal’s nightlife. Here, Lexis shares the hardships he has watched the scene go through. Dive into his mix recorded at one of Music Is My Sanctuary’s monthly parties, and read on to discover the journey he and his peers have experienced so far.
“The Music Is My Sanctuary nights in Montreal are an extension of the philosophy behind the website I started in 2007. The monthly party launched two years ago at Bleury Vinyl Bar, a cozy place with the most eclectic and progressive programming in the city. They went out of their way to create the right environment: nice soundsystem, great DJ booth and staff that actually love music (a very underrated factor). There is nothing worse than playing somewhere with a body of staff that doesn’t give a shit about music. That vibe trickles down to the audience.
“We’ve welcomed a wide range of guests like Onra, Jay Daniel, El-B, Spinna, Quantic, Waajeed, Swindle, Lefto and Flava D; and co-presented nights to bring people such as BadBadNotGood, Floating Points, Dego and Mount Kimbie. We’ve also repped the local Montreal heroes including the likes of Kaytranada, Jacques Greene, Iron Galaxy, Poirier, KenLo Craqnuques and Project Pablo, amongst others.
“The core principle of the night is ‘music above all else’: hype, trends, gimmicks and boundaries. Too often we get excited about so many other elements, rather than the music itself. Let’s face it, we all can claim some guilt in getting caught up in the hype surrounding an artist, the value of a record, the mixer being used, the brand of a club’s soundsystem, vinyl vs digital, original pressings only. Honestly, it drains the fun out of the music for me sometimes.”
“For me, the fun in DJing and record digging is trying to connect the dots between musical opposites – old and new, organic and electronic, downtempo and uptempo, rare records and dollar bin gems – and to treat them all with the same sense of wonder.
“In Montreal, the role of the DJs and event organizers as ‘tastemakers’ is more crucial here than in Europe. We don’t have the same media structure, music magazines and radio supporting underground and progressive music outside of the Top 40 chart stuff. We probably have one of the worst commercial radio scenes in the world, mostly because the Government imposes a quota of Canadian music content on traditional terrestrial radio. It’s 2016 and in Montreal, we still don’t have a rap, R&B or electronic music radio station (unlike many other cities in North America, particularly in the States). This makes the role of all involved in the underground scene absolutely vital.
“The core principle of the night is ‘music above all else’: hype, trends, gimmicks and boundaries.”
“More than anything, we try and put together nights where people leave with some great musical discoveries. I personally couldn’t care less if people Shazam thirty songs from the night. All the glory goes to the artists and the DJ is there to showcase his musical vision, not to put himself above it.
“So here is a taste of what you’d be likely to hear in the early hours at one of our MIMS monthly nights. Expect the unexpected!”
The next Residents’ Hour episode sees us travelling back across the pond to our native London hub. Tune back in in a fortnight’s time.
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