Everything You Missed at Montreal’s RBMA Weekender

What is the Red Bull Music Academy? It’s kind of hard to define. It’s a global music institution committed to fostering and celebrating creativity — which means it could be an all-night rave, an R&B concert in a historic venue, or a bass camp for emerging young artists. RBMA does a lot of things, but everything they do is one-of-a-kind (and like, really really really cool.)

For example: the world-travelling Academy has had Solange perform at the Guggenheim in New York, Gucci Mane unplug for an intimate”Piano Night” show, and they’ve hosted 13 hour plus parties everywhere from Dubai to Paris to Berlin. Last fall, Montreal hosted five weeks of Red Bull Music Academy in venues across the city. 70 music-makers—including Björk, Iggy Pop and Win Butler—travelled to Quebec for lectures, workshops and a series of cutting-edge experiential events. (One night, RBMA hosted an underwater listening party in Montreal’s old Olympic pool. See? I told you it was cool!)

On the one-year anniversary of the 2016 RBMA in Montreal, Red Bull Music Academy has returned to Canada’s capital-of-cool. There was fashion, art, and music — and every night was unlike anything you’d experienced before. For those who missed out, here’s what went down over the four day musical takeover. Get ready to feel the FOMO.

Temple damné

Friday, September 21, 2017 @ SAT

This was my first heavy metal concert, my first drone music experience, and the first time I’ve ever heard someone use the word “Scumgasm” (look it up). The show was described as a an exploration of experimentation with ambient doom outfit Nadja, industrial pioneer Âmes Sanglantes, techno experimentalists Orphx, and sonic provocateur and Academy alumna Pan Daijing.

 

Sagacité

Friday, September 22, 2017 @ Cirque Eloize

RBMA joined forces with Montréal’s Moonshine collective for a night emphasizing diversity in dance culture, including the likes of Dark York king Le1f, Fade To Mind mainstay Total Freedom, Brooklyn producer TYGAPAW, kuduro champ DJ Marfox, and more. You’ve never seen people dancing like this at a party before: it was a show, and a performance from the audience.

Equinox

Saturday, September 23, 2017 @ Usine C

The third night of Montreal’s RMBA Weekender saw a 13-hour, two-stage marathon, featuring house and techno by Vancouver’s Jayda G, Copenhagen’s 4×4 queen Courtesy, Discwoman co-founder Umfang, Blackest Ever Black cohort Carla Dal Forno, Interdimensional Transmissions’ selectors Carlos Souffront B2B with Derek Plaslaiko.

Rhye

Sunday, September 24, 2017 @ The National

The Weekender came to a close with an intimate performance from soul-pop act Rhye, with support from Toronto R&B hero and RBMA Bass Camp alumna Charlotte Day Wilson.