Blockhead, Poirier, Quadratic, MC Zulu, DJ Demchuk, Abstract Science DJs | The Abbey | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Blockhead, Poirier, Quadratic, MC Zulu, DJ Demchuk, Abstract Science DJs Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., May 20, 8:30 p.m. 2011

In the music world, Montreal is best known as home to the Arcade Fire and somewhat less so as home to the family of blog-beloved indie-rock bands surrounding Wolf Parade. It's also home to a more obscure—and more interesting—genre called "lazer bass," a booming, party-starting hybrid of dance music and dancehall named by New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones in a 2008 blog post. His coinage never really caught on, and neither has the sound—and the latter is a hell of a shame. Lazer bass not only has everything that's led dubstep to nightclub domination—ridiculous, throbbing bass lines and choppy but eminently danceable beats—but also adds the frenetic energy of dancehall, a style that's well-­represented in Montreal's large Caribbean community. Ghislain Poirier is one of the foremost proponents of lazer bass, and on his DJ mixes and original productions—like the 2010 album Running High (Ninja Tune)—he shows a rare gift for stringing together bangers massive enough to reduce clubs to rubble and audiences to a state of exhausted, danced-out bliss. —Miles Raymer

Price: $20, $18 in advance

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