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Media, Music

Call Your Bookie, it's the iPod Battle

Posted by Nika / May 31, 2006

close-console.jpg photo by Genevieve Cartier

"Who are all these people?" he asked last Saturday as we shimmied through the sweaty mass toward the bar. *Shrug*. We had arrived at the Union française at 11 to a smallish luke-warm crowd, sure that the widespread Plateau hipster cynicism and a $10 cover charge had messed with the Battle’s word on the street. But in true Montreal style, the place was a bumpin’, humid, sold-out affair by the time my cell beeped 12.

Still scratching your head? Just put 2 DJ duos in a ring, each team armed with their own iPod, wheels a-clickin’, flexing their killer playlists. Each team has one minute to play a track that will win over the audience. Back and forth they try to top their opponents’ last cut until the end of the round when the music stops and MC-Q measures the crowd’s reaction to each team.

Voilà, the team with highest dBs win. Time is of the essence and the competition is fierce. There’s no space for typical DJ attitude; here it’s about tactical psych-outs including remixed oldies, hot summer anthems, big bottom beats, sparklers, placards and vicious teeth-bearing. On the floor a sweaty 350-strong screaming horde gyrates and eggs-on the fighters: Ivory Temple, Les Invincibles, Nightlife Magazine, "les remplaçants de Sean Kosa", Heidy + Sexy Boy, Peer Pressure, John Lee + Mike, Mange.ta.ville, Numéro and the winners, Vox Pop of 33MTL fame.

I’ll admit it, I was sold after the 1st round. By the end of the event I was not only soaked, sore, deaf and hoarse… I was curious. A chat with Zelia Lefebvre from A Fly Is On The Wall (the organizers) changed that.

"Il y a d'abord eu les ‘Fightpods’(…) commencé(s) en France. Les Fightpods ressemblaient plus à des batailles de DJ. Les DJs faisaient jouer leur playlists à tour de rôle. Le iPod Battle, concu par Teki Latex et le label Institubes, met plutôt l'accent sur l'écoute et la répartie. Les enchaînements sont spontanés et c'est ce qui rend l'événement un peu plus compétitif. C'est alors moins un spectacle, mais plutôt un véritable combat où l'écoute est aussi importante que la performance elle-même."

Don’t worry if you missed it, Zelia assured me there will be more and soon. « On espère un par saison, donc peut-être bien prochainement cet été." If you were there last Saturday, Zelia offers this "…on voudrait s'assurer que le son soit meilleur pour la seconde édition. Également, on souhaiterait rendre l'atmosphère un peu plus intime, et moins ‘gymnase’ comme ce fut le cas du premier. (…) On veut aussi que la visibilité des concurrents soit accrue. Nous aimerions qu'un sentiment d'appartenance envers les participants se crée. Pour cela il faudra que la foule puisse reconnaître un peu mieux quelle équipe est en train de jouer."

Our favourite ref, Annie Q, will still be there, "On va surtout l’outiller pour qu'elle puisse se faire valoir davantage – et se faire entendre - on l'aidera peut-être par l'ajout d'un arbitre ou d'un régisseur et d’une ou deux nouvelles robes !!! "

Personally, I’d be happy if they’d just keep the temperature at a level where the makeup doesn’t slide off my face next time, thanks. Check the winners’ reportage of the events.



Zélia / June 1, 2006 at 02:45 pm
Yaou!!!!! Merci midnightpoutine On se voit à la prochaine chicane eeeee IpodBAttle !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!
Nika / June 1, 2006 at 09:03 pm
Zelia, ma belle! That was seriously an awesome party, I cant wait for the next set of competitors. Who will beat the vainceurs?
Jonathan / June 2, 2006 at 09:18 am
DJ set with A fly is on the wall tomorrow at Omnikrom (main hall)!

See you there Nika!

Nika Vee / June 2, 2006 at 06:31 pm
Jo, thanks for the info!
dj muhammad alias / July 20, 2006 at 10:41 am
je suis en train d'en monter un ipod battle a QC si ca t'intéresse d'en discuter fais le moi savoir par le biais de mon adresse internet. merci. great pics and seemed like a lot of fun ya !!


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