Boogat Scene Bell, Montreal QC

Boogat Scene Bell, Montreal QC
Boogat, arguably the best Spanish speaking rapper in Canada, unveiled a new band and a sound that could make him a festival fixture in Quebec and beyond. His repertoire is varied enough to play in front of crowds who aren't familiar with him while still impressing those who are more musically minded.

Boasting a trumpet player, two percussionists, a hype man and none other than Ghislain Poirier as DJ and frequent producer, Boogat's severe electro beats were made more organic by the instrumentalists' presence. Sometimes this worked amazingly well but overall it's a work in progress with a lot of upside.

Part of what makes Boogat so good is his energy, delivering positive but gruff rhymes in a party-starting way in tandem with Poirier's global bass production. Though Boogat had been playing with one percussionist for quite some time, the two of them would interlock at times to create amazing webs of rhythm, as on a song referencing Cuban timba.

Other times it seemed as if both of them were trying to solo at the same time, which took away from the focus on the vocals and economy of the electronics programming. The trumpet player was showy as well in a Cuban way, eager to get into the shrieky upper registers, but elsewhere being pleasingly nostalgic.

Boogat and the other vocalist were in fine form. Some songs were done to rock beats or contained almost metal-like headbanging moments, while others boasted some flowery, romantic touches. All told, it was reminiscent of Shaggy at his best -- pure pop with international appeal -- although Poirier's future rhythms made sure that the focus was on moving forward musically.