Second Wave for 10 Years of MUTEK Barcelona
Momentum is building for the 10th anniversary of MUTEK Barcelona, taking place this March 6-9, as the festival celebrates the leading-edges of electronic music and digital ingenuity with this latest release of names and special projects. Characterized by its agenda of discovery and commitment to challenging curation, the festival’s identity increasingly thrives on exploring new territories—both aesthetically and geographically. From Latin America to Africa, North America, Asia, Europe and the east—14 nationalities are currently represented across the lineup, offering a snapshot of the irrepressible creativity bubbling up across the globe. Along with unique live performances and premieres from international names, MUTEK lauds its local and national scene with a significant showing of Spanish and Catalan artists. The festival is also working to highlight women in both the performance program and during its daytime activities, with international women’s day again falling inside its dates.
With more confirmations still in the pipe, and details about the Digi Lab conference and other surprises to come, this second release fills in the contours of what is already a momentous edition:
Don Sinini (UK) / Donato Dozzy (IT) / Drakis (ES) / ETM (ES) / Intercity-Express (JP) / Jacques Greene (CA) / Kelly Moran (US) / Maayan Nidam (IL) / Map.ache (DE) / Michelle Mercure (US) / Mina & Bryte (UK/GH) / Mumdance (UK) / NONOTAK (JP/FR) / Olaf Blanch (ES) / Rafael Anton Irisarri (US) / Slikback (KE) / Still (IT)
Digital art, experimental works, and surprise pop-up events will take the festival to new locales this year and expand on its familiar urban circuit. The Roca Gallery of design and architecture will host a new installation by Nonotak called ZERO POINT ONE, another hallucinatory exercise in fluorescent illumination, shifting grids and unsettled aural ambience. The gallery will also act as the convergence point to launch the festival and other activities.
Building on last year’s collaboration with ImaginCafé, Ambient 1 & 2 will showcase sets by Rafael Anton Irisarri, bringing to life his new release on Umor Rex, Sirimiri, and the second appearance in 30 years (and the European debut) of Michelle Mercure—an American synth pioneer, whose recent reissue has sparked renewed interest in her proto-electro-industrial creations from the 80s.
The always anticipated club-oriented programs of the Nocturne series at Nitsa/Atsin on the weekend propose dynamic performances from Map.ache a young German producer associated with the notorious Giegling label making his live debut in Barcelona, and Canadian sensation Jacques Greene premieres a brand new live set of his house-leaning post-dubstep concoctions. Big room closers—Maayan Nidam presenting a set of her trademark trippy narratives spiced from her recent full length release on Perlon—and Donato Dozzy, the master of transportive, cinematic takes on techno—pilot the Friday and Saturday night respectively. Astin vibrates on Friday with an eclectic lineup featuring the ambient-meets-breakbeat of BCN’s Olaf Blanch in world premiere, and the Nyege Nyege-associated future sounds of African club music from Kenya’s Slikback—joining the already announced Gábor Lázár and Kode9 b2b Mala. Saturday’s unfolding features a co-curated night with Club Marabú a local collective with a speciality in “restless currents in electronic music”—they self-represent as the duo Drakis, setting the stage for Barcelona debuts from UK phenomenon and MC Don Sinini, and his compatriots Mina & Bryte, comprised of hotly-tipped dancehall and afrobeat producer Mina with Ghanaian rapper Bryte. Italy’s artfully mutant dancehall producer Simone Trabucchi unleashes a live set of contagious rhythms as STILL, with British producer Mumdance closing the festivities with his unpredictable selector’s ear for grime, techno, hardcore, rave and things betwixt and between.
Saturday afternoon’s habitual takeover of the convivial grounds and multi-faceted rooms of the Fabrica Damm offer up a feast of beats outside, and immersive experimental musics inside. New York composer Kelly Moran, recently signed to Warp, conjures the prepared piano and synthesizer pieces from Ultraviolet, Spanish producer E.T.M. gathers the tropes of trance, hardcore and progressive house in an homage and world premiere, called N-Tran-C, and Japanese audiovisual whiz Intercity-Express presents triggering, his recent work of kinetic glitch and digital tinctures. Along with Nonotak he is presented with the support of the Fundación Japón in Spain