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Tuesday November 29th, 2011

The history of Montreal's Rave scene is manic-depressive at best, fraught with all the ups and downs imaginable. The past decade has been equally riddled with giant events and complete failures, drugs and a lack of, no alcohol and BYOB, friendship and jealousy, PLUR mongering and over-competitiveness, awesome DJs and total incompetence. However, we may have reached the dawn after a long night.

Let's begin with the all pervasive Dubstep scene. With humble beginnings at the hands of Forward Music and BassDrive, this scene soon exploded with a new generation of party-goers coming of age. Even though some of the old-schoolers feel a little lost and left behind in this young new crowd, the enthusiasm of the patrons of all ages is spectacular. This kind of popularity can breed alot of drama and in-fighting, competition and sabotage, but even though these things are unavoidable, they've been kept at a bare minimum. Working both together and apart, many productions are keeping a united front, such as BassDrive, The Session, Dubmachine, Bouddha Slinky, Big Tooth, Monkey Dub and others. Some of whom also branch out into Drum'n'Bass, along with the BeatFreakz crew over at [ ] and the old CTRL gang doing a new Friday night D'n'B gig. They all represent this new era of breaky bass driven music. Hard work and lots of love all around.

Hardcore Techno has always occupied a dark place in Montreal's heart, but that is not to say that those who promote the music are evil people. A recent meeting took place in which the heads of the Hardcore scene gathered to discuss the future. With representation from Quebecore, NTK, Deadna, Datagram, CSR, and Hard-Times, among others, this calm round table discussion over dinner proved the Zen mastery of some of the hardest DJs in this city. A consensus was reached to avoid stepping on one another's toes, to breathe new life into this zombiefied style of never-give-up music and attitude, and to help each other in all endeavors. They also agreed that anyone else trying their hand at Hardcore should also be cradled and supported. They represent the future of distortion. They are the gatekeepers of Raver Hell.

That leaves us with the other current and abundant genre of Rave oriented Techno. Though some may not appreciate it when a Pystrancer starts to talk about the universe, one has to admit that their presence on a dance-floor and in event production is as equally enthusiastic and exciting as the aforementioned, if not more so. For the past few years, summer in Montreal means Psy. Festivals aplenty, these people still manage to not over-step boundaries, still manage to gather many Ravers together at every occasion. In fact, this past year Pandemonium boasted at least three prominent promoters uniting to bring good music to good people. Under the banner of psychedelics, an unsaid truce has insured near constant parties on successive weekends without any overlap. They don't DIY, they DIT; not do-it-yourself but do-it-themselves, wherein the individual, though duly recognized, is merely a gear in the clockwork that is Psytrance.

There are many other types of Techno (Electro, Jungle, Breaks, Techno, Breakcore, Happy Hardcore, Industrial etc.), many other promoters, productions, DJs, and artists, all of whom after years of some rifting and competing have come together harmoniously and wisely. Many of these other promoters throw events with a multitude of styles. Never before have so many DJs befriended each other. Though Ravers might not be as numerous as they were only a short decade ago, the people behind the scenes have never been as united, despite their individual tastes and ambitions. That said, there will always be misunderstandings, ego-trippers, profiteers, and people with bad intentions. Humans are what they are and society is what it is, and so drama is unavoidable, even contrived out of boredom or insanity, perhaps sometimes entertaining. However, most have realized that for the body of Raves to stay healthy, all the organs must be taken care of and functional. Your heart won't beat without air in your lungs.

Keep stepping up and our scene may, after all, not fall out of step.
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