Montreal QC, May 23-26 - It’s time once again to stow the earplugs, apply shoe glue to your big stompy boots, and take stock of another Kinetik Festival, Montreal’s 6 year old premium industrial electro music festival. This year I was very selective in the bands I partook, but I managed to get swept into the electric current of the event, enough to connect with old friends, enjoy some truly outstanding acts, and catch the awesome vibe.
Life Cried live at Kinetik 5.5. The new smaller venue made for delightfully intimate performances.
2013’s festival was an interesting experiment with scaling down, but not necessarily scaling back the scope, or quality of the four phase event. This translated into a smaller venue, The Belmont, closer to the West of downtown, as opposed to the traditional, grittier stomping grounds in the city core.
Happy faces in close quarters combined with world class industrial performances!
We went into this year with clear warnings that 5.5 was scaled down (hence the .5 moniker) so in all fairness, the beacon was clearly lit. In previous years the luxurious venues of Usine C and Metropolis facilitated more of a convention-like atmosphere, allowing for a strong social culture to establish with lounge areas, vendors, and well-lit free flow movement. So for those who really enjoy this aspect of Kinetik’s unique culture, there was perhaps some disappointment. On the other hand, satellite events such as Plastik Wrap’s weekend long Bazaar of the Bizarre alt marketplace and the numerous and ubiquitous, ever popular after party, filled this void sufficiently for me and while I can understand the concern, I don’t think it’s entirely warranted given the clear communication by festival PR long before the festival even started.
Toronto’s Displacer. Kinetik is known for covering the spectrum of subculture electronic music from IDM to industrial electro to power noise and more.
Let’s face it, Kinetik is a “music” festival, so those coming for the social fashion show are missing the core point. The Belmont served the music purpose well. For me, I admit it did take some adjusting from the expectations built from former years, but I was pleasantly surprised at the true “underground” feeling of the venue. It made for some really intimate performances, which I believe, was a nice change from the big stages of the past. And yes, the room was packed, especially during phase 2 with popular headliner Suicide Commando, but at no point was mobility completely encumbered. If you take the fact the festival dropped fair warning with an excellent price point for the quality of the line-up, this was a very good event. The room had some sweet sound spots, visibility was relatively decent, even from the back, and there was a cozy “pub” area to escape to if you needed a break. In my opinion, if you were coming for the music this was pure fun and well worth it.
Shifty Dave’s dubious sheep returns, Kinetik’s unofficial mascot, popular among acts and festival goers alike. This time, with FGFC820′s Rexx Arcana!
But in another light, over the years, one of the great things about Kinetik has been the grassroots atmosphere. This festival has never lost that feeling, whilst it has grown in stature and influence, rising to become one of the flagships of the North American industrial festival circuit. This can be attributed to organizer Jean-François, a man who carefully retains operational control of the festival, working tirelessly year after year (sometimes thanklessly) to produce it. In previous years the stress and logistical concern of such a beast has been apparent. However, with 5.5 being parsed down, an equilibrium seems to have been found. I had a brief handshake with Jean-François during phase 3 and it was nice to see him considerably less stressed, in the crowd, enjoying the show. It just seems so right for a festival commander to be enjoying the fruits of his labor. His entire crew was bubbly and energized and we all know, happy organizers hopefully means everyone wins and more festivals in the future!
As a music fan, that’s what I want and I’m really looking forward to how next year will develop. I have to give Kinetik 2013 and all those involved with putting it together the highest of marks within the context of the scaled back experiment. You guys did a fantastic job! I got what I wanted which was great music, fantastic performances, and lots of smiley moments.
photos : Adrian Onsen
Montreal QC, May 23rd to 26th - This festival is the crème de la crème of North American industrial electro festivals featuring the best in class from across the broad spectrum of alternative electronic music worldwide. 2013′s four-day event is really the hot ticket and could be sold out as we write. Those lucky enough to grab a pass will enjoy near twenty acts including headliner performances from Suicide Commando, Project Pitchfork, and Aesthetic Perfection. The festival is in its sixth year, this year being billed as a mini-fest (version 5.5) due to a scaled down venue and line-up; but judging by the bill, this year will be as kick-ass as earlier festivals, no doubt! If you are feeling lucky and think you can snag a ticket, go to their website or check out the festival Facebook group.
image source ovate.ca
This is a brand I have been watching for some time, and they have unleashed a dark and textured vision of gloom and beauty. Ovate is a brand based in Montreal, Canada. They work with silk, wool, leather, and metals. Their designs are often adorned with Gaelic-style, dreamlike symbols. It gives you the feeling of being both historic and modern, and impeccably stylish. Ovate’s designer, Audrey Cantwell, creates pieces that are for both guys and girls, and can work on every shape and form. The Black Hooded Circular Scarf is one of those unisex pieces that can be donned on its own, or layered over your outfit. Mix and play with this stunning scarf, but remember the simplicity and uniqueness of this piece carry it well. This dark and bewitching piece is sure to add some warmth and style to any look.
The Black Hooded Circular Scarf is available online for $70 at www.ovate.ca.
- Tasha Farrington
Montreal, QC – May 17-20 – first hand account by Pete Crane of Shiv-r
Holy shit Kinetik!!!
Since the first Kinetik was announced five years ago, it has had a pants-wettening line-up and every year we have been tempted to travel to Montreal, Canada to party it up and see the awesomeness. From the first Kinetik featuring one of my personal faves Headscan, and other awesome bands that you don’t get to see on the European festival circuit (and certainly the bands who have a snowball’s chance in hell of being brought to Australia), to 2011′s monster line-up including Frontline Assembly, mind.in.a.box, and Suicide Commando, it’s always a line-up to die for and this year was no different, so it was amazing to finally get to come to Kinetik, let alone being invited to actually perform.
Wendy and I made the flight from Sydney on the preceding Monday. The 19 hour Air Canada flight to Montreal via Vancouver was as brutal as you might expect but we eventually made it in and checked into the Hyatt in Montreal. We arrived in the late afternoon so we walked around the inner city for a couple of hours (we love just walking around foreign cities when we’re there for the first time, it’s my favorite part about travelling and seeing new shit, just walking).
On Tuesday our band mate Lee arrived. Despite writing half the music for Shiv-r, he has never actually been able to play live with us because he lives in Bangkok these days and they don’t have planes there or something. We also met up with another Australian friend of ours, Beck, and got our first taste of poutine (a famous Montreal specialty consisting of fries, gravy, and cheese, but god is it good!) and some shopping. Tuesday night we went drinking at the bar next to Metropolis, FouFon Electrique (or, “The Electric Butt-Butt”). $2.50 beers had me slaughtered in no time and then the rowdiness started. Apparently I was running around telling people (including my friends), “I don’t know if you heard, but I’m playing at the Metropolis on Friday night.” Well, bitches gotta recognise…
Auxiliary Magazine will be at Kinetik Festival again this year! And this time we’ll have a vendor table! This will be the third Kinetik, an electro/industrial/noise/hardcore festival in Montreal, Canada. It will be May 12th through May 16th with many performing including… Leaether Strip, 16 Volt, Chemlab, Gothsicles, Combichrist, Decoded Feedback, FGFC 820, Hocico, Nachtmahr, Memmaker, Rotersand, Melotron, Faderhead, Covenant, and more! Kinetik is one of the most notable festivals in North America, not to be missed. And be sure to stop by our table and say hi!
more info at www.festival-kinetik.net