Just after the celebration of Detroit’s techno heritage comes another annual festival of electronic music and art – Montreal’s highly-regarded MUTEK festival. Heading into it’s 12th year, the festival brings “a marathon journey through the world of digital arts and electronic music.” With headliners such as Plastikman, Modeselektor, Amon Tobin and For Tet, this event definitely focuses on the fringes of sound and draws a crowd of discerning electronic music fans. Other highlights this year include Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic), DeepChord, James Holden, Gold Panda, Hype Williams, Floating Points, Traversable Wormhole (Adam X) and Dubspot’s own Badawi. The sounds of this festival are always current with an emphasis on techno, dub and experimental electronic music. Over the five day event you can find day and evening events, art installations, all-night parties and the often talked-about Piknic Electronik.
One thing that sets this festival apart from others is a focus on live performances from electronic acts, often with much thought put into the visual and environmental elements of each performance. Along with the music acts you’ll find groundbreaking visual performances (as indicated by the promo videos that have been circulating leading up to the event.) From the MUTEK website: As has become the standard, MUTEK2011 is once again about presenting an argument for possible directions in the future of music. Over 95% of our carefully selected participants will be playing live, and every single one of them has been selected to suit thematically cultivated showcases. Among those are 8 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, and 9 Canadian premieres. One of these performances that has been getting much press is Amon Tobin’s ISAM project. ISAM is an album, a live art performance and large multi-dimensional 3-D art installation that will premiere at MUTEK.
For those attending the event, MUTEK has provided a lot of detailed information on their website including a schedule of performances as well as an iPhone app that lets you create your own schedule of things to see and share it with friends. For those who can’t make it to Montreal the organization has provided plenty of ways to check out the artists involved with both a podcast and live stream of the event. The podcast offers some nice insights into performers at MUTEK with interviews by The Wire (check out the Q&A with King Midas Sound) and playlists from the events curators and performers.
MUTEK 12th Edition Official Lineup
AMON TOBIN (BR), ANSTAM (DE), ANTIVJ (FR), ARP (US), ARTHUR OSKAN (CA), BABE RAINBOW(CA), BADAWI (US), BILLY DALESSANDRO (CA), BOWLY (CA), CALAMALKA (CA), CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO (AR), COMADUSTER (CA), DAEGA SOUND SYSTEM (CA), DANUEL TATE (CA), DAREK MAZZONE (US), DEADBEAT (CA), DEADBEAT + LILLEVAN (CA/DE), DEEPCHORD PRESENTS ECHOSPACE (US), DIANE LABROSSE (CA), DJ BRACE (CA), DOMINIC VANCHESTEING (CA), ELEKTRO GUZZI (AT), EMPTYSET (UK), FALTYDL (US), FLOATING POINTS (UK), FM RADIO GODS(CA), FOOTPRINTZ (CA), FOUR TET (UK), GOLD PANDA (UK), GROJ (CA), HISSY FIT (CA), HORROR INC.(CA), HYPE WILLIAMS (UK), JACQUES GREENE (CA), JAMES HOLDEN (UK), KENLO CRAQNUQUES(CA), KNOWING LOOKS (CA), KOMODO (CA), LUKE ABBOTT (UK), MATEO MURPHY (CA), MATH ROSEN(CA), MAX ULIS (CA), MEEK (CA), MICHAEL RED (CA), MIKA VAINIO (FI), MODESELEKTOR(DE), MONOLITHIUM (CA), MONTAG (CA), MURCOF + ANTIVJ (FR/MX), NAVET CONFIT (CA), NOMIG(CA), OLIVIER ALARY (CA), ORGAN MOOD (CA), PEZZNER (US), PLASTIKMAN (CA), POIRIER (CA), POLE(DE), PURFORM (CA), RADIQ (JP), RECIFE (CA), RICHIE HAWTIN, ROCKETNUMBERNINE(UK), SCULPTURE (UK), SETH HORVITZ AKA SUTEKH (US), SIMON CALLED PETER (CA), SINTEG(CA), SIRIUSMO (DE), SKINNYBONES (CA), SOL DEL RIO (AR), STEPHEN BEAUPRÉ (CA), SUNDRIPS(CA), TERRY LEE BROWN JR. (DE), THE GULF STREAM (CA), THE SUN ARAW BAND (US), TOMAS JIRKU(CA), TRAVERSABLE WORMHOLE (US), TRISTAN PERICH (US), TROISPOINTS, WAREIKA (DE), WOMEN WITH KITCHEN APPLIANCES (CA),
XAVIER LEBUIS (CA), XI (CA)
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1ST
Metro Arts 1
In collaboration with STM
4:30pm | Metro Berri UQAM| FreeLocal UK funky/garage producer BOWLY performs for an unsuspecting rush-hour audience of transit commuters at one of the busiest stations in the Montreal metro system!
Experience 1 – BREAK THAT BEAT
Presented by Bande à part, in collaboration with Exclaim.ca
5pm | Place de la Paix | Free
FOODLAB invited chef: MARTIN JUNEAU (Newtown)
Dedicated to emerging local turntablists and breaks practitioners, we kickstart the evening of programming with a quintessentially Montréalais tradition: the 5 à 7! On the bill: MATH ROSEN, DJ BRACE, and KENLO CRAQNUQUES.
