I’m not a fan of when people talking about festival lineups toss around the phrase “Sophie’s choice” to describe a tough scheduling conflict, for reasons I hope are obvious. Instead I’ll just say that Saturday offers a singular dilemma for the forward-thinking dance fan: do you Villalobos, or do you Pinch? Your mileage may vary, but I personally would probably… probably… probably run in circles until I dropped stone dead, like the dog with two bones in Devo’s “Freedom of Choice”. OK actually I would go see Pinch, but I’m cheating because I have seen Villalobos in Berlin, and it was everything you’d hope for. I even sort of remember it – he was wearing a Kiss t-shirt and needed a shave.

Still, don’t sleep on Pinch, or the opportunity to see him on a sufficiently boss sound system. Not only is he the co-architect of one of the most subwoofer-rattling dance albums of all time, Pinch & Shackleton, but the Bristolian born Rob Ellis has carved out a vibrant niche out of blackest Obsidian – heavy as fuck bass and drums, that is. Listening to certain U.K. labels keeping the dubstep flame alive in the shadow of that, er, other stuff, you’d be forgiven thinking that nobody cares about songcraft nearly as much as they do about engineering. Nobody save Pinch, whose productions are entertaining even on bass-less computer speakers. There’s light and heat in these noises, in between all the noise.

Nocturne 4: Cruising the Sub-Dub Spectrum. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 185 Ste-Catherine St. Ouest, Salle 2, Saturday, May 31, 10pm-3am. Tickets $20.

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