Ice storm: Bonobo and Lunice at Sub Zero.

A look at two highlights from Montreal's Igloofest.
By    January 21, 2016


Lua Demeny is new here at Passion of the Weiss. Give her a warm welcome.

“Dancing in the snow? Fuck that noise!”

If that’s your view regarding whether or not you should sacrifice your warmth and comfort for a winter festival in a city where temperatures regularly dip colder than US-Russian relations, you should reconsider.

There aren’t many reasons to get excited for winter in Montreal, but over 10 years Igloofest with its dancing yetis and line ups straddling the line between pure dance music and hip hop has made itself in to a “must attend” event. It’s hard to miss the giant “10th anniversary” ice block as you walk in, announcing the festival’s milestone, right before grabbing a hot cup of mulled wine, and a free marshmallow to roast by the fire pits, helping you gather up the gusto to go down the slide. Judging by the amount of energy out on a dance floor in temperatures that could charity be described as “icy”, no doubt marshmallows weren’t the only candy helping some people out with that.

The first night’s line up on the main stage also showcased how far the festival and dance music culture had come in 10 years thanks to local boy done good Lunice and The UK’s Bonobo, right in the midst of his 18 month world tour.

Although Lunice is a veteran to Igloofest, he seems to attract more attention every year, this time with an energetic performance that saw him even step out from behind the decks to hype up the crowd with dance moves. Maybe it’s a newfound swagger gained on his tour with Madonna.

Heating up the crowd by bouncing back and forth, sometimes literally, between current hip hop anthems and some of his own productions including tracks from his newest EP 180, the energy was contagious. Even the guy in the super serious giraffe onesie was shaking what his Kigurumi gave him.
While Festival Trap might be an ocean of clones, Lunice is proving himself to be beyond one of the sound’s originators and he’s riding on top of the waves.

Whatever space was left on the dance floor filled up quick as Bonobo walk on the stage, opening with “Kiara”, getting drunken loud whoops of approval and some friendly “watch where you put that hand, stranger” crowd closeness.

After a few minutes of downtempo “close your eyes and sway” vibes, just as the beer and wine induced warmth was starting to wear off, he dropped in the heavy beats that sent everyone in to hysteria. As for me, I mostly listen to his tracks when I want some zone out-me time, and I had almost forgotten when he raised the tempo. Nevertheless, I let the penny drop and merged in with the madness.

With Detroit’s Carl Craig and Paris’ Mr. Oizo still to come over the forthcoming weeks, this is a festival worth the runny nose. My word of advice, don’t make my mistake. Wear those extra socks.

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