New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ MUTEK Official Website)
MUTEK 2012 brings together the innovative digital-arts complexes of Montreal in order to present an entirely new vision of the metropolis to its wide international audience. From its current offices at the Society for Arts & Technology (1201 St. Laurent Blvd.), the 13th edition will occupy the ground-floor concert space for a full four nights, while hosting one memorable evening in the building's new third-floor Satosphere, a planetarium-style dome geared toward the next generation of audio-visual performances. Also, MUTEK ventures into Old Montreal for the first time, where it will host a three-day international ICAS network (International Cities for Advanced Sound) gathering at the brand-new PHI Centre (407 rue St. Pierre). The festival returns to the venue of its birth, Excentris, for the otherworldly North American premiere of CineChamber, a performative space that surrounds audiences with ten screens that can be "played" or manipulated as an instrument. A series of large-scale architectural projections will decorate the Quartier des Spectacles, while numerous free events fill Place de la paix. These locations bolster the festival's longstanding presence at the Metropolis (51 Ste. Catherine St. E), Parc Jean-Drapeau (with Piknic Electronik), and the festival headquarters at Monument-National (1182 St. Laurent Blvd).
Still to come after this announcement are program details for many of the activities contained with Extra_Muros, the ever-growing dimension of the festival that brings electronic music and the digital arts into the public sphere in highly visible and arresting ways.
Individual tickets and a variety of showcase passes are available on sale at www.mutek.org right now. Prices for the Festival Passport and Weekend Pass are $260 (+tx & sc) and $135 (+tx & sc) respectively.
The MUTEK 2012 Week: Wednesday, May 30th, to Friday, June 1st
Experiences 1 to 3: Place de la paix, 5 PM
MUTEK 2012 begins at 5pm on Wednesday, May 30th, with the outdoor Experience Series, presented by Bande à Part, a free happy-hour gathering at Place de la paix showcasing the most promising emerging talents from Quebec and across Canada. From Wednesday to Friday, festivalgoers are invited to convene in the park across from Monument-National, discover new artists, and enjoy the culinary pleasures of the SAT Foodlab.
On Wednesday, audiences will enjoy music from Quebec's next-generation techno producers, among them CCCLTD's Michel Plamondon, Archipel's Jesse
Voltaire, and independent artist Magnanime. Thursday
looks forward to the province's latest crop of house-music producers, among them Simon
Called Peter, Leboeuf & Laviolette, and Femminielli. Meanwhile, Friday's session sets up the weekend in grand style with a spotlight on Canadian talent, featuring Toronto's Alicia Hush, Winnipeg duo Tonepushers, and Vancouver duo Larry James.
A/VISIONS 1 to 3: Monument-National, 8pm
Come evening, festivalgoers are invited to the first of MUTEK's central showcases, the A/Visions Series. These three sit-down showcases at Monument-National's Salle Ludger-Duvernay offer a bold fusion of extraordinary sight and immersive sound from some of the most adventurous international electronic artists at work in the world today.
Wednesday, audiences will be treated to three vastly different interpretations of corroded desert music. Quebec's Nelly-Eve Rajotte opens the soirée with an ode to the mythical desert landscapes of the Spaghetti Western, followed by the Canadian premiere and third-ever presentation of a new collaboration by two towering figures in ambient-music history, Norway's Biosphere and Los Angeles' Lustmord, who will present "Trinity", a work commissioned and premiered by Unsound New York, in partnership with Communikey. The work was conceived and developed in the deserts of New Mexico, where nuclear testing has corrupted the landscape permanently. Finally, Australia's Robin
Fox presents a must-see laser show layered with radioactive evocations.
On Thursday, collaborations abound with Berlin's Jan Jelinek and Andrew Pekler interpreting the works of Cologne electronic-music pioneer Ursula Bogner, while France Pierre
Bastien and Norway's Espen Sommer Eide (of Alog) present "Electronic Folkways", a showcase that sets into motion an orchestra of invented machines.
Friday's showcase focuses on experimental music's cinematic influences. Quebec's Le Revelateur, quickly gaining notoriety in international circles, make their MUTEK debut. Hyperdub boss Kode9 takes a rare turn at live soundtracking with collaborators MFO and Ms. Haptic in the Unsound-commissioned live audiovisual homage to the classic sci-fi film "La Jetée" by French director Chris Marker. Meanwhile, Vex'd producer Roly Porter entertains the darker timbres of his experimental side.