Roland Pre Nocturne Event
Presented by Roland
7pm | Society for Arts and Technology | FreeCome participate in a fun, interactive evening and see who will win 1st place in the Roland Synthesizer Contest. Try a synthesizer yourself in the Roland Synth Garden and enjoy special performances byPOIRIERand FMRADIO GODS. Draw for door prizes.
A/Visions 1 – THE INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION
8pm | Salle Pierre-Mercure | $25 + tx & scA showcase that explores the intersection between granular synthesis, fabrications of light and image, and the beauty of inherent rhythm and repetition. Bristol duo EMPTYSET applies a deep undercurrent of dubstep bass to the abrasion of digital white noise. Finland’s legendary MIKA VAINIO, former-half of pioneering industrial minimalists Pan Sonic, makes his MUTEK debut with an all-new live audio-visual concert. Finally, Elektra Festival founder Alain Thibault and visual artist Yan Breuleux make their MUTEK debut as PURFORM. The pair will perform an original digital composition called WHITE BOX, featuring a massive three-screen multi-sensory display.
Nocturne 1 – MACHINIMATIONS
Presented by Ubisoft
10pm | Métropolis | $30 + tx & sc The manifestations of electronic storytelling have taken on countless roles ever since sampling became part of music culture in the early-80s. This showcase highlights the handful of talents within sampling culture who fearlessly push the boundaries of the break into unrecognizable territory. Middle Eastern bass veteran BADAWI drafts exotic drum patterns and aural textures onto next-level rhythms. Up-and coming British producer GOLD PANDA delivers his bright and angular blend of hip-hop, IDM and bass culture. Finally, Ninja Tune royalty AMON TOBIN offers the world premiere ofISAM, his first-ever live performance featuring an enormous stage set-up that promises otherworldly experiences.
In collaboration with UQAM Centre for Design
10pm |UQAMCentre for Design | $15 regular, $10 studentTHE MOLE and DJ POONTZ lead us through a thematic evening of music appreciation, inspired by The Mole’s “7 Inches of Love” label, which is based upon the re-appropriation of bygone disco music to first appear on 7-inch vinyl, delivered once again, reworked, and re-edited, on vinyl.
DAY 2 – THURSDAY, JUNE 2NDMetro Arts 2
In collaboration with STM
4:30pm | Metro BerriUQAM| FreeLocal intelligent-techno experimenters THE GULF STREAM perform for an unsuspecting rush-hour audience of transit commuters at one of the busiest stations in the Montreal metro system!
Experience 2 – TAKING THE PULSE
Presented by Bande à part, in collaboration with Exclaim.ca
5pm | Place de la Paix | FreeOnce again, we kickstart the evening of programming with the 5 à 7, this time convening around the more complex and adventurous aspects of the local techno scene: MEEK, XAVIER LEBUIS, and SINTEG.
FOODLAB invited chef: SIMON MATHYS (BAR & BOEUF)
A/Visions 2 – RAPID-EYE DREAMERS
8pm | Salle Pierre-Mercure | $25 + tx & scA/Visions 2 offers a journey through the ethereal attractions of classical textures and three-dimensional visions. SETH HORVITZ (aka SUTEKH) returns to MUTEK this year to present an entirely new side of his musical persona: studies in automated piano. The national debut of COMADUSTER’s powerful piece “Scrape” evokes both stark digital soundscapes and the dark elegance of minimal techno. Mexican ambient-techno producer MURCOF delivers his supple blend of cutting-edge rhythms and Arvo Pärt string textures to a special collaboration with Simon Geilfus of ANTIVJ, who will be working with three massive screens to create a three-dimensional cosmos.
Nocturne 2 – MODESELEKTION
In collaboration with FACT
10pm | Métropolis | $30 + tx & scA night of bass in all its wide-ranging permutations! MODESELEKTOR bring their hotly anticipated Modeselektion night to the Metropolis. The “no holds barred” German duo will be DJing alongside their selected guests, including mysterious industrial-dubstep duo ANSTAM, New York garage revivalist FALTYDL, Montreal bass producer JACQUES GREENE, and high-end electro maven SIRIUSMO. Visuals by Pfadfinderei and Diagraf.
Meanwhile in the Savoy Room, we present a showcase of emerging Canadian techno, featuring Thoughtless Music’s ARTHUR OSKAN, BILLY DALESSANDRO,MATEO MURPHY and GROJ. Visuals by Crazy Tapis.
Para Nocturne – PSYCHONAUTIC SURFERS
Co-presented by SAT
10pm | Society for Arts and Technology | $20 + tx & scRunning in parallel to Modeselektion at the Metropolis, the SAT offers a line-up of bleary eyed, off-kilter electronic cultists drifting from over-radiated soul music to analog-synth space travel. Local duo SUNDRIPS opens the night. Expansive in scope, ARP’s sonic landscape unfolds like a collection of short stories or filmic vignettes, each piece building upon the other. The sound and projections of ORGAN MOOD are influenced by the various electronic instruments they’ve gathered and interconnected: a beatbox, synth and sequencer support a farfisa organ. Finally, HYPE WILLIAMS trade in half-life soul, delivering an extreme lo-fi production that sounds as it was recorded directly onto corroded tape. SUN ARAW draws together influences as varied as 80’s era space-rock, afro-beat, and the underbelly of 70’s fold rock.
Visit the festival website for a full listing of events.