December 4 2007
Remember a few weeks back I was all about the new Matthew Dear album, talking a lot about how it was like one of my favorites of the year and all that.... Well, there is a contender,several really, for a title that is of little consequence though neveryoushouldwonder that this is still damn good music...
The past couple of weeks, my head has been naad-ing* to the music of Ghislain Poirier, a fine beat maker and native of Francophone Montreal, is obsessed with big, dirty beats, an affliction that causes him create some of the most out of control ragga style riddims, and deconstructed abstract hip-hop to date. Mmm...good.
In 2005 Poirier released the album ‘Breakupdown’ on Chocolate Industries, the record was well received by the public and press alike, and as a result he was offered the opportunity to perform during a North American tour with the loudest midget in the game herself, Lady Sovereign. Here's a video from that album (i.e. Breakupdown)...
Since then, Poirier has been throwing down his own successful monthly DJ night in Montreal, ‘BOUNCE LE GROS’. An evening that features what Poirier describes as “Bass and no attitude, Gros sound, Gros Beat, Gros Move, Bounce le Gross”. A master in the art of making people move, Poirier’s night of genre Mashing provides enough bass to fill the place, attracting a mixed crowd that appreciate his dirty style, tasty beats and eclectic flare. Spinning music that flows effortlessly from global hip hop, grime, Bali beats, Booty bass, crunk, Baltimore and much more is this DJ’s signature stamp, a sold out party month after month.
“I love having mixed crowds. I play a lot of stuff which is underground on a certain level but really appeals to people. When you play an underground track from Haiti, most people don’t know what it is but if you’ve got people from Haiti in the crowd, they’ll be twice as loud as everybody because it’s talking to them directly. They’re like ‘What’s going on here? Here’s a track from my country that I’ve never heard before!’ So it’s really fun to surprise people that way.”
The video above is admittedly for those that "parle Francais" though the gist is that the most dominant influence on his new Ninja Tune album 'No Ground Under' is dancehall. Even the dancehall best known to mainstream North American audiences is still characteristic of the unusual accents and synthetically stylized methods of the genre. Jamaica has always been a hot house of intense competition between rival ‘sound systems’ (mobile disco set-ups) which feed the Jamaican predilection for constant newness and originality in music. Poirier clearly admires the music and the environment that fosters it.
“Dancehall is pushing the limits of music so much. It’s so hard, yet it’s popular music in Jamaica. I wish it could be like that in Canada and in other countries. Those kinds of rhythms are so inspired to me.”
'No Ground Under' draws from Montreal’s multilingual talent to create a sound which may actually represent a coherent primer of global ghettotech. The first vocal track “Blazin’” with Face T (from Montreal’s Kulcha Connection) is a very appealing dancehall confection, yet features a middle section which could have rocked the British ‘ardcore scene at the turn of the '90s. Like so much of the music on 'No Ground Under,' it’s ingenious and gently experimental. His skipping, skanking beats make the most of the bumpy rhythms of his ‘ethnic’ samples, bringing out their hidden dancehall potential.
“I don’t play the world music card. That’s not the point. The point is to bring people I know that have talent. I don’t want to [present it] as exotic, but on the same level I feel all the people on this album, all [our] influences are on the same level. It’s urban bass, the urban music that’s made in so many countries. I’m living in Quebec, I’m more open to what’s happening in France, Europe, Africa. I think the album reflects that and the French-English patois, too. There are many accents in the world—I don’t think the accents make it 'world music.' Since the beginning [I make music] for the world.”
And here is another video in case you still need some convincing... He's with Sixtoo and Khiasma at St. Jean (CAN)...