NOCTURNES 1 to 3: SAT • Metropolis, 10pm
Following the sit-down A/Visions showcases, audiences are invited to the festival's large headline events that bring together global transmissions from the ever-evolving worlds of electronic nightlife.
On Wednesday night, the festival launches the series at the SAT, with a spotlight on the strong song-oriented elements currently at work across electronic genres. Montreal duo DKMD, featuring veteran producer David
Kristian and vocalist Marie Davidson, infuse icy pop structures into a Moroder-likening Italo-disco reinvention. New York duo Blondes draw an indie-rock mentality into their version of hypnotic house music. Meanwhile festival favourite Apparat, who thrilled crowds as part of Moderat in 2009, returns with his new live band to present songs from his recent Mute album, The Devil's Walk.
night sees the festival move to the Metropolis for a showcase of pioneering and contemporary giants from the world of dub-infused techno. Presented by Fact Magazine, the stage kicks off with a rare North American appearance by British electronic visionary Shackleton. Following his critically lauded 2009 presentation of the 64-balloon matrix Atom, longtime festival veteran Monolake returns to MUTEK this year to present his new audio-visual production of Ghosts, his latest album, in surround sound. The night culminates with Detroit legend Jeff Mills, touching down in Montreal for his first-ever MUTEK appearance with a unique live presentation of "The Messenger / Sleeper Wakes".
Friday night's Metropolis stage is jam-packed with five younger artists who are all changing the nature of club-oriented music through their subtle infusion of an intellectual dimension. The night begins with the return of Toronto producer Matt Thibideau, who leads into the Canadian debut of Denmark's Rumpistol, appearing at the festival with LA-based vocalist Red Baron. American Wolf+Lamb producer Deniz Kurtel is one of many young women challenging the dynamic of electronic-music production in new and exciting ways. She's followed by the critical and popular success story that is Nicolas Jaar, who returns to MUTEK with a three-piece band. Meanwhile, Detroit's Jimmy Edgar shows up with his LED show Magenta.
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY Stage: SAT (as part of Nocturnes 2 & 3), 10pm
As part of the same ticket purchased for Nocturnes 2 and 3, festivalgoers will also be able to take in two showcases at the SAT just down the street, dedicated to an inspiring mix of established international acts and graduates of the Red Bull Music
night, the emphasis is placed squarely on bass and hip-hop permutations, with Montreal duo Sibin & Faun kickstarting a stage that also features the breakbeat permutations of American producers Shlohmo and Salva. Montrealers should be looking forward to Nouveau Palais, a supergroup of sorts featuring onetime local Robert Squire (Sixtoo, Megasoid, Prison Garde), as well as Lunice and Ango. The trio will be using the occasion to launch their debut album. The soirée ends with the unique talents of UK hip-hop producer Paul White, whose prolific take of beat production has turned many heads in recent years.
Meanwhile, Friday night's installment turns to the sweaty love triangle between bass, house, and techno. Belgium's Sendai (featuring Peter
Van Hoesen) mark their Canadian debut with deep and dark compositions, setting the stage for Toronto producer Nautiluss. Prolific British producer BNJMN, coming off a very strong 2011, makes his MUTEK debut, followed by Kode9 on the decks.
Play Series 1 to 3: Studio Hydro Quebec, 10pm
For those with more experimental inclinations, MUTEK offers the Play Series as a late-night digestif, a free showcase dedicated to the avant-garde creativity of Quebec's long and storied electronic-arts circles, features explorations into the province's electro-acoustic, musique concrète, noise, and ambient scenes.
Wednesday showcases new works by K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O. and Esprits Frappeurs, while Thursday
night spotlights a new collaboration by Martin
Tétreault and Nancy Tobin, entitled Této, as well as new works by Macheen and Meat Parade
side-project MOR†. On Friday night, the festival presents Pecora Pecora, Atheus, and The Gulf Stream & VJ MA".
THE MUTEK WEEKEND: Saturday, June 2nd, and Sunday, June 3rd
EXPERIENCE 4 presented by RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY: Place de la paix, 2pm
The MUTEK weekend starts on Saturday afternoon with another free showcase right in the heart of downtown Montreal, courtesy of festival partners Red Bull Music
Academy! On the bill are three talented Canadian producer from the country's major cities, and two international producers ripe for discovery.
Toronto's Basic Soul Unit starts off the day with his brand of heady house music, feeding into Montreal's own Champion, who's promised a set of dark, percussive techno that returns the longtime producer to his roots. Last edition's sleeper success story Danuel Tate touches down for an encore engagement, while Bulgaria's Kink and Germany's Jacob Korn are poised to reveal why they've been touted as ones to watch in European circles.
