Depending on whom you ask, the esoteric effects of lunar cycles can be wide-ranging: good fortune, human fertility, ocean tides, werewolf prevalence and loss of sanity among them. For the like-minded musicians, DJs, dancers and visual artists who make up the Moonshine collective, the planetary satellite above all inspires their eponymous monthly event, driven by an inclusive ethos and a shared love for experimentations in dance culture.
Since its founding in 2014, Moonshine has carved out an enviable niche in Montréal’s nightlife milieu by celebrating a wide range of fledgling local talents, championing Afro-futuristic, bass-heavy, electro-funk sounds, and bringing together communities that wouldn’t necessarily cross paths otherwise. As the name indicates, the lunar-based Moonshine recipe has the collective throw an all-night, sensory-soaked party on the Saturday after every full moon in ever-shifting, unpredictable locations across the city, always strictly disclosed via text messages. With fresh cuts supplied by resident DJs Pierre Kwenders, San Farafina, and AKantu, visual installations by Boycott, and a slew of live musicians and performers that have included Kaytranada, Dâm-Funk, Le1f, Venus X, Uproot Andy, Bambii and Branko, the parties have become a staple of the after-hours scene, in Canada and abroad, with appearances in NYC, LA, Paris, Brussels, Milan, Lisboa, London, Barcelona and Santiago just to name a few.
“The essence of Moonshine came out of parties we used to throw in our kitchens,” recalls Kwenders. “We felt like we couldn’t go out and find what we had cooked up in that kitchen. It’s one of the reasons we started Moonshine: to share that with more people who felt just like us, and who didn’t have access to such sounds or vibes.” Still going strong four years on, Moonshine has also begun making use of the aesthetic, network and structure it established with the parties to promote affiliated artists, expanding its vision from ephemeral moonlit soirées to an expanding catalog of genre-busting music, art and apparel.