Montreal Explored




Most bars and nightclubs in Montreal close their doors once the clock strikes 3:00 in the morning. But Stereo, located on Sainte-Catherine Street East in the Gay Village, is no ordinary nightclub.  


Behind its unmarked grey doors in an unassuming concrete building lies one of the few remaining “afterhours clubs” in Montreal. You won’t find any VIP section here, nor even any alcohol for sale. What you will find are some of the world’s most renowned DJs, with opening hours lasting well past sunrise.


Stereo is considered the pinnacle of Montreal’s small but vibrant electronic-music scene, playing host to both global stars in techno and house music and some of the best local talent found in the city.  


CJAD 800’s Benson Cook spoke with three local DJs who can be found in the booth at the club often: Cesar Romero (better known by his stage name, Simply City), Kris Tin and Alex Pycke.  


Romero first began playing in nightclubs as a progressive house DJ in his native Chile, and spent his first several years living in Quebec playing at Laval club Red Light before it closed in the early 2010s. He first performed at Stereo nearly seven years ago alongside friend and mentor Hernán Cattaneo, and has since become one of the club’s resident DJs.



By contrast, both the Lebanese-born Kris Tin and French-born Pycke first came to Stereo as clubgoers. Both cited the club as a critical influence in their trajectory as DJs, with Pycke saying “walking up those stairs [into the club] changed my life.”  After years of training and playing at other regular-hour venues, both of them played at Stereo for the first time last fall, and have played there again several times since.


Founded in 1998, the club is perhaps best-known globally for its sound system, widely regarded as amongst the best on the planet. As Pycke explains to CJAD 800, the hall where the club’s dancefloor is found is actually a room encased completely by another room — which is why pedestrians walking by on the street below can’t hear the music being played inside at all, a rarity that would turn most other nightclubs green with envy.


The club was shuttered for over a year following a suspected arson attack in the summer of 2008, and has since undergone a floor-to-ceiling renovation, but to the club’s most devoted fans, known as “Stereoheads”, it will always be one thing — home.

Listen to Montreal Explored: Stereo, Saturday, July 20th, from 8 pm to 8:30 pm, on CJAD 800.