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Wooohooo! The 14th installation of one of my favorite electronic creative culture festivals, MUTEK, is starting in two more days. With more than 140 artists, 76 projects, and a record of world premiers (15 world, 16 North American, 4 Canadian), this festival boasts an abundance of music, sights, panels, art, installations, and workshops to keep your weekend packed! Hopefully y’all got to check out the first preview post of artists I’m super excited to see! Part 2 is going to encompass some more artists that aren’t to be missed!
Before I begin, I’mma mention again how crucial and worth it it is to go check out an A/Visions series if you really want a unique experience outside of electronic music creative and digital arts festivals. You get to be in a beaaautiful theatre in the city, sit down, relax, and take in the expression of sound and visuals being intentionally molded together. One can’t exist without the other! The entire show is like one huge art piece. It is awesome. It will expose you to different sounds and different ways of feeling and seeing sound, different ways of feeling and hearing visuals.
ALL the A/Visions are worth checking out. Here are the ones I’m excited for though! A majority of A/Visions descriptions below come from the Mutek site. (Skip to the next page for more music coverage!)
Wednesday May 29th; A/VISIONS 1: Ludger-Duvernay Room at the Monument-National – 8 p.m.
8:00 p.m Dan Browne, Dan Briscoll & Steve Richman (CA)
First up will be Canadian artists DAN BROWNE, DAN DRISCOLL & STEVE RICHMAN, who explore the fleeting nature of human memory in MEMENTO MORI. To do so, they revisit a film comprised of more than 100,000 photographs, captured over the course of a lifetime, and shape it into an extrasensory photo montage presented here in world premiere. This film has been awarded THREE prizes in the last year: Jury Prize, for best Canadian Work – WNDX Festival of Moving Image 2012; First Prize in the experimental category at the Athens International Film and Video Festival 2013; and finally the Deluxe Cinematic Vision Aware at the Images Festival!
8:45 p.m Matthew Herbert (UK) present One Pig
The programme’s second part, a North American premiere, will present British producer MATTHEW HERBERT, who also explores the cycle of life… of a pig, in this instance. The ONE PIG performance mainly revolves around the defining sounds in the life of a pig, from birth, to slaughter, to plate. On stage, Herbert is accompanied by musicians decked out as lab assistants, as well as a chef (of the culinary kind), in order to delve into every facet of a pig’s (after)life. The artistic and political approach to the subject matter is at once visual, sonic and scent-laden, which promises to make for an unforgettable festival experience.
A/VISIONS 2: Ludger-Duvernay Room of the Monument-National – 8 p.m.
8:00 p.m Nils Frahm (DE)
The second A/VISIONS gets started with virtuoso German (Berlin) pianist NILS FRAHM and his three pianos. Showered with praise, this musician and composer is interested in the countless sonic possibilities that define his instrument of choice; he brings together classical music with electronic accents in a frank, effortless way.
Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer from his Berlin-based Durton Studio, where he has worked and collaborated with many contemporaries such as Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds, Anne Müller, Deaf Center, Efterklang and Dustin O’Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, catching the ear of many fans including Thom Yorke, who featured one of Nils’ songs in Radiohead’s HQ office chart. As the recognition continues to grow for his previous solo piano works ‘Wintermusik’ (2009) and ‘The Bells’ (2009), October 2011 saw the release of his most acclaimed album to date: ‘Felt’. ♦
Nils is part of the Erased Tapes Record labels where he works alongside with many incredible artists, Ólafur Arnalds, who he collaborated with to make some of my favorite songs of last year. Check it out below!
Olafur Arnald & Nils Frahm – a2 (Max Cooper Remix)
9:30 p.m Herman Kolgen (CA)
Quebec artist HERMAN KOLGEN, renowned abroad for his digital arts sculptures, invites the public on a sweeping multisensory trip with TRAIN FRAGMENTS. Presented at MUTEK in a new configuration with the Université de Montreal’s SIXTRUM percussion ensemble (a world premiere), the public will witness the meeting of contemporary music and digital creativity, with a live score inspired by Steve Reich’s notoriously difficult string quartet, Different Trains. This performance looks EPIC. Check out Fragments if you want a bit of a teaser to see what this Montréal local has in store for us!
