YAMANTAKA Facebook Friday night at Pop Montreal saw quite a few big acts…
- Posted on Nov 21st 2011 5:30PM by Jenny Charlesworth
"People in Montreal mainly know me as a DJ, so it's like an alternate reality," the rapper, who's gearing up to release his next record, 'Roquentin,' told Spinner. 'I'm really excited to show people who I've met over the last year or so what I'm actually about."
The indie hip-hop hero -- and former poet laureate of Edmonton -- may have set out to impress his new friends but being on his A-game obviously scored points with the dozens of music industry honchos from around the world on hand for M for Montreal, which wrapped up over the weekend.
What started as a private event for international talent buyers in 2006 has evolved into a multi-day music extravaganza that sees A&R, record label reps and booking agents gather with hardcore music fans to check out some of the hottest acts lighting up marquees around the globe. A successful showing like Cadence Weapon's high-octane hip-hop blitz can lead to international festival slots at events like the Great Escape and Bumbershoot while winning the affection of media from France, the UK and beyond.
"M for Montreal started out as a tiny show, with the first edition having like six bands, including the Besnard Lakes and Patrick Watson," longtime M for Montreal showcase programer Mikey Bernard told Spinner. "It got some good results, it helped these bands travel the world and do some interesting things, so the following year we multiplied everything. And those numbers keep doubling, we keep having more artists and more delegates."
That M for Montreal was co-founded by Martin Elbourne -- the respected concert promoter behind the Great Escape, Glastonbury and WOMAD with partner Peter Gabriel (he was also the agent for none other than the Smiths and New Order) -- bodes well for the annual showcase as it has no trouble attracting both movers and shakers from the biz and buzz acts like Active Child, M83 and the "new Arcade Fire," Iceland's Of Monsters and Men.
"This is only the third country we've visited," Of Monsters and Men's Ragnar Þórhallsson told Spinner. "We are very excited to perform here; we're trying to have a good time and be ourselves onstage. Also, people have only heard one song, [the single 'Little Talks'], so we're looking forward to people hearing more songs [when we play live]."
Between the world debut of DD/MM/YYYY's new Kraftwerk-inspired project Absolutely Free, Doldrums' Willy Wonka-like barrage of jarring samples and sounds, and the wide array of Francophone artists like Polaris Prize winners Karkwa and electro-jazzmen Misteur Valaire, M for Montreal caters to just about every musical taste.
As for Absolutely Free choosing to launch at M for Montreal after DD/MM/YYYY played the 2009 edition, that certainly suggests the showcase has hit its mark. And while trying to stand out in a city that also boasts Osheaga and Pop Montreal can be challenging, M for Montreal does because of what it offers artists like Cadence Weapon. For a guy who hasn't released a proper studio album since 2008's 'Afterparty Babies' (though we love his recent 'Tron Legacy' mixtape), M for Montreal helps to put him back on the industry radar -- which is where Cadence Weapon belongs.
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