What Not to Miss at MUTEK 2014
Kicking off its 15th year, Montreal’s MUTEK festival is well past its awkward adolescence. The annual celebration of all things arty, digital (and danceable) has established itself as an electronic music institution, with a sister event in Mexico and sporadic mini-festivals all over.
MUTEK excels at bringing forward-thinking dance music into good venues with great sound and visuals. For 2014, MUTEK teamed up with its sister festival Elektra to curate a visual and auditory extravaganza dubbed EM15. Festivities get under way tonight, Tuesday, May 27, and continue around the clock until Sunday, June 1.
Festivals Inside Festivals
Inside MUTEK there are several micro events, each with its own sound and personality. In a few broad, non-official generalizations, here’s what you’ll find in each series — from high digital art to dance parties.
Métropolis: This is MUTEK’s flagship night, for big headliners and unashamedly dancey beats.
Nocturne: The less dancey, more experimental sibling of the Métropolis parties, this year located in its new venue, Montreal’s Contemporary Art Museum (also known as the MAC). Expect cool things.
A/Visions: The bleeding edge of audio/visual performance. From film screenings to live bands and VJs, this is stuff you rarely see anywhere else, and the technical side is always flawless.
Expérience: Get down at free events from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m., usually featuring the best local and Canadian talent.
Play: Similar to Expérience, but later at night and featuring more of a visual element.
Piknic: This is where MUTEK shows its “fun” side, with thousands partying in the open air. Usually there is a very big secret special guest.
We asked two artists and one festival regular what they were most excited about experiencing at this year’s MUTEK. Here’s the lowdown:
DJ Adam Hodgins, aka Iron Galaxy
I’m pretty lazy. Luckily a lot of the people I want to see are playing the same night as we are. First and foremost I’m excited to see Tom Trago play live. I DJed with him in Miami a during WMC and everything he played was amazing. I know he’s a bit of a gear hound, so I’m curious to see how he’s going to do that live. I saw Juju and Jordash last year and they were great. So I’m sure it’ll be even better to see them teamed up with Move D. Prison Garde is doing an afternoon session the same day as us, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to see him before doing soundcheck at Metropolis. I’ve been a fan of Donato Dozzy for a little while, so I’m hoping to make it to his Voices From The Lake project. If that doesn’t work, you’ll see us at Piknic watching him DJ for sure.
Iron Galaxy will be playing Métropolis 3 on Saturday, May 31st
Zach Koebler from Brooklyn group Archie Pelago
I am VERY excited about seeing Donato and Move D at Piknic. After going to the event last year, I know it is truly a special atmosphere and event and I am very psyched to be a part of the magic.
Archie Pelago will be playing on Friday, May 30th at the MAC. Check out their recent Boiler Room set below.
Andrea Ayotte of influential Toronto record label Basic Sounds
- A/Visions 3 for Matt Thibideau and Markus Heckmann
- Métropolis 2 for Voices From the Lake
- A/Visions 4
- Métropolis 3 for Magic Mountain High
- Nocturne 4 for Segue and Fluxion
- Piknic will be the best party with Donato Dozzy and Move D
In short, there’s something for everyone – provided you like arty, cutting-edge electronic music.
Playlists and Videos to Get You in the MUTEK Spirit
MUTEK’s playlist for Nocturne 3, with Iron Galaxy, Magic Mountain High, Tom Trago, Stefan Goldmann, and Ricardo Villalobos:
MUTEK’s playlist for Piknic Electronik, with Move D, Donato Dozzy and Harmonious Thelonious:
Archie Pelago’s Boiler Room set:
MUTEK’s playlist for Expérience 3, with Hooll, Savan and Prison Garde:
MUTEK’s playlist for Métropolis 2, with Neel’s Voices From the Lake, Audion and Max Cooper:
"When half of your head is shaved, you can play more. I think sometimes people are scared of the critique. I get it - it’s terrifying when images go online within half an hour. But passing judgement on someone else is a reflection of your own insecurities. We all make mistakes. We all have a fashion faux pas, choose the wrong script, write the wrong song. But it’s only by taking chances and occasionally getting it wrong that we grow." — Natalie Dormer for Glamour (June 2014) [x]
Charli XCX | Boom Clap ( from the official soundtrack of "The Fault In Our Stars")