Montréal is one of our favorite cities here at OVER&OVER. Just a few hours north the border, Bostonians can land in a cultural center that is far more European in sensibility than its American counterparts. Something deeply French pervades in Quebec’s cultural capital. Montréal is beautiful at any time of year, but the summer is when it’s at its finest. After a long, cold winter the city emerges in its full glory. From June through September you can find open air festivals each week, some of the best food in the Americas, and an ongoing celebration of what it means to be alive. And, of course, some dopeass music.
Whether it’s in the dark clubs with top level sound systems like Muzique or Stereo, or more intimate venues like Bleury Bar a Vinyle, you can find your full of dance music culture in Montréal in whatever shape you desire. Disco. Boogie. House. International. Techno. This is a city that loves to party, and enough people with discerning tastes to make it worth your while.
Today we’re lucky enough to share a mix from one of Montréal’s great DJ’s Monsieur Walla P - one of the people curating Canada’s vibrant modern funk scene.
Walla P blends together Modern Funk with late 70's and early 80's Boogie-Disco-Funk to create experiences that are highly danceable and fun for the partygoer. Hailing from Montreal, Walla P, earned a reputation early on for his quality output as a DJ and producer. Along with a team of other funk devotees he started and has run Voyage Funktastique since 2013, pushing a global brand composed of a record label, radio show and monthly live events.
Voyage Funktastique has grooved dancefloors all over Quebec’s big city including the iconic Montréal Jazz Fest and Picknik Electronic. Walla P’s stock has continued to rise and since the late 2000’ss he has made an imprint on dacefloors around the world. Walla P is a true ambassador of the Modern Funk genre, getting dancers to explore long forgotten cuts of funk and boogie music along with the sounds of new producers who bring a new energy and outlook to the genre.
We’re looking forward to the next time we can make it up to MTL for a Voyage Funktastique party to sweat out the anxiety of the last year. We’ll be sure to put the phones away and dive deep into the music to free ourselves up from the world’s problems. We suggest you do the same as you plug in OVER&OVER PRESENTS 032 - turn your speakers up and let your soul groove to the music. It’s what we all need right now.
Recently, we sat down with Walla P to catch up and here what he's been cooking up...
Salut, Walla P! Comment allez-vous?
Hi fellas, thanks for having on your wonderful OVER&OVER platform. I’m doing great, or like we would say in french, je vais très bien, merci!
How has life been during Covid? It appears you’ve been busy with a number of mixes, your record label, livestreams, your magazine, etc. Has there been any positive you’ve taken out of the last year?
I’ve been able to maintain a positive state of mind throughout the pandemic (so far), and just been focusing on different things that are strongly connected with what I do, like the label, for example. I did a few live streams (Piknic, MIMS, Soul In The Horn, Roche Musique, at the S.A.T., Montreal’s Sweet Boogie party), although I wanted to prioritize my input for mixes and my newest project Prime Source.
Of course, I miss playing out, seeing people engaging with the Music, hanging out with friends, the digging, the touring, but simultaneously, I’m taking this break to re-assess new short/mid/long term goals, and finally contemplate past memories of the last couple years.
Funny thing is that I was in the middle of an European Tour when Covid broke out, and I was fortunate enough to be able to complete it, and come back just in time to play one last Voyage Funktastique party, just before the shutdown. So there’s almost a sense of “I just came back from Europe”, but 14 months later. On some groundhog day / Bill Murray tip.
From my perspective, as someone who lives in Boston, Montreal is one of my favorite escapes - a place that values culture - music, food, dancing, connection, art, love - without a chip on its shoulder. So much of this seems to come from the fact that it’s French. Do you consider Montreal a great place to live?
I always make the comparaison that Montréal is like a small NYC with an Amsterdam vibe. I think one of the main factors is that the cost of Life is still low; just that is really attractive for artists. Montréal always had a “club culture”, from the golden era of Jazz to the Disco period. It’s true that Montreal is a unique city, it has its own identity, language, food, which all makes it a top choice as a city to come and visit, and/or live.
Another thing that matters is that people are stuck inside for almost 4-5 months a year, because of the cold, so when Summer shows up, it’s like on steroids. You work on your art during the Winter, and show it/party during the Summer.
What’s your favorite place to play in Montréal? (We love this city so much so we have to ask)
My favourite spot to play was Le Bleury - Bar À Vinyle. Too bad it closed a few years ago, but the memories from that place are still very vivid.
A few of my current favourites are Le Belmont (where we host the VF night), Groove Nation (where we host the Fly Ladies night), can’t forget Marusan/Fleurs & Cadeaux (many incredible memories there, where I was doing my Japanese Nippon Boogie night).
For the uninitiated, what is the ethos of Voyage Funktastique? What should they expect from one of your nights or DJ sets?
First thing I’d say is “all of your senses will be triggered”. The Music is presented through many forms; Boogie, Modern Funk, Disco, G-Funk, Japan & Brazil Boogie, UK Jazz-Funk/Street Soul.
It’s a “dancefloor oriented” night, with no rules between Dr.MaD & I. We just play whatever we like, not paying attention to BPMs, or rare records vs classics.
Voyage Funktastique is also a radio show, a label, and a monthly night, dedicated to Modern/Boogie Funk. Based here in Montréal.
Can you tell us a bit about Prime Source?
Prime Source is a funk hub/magazine/label created collaboratively by Albin (Boogie80/Avant Garde Records) & I. We both felt there was a lack of visibility and unity in the Modern Funk scene, and we just wanted to develop a platform dedicated to our scene. We launched the website last January, our 1st release is coming out next month, and we got a few other announcements coming up soon as well.
Finally, can you tell us about 2 of your favorite records right now? Maybe one from the past and one modern?
Fuga “S/T”, for the cut “Tanto Trabajar” — This LP was gifted to me by my friend Faze. Killer Spanish Boogie, especially the “Tanto Trabajar'' cut, which is on some Brazlian/Lincoln Olivetti vibe. On clear vinyl for some reason. Wish there was a 7" version.
Str4ta - Aspects — Just a great UK Jazz-Funk album, from top to bottom. Always been a big fan of Incognito, so to see J-P Maunick team-up with Gilles Peterson is a great thing for some UK Jazz-Funk revival.
Walla P - thank you so much for sharing your talents and thoughts with us. We love this mix and are très excité to put it out! We are also excited to make it back to Montréal when the time is right and we’ll be sure to find you! Merci!!!!