Skip to the next page for more MUTEK coverage!
Last night instead of going to Mutek, I made my way to an equally important art scene in Montréal, the beat makin’ scene that ARTBEAT does so well to represent. This was the first official Artbeat show I was able to make (hosted by SevDee & Mark The Magnanimous). My mind was blown by the creativity and mad love shown by the beat builders up on stage…each sharing five minutes of their hard work in rotation. Crossing genre boundaries with no hesitation, the artists reminded me of tunes you’d hear from Shlohmo, Salva, B. Bravo, Flying Lotus, J Dilla…8-Bit, grimey bass lines, awesomely bizarre transitions and a mad infusion of hip-hop…oh! Don’t forget the FUNK! Oh yeah Artbeat you have my heart and I’m going to do my best to spread the word. What I love about hip-hop events like these is the international crowd and the mad love everyone has for hip-hop, beats, and mixin’ up the genres! Truly good music. Love. Check out their website! Check out the artists and their soundclouds posted below! ALSO! Artbeat has a radio show EVERY Saturday at 17h on 89.3FM or go online to listen or download their podcasts! Like them on Facebook!
Taken from their website:
Artbeat Montréal builds strategies geared towards the promulgation of Art within the provincial territory of Quebec and abroad. It’s Mission is to offer a platform for the Beat Builder to expand his or her knowledge of Sound, Music and Culture along with the production of distinct, refined and preeminent events dedicated to professionals, as well as enthusiasts.
ARTBEAT will set itself as the cornerstone in the establishment of a superior quality and new variety of Artistic Works, principally by Beat Builders from all genres and styles of music, which in turn, will promote cultural enrichment, as well as political, educational, economic, social and spiritual advancement.
ARTBEAT MONTREAL events unite the finest and most innovative Beat Builders, DJs, Singers and Emcees, as well as movers and shakers of the entertainment industry under one roof for a unique and uplifting experience of Sound and Light.
The BEAT BUILDER is the “Human Being possessing the ability of producing a rhythmic or harmonic arrangement or sequence with the use of new devices, beyond the limits or confines of technology, with the purpose of transmitting a specific message”
We understand that we are all related to Harmony by Blood and that we know Rhythm by heart.
ARTBEAT MONTREAL is presented by the Sovereign Prerogative Live Creations.
The artists of last night and their soundclouds:
Teknition aka Vincent Pryce (MurderFace/Mook-Life)
Nik Brxvkn (NBNBNB)
Waahli (Nomadic Massive/Wyzah Musk)
Special Guest : Shash’U (Silence D’Or/Its Gotta Be…) back from France!
Phil Sparkz (Booty Bakery/MIMS) on the decks
wow it’s been a long time since my last update. there are so many good tunes i want to share and have been meaning to make a mixtape but for now…some tunes that will definitely keep you warm and lift your soul in the winter. these are tracks that i’ve been repeating NONSTOP for the past little while. some MONTREAL representation too with JACQUES GREENE. watch out for him, he is going to be big. he’s already done remixes of radiohead and the weeknd which are super dope. NEON INDIAN‘s new LP is a fantastic listen, though not as good as their first. APPARAT as always is on point and the track i featured from him is off his new LP Devil’s Walk which is very dark, moody, yet spiritually uplifting despite the depressed tones throughout his production. worth listening to though. NEW LOOK, another up and coming CANADIAN group from Hamilton (who woulda thought?!) are making some great pop tunes. MIGUEL CAMPBELL‘s track “something special” is one of the tracks that DEFINED burning man for me. it was dropped when everyone had not eaten, slept, or stopped dancing in over 36 hours at least. toronto’s ART DEPARTMENT through this track down and it lifted us up high…high high high up. campbell is off the HOT CREATIONS label. he’s gon be massive. truth. lastly, i threw in the most wonderful TENSNAKE remix of little dragon‘s CRUCIAL and probably one of the most remixed tracks of the year, “ritual union”. enjoy.
