If this Labour Day long weekend is your last chance to have a social life before you crawl into an avalanche of textbooks, highlighters, and spiral notebooks, I have a suggestion for you. Actually, it's more than a suggestion: it's a strong prescription. Twenty artists over three days, an STM stage for kids, movies under the stars, visual arts extravnaganzas, S.W.A.P. and MASSIVart on site, a chance to play at "La guerre des clans" with the V team (uh huh)... and all of it one place. Yes! When is this all happening? During the traditional triple-header Labour Day weekend (3-4-5 September), which this year takes shape as a mini-festival: PikniCubik! Let's talk about programming.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD
Some of you may have been wondering where the breaks have been hiding all summer. Well, we’ve been saving them up for the launch of this mega-weekend! Lined up for the main stage, we have in store a boatload of DJ’s and producers from Montreal’s white-hot Planet Break crew. Best of all, they’ve decided to donate all their proceeds from the event to LEUCAN, a charity for children with cancer! Now that’s class.
The day gets underway at 2pm sharp with the devious tagteam of electro-fusing breaks DJ Murdock and his MC-in-crime, Regimental Oneton. We’re not warming up the Calder… we’re setting it on fire right from the start! At 3:30pm, we move on to another Planet Breaker, Pinky 38, who’s built a decade-long career behind the decks spinning breaks that delve into the world of house on the right and electro on the left, with a little hip-hop scratching to mix things up. Forty-five minutes later, Planet Break label founder Spacekadet takes the stage, ushering in a version of breaks that hearkens back to the genre’s 90’s rave roots. The Planet Break team rides into its grand finale with none other than Deyond, one of the founding producers from the label’s beginnings and a DJ with over 20 years of breaking beats under his belt.
At 8pm, just as the sun is starting to set, the Planet Break crew gives way to international breaks sensation The Rogue Element, in from the UK and ready to showcase why everyone from the Crystal Method to Stanton Warriors have called upon his skills to remix their tracks.
Over at the GURU Stage, we’re due for a more eclectic and altogether adventurous affair. La Presse music critic Philippe Renaud steps out from behind the computer screen at 4pm to share some of the music he’s discovered from years of wading through the promo pool. At 6pm, Bran Van 3000’s E.P. Bergen will take a break from drinking in L.A. to showcase the very wide range of musical passions he pursues on his own time.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH
If Saturday is all about the breaks, then Sunday offers a stunning all-Canadian showcase of muscular, big-room tech-house! Montreal live-electronic trio Monitor brings two DJ’s and a keyboard player to the Piknic stage to get us going in an organic fashion. Veteran Montreal DJ and Trigger Recordings founder Lebaron picks up the pace with a taste of the skills that have earned him the DJ booth at after-hours hotspots all over the city.
Local tech-house legend and Canada’s dive of electronic pop Misstress Barbara is no stranger to the Piknic stage, and when she finally makes her Calder appearance at PikniCubik, we’re sure the dance floor will erupt in celebration for the woman who at one time put Montreal’s after-hours scene on the international map.
Over at the GURU stage, the music will be on a decidedly deeper side, with minimal techno getting the show on the road in the form of local producer Axel Helios. Once the afternoon cobwebs have worn off and everyone’s energy levels are back on track, Pfreud will go tow to toe with the main stage as he brings his beefy techno into Grade-AAA Angus territory.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH
For the final stretch, we go for the jugular with a techno roster built around Adam Beyer’s Drumcode crew! On the main stage, local producer and member of the 64hz crew Bushido gets the party started with a mix of pure techno, coloured lightly with touches of breaks, dub, electro and tech-house. At 5:30pm, the Swedish-born but US-based techno veteran Christian Smith showcases just why he’s become such a pivotal part of DJ crates belonging to Adam Beyer, John Digweed, and Dubfire. At 7:30-pm, the euphoria peaks with a rare Montreal appearance by the UK’s Alan Fitzpatrick, whose 8 Sided Dice label is built upon his many successes as a leading member of the Drumcode crew.
Over at the GURU stage, a wide-ranging mix of indie-influenced dance music hits the stage in the form of two exciting local acts! At 4pm, Boyscout Killers will take off on an improvised set that could take them anywhere from industrial IDM to psychedelic electro. Longtime musical adventurer Leon Lo - aka Skinnybones - brings the UK funky to the picturesque lawns of the second stage at 6pm, following up on a very impressive debut live at this year’s MUTEK.
The PikniCubik special pass grants access to the three days of PikniCubik, and it’s on sale at Ticketpro.ca at a very affordable $25 (taxes + service charges included).
Of course, anyone with a Piknic Électronik season pass will be able to use that to enjoy PikniCubik. Without either pass, admission for each day will be the regular $12.
Saturday September 3rd - presented by STM
MC from 2pm to 8pm: Regimental Oneton
2pm : Murdock (Ca)
3:30pm : Pinky 38 (Ca)
5:15pm : Spacekadet (Ca)
6:30pm : Deyond (Ca)
8pm : The Rogue Element (GB)
4pm : Philippe Renaud
6pm : E.P. Bergen from Bran Van 3000
8:30pm: Ciné-Piknic | The Wall
Sunday September 4th - presented by V
2pm : Monitor (Ca)
4pm : LEBARON (Ca)
6pm : Misstress Barbara (Ca)
4pm : Axel Helios
6pm : PFreud
8:30pm: Ciné-Piknic | DJ XL5 Videophonic Zappin' Party
Monday September 5th – presented by STM
2pm : Bushido (Ca)
5:30pm : Christian Smith (Se)
7:30pm : Alan Fitzpatrick (GB)
4pm : Boyscout Killers
6pm : Skinnybones