The View From Distorsion Psychfest 2018: A Celebration of Psychedelic Music and Art

By Sun Noor

Festival season has officially commenced in Montreal with the third edition of the annual Distorsion Psychfest! The five-day day event consisted of various performances from local and touring psych rock bands, amusing DJ sets and a unique set of art installations each night. The lineup consisted of artists such as Lydia Lunch, Moonwalks, Spaceface and Red Mass.

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 Moonwalks by Sun Noor

It has always been the case, well at least for me that the music festivals whose lineups mainly consist of psychedelic/experimental rock music have the best lineups, since there is an emphasis on the artistic element.

The location and visuals were among some of the most intriguing elements Distorsion had to offer this year aside from the music. This year, festival organizers took us on another psychedelic at the Mile End Church (L’Église Saint-Enfants-Jésus) which was quite the setting. The tunnel-like entrance really complimented the dim lights and the sounds coming from the continuous DJ sets in between performances. The fact that the festival also took place indoors also ameliorated the entire festival experience as there were various different psychedelic-influences art works hung around the setting for viewing under pleasantly-hallucinatory lights. Both international and Montreal-based artists such as Gwan, Chris Dyer and Monosourcil either had their works set up at the Chromaesthesia Expo (named after the condition) that took place on the first night or throughout the event.

I attended the second night of the festival, where the bill consisted of bands such as Montreal’s Corridor, The Besnard Lakes as well as Distorsion alums, Spaceface. With the help of endless psychedelic visuals being projected throughout sets by artist Anthony Piazza. However, my favorite set was put on by Detroit’s psych rock outfit, Moonwalks. The trio released their sophomore record, In Light which is essentially characterized by the long outros, layered guitar riffs and catchy melodies. The entire record could be reminiscent of a pleasant trip, given its dimension and how each song takes on a different direction. Watching the band play songs like “A Little Touch of Gravity” and “Dust is Magic” with visual accompaniment was such a pleasant way to end my night.

Distorsion consists of an alternate world for people who admire psychedelic music and art, providing such a unique and unforgettable experience. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for their fourth edition!

Here are some photos from Moonwalks’ set:

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Click here for all future updates on the festival.

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