Building the Future
For more details, visit the MUTEK Edition 23 website at the following link:
With this 24th edition, MUTEK has solidified its position as a major festival in Montreal, Quebec, and more broadly in North America.
Featuring 95 performances by 151 artists across 21 programs, the festival attracted over 67,000 festivalgoers over 6 days.
Undoubtedly, the free programming was a resounding success, but it was the entirety of the lineup that managed to captivate audiences from around the world.
Opening Event | New City Gas
To mark the launch of its 24th edition, MUTEK included a special opening event on Tuesday, August 22. For the first time in its history, the festival took over the legendary industrial space of New City Gas and invited two iconic figures from ambient music.
Grand River IT — All Above | Tim Hecker & Vincent de Belleval CA+CA/SE
Grand River, the Italo-Dutch composer, accompanied by Marco Ciceri, presented her performance "All Above," supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal. Following that, the globally renowned Canadian producer Tim Hecker, a key figure in popularizing ambient music, unveiled his latest project in a North American premiere. He was accompanied by visual artist Vincent de Belleval and Japanese shō player Fumiya Otonashi.
The Experience Series | Esplanade Tranquille
Situated on the terrace of Tranquil Esplanade and open every day from 5 pm to 11 pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays), the free outdoor stage of the Experience Series accompanied Montrealers and tourists in an atmosphere of celebration, eclecticism, and the blending of musical styles. A true panorama of contemporary electronic music, the programming aimed to be accessible to everyone, offering radiant and memorable moments in this particularly welcoming space in the Quartier des Spectacles. Each evening concluded with a DJ set, the few among the multitude of live performances.
Experience 1 [Tuesday, August 22]
Leon Louder CA/QC — Entomophonie | Moon Apple CA/QC — Four Pillars | Indus CO | TSVI IT/UK (DJ set)
It's a project commissioned by the Montreal Insectarium | Space for Life that inaugurated this new edition of the festival: Leon Louder presented "Entomophonie," a four-part composition entirely crafted from insect sounds. Following that, Montreal native Moon Apple offered a sonic ceremony, before the electro-folk duo from the Afro-Diasporic Colombian scene, Indus, turned up the heat with their captivating percussion and boundless energy. To conclude this first night on the Tranquil Esplanade, TSVI, half of the Paraadiso group, delivered the first of the seven DJ sets of the 2023 edition.
Experience 2 [Wednesday, August 23]
Airhaert CA/QC — "i . i" (Intuitive Intelligence) | Dawn to Dawn CA/QC | The Mole CA — Go Wiggle ! | SPRLUA CA/QC — Magnum Dopus 1 & 2 | NegoO PT/FR (DJ set)
The second day opened with the therapeutic music of Montreal musician Airhaert, followed by the group Dawn to Dawn, led by Tess Roby, delivering their characteristic synth-pop. Next, Canadian producer The Mole delivered an acclaimed live performance before making way for the amapiano vibes of the Montreal-based group SPRLUA, a revelation of the year. Finally, the evening concluded with a DJ set by Portuguese producer NegoO, a young recruit from the local collective Moonshine.
Experience 3 [Thursday, August 24]
Skesa CA/QC | Husa & Zeyada CA+EG | Lowfish CA | upsammy b2b Mika Oki NL+BE (DJ set)
Despite threatening clouds, the audience showed up for a third evening on the Tranquil Esplanade, starting with the young Montrealer Skesa. Even as the rain began to fall, it didn't stop friends of Husa & Zeyada from celebrating their return to Montreal. Another comeback was that of Lowfish: the Canadian producer returned to MUTEK for the first time in 20 years. And to conclude this Wednesday, upsammy and Mika Oki, both of whom had previously delivered individual live performances earlier in the week, offered a joint DJ set.
Experience 4 [Friday, August 25]
Anatohl FR/QC | StMichel CA/QC — Données Sensibles | Hellgrammite CA/QC — IPO (Initial Public Offering) | AAAA MX — Xtasy_Core | Eris Drew US (DJ set)
Young Montreal-based producer of French origin, Anatohl managed to make his mark on the outdoor stage on the fourth day. He was followed by the Quebec veteran StMichel, with a career spanning 40 years, before producer Hellgrammite took control of the turntables. Next up was Mexican artist AAAA, who had the challenging task of holding the stage before American DJ Eris Drew delivered a two-hour vinyl DJ set, a technical feat that delighted the entire crowd.
Experience 5 [Saturday, August 26]
Sara Berts IT | Sheenah Ko CA/QC — Future is Now | Obuxum CA — Interconnectedness | ROSINA CA | Nick León US (DJ set)
The fifth evening kicked off with the ambient nature-focused soundscapes of Italian artist Sara Berts before Montreal electro artist Sheenah Ko presented her latest album, "Future is Now," with hypnotic and danceable compositions arranged live. Obuxum then immersed the audience in a one-hour journey of spatially complex rhythms, followed by ROSINA, blending drag and music for an intoxicating performance. The night ended in grandeur with a DJ set from American producer Nick León.
Experience 6 [Sunday, August 27]
Randy's Calling CA/QC | Atamone CA/QC | S. Chioini CA/QC | Emissive CA | Cinthie US (DJ set)
For the last day of the festival, the free outdoor stage at Tranquil Esplanade offered a diverse and intergenerational lineup with the musical installation Randy’s Calling and the performance by Atamone. The danceable Techno set by S. Chioini was followed by the performance of Toronto-based producer Emissive, before welcoming Cinthie for an electrifying House DJ set in the late evening.
