Drawing from a wide range of tropical riddims and urban electro, the power of Montreal-based DJ/producer Poirier’s bass blasts through any flimsy attempt to classify his music. Pinpointing the bits and pieces of dancehall beats, soca energy and electronic intensity is futile in the face of Poirier’s dance-driven creativity and air horn-worthy excitement. Signed to Ninja Tune, this is a man who just understands what works in the dance.
Poirier is constantly evolving. Landscapes of vibrant drums lead to pulsating, pitch-shifting, and infectious bass and synth patterns. He tears through new genres constantly, leaving a trail of packed, chaotic dancefloors in his wake. From his legendary Bounce Le Gros parties in Montreal, sell off events for two years running, to his new party, the bigger, better, bass-ier Karnival, Poirier has been unstoppable in his ability to mash styles, expand minds, and move asses.
Although based in Montreal, Poirier is also always moving—in just the past few years he has been invited to virtually every continent. Poirier on the bill equals a sure fire jam. No surprise that he’s shared the stage with Modeselektor, Diplo, Kode9, Amon Tobin and Toddla T, as well as taken SXSW, Fabric London, Australia’s Big Day Out, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and Mexico’s Cervantino Festival by storm.
Poirier’s signature skill of effortlessly linking disparate genres has led to worldwide collaborations with MCs and DJs from global hip hop, soca, grime, dancehall, booty bass, and much more. Electro sensations Crookers, dancehall veteran Burro Banton, the ever-eclectic dj/rupture, London’s tough gyal Warrior Queen, and Trinidadian soca master Mr Slaughter have all connected with Poirier, as well as longtime collaborators Face-T and MC Zulu.
Remixes are part of Poirier’s powerful repertoire, and he knows just how to pick apart a song and put it back together: bigger and heavier than before. Tracks by Gotan Project, Tommie Sunshine, Pole, Bassnectar and Yoav have all been given the Poirier treatment, garnering him attention from publications such as the Independent, the London Telegraph, Pitchfork, the New Yorker, the Wire and XLR8R.
Every Poirier release presents a new, yet equally slammin’, perspective. The critically acclaimed Breakupdown (2005) and No Ground Under (2008) were warm ups for 2009’s cavalcade of dancehall-soca-electro EPs, culminating in the latest collection of bangers, Running High.
Giving the massive what it wants, yet providing a musical education in what it needs, Poirier is a producer and DJ who has no boundaries except, perhaps, the rule that it’s gotta have bass, and it’s got to bounce. With this philosophy, Poirier will keep the dance rammed.
“Poirier, the man who seamlessly unites just about every genre into his mixes.”
“If you haven’t checked out Poirier yet, or simply haven’t been moved by his past work, then Run the Riddim is a great place to join the ranks.”
“If you’re looking for an album that’s incredibly enjoyable, then you should definitely check out Run The Riddim.”
I HEART MUSIC
“Setting his sights on Soca this time, Poirier invigorates the style with an almost technofied drum palette and nitrous fuelled synthlines giving the already rampantly uptempo and wildout sound a focussed ravers edge that’ll bite any UK dancefloor in half.”
“Yup, I said it - SOCA. But this ain’t your mama’s soca.”
“One of the best things about Poirier is that when he remixes a song he has little to no respect for anything about said song other than its empty spaces because he can fill them with exploding bass.”
“Ghislain’s new soca ep is AMAZING. Uptempto dancefloor euphoria with his massive roughneck sound. it’s also really great to see Mr Slaughter on hear — these tunes will reach Trini and BK carnival for sure. Who’s afraid of 160bpm+? LARGE!”
“Run, jump, scream, South Rakkas Crew says whine pan di Soca Sound System. Ghislain your killin’ me!”
South Rakkas Crew
“Poirier’s music is the sound of a new Montreal.”
“Montreal’s indie guitar bands got plenty of coverage last year, but in 2008 they might be usurped by Ninja Tunessigned hip-hop producer Poirier. The French-Canuck connoisseur of grime, booty bass, ragga and “world riddum idioms” makes music that is accessible, innovative and above all danceable.”
THE INDEPENDENT - UK
“M.I.A. might have the larger stage presence, but Ghislain Poirier has the better beats.”
“[’Blazin’ is a] seriously jaw-dropping 12″ from the always-excellent Ghislain Poirier. There’s a definite dancehall flavour but this is dancehall circa 2020 with squelching synthesizers and a wonky rhythm that pokes at your sides until they start gyrating. (…) Easily the best 12″ on Ninja Tune for years this is one every DJ needs in their box, something to spice up the party and the front room equally this winter… Huge recommendation.”
“Whoa. Ghislain Poirier’s grime-fueled bass riddims on No Ground Under have reached another level of sonic insanity. (..) This album strikes a fine balance of between abstract hip-hop and dub-fueled bass power.”
“With jack-knifing collisions of Grime, hip-hop, dubstep, soca, good-time pop and anything else he fancies, DJ Ghislain Poirier has built his Bounce le Gros club night into a local institution. Irreverently and hedonistically crashing through genre boundaries, it’s one of the best parties around. Much like his turntable style, Poirier’s interpretive techniques are unfussy, straightforward and hugely entertaining, relying more on dancefloor-oriented intuition than tricksy manipulation.”
“This Montreal bass-beat fiend has seen his profile skyrocket as his sound has cemented itself over the past few years. He comes out swinging on his Ninja Tune debut. (…) This is a booty/crunk/electro-breakbeat album that is right in time with current sounds, while mimicking no one. Poirier is creating a genre all his own.”
“Ghislain’s booming bass and big, dirty beats are a major part of what’s put this country (Canada) on the map where this genre is concerned.”
“He’s been called Montreal’s answer to Diplo, but as he proves here, DJ-producer Ghislain Poirier has his own thing going on.”
“In a remarkably short time, 30-year-old Poirier has become a black belt in beats and bass.”
“His collaborations and remixes tend to be uniformly fierce and furious; he knows how to prop up whoever has the microphone.”
SURYA DUB videos
The Bug - Warrior Queen - Surya Dub - September 2008