First Wave of Artists Unleashed
Now firmly planted in the verdant, deep of summer, MUTEK Montréal bursts into bloom with its 19th edition, running August 22 to 26 in the heart of downtown. Since its inception the festival has privileged the presentation of live electronic music and audiovisual performances, underlining the immediacy and ingenuity of contemporary artistic practices that intersect with technology. This edition adds another focus—women in digital arts and electronic music—with a significant representation of female artists in the performance program, along with a special two-day symposium. Renowned for its exceptional presentation standards and a curatorial approach that draws equally from international and national talent, always aiming to deliver revelation and discovery to festival-goers, MUTEK Montréal continues to operate in a human-scale, community-minded context. Get ready for another wild adventure with the release of these first names, with many more, and special projects, still to come:
Aleksi Perälä (FI/UK) Akiko Kiyama (JP) Caterina Barbieri (IT) Chagall (UK) Chloé (FR) Clap! Clap! (IT) Cora Novoa (ES) dj. flugvél og geimskip (IS) DJ Python (US) Edna King (CA) Errorsmith (DE) Equiknoxx (JM) JASSS (ES) Kirke Karja (EE) LADA (Dasha Rush & Lars Hemmerling) (RU+DE) Lanark Artefax (UK) Lawrence English (AU) Machine Woman (UK/DE) Messier & YRO (CA+FR) Moomin (DE) Push 1 stop & Wiklow (CA) Pye Corner Audio (UK) Ramzi (CA) Robin Fox (AU) Steevio & Suzybee (UK) TMRW (SE) Tolouse Low Trax (DE) Yagya (IS)
Debuts and Premieres
With a familiar array of venues creating a circuit of proximity that encourages festival-goers to experience it all—this edition showcases a substantial number of debuts, exclusives and premieres from a wide range of international artists, representing almost a dozen different nationalities.
Aleksi Perälä, the artist formerly known as Ovuca graces MUTEK with his mystical, galactic sonics, built entirely from his invented microtonal tuning system, the Colundi Sequence; rising modular synth sensation, Italian, Caterina Barbieri makes her Canadian debut; Australian Lawrence English delivers his soulful and overwhelming ambient compositions; irreverent tech house stylist Machine Woman takes us on a ride through her subtextual musical narratives; classically trained Scottish artist Lanark Artefax splices his bent arrangements and choral melodies into IDM frames and a dazzling A/V presentation; reggaeton meets moody house in the live set from American DJ Python; British artist Pye Corner Audio unfurls his hauntological, often acidy hues of cinematically inclined electronic music; beloved German producer Moomin debuts a live version of his emotive, chopped-sample house; Freerotation festival founders Steevio & Suzybee make their first North American appearance, improvising a modular set augmented with hand-drawn psychedelic-leaning animations; beautifully situated between sound design and club styles, Spanish electronic savant JASSS has been turning ears inside out with her singular and daring style; Japanese minimalist Akiko Kiyama comes to MUTEK for the first time, presenting her experimental electronic personality; Tolouse Low Trax, the alter ego of Kreidler member Detlef Weinrich, unleashes his slo-mo, leftfield, minimal collage-funk; an Icelandic wind blows through the immersive and musical dub techno of Yagya; Jamaican dancehall deviants Equiknoxx bring reggae twists and singer Shanique Marie to the opening night stage; Italy’s Clap! Clap! makes a splash with his jubilant, jazz-informed, world-wide rhythms and global harvest of found sounds; and, both subtle and gigantic Edna King from Toronto debuts with her low end, trippy techno concoctions.
Equiknoxx will share the stage with singer Shanique Marie on the opening night! (Photo Jik Reuben)
While the festival is envisioned as a platform for discovery, it’s also a place to support the continuing work and craft of veteran and prolific artists working at the fore of electronic music and digital creation.
Synaesthetic, audiovisual mad scientist Robin Fox returns to the festival to premiere his latest laser spectacle, Single Origin as part of the A/Visions series; along with local luminary Martin Messier with French artist YRO who present the North American premiere of ASHES, a new work that explores the dramaturgy and cinema of microscopes. Montréal audiovisual team Cadie Desbiens as Push 1 stop collaborates with sound artist Myke Dean, known as Wiklow, for Membrane, an algorithmic performance for transparent materials, a generative work that merges installation with live performance.
Dasha Rush makes a triumphant third visit—as LADA, her long running, widescreen, live techno project with Lars Hemmerling, destined for a big room on the weekend; having just released his first album in 13 years, Errorsmith last played MUTEK in 2004 and he brings his acclaimed new material and live show to Montréal; 10 years since her last appearance at the festival, French producer Chloé presents her latest live show, replete with her languid, composerly minimalism and visuals; and it’s something of a homecoming for Montréal-bred, now Berlin-based Ramzi who has been honing her peculiar amalgam of balmy beats, altered vocals and disquieting, fantastical elements.
Push 1 stop & Wiklow — Membrane (photo Sébastien Roy)
Keychange: Empowering Women in Digital Arts and Electronic Music
At the core of this year’s edition is a project that will span 3 continents and involve festivals in Europe, the UK, and Latin America, which aims to make a lasting impact on gender representation and performance opportunities for women. MUTEK’s contribution to the Keychange initiative manifests as a two-day symposium beginning a day before official festivities, on Tuesday, August 21, while the performance program will include projects from women from Mexico, Argentina, Canada and the UK. This first announcement puts forward the European cohort of Keychange artists and includes: the gestural instrumentation of British researcher and artist Chagall, Spain’s experimentalist Cora Novoa, the zany synth mischief of Iceland’s dj. flugvél og geimskip, the avant-jazz of Kirke Karja from Estonia, and Sweden’s TMRW with her trancey, drum machine excursions. More details and artists will be announced in the coming weeks.