Cecilia (fka Babi Audi)
MUTEK’s 2017 artist line-up is as deep and dense as it is dazzling, but what shows should you prioritize? Below we’ve compiled a list of 18 relative newcomers from the local scene who are playing this year’s edition and stepping into the spotlight.
Buffalo MRI is the solo project of Dominique Alexander, a long-time local tape plunderphonics explorer who is half of Montreal psychedelic sound-environment crafters Urlapse. Performing for the first time at MUTEK, her music is a not-to-be-missed deep-dive into infinite sound-spaces, casting a sharp and captivating sonic searchlight in all directions of the void.
Don’t Assume: NTS Radio On Stage 2 is happening at Edifice Wilder Espace Danse (1435 Bleury) on Saturday, Aug. 26, 9 p.m., $20
Mélissa Gagné, now based in NYC, was a long-time Montreal presence in underground circles with engaged and haunting sets as her alter ego BABI AUDI. Sparse, diverse and contemplative, her music reaches deep into inner psychological spaces to seize dark and riveting rhythms and soundscapes that are as hard-hitting as they are unsettling.
INTER_CONNECT México: N.A.A.F.I Presenta Noche de Ritmos Periféricos is on at SAT (1201 St-Laurent) on Thursday, Aug. 24, 9:30 p.m., $27
Demora is an exciting new collaboration between Montreal underground scene stalwarts Leticia Trandafir (aka Softcoresoft) and Devon Hansen (aka Stefan Jós), both heavily active in local musical activity for years as musicians, promoters and on N10.AS radio. With a new release on the way from Dublin-based First Second Label, Demora’s debut live set combines the dusty grit of old-school techno and electro with pristine minimalist modern clarity.
Red Bull Music Academy presents NOCTURNE 4: Widescreen Macheen Dreems at Metropolis (59 Ste-Catherine E.) on Friday, Aug. 25, 10 p.m., $35/$40
Chilean-born and Montreal-based Michael Flandez has a growing handful of remixes and releases for several labels including a sharp and catchy EP on Montreal’s Hushlamb. His beat-driven sound steadily cruises with an approachable and insistent reflection of club-inspired storytelling through non-assuming melodies and diverse sound-objects.
EXPÉRIENCE Barcelona is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Friday, Aug. 25, Flandez at 7 p.m., free
Hailing originally from Edmonton, Aaron Ball (aka 1nfinite zer0) incorporates inspiration from his engagement with biology and landscape ecology into his dance music production. With an EP out last year on Montreal experimental techno label North of Nowhere, his synth-infused rhythmic live set explores organic melodies with a funky dancefloor edge.
EXPÉRIENCE Barcelona is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Friday, Aug. 25, Forage at 9 p.m., free
Philadelphia-raised producer and instrumentalist Evan Magoni uses subtle and insistent musical ideas as the foundation for ornate electronic ornamentation and off-kilter turns. With several recent EPs including on Munich label Slam City Jams, his live set of new material to open the outdoor stage Friday evening is not to be missed.
EXPÉRIENCE Barcelona is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Friday, Aug. 25, gonima at 5 p.m., free
An audiovisual collaboration between Pierre-Luc Lecours, Myriam Boucher (both also members of QUADr) and Charlotte Layec, Imaginary Landscape is a composition for bass clarinet, synthesizer, gramophone and live video. This short performance presents a complex weave of the relational aspects of performance and recording, acoustic and electronic sound, and the evolving reactions to be found between them.
Don’t Assume: NTS Radio On Stage 2 is happening at Edifice Wilder Espace Danse (1435 Bleury) on Wednesday, Aug. 26, Imaginary Landscape at 10:50 p.m., $20
Loose Excursions is the live performance and DJ duo collaboration of Jeanne Gariépy (aka Gene Tellem and Buck Smith) and Gabriel Reichhold (aka Gab Rei and bisso), both long-time fixtures of the local underground scene as well as radio hosts of their Loose Excursions show on Montreal’s N10.AS radio. Their live improvised sets live up to their name, following meandering exploratory paths into deep and lush dubbed-out techno and house oases.
Don’t Assume: NTS Radio On Stage 1 is happening at Edifice Wilder Espace Danse (1435 Bleury) on Friday, Aug. 25, 10:50 p.m., $20
Composer and artist Maxime Corbeil-Perron — aka DRESDEN and le Poisson d’Argent, half of the Montreal drone duo Political Ritual as well as le Pélican Noir — is deeply involved in the Montreal experimental and electroacoustic world, including with Kohlenstoff Records. His live A/V set at MUTEK uses 3D glasses to bring the audience a fast-paced experience of temporal vertigo.
A/VISIONS 2: In the Realm of the Alchemical Interface is happening at Monument-National Théâtre Ludger-Duvernay (1182 St-Laurent) on Friday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m., $30/$35
Montreal multi-instrumentalist, composer and multi-disciplinary artist Myriam Bleau’s practice of frenetic hybrid digital and analogue audio-visual work has brought her engagements worldwide in recent years, including at Transmediale, Sonica Now, Scopitone, Lev and Sonar. At MUTEK, she presents her captivating work Soft Revolvers, manipulating glowing spinning discs that kick sound-generating algorithms into play in a simple but elaborate dance of performance, light and sound. She also will speak at several workshops and panel discussions.