A/VISIONS 4: St. James
A festival first! In collaboration with Resident Advisor, MUTEK enters the hallowed halls and high ceilings of the historic St. James
Church for an exclusive engagement by two major forces in the world of experimental music. Locals Les Momies de Palerme get the evening underway, before ceding the stage to 2012 Juno Award winner and hometown hero Tim Hecker, who will premiere a performance on the church's massive organ. He'll be joined along the way by Southern Lord founder Stephen O'Malley (of Sunn O)))), who will accompany Hecker on guitar for an extended improv session.
NOCTURNE 4: Metropolis • Satosphere, 10pm
The festival's coveted all-night extravaganza, this year divided across two fantastic venues! The night that festivalgoers have come to love begins at Metropolis with the experimental turntablism of Toronto's Slowpitch, and then builds slowly with the ravenously cinematic journeys of Swedish duo Roll The Dice. The night kicks into high gear with acid pioneer A Guy Called Gerald, who arrives in Canada for the first time in five years to premiere his "Live in Session" performance. Afterward, Swedish duo Minilogue teams up with Canada's Wagon Repair boss Mathew Jonson for a set of largely improvisatory and winding techno. The night arrives at a boil with Germany's Krause Duo, founders of coveted label Muzik Krause, who take us till dawn.
Meanwhile, at the Satosphere an entirely different course is being charted as the planetarium-style dome comes alive with the sounds of modular synths. A night of performances being filmed for the upcoming documentary I Dream
of Wires, the music begins with Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan experimenting with Orphx's Christine Sealey, before turning over the sphere to Keith Fullerton Whitman, considered by many to be one of his generation's most critically acclaimed disciples of electronic music's avant-garde classical roots. Toronto synth veteran Solvent returns to the festival after a decade's absence, with UK Warp act Clark following his lead into the dark recesses of the machine's capabilities. Spectrum Spools artist Container completes the bill with a brooding and propulsive set of punk-infused techno.
MUTEK//PIKNIC: Parc Jean-Drapeau, 2pm
Sunday kicks off across the river on Ile Ste. Helene with the annual MUTEK//Piknic. Here, a stellar afternoon begins with Quebec's Valentin Stip, signed to Jaar's Clown and Sunset imprint. DFA-affiliated duo Benoit
jack up the house-music barometer to intense levels, and Wolf+Lamb, the duo behind the American label of the same name, arrive in Montreal for an extraordinary dusk showdown under the Calder. The second stage, meanwhile, guarantees lots of pleasant guest surprises from the festival's lineup.
NOCTURNE 5: SAT, 10pm
After five marathon days and nights, festivalgoers arrive at the grand finale! Here, audiences unwind slowly after a weekend of non-stop music to the weird motorik grooves of Vancouver's NO UFO's. Veteran Berlin producer Jan Jelinek delivers his second performance of the festival, this time under his micro-house alias Farben, which last appeared at MUTEK in 2002. Critically acclaimed American producer Bruno Pronsato takes the stage with French vocalist Ninca Leece to present their project Public Lover. San Francisco-based house producer Dave Aju, the man behind several great festival appearances in years past, delivers a world premiere of his new live show. And Scottish producer Alex Smoke arrives to make sure MUTEK 2012 ends on a particularly high note with the North American premiere of his new Wraetlic show.
MUTEK would like to thank the following partners, who play a key role in the festival's continued success: the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Quebec's Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Festival and Cultural Event Office, FACTOR, the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition Féminine du Québec, Musicaction, the Institut Français, the Consulate General of France in Quebec and the Goethe-Institut. MUTEK also wishes to thank a number of media and private partners, who support our ongoing activities: Solotech, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Tourisme Montréal, Red Bull Music
Academy, the Société de Transport de Montréal, Ubisoft, the Society for Arts and Technology, the Monument-National, Excentris, PHI Centre, Bande à part, Moog Audio, Roland, Ableton, Propellerhead, Boréale, ECAS, ICAS, Pointbarre in collaboration with Baillat Cardell & fils, 2XM Interactive, Piknic Electronik, the Metropolis, Ticketpro, Dublin's Pub, Barefoot, Van Houtte, Misto, Laïka, Le Regroupement, Resident Advisor, XLR8R, The Wire, FACT, NTS Radio, Tsugi, Exclaim!, La Presse/Cyberpresse, Huffington Post Quebec, Nightlife.ca, CIBL FM, CKUT and MIRROR.
Tickets for MUTEK available now via mutek.org