Mp3: New Look – Janet
MP3: Apparat – Goodbye
what an epic epic weekend. meg montréal had an incredible lineup, especially for the boat. osheaga had a disturbingly amazing lineup which made this horribly organised festival all the more worth while. so yeah, before i talk about the music, i wanna talk about the osheaga festival.
what mainly pissed me off was this whole “green stage” thing…why not have a GREEN FESTIVAL?!?! oooooh, one stage! ONE! raw/vegan/vegetarian green food stand! great way to really show how committed one is to the enviro movement. what is even WORSE is the amount of trash left lying around because we had to walk minutes just to get to a garbage can. the state of the grass and grounds around the toilettes was horrendous as the one picnic table became a dumpster! and that fountain that was nearby that was spritzing water…for what purpose!?!?! to cool people off, sure, but running it at that level for the entire two days is the biggest waste of water ever. why not have a water fountain that people can USE to REFILL our water bottles?!?! instead of charging 5$ for people to buy new ones. we have such good LOCAL food and produce, good LOCAL vendors here yet none of it was represented in the midst of the digustingly expensive hot dogs at la fleur, beers at budweiser, and even fresh fruit, chips, and water at the smaller vendors.
the only good thing about osheaga outside of it’s incredible lineup this year is the fact that you were allowed to bring in your own food and water. so my friend and i made delicious salmon arugula and baby tomato salad along with egg sandwiches and saved ourselves from unhappy stomachs and wallets. yes the music is important but, ultimately it is the experience as well, and at 75 bucks or 150 for both days, it isn’t less affordable when you have to spend more than 30 bucks each day on little food or drink to sustain yourself. 5 dollars for a hot dog?!?! voyons donc c’mon! though osheaga isn’t as large or as aged as coachella or bonnaroo, the food there is filling and well proportioned, there are good options for all types of diets, and NOTHING was at least 10 dollars like it is at osheaga. the corps and sponsors rent out the space only to make more money by ripping us off. fuck dis shit! as snoop dogg would say.
i look forward to the day when osheaga will continue to have good music, be true to their environmental initiatives, and support local independent quebec food and produce!
but, enough of the ranting! overall, the weekend was faaaantastic for great music and dancing. so, recap of meg boat and osheaga weekend after the jump!
ok folks, am off to osheaga and am already late! this is gon be super quick! so yesterday was the biggest night for meg, boasting a ridiculous lineup with holy ghost, in flagranti, and the well popular french scratch djs, birdy nam nam. club soda was the perfect venue for it despite some minor sound issues, small enough to have a cozy dance party (except for the horrible frenchies who were taking up too much space, were too drunk and literally, literaally fell on top of each other and disturbed everyone in the back), and large enough so we didn’t end up killing each other.
holy ghost! the rising duo from brooklyn started off the night and i was excited to hear them live, especially some of their songs off their recently released Static on the Wire EP. it was…a disappointing performance. the live instrumentals were fantastic, the beats rocked but the vocals were just incomparable to their studio recordings and brought down the level of the show quite a bit. maybe it was a bad day? not sure. but hopefully the rest of their tour with chromeo will be fantastic. i share with you my fave off their new EP!
next up was in flagranti! sasha crnobrnja and alex gloor roam the scenes between new york and europe. their most recent album released in 2009, brash and vulgar, is exactly that. unforts i didn’t stick around long enough to hear their entire set because it wasn’t very good at all…sticking more to a dj mash up style as opposed to playing more of their actual songs, i just wasn’t pulled in whatsoever.