INTER_CONNECT London: This Wheel’s on Fire is happening at SAT (1201 St-Laurent) on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 10:30 p.m.
Q&A: HOLO Encounters w/ Myriam Bleau is happening at Monument-National 3rd floor (1182 St-Laurent) on Friday, Aug. 25, 3:15 p.m.
Somerset House Studios – Nocturnal City is happening at Monument-National 4th floor (1182 St-Laurent) on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 3 p.m.
Classically trained cellist turned-electronic producer Ourielle Auvé has been taking Montreal by storm for several years now, generating momentum with her last few releases and collaborations, including (most recently) her album Superficial, out on Make It Rain. Her live sets bring a deep and lush sense of wonder and awe through thickly voiced synthesizers and modern punchy club-edged beats. Not to be missed.
EXPÉRIENCE México is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Thursday, Aug. 24, Ouri at 7 p.m., free
Native Instruments presents Native Sessions: Future Techniques is happening at Monument-National basement (1182 St-Laurent) on Thursday, Aug. 24, panel with Ouri at 4 p.m., free with RSVP
Chris Vargas and Tobias Rochman’s blazing-loud, vocal-propelled, acid-bathed jacking techno needs no introduction to the Montreal underground techno scene, where they cut their teeth for years with riveting performances to packed, sweaty rooms. Their latest single on their imprint NEW (produced by Pierre Guerineau of Essaie Pas) brings insistent glassy synth textures to Vargas’s commanding Spanish vocals. Their Saturday evening sunset at the free outdoor stage promises to be a MUTEK highlight.
EXPÉRIENCE Berlin: CTM Festival presents Berlin Current is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Saturday, Aug. 26, Pelada at 6 p.m.
Panel: Berlin Imaginaries is happening at Monument-National 4th floor (1182 St-Laurent) on Saturday, Aug. 26, 3:15 p.m.
Montreal producer Julien Racine and video artist Casper Wolski collaborate to create vast dark cinematic soundscapes paired with a vertically formatted, smartphone-reminiscent video presentation, improvised live and workshopped over a five-year process together.
Don’t Assume: NTS Radio On Stage 1 is happening at Edifice Wilder Espace Danse (1435 Bleury) on Friday, Aug. 25, Racine & Wolski at 9 p.m., $20
Introducing “The World’s Leading Lifestyle Brand:” revlux, the brainchild of San Francisco-raised Oren Ratowsky, also a founding member of Booma Collective. Sporting slick contemporary branding as a conceptual framework, revlux’s precise beats are U.K.-bass-informed, synth-laden anthems whose wonky humour keep your feet guessing and your mind dancing all night long. Watch for the new revlux EP, out soon on new local label Cosmic Tones.
EXPÉRIENCE London is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Wednesday, Aug. 23, Revlux at 9:05 p.m., free
Informed by his work with cinematic sound design, Patrick Haggart Ippersiel (aka PHI and fka Vincent Svenson) crafts proper dark techno excursions incorporating the sampled sounds of common materials like glass, wood, plastic and metal. The result is a rhythmic and textural workout that is as pushy as it is atmospheric.
EXPÉRIENCE México is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Thursday, Aug. 24, Stereo_IMG at 5 p.m., free
Montreal producer Corey Martin has been producing hooky, glitchy IDM- and bass-inspired sounds under the name Toboggan since 2010. His latest release, Shuriken, on Barcelon-based xenonyms, is paired with “a small exploration-based listening experience” designed with susy.technology’s Teo Zammudio, which you can enjoy here.
EXPÉRIENCE Berlin: CTM Festival presents Berlin Current is happening at the Place des Arts Esplanade (outside 175 Ste-Catherine W.) on Saturday, Aug. 26, Toboggan at 3 p.m., free
Montreal visual and sound artist Cat Lamoureux is an active member of susy.technology and has recently been on an atmospheric roll bringing enchanting live sets to underground and overground venues alike. Following her debut EP release as Valeda, Unearth, her sounds manage to pack exuberant hope and explosive energy into a consistent somber tone which is nonetheless extremely diverse and varied.
INTER_CONNECT Barcelona: Mélodies cyliques i mutant is happening at SAT (1201 St-Laurent) on Friday, Aug. 25, Valeda at 9 p.m., $27
Greg Debicki (aka Woulg) produces glitch-hop-informed rich and varied soundscapes with kinetic blasts of totally disjointed sonic elements frantically vying for your ears’ attention. Cadie Desbiens (aka Push 1 stop), a longtime VJ and special effects specialist, composes complex narrative environments through her live sets. Taking over the SAT dome together on Saturday night, this collaboration is sure to treat your head from all sides.
SATOSPHÈRE 5: Interpolate is happening at SAT (1201 St-Laurent) on Saturday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m., $20/$22.25
For the complete MUTEK program, see the festival’s website.