MUTEK 13th Edition


The 13th edition of MUTEK has come and gone, and all that's left of it are the memories (or at least, most of the memories... probably). As usual, MUTEK delivered stellar performances over the entirety of its five-day span, and since no one wants to read a review that runs on for pages and pages, I'm going to limit myself to the most memorable events I was fortunate enough to see.


Leboeuf et Laviolette @ Experience 2

These two native Montrealers were playing the middle set during Thursday night's Experience 2 event. They won me over early with a more-than-healthy dose of some banging acid that was just what I needed to curb my growing impatience over having to wait two nights before A Guy Called Gerald's Nocturne 4 performance. The rest of their set travelled through a myriad of sounds with increasingly complex percussive elements, but faithfully kept up the driving energy they set off with. It's rare that I get down so hard at 6pm without a few beers in me, and rarer still that I think to look into a local act's post-performance (an admitted weakness that I'm looking to remedy, and if you're guilty of it you should too), but these guys checked both boxes. Don't sleep if you see these two on a line-up!

Leboeuf et Laviolette


Kode9, MFO & Ms Haptic present "Her Ghost" @ A/Visions 3

I'm not going to lie, this was one of the things I was most excited about at MUTEK this year. It was a reinterpretation of Chris Marker's "La Jetée". I only discovered the original film because I read that Kode9 had plans to write a new score for it a few years ago. Getting to see that same performance in person, and finding out it was in fact a whole new edit of the film? Awesome. The soundtrack was jagged and harsh, reminding me at times of Speedy J and Scott Pagano's "Umfeld". It was perfect for underscoring the sinister and broken world being portrayed. The edit of the film itself was fantastic. Telling the tale from the woman's perspective and travelling into the uncharted territory of her post-war experience was the film's greatest strength. I highly recommend taking the time to watch both, as this new interpretation really was a perfect compliment to the first.


Minilogue vs. Mathew Jonson @ Nocturne 4

This really was a mammoth performance, and certainly my favourite of the festival. As far as I understand, this set was mostly improvisational. It didn't show, and if they ever had any slip ups, I never noticed and certainly didn't care, nor did anyone else. They had the entire room eating out of the palms of their hands. I couldn't tell you exactly what they were playing (it was certainly techno, but I'm no good at attaching prefixes to things, and it shouldn't matter), because at this point my notepad was firmly stashed in my pocket and nothing was going to stop me from dancing for even a second. The sound was great, the crowd was great, and the three on stage seemed like they were having the time of their lives. Having their set extend a full 45 minutes longer than advertised was a great treat.


Nautiluss @ Nocturne 3

As an artist I think he had one of the most fascinating stories at MUTEK. He was once half of Toronto's Thunderheist, but today has dropped his Grahmzilla moniker and shifted into much more personal music that's almost completely at odds with his old material. As a producer, you can tell he's making a really honest exploration of his interest and his abilities, and I can't wait to see where he ends up. In reading interviews with him and digging into his history, I was really struck by his humble passion for what he's doing. More than anything else, he seems simply happy and excited to be doing his own thing, regardless of the attention it's getting him, and there's a sense that we're all lucky to be able to experience the journey together.



Honourable Mentions

The Mole & Mathew Jonson @ Piknic – The heads knew to be at the smaller Guru stage to catch this, but it definitely should have been a main stage performance.

Monolake @ Nocturne 2 – Somehow, I missed three quarters of this set, but I wish I hadn't. The last bit was pure fire. I've never skanked to dub techno before, and for that, I salute you.

Bernardino Femminielli @ Experience 2 – You win for having laser guitars and 80s-style sex appeal.

The sound system at SAT.

The over-enthusiastic Frenchman telling me to "let the music become myself" during Jeff Mills.


-Patrick Meloche hosts The Letter "B" Sundays from 2-3pm