Summer 2013 often featured Forbidden Planet founder Jurg Haller, Paul, and guest DJs and producers playing records or performing live sets until well after the sun had come up. These parties divided the administrative committee: On one hand, they could help pay the rent, on the other, they attracted more and more attention from the fire department and law enforcement due to noise complaints. For many underground dance music enthusiasts, Forbidden Planet parties at La Brique were unlike anything they’d ever experienced in Montreal. Ultimately, it was in the early morning hours of a Forbidden Planet party when a fire alarm was pulled, and La Brique’s reign of suite 402 ended abruptly over the course of the proceeding weeks. Those running the space and its events that summer had been warned that it was not up to code for such tightly packed gatherings, and their landlord was no longer willing to deal with the increasing complications of renting the space to the collective.
The after effects of La Brique’s end were tangible to many. Melodramatic as it may sound, it felt like a death in the family or losing a home in a fire. Nacomi diffused when La Brique disappeared, Teo says he stopped seeing people he would normally see at La Brique as much. Marie and Pierre, who celebrated their marriage at a party at the space weeks earlier, also got kicked out of their apartment around the same time, just as they returned from a tour. Many struggled to find new studio spaces, and if they did, they weren’t nearly as inspiring as La Brique was. It was to many the heart of Montreal when it died.
It is impossible to qualify the value of a space like La Brique in the way that would sound legitimate and neoliberal enough for cultural administratives, but that was largely why it was started in the first place, and that’s certainly its legacy. It was a place to exist outside of the gatekeepers of arts funding with their narrow ideas of what music deserves to be made and heard, outside of venues with huge rental fees, laissez-faire promoters and bookers, outside of places where the noise has to end at a reasonable hour. La Brique has remained a benchmark for what creative communities in Montreal are capable of, and nothing has been quite as avant-scène since its untimely closure.