Cutting-edge electronic music and digital art meet at EM15, combining the forces of the Mutek and Elektra festivals in one big 15th-anniversary celebration. Over six days, May 27 to June 1, EM15 delivers 85 dazzling outdoor and indoor performances, featuring sonic and visual innovators from around the world…
Not only does EM15 pair Mutek and Elektra to boast 16 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 18 Canadian, but the dual festival partners with the Musée d’art contemporain, where several key performances take place, including: a carte-blanche live set from Nicolas Jaar; incredible audio-visual, body-moving spectacles from German pop and avant-garde composer Robert Lippok, Kanding Ray, Shackleton, Rashad Becker, Ben Frost, Dinos Chapman, Oneohtrix Point Never and Lee Bannon; a new, immersive live show by Tim Hecker; and even more engaging music and art from well-known and emerging artists alike. Mutek’s not-to-be-missed free concerts also return this year in the now-international PLAY series and outdoors on Musée’s esplanade.
As a cornerstone of the inaugural Montreal Digital Spring and second BIAN International Digital Arts Biennial, EM15 forefronts artists who push the boundaries of electronic music genres and the capacities of new technologies. Whether they’re resolutely analogue or steadfastly digital in their creative processes, EM15’s musicians, producers, videographers and digital artists seek to surprise and entertain, often in immersive, sensory-overloading ways. The sit-down A/Visions series, this year at the plush Imperial Theatre, features wild and wonderful visions from Robert Henke, Herman Kolgen, Paul Prudence and Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer, a highly-physical performance by Nicolas Bernier & Martin Messier in a mechanized wooden structure, and more.
For those who love to dance late into the night and be intellectually stimulated at the same time, the festival’s Metropolis program has it all. Canadian producer Richie Hawtin (a.k.a. Plastikman) transforms Metropolis on Thursday night with his two-room ENTER concept event, Friday night belongs to British techno producer Max Cooper, Audion (Matthew Dear) and Italy’s Voices from the Lake, while techno and microhouse mainstay Ricardo Villalobos plays with Stefan Goldmann and Tom Trago during EM15’s epic Saturday night.
Outdoors, in the early evening Thursday and Friday and on Saturday afternoon, groove to free concerts by ever-entertaining Austrian three-piece live band Elektro Guzzi, Japan’s joyous Yosi Horikawa, the brilliant Lucrecia Dalt, the techno-heavy house of Xavier Lebuis, Montreal’s Ohm Hourani, Magnanime and Prison Garde, and more. And Sunday afternoon’s EM15 Piknic Electronik, overlooking the St-Laurent River at Parc Jean-Drapeau, sparkles to the sounds of Move D, Donato Dozzy and Thelonious Harmonious.
Discover why Quebec is known as a digital arts and electronic music capital in international circles: hear Quebec-based artists like Markus Floats, Bataille Solaire, Marie Davidson, Velvet Glacier and Woulg and other experimenters throughout EM15. As well, daytime conferences, technical workshops, presentations and Q&A discussions at Old Montreal’s Phi Centre add extra illumination to the art and craft of digital creation. Check out programs closely associated with the festival, such as visual artist Ryoji Ikeda’s exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain and Jake and Dinos Chapman’s Come and See exhibition at DHC/Art. And, since EM15 is full of surprises, keep your ears open for last-minute show announcements unique to one of Montreal’s best festivals.
EM 15 (Mutek & Elektra), May 27 to June 1, 2014