Mutek, Montreal’s international electronic music and culture festival – one of the biggest and best of its kind in the world – is back for five days of cutting-edge electronic mayhem. From May 30 to June 3, over 150 artists take part in more than 80 performances, with intimate sit-down shows, free outdoor showcases, audio-visual immersive installations and all-night, multi-venue dance parties…
At the heart of Mutek’s music scene, featuring big names in electronic music, are the A/Visions and Nocturne shows. Nights begin at 8 p.m. with the forward-thinking, often experimental A/Visions, this year melding sound and sight at Monument-National with artists such as Biosphere, Pierre Bastien and Espen Sommer Eide (inventive orchestra conductors who perform with hybrid analogue-digital robots), Australia’s Robin Fox, SUUNS frontman Ben Shemie, Andrew Pekler and Jane Jelinek performing works by electronic pioneer Ursula Bogner, Roly Porter and Kode 9 and more, as well as a Saturday-night show at St-James Church with the deep, dark drones of Montreal’s Tim Hecker and Stephen O’Malley.
The dance-tastic Nocturne nights draw a massive crowd at Metropolis and SAT, beginning at 10 p.m. each night and going suitably late. Up this year are legendary Detroit techno producer Jeff Mills, melodic-beat maker Nicolas Jaar, Skull Disco founder Shackleton, Denmark’s bass-driven Monolake, Swedish techno duo Minilogue, Acid-techno producer A Guy Called Gerald, indie-synthheads Blondes, the innovative, jazzy Dave Aju and many, many more.
This year’s Mutek has a full line-up of free (yes, free!) shows too. Outdoors at Place de la Paix (the park right next to the SAT on St-Laurent), local and international artists – including Montreal’s DJ Champion, Danuel Tate and Tonepushers – play from 5-8 p.m. on weekdays and from 2-8 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, Piknic Electronik is all Mutek all afternoon, with Valentin Stip, Mathew Jonson, The Mole, Benoit & Sergio and Wolf+Lamb. From Wednesday to Friday, take a break from Nocturne dancing and check out the ambient, experimental sounds of Mutek’s Play series at Monument-National. There are even live shows underground at Berri-UQAM metro station, from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday.
Yes, the engrossing entertainment is pretty much non-stop at Mutek. Add to all that a new dimension in immersive audio-visual installation Cinechamber, making its North American festival debut. The live and playback Cinechamber shows get going a little earlier than Mutek officially beings, taking over a theatre-sized space at Excentris (Mutek’s original home) on May 22. Step into the massive panoramic, surround-sound room for an experience that’s just the festival as a whole: completely unique and just as mind-bending.
PS- here’s what went down last year…
Mutek, May 30-June 3, 2012