In keeping with the brutalist architecture that dots the Montréal skyline and the freezing weather (that I dubbed “nature’s cocaine” due to its invigorating properties), the best bands at M for Montréal are either the most abrasive or the starkest. CLAASS definitely fell into the former category. They were also one of the festival’s most anticipated acts as they featured two members (Alex Ortiz and Vincent Lesveque) of We Are Wolves, last year’s M for Montréal breakout band. Rounding out the trio onstage was local DJ, Jordan Dare who brought a techo edge of Ortiz and Levesque’s dance-punk panache. At first the group sounded like a cacophonic variation of Liverpool’s Clinic: Dark, gloomy synths, and syncopated nonsensical lyrics collapsed into each other as Korgs clashed with live bass and a Mac sat ominously in a corner, churning out beats. But as their set progressed, they morphed into a more dance-flavored sound that was harsher in its approach, utilizing repetitive, rumbling disco-infused bass regurgitations and vocodered vocals. It was harsh and slightly inhuman, yet lots of people, including myself, were moved to, well, move.
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