Mutek 2011: A Mix of Pleasure and Disappointment

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I’m slowly getting back to what’s supposed to be normal life. After spending two weeks blasting my ears out to electronic music in two festivals, it’s now time to give you my impression about this year’s Mutek festival.

Here’s a list of the best and the worst acts this year’s edition had to offer.

The highlights

Plastikman, Amon Tobin and an Echospace mention – Mutek: A music festival for the eyes
Plastikman, along with Amon Tobin, was the most awaited performance of the festival. He didn’t disappoint. Being front row for this visual experience was magical. Had it been for the music itself, his live set wouldn’t have necessarily been anything to remember. (Or to quote a friend, “Mutek:   A music festival for the eyes.”) It was Richie Hawtin’s birthday the next day, and there was a great atmosphere in the crowd, especially when people started to sing Happy Birthday after his set! Honourable mention as well to Echospace, who set the bar high and put us in the mood!

Arp and Organ Mood
The surprise of this festival came on Thursday night during Para_Nocturne at the S.A.T. While trying to escape from the Metropolis, I found exactly what I was needing: experimental yet accessible electronic music. I caught the two last songs of ARP and almost had a tear in my eye. His beautiful music and beautiful visuals made me promise to myself to get his LP as soon as possible. I was also impressed with the Montreal band Organ Mood. Make sure you check out their next concert here!

Mossa
He’s been around for quite a while now in the Montreal electronic music community. I never paid much attention to him…but now know how big of a mistake that has been. His set during Piknik Elektronik on Sunday literally blew my mind, with the perfect blend of house music to make you dance and get sunburns like there was no tomorrow. Check out his next party on June 17th. The party goes until 4am, and that’s another reason to be happy!

Danuel Tate and Radiq
It was a great way to end the festival. Even with the little energy I had left, I was still able to get in a dancing mood. Danuel Tate from Colbblestone Jazz with a world premiere, and the Japanese Radiq doing his North American debut, both proved that house music can be intelligent and sensible.

Last night a local DJ saved my life
Honourable mention to Jacque Greene, though I missed his first ever live set. Every person I know told me how solid it was. He’s now escaping to Detroit for two weeks to make music with Jimmy Edgar.   Billy Dallessandro also rocked the Savoy room when I darted from the main show at Metropolis because I couldn’t stand Modeselektor.

 

The lows

Modeselektor and Anstam
Don’t get me wrong. Moderat’s performance blew my mind a couple of years ago, but as much as Mutek sometimes gets too intellectual for me, I think Modeselektor was too easy. During a festival with a mission like Mutek’s, I’d rather not be bouncing around to hip-hop-inspired beats with a thousand   underage kids.

Rocketnumbernine and Four Tet
It was not bad; it was just not what was needed on a Saturday night. After a day spent at Piknik Electronik and three nights of the festival already, these downtempo acts were not the recipe to encourage people to keep going. We all regretted not having napped longer, and I even have a friend who decided to go back to his hotel until the party got started   – which didn’t happen until at least 3am!

Photo from MUTEK Montreal Flickr.

2 comments

  • Not until 3am?? Are you serious?? Did you miss out on Elektro Guzzi Saturday night? They brought the house down! By far the most underhyped appearance of the festival that I got the chance to see, I even liked them better than Holden who headlined at 3…who you also didn’t mention? (though he was better with his DJ set at Piknic the next day, if you ask me…)

  • Fair enough, Elektro Guzzi were pretty good…def better than James Holden whom I didn’t mention because he did and ok set but nothing to go crazy about. I totally agree, his set the next day at piknik was way better and was fitting the Sunday vibe!

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