Genre-defying mixer orchestra 

DJ Champion

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It was his love of guitars and discontent with creating soundtracks that led to DJ Champion and the G Strings.

The Montreal-based composer helped score the Oscar-winning soundtrack for The Triplets of Belleville. Among other film and television projects, his motivation to make music came down to publicity.

In the emptiness, he started believing in his music — a hybrid animal part rock band, part electronic — and it wasn’t long before the rest of the world started believing in it too.

Maxime Morin (a.k.a. DJ Champion) is orchestrating his booming beats and guitar riffs on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) in Whistler.

The Best Dance Recording nominee could never imagine himself in a rock band. The idea of playing the same songs in the same way show after show held no appeal.

But the guitars. They had appeal. So he formed the G Strings, four guitars, one bass and one Academy-nominated vocalist, Betty Bonifassi, backing up Morin on drum machines and driving the track.

His genre-defying sound was a success right from the start. He won Album of the Year in the electronic-techno music category at the 2005 ADISQ (Association du Disque, de L’Industrie du Spectacle Quebecois) for his first album, Chill’Em . He then followed up with his The Remix Album , leading to a Felix Award for Show of the Year at the 2006 ADISQ. The hit single No Heaven from The Remix Album also led to a 2007 Juno nomination as well as a live performance closing out the show.

The Francophone takes all of his accolades in stride and appreciates how they encourage him to keep doing more of what he is doing — which is making dance music that can be played at any time by anyone.

At home, cooking dinner, with friends, in bed, his electronic stylings aren’t restricted to club heads.

The mix of beats, guitars and vocals is simple, allowing the two worlds of pulsating dance and gritty rock shows to ebb and flow into one. Morin, the ringmaster, conducts the act through sign language for the backing band while he controls drum samples on his mixer.

The show has traveled internationally to critically acclaimed festivals covering everything from La Paleo Festival in Switzerland and Les Nuits Botaniques in Brussels to the Interactive Achievement Awards in Las Vegas and Toronto Film Festival in Canada. For the first time, a Whistler show will be added to his travel list.

Advanced $20 tickets now on sale at the GLC or by calling 604-905-2220.

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