By JP Rémillard
What do we want? GOOD MUSIC!
Who do we want to see? OUR FRIENDS!
It might sound cliché, but personally knowing the artist behind the music brings a whole new dimension in the appreciation of the art itself. There’s always something revealing in the personality of the music which stems from the artist’s own personality. It can be silly, mystical or mysterious, but you would not be wrong to say that by interpreting the music, you’re also talking about the artist. Perhaps this also underscores how, often, it can be hard for the artist to dissociate from his music and the criticism, when it comes.
With MUTEK starting today, I thought I’d introduce you to some artists that I know and introduce them to you. I’ve also included some pointers on whom I think you should see, and what to expect (clicking an artist’s name will take you to their page on the Mutek site).
If you haven’t heard of Audion, it’s because Matthew Dear has been spending some time doing other projects for the past few years, but expect completely mental techno for his MUTEK presence. It’s a no brainer choice here, since he will also bring an AV show with him. Matt is a super sweet guy with great tastes in sounds, plus he has a brilliant way to play live, as he is always very receptive of the crowd’s needs.
Not the most known artist in the lot, but this Montrealer has been very busy releasing on European labels. Serge Collin is an absolutely gifted sound crafter, going into the deep techno territory. He rarely plays live so this appearance should definitely not be missed.
After relocating to Montreal a few years ago, Alicia has already carved herself a place in the local scene. Alicia is part of the Archipel roster and we are happy to see her on stage once more. Expect glitch techno with a feminine groove.
This will be a rare North American presence for this Chain Reaction artist who is one of my all-time favorites. Konstantinos Soublis is one of Greece’s most acclaimed techno artist and with reason: Fluxion has the talent — and power — to make you dream of what it would be like to travel in a spaceship.
This will be Ben’s second performance at Mutek, who recently relocated in Montreal from his native British Colombia. He used to make the finest micro-house, a kind that made us dream-dance in the early days of MUTEK. I can’t wait to see what he’s doing now. Weirdness, perhaps…
Thomas Bäz is from Germany and he visited Canada last year. Here’s a really easy-going guy that makes not-so-easy techno. It will probably be the klonkiest, wonky, robotic, deconstructed set you will hear in a while. If you’re looking for self-chiropractic dance movements, this is it right here.
Jesse Morrisson is the man behind this project. Fake Electronics, as in electronic music that is not real because it’s made with analog machines, but does that make it sound real? Well, the confusion level might be obvious here, but Jesse’s tongue in cheek; uneasy beats are a not-to-be missed event. I have been begging him to make music for Archipel for years, but he has never sent anything… yet. I’m coming for you Jesse. I’m gonna getcha.
Hooll is Martin Houle, an up and coming Montreal artist who had a breakthrough last year, following a string of quite stunning releases. Textured and well crafted, Martin knows what he’s doing and steadily delivers top-notch quality productions. He told me about all the work that has gone into making his first live set, and judging from all the energy he’s invested into it, he we certainly deserves a few huzzahs!
Move D released on Archipel last year and he’s back with his 2 partners. Soul music, without a doubt.
Sarah Magnan is a very serious person. NOT! She’s been very active, lately, and has developed a very Perlonesque yet fat sound that is quite unique. Her love of reinvented grooves is a force to be reckoned with.
Mateo is one of my mentors, ’nuff said. With countless years of experience, he has renewed his passion this year with his crazy one-track-per-week project, Mateo is back and on top of his game. True old school sounding minimal.
One of the Thibideau bros is in town. As always, this promises to be can’t-miss, warm, analog music.
I like to Jeremy Petrus the Sydney Poitier of techno, but jokes aside; Mossa is quite the funkster and dear friend of mine. His humorous soulfunk grooves are a great example of Montreal’s proverbial diverse sound. He’s really unpredictable and will most likely drop something that will induce a heartfelt WTF moment, but in the best possible way.
This friend from Jordan — but now living in Montreal — is one of the sweetest guys you might meet during the festival, and he will be playing his first-ever live set. He has a wonderful way of creating a hybrid musical version of his roots and of the most elegant minimal house beats.
Nic, who collaborated on my Only Material Matter release, is a mad genius who builds strange devices, then makes them sing. He’s utterly hard to describe, so go hear for yourself.
An all-time favorite, a true mentor, a dance floor shaman, a philanthropist, a sound purist… Not only is Villalobos an exceptionally good musician, but he’s quite something to watch, too. He looks like a space cadet, but acts like a snake charmer that grabs people’s attention in minutes and stays in control for as long as he wishes to.
One of the few Montrealers who didn’t migrate to Berlin in the early 2000’s, Stephen is another funk master with a colorful selection of sounds.
SWACK stands for Stefny Winter And Claire Kenway, a team that, lately, has been on the rise and kicking some serious ass with their analog jams. As most of you know, Stef is my better-half and not only am I really proud of her, but I can tell you from my insider perspective that she’s been getting into a comfortable zone lately, one where she created really mature music that is both really catchy and original, something that is hard to accomplish for any musician. When she teams up with her partner in crime Claire, they can wreak serious havoc on any dance floor, and yet ooze charisma, thanks to their lovely feminine presence on stage.
One of my early mentor as well. Tim’s performance is truly one you simply can’t miss. He will make you love noise. Seriously.
Xavier became a dad recently and we hope he had a chance to get some sleep before the festival. He’s got a release coming out on Archipel soon, and we are looking forward to hear what he has to offer this year. A bona fide original beat maker.