I had not been at Piknic Électronik since Mary Hell stole my heart there years ago. I was also an electronic music director at the time. My interest in house music and its history has been persistent since my adolescence and knowing the pedigrees of the trio I knew I was going to be there.
I would have been at Parc Jean-Drapeau a lot earlier had I not accepted to fill in for CKUT 90.3FM's The Goods that day.
I was convinced that the schedule was going to be followed strictly and that meant missing Pat Boogie's set. Pat Boogie informed me upon my arrival that the schedule was not being followed religiously and that he would play for the crowd later. Apparently the trio wanted a more interactive experience for themselves and the Parc party.
By the time I arrived at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Robert Ouimet was at the helm. After numerous unsuccessful attempts at catching a Robet Ouimet DJ set, that Sunday was my first time witnessing the Montreal DJ legend at work.
I missed the Lost Heroes Igloofest set earlier in the year so I was pleased to see Christian Pronovost next after Robert Ouimet.
Pat Boogie was the last of the trio for me to see and hear what he had in store for the floor.
On a number of occasions, all three DJs were in front of the crowd weaving tracks back and forth with each other similar to the beach balls floating amongst the Parc people.
As for the crowd, everyone from local DJ peers of the trio, radio station colleagues and even childhood friends not seen for over 20 years were present.
The Piknic Électronik Lost Heroes set was truly a family affair as Montreal witnessed 3 generations of DJs do their thing.
I had seen the name Christian Pronovost on places, spaces and flyers throughout Montreal for years but never saw or met the man until 24 Hours of Vinyl at Death of Vinyl in May 2012.
Christian Pronovost was the first DJ I filmed with less than stellar cameras at my disposal. I captured what I could of the madness I witnessed. While I was mingling and digging in the crates, I was digging the songs he was playing. I heard Ride like the Wind by Christopher Cross and realized something was happening. As much as I like singer-songwriters like Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop and Dan Fogelberg, I wouldn’t reach for them in a set so readily. However, Ride Like The Wind is a strong song that I hadn’t heard or thought about since its release.
I just happen to have been old enough to remember it but if I had heard the song for the first time at the store that night, I would have searched the store to find a copy of the 7” or album.
I believe that next was Billy Paul’s East. I was not aiming to film beyond Right Like The Wind but as I heard the Billy Paul track come in, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to keep the camera rolling. I first heard Billy Paul’s East on the Stand Up And Be Counted compilation. It was the second Billy Paul song I heard after Me & Mrs. Jones. I found its production, his vocals and vibe of the song incredible. By playing East for that night, Pronovost helped me relive the incredible moment.
Montreal saw another edition of 24 Hours of Vinyl in 2013 during Nuit Blanche. I went to Le Bleury and met everybody in the line outside without Flipmode Squad nearby.
I returned to Le Bleury the Sunday afternoon to take in what I could of the event. Scott C’s DJ set was finishing up as I arrived. Simahlak from Blizzarts’ Get Nice followed and I was looking at the door until I learned it would be Christian Pronovost to conclude the event. I either didn’t examine the roster properly or wasn’t aware of the estimated set times for that detail to have escaped me. My intentions of blogging that night were noble but with the memory of what transpired the last time Pronovost was in front of me, I realized I would have to postpone the posting.
Those in attendance were treated to a little over of an hour of musical magic courtesy of Christian Pronovost. For most of that time, I was like Forrest Whitaker with a clear vantage point to the turntables. As the songs I recognized leaked throughout the room, I raised my arms in the air like I was starting a wave at Olympic Stadium.
As I was planning the final guests of The Suite Delight before my final Concordia University's radio station broadcast at the end of March 2013, there was one weekend left to schedule and there could not have been any sweeter inspiration.
Christian Pronovost accepting the invitation to make a perfectly timed visit on my Suite Delight show was cause for celebration and simply one of the best pre-birthday presents I could receive especially since fate revealed that was to indeed be my final broadcast of The Suite Delight at Concordia University's radio station.
The Suite Delight - Christian Pronovost (March 2013) Playlist :
Grace Jones - Slave 2 The Rhythm
B-52s - Deep Sleep
Rod Stewart - Passion
Sun Palace - Rude Movement (Re-Edit)
Kindness - Swinging Party
Toro Y Moi - Still Sound (Voodoo Bear Re-Edit)
Roxy Music - Avalon
Alez Alez - African Queen
Tones On Tail - Lion (Soundshaper Re-Edit)
Number of Names - Skitso (Re-Edit)
Beck - Tropicalia
Atoms For Peace - Before Your Very Eyes