finally! the parisien group birdy nam nam comes on stage and ROCK THAT SHIT! the floor was insane with stompers, ground pushers, and head bangers. i felt like their set was the black keys and the rapture and hard rockers kiss all blended into one and then spit out into this crazy electronic tight set, scratch, remixed, and replayed. they are a club band. they are a dance band. and they know how to throw a party. but other than that, musically, it’s not too special. their turntable skills are fantastic, and the one thing i really have to complain about with club soda is that with djs, esp scratch djs, you need to show their hands on the screen! but no one could see what they were doing, so it took a lot of emotion out of their set…and as a friend of mine said, it was seeing like life of a monotonous society. and it was exactly that. there isn’t necessarily rhythm like something that juan maclean can pull off with a tee, it’s just super technical and super tight. but, there’s nothing wrong with that either. such a good night, such a fucking good show. and when “abssesses” came on, well. the already torn off roof blew onto pluto. they played for 2 HOURS! how fucking cool is that!?!? please check them out nowwwww!
Hi all, I am going to do a super super condensed post because I am now in New York. Anyways, went to the Piknik yesterday to see Minilogue and DJ Koze who rocked the shit out of the island, even in the rain. Ah. That’s what I love about Montreal, rain, snow, or shine, we never lose our fight to party and to dance. Oh ye.
BUT, easily the best the show of the FESTIVAL was Ben Frost. Mon dieeeeeeeeeeuu. From what I recognized, he didn’t play very much from his most recent album By The Throat. His songs were at least 20 minutes long filled with lulling drones and layers of nature and wildlife…whales crying and wind blowing through the forests…I sat down and closed my eyes and his set took me places…it ended so quikly I felt. His show was the subconscious awakening, vibrating inbetween the walls of our skin and the walls we were encased in…so intense, surreal, and wonderful all at the same time. This man is incredible. I share with you two amazing tracks from said album!
I hope you all had a great time at Mutek like I did!
Took a break on Thursday and came back for the Nocturne series, boasting the Canadian Premiere of many artists such as Actress, Jacek Sienkiewicz, Demdike Stare as well as the Bug’s Kevin Martin a.k.a. King Midas Sound, Ikonika and many others. Tonight was going to be a night of techno and dubstep. Two genres that are normally never put together but this is Mutek! Variety is key. The night was going to be filled with dancing, staring, and holding our hearts because the bass might just rip it out…I was very, very excited.
I haven’t been to Mutek the previous years, but this year it is mainly focused on very lo-fi, minimal, experimental, and IDM type of music. Walking into the venue, I realised that it is not like most electronic music venues. Mutek is being held for the most part at Monument National, which is a huge venue that hosts many mini rooms that I imagine are more meant for orchestras, small theatre, plays, etc etc. I walked into the room and sat amongst everyone else, excited and curious. The huge screen was perfect for the quality of the visuals and the room, for the insulation of the music. I thought to myself after the show today, why don’t we have more of this?!?! We go to films, plays, theatre, and we sit down and we watch, we feel, we experience. We go to shows and we stand, we dance, we chat, we drink, we feel, we experience. Mutek, or at least the A/Visions showcases, combine the best of both. Sitting down comfortably disengaged with a good view and a good ear for all that’s in front. But combined with the music and the visuals, we completely become re-engaged…tripping out on our sensory neurons which are, at least for me, just going crazy!
I mean, most lo-fi, minimal, noise, IDM, and so on do usually have intense visuals because well, otherwise we’d get really bored, fall asleep, or really not get it. However, of the shows I have seen within these genres, they have been in conventional electronic music venues: standing, shitty sound, shitty sight, uncomfortable heat. I propose that all chill out, lounge, ambient, and so forth genres be held at Monument National. Seeing Air there instead of Métropolis would have been so much better. I can only imagine what it would be like seeing Flying Lotus or Fuck Buttons there. Tonight, Mutek has more than ever reiterated the importance of melding visual art together with sound, how integral they really are to each other, especially within these music genres because the creativity is just a different kind when compared with house, jazz, pop, indie, hip-hop, and how the way we experience music can go beyond just the regular…as these artists being showcased throughout the 4 day festival no doubt do.
After the jump for recap, music, and videos!