SERIES 10, SEASON 1 EPISODE 2
To celebrate its 10th season in grand style, Piknic decides to present a series of four shows. On Piknic’s regular site at Parc Jean-Drapeau, but not on Sundays and, above all, in the evenings.
After a very Hollywood first episode (Major Lazer, confetti, dancers, a balloon and bubbles), Episode 2 is bound to be epic. British veteran producer and WARP act Squarepusher honours us with the presentation of his latest AV show.
CASTING, DISTRIBUTION AND CONTINGENCY OF THE PLOT
Kobal, Ikonika, and Squarepusher are expected to take the main roles in this second episode. But we have a last-minute casting change! British DJ Ikonika, retained for the role of 2nd act, is booked in New York the night before, where high temperatures the next day set off a severe summer storm, canceling her flight. She arrives in Montreal too late to play her part. She is replaced by Vincent Lemieux (brilliantly, we’re told).
We are located under the Calder and the temperature is perfect that evening. The public? Pretty much those guys with whom you attended drum n bass raves “back in the day”. Nostalgia and impatience are both palpable. The same questions keep coming up: “Where are the screens? Will he play the bass? Where is he?” Patience, public, patience.
THE PROTAGONISTS AND THE STORY
Mr. Kobal performs for 1 hour and 45 minutes. His soul, funk, reggae, and drum n’ bass allow us try the famous lemonade-tequila we have brewing in large vats while we enjoy the last rays of sunlight. Vincent Lemieux, replacing the high heels of our leading lady stranded in NYC, puts us in a dancing mood. Overheard on the dance floor: “Is this Scuba?”
In brief, we are ready for the next show. The main actor enters the stage covered by the darkness under the Calder (no lights is his demand). The curtain falls, leaving us before a wall and stage loaded with LED. Musical sounds much like the loading of MS-DOS programs begin. The Squarepusher logo fills the screens. At this point, the Brit appears, wearing a mask fitted with an LED screen (recalling performances by Daft Punk and Deadmu5, but with more talent). For the next 75 minutes, all ears and eyes are under quarantine. The visuals, synchronized with the sound, are hypnotic. The 15 minutes when he plays the bass are magic. The sound comes alive through the imagery, or the other way around. We are caught in a loop. It is inaccessible to the uninitiated but impressive to those who know what they are in for. This is an artist completely without compromise. We could’ve taken more.
More to come in the next episode.
Piknic official album
Photographer: Miguel Legault
Photographer: Bruno Guérin
Photo credit: Miguel Legault
By Mariri // Translated by Dimitri N.