The Nocturne Series | Society for Arts and Technology (SAT)
As the true backbone of the festival, the Nocturne Series took form this year with 5 nights of innovative creations and 32 performances that reinvented electronic music, whether through avant-garde technologies or unconventional instruments, all accompanied by fascinating visuals. It took place entirely at the Society for Arts and Technology, utilizing both the SAT Space on the ground floor and the Dome on the second floor on certain nights.
Nocturne 1 [Wednesday, August 23]
Abdul Lateef & The Distraction Machine CA/QC — Music For The Apocalypse | Brett Bolton US — Phases | Open Reel Ensemble JP — Magneticpunks | Carmen Jaci & Matthew Schoen CA/NL
Held exclusively at SAT Space, the first evening of the Nocturne Series kicked off with Abdul Lateef & The Distraction Machine's "Music For The Apocalypse." Next, Brett Bolton took the stage with "Phases," an audiovisual performance using sound reactivity to translate his drum rhythm into enchanting projections of solid, gaseous, liquid, and plasma states. In the same spirit of innovation, the Japanese group Open Reel Ensemble presented "Magneticpunks," ingeniously modifying reel-to-reel tape decks to generate live musical arrangements. To conclude the evening, Carmen Jaci & Matthew Schoen's whimsical A/V performance reimagined Jaci's personal data in a captivating sequence of images and sounds.
Nocturne 2 [Thursday, August 24]
x/o CA — Chaos Butterfly | Animistic Beliefs NL — Cache/Spirit | Paraadiso IT/UK | Efe Ce Ele CO/ES — Otres
At SAT Space, Nocturne 2 kicked off with Efe Ce Ele, followed by Paraadiso, consisting of TSVI and Seven Orbits. This performance was followed by Chaos Butterfly by x/o, a contemplative piece on strength and gender. The last act of the evening was from the Dutch duo Animistic Beliefs, oscillating between nostalgic Vietnamese poetry and powerful gabber-inspired rhythms.
Twin Rising CA/QC & Isotone | Kyoka JP/DE& BunBun & Alex Vlair | Nadia Struiwigh NL — Birds of Paradise & BunBun & Alex Vlair | Eƨƨe Ran CA/QC& Diagraf | Amselysen & Racine CA/QC& Diagraf
In the Dome, the night began with Twin Rising and Isotone, offering an immersive experience both sonically and visually. Next, Dutch artist Nadia Struiwigh delivered a performance that was both dreamy and dance-oriented. She was followed by the music of Eƨƨe Ran and visuals programmed by Diagraf. Following that, Kyoka presented an enchanting set accompanied by two visual artists, BunBun and Alex Vlair. Finally, Amselysen & Racine closed the evening under the visuals of Diagraf.
Nocturne 3 [Friday, August 25]
Outro AR — Intemperie | upsammy & Jonathan Castro NL+PE/NL — Germs in a Population of Buildings | Nick León US& Kaminska | Halina Rice UK — New Worlds | Quan & D.B.Y VN/QC+FR/QC& Line Katcho
The Friday Nocturne offered an evening of experimental techno that was both refined and powerful, exemplified by Outro's "Intemperie" and upsammy's performance "Germs in a Population of Building" presented in collaboration with visual artist Jonathan Castro. Following that, American artist Nick León presented his first live performance alongside visual artist Kaminska. Finally, Quan & D.B.Y concluded the evening with a fully live performance punctuated by the sensory and cathartic visuals of Line Katcho.
Nocturne 4 [Saturday, August 26]
SUFYVN SD/CA — Pseudan Rhythm & Kaminska | Deadbeat presents Ark Welders Guild CA/DE | Honeydrip CA/QC — Psychotropical | µ-Ziq & ID:Mora UK+CZ | dBridge UK — Black Electric & Line Katcho
The highly anticipated evening of Nocturne 4 began with a performance by SUFYVN and Kaminska titled "Pseudan Rhythm," followed by Ark Welders Guild, a project by Canadian artist Deadbeat. Next, Honeydrip presented "Psychotropical," an energetic Dub-inspired set accompanied by visuals from Emma Forgues and vocals by King Shadrock, before giving the stage to the audiovisual duo µ-Ziq and ID:Mora. The last performance of the evening was delivered by dBridge, a legend in drum and bass, accompanied by the visual artist from Quebec, Line Katcho.
Nocturne 5 [Sunday, August 27]
Deena Abdelwahed TN/FR — Jbal Rrsas | Hieroglyphic Being US& Kaminska | Manami Sakamoto & Intercity-Express JP — FORM | Joël Lavoie & Guillaume Vallée CA/QC — Champs Vagues
Presented in collaboration with POP Montreal and Shift Radio, this final evening of the Nocturne series, which also concluded the 24th edition of MUTEK, started with the Quebecois duo Joël Lavoie & Guillaume Vallée delivering the world premiere of "Champs Vagues," a performance resulting from a residency offered by the Avatar creation center and MUTEK. With their performance "FORM," Manami Sakamoto and Intercity-Express presented a minimalist ensemble evoking complex visual textures. Next, Tunisian artist based in France, Deena Abdelwahed, who had been anticipated at MUTEK for 3 years, delivered an acclaimed live performance. And in this unique atmosphere, Hieroglyphic Being & Kaminska offered the final performance in SAT Space.
Sapphire Slows JP | Salamanda KR& Myriam Boucher | Pascale Project CA/QC — G.P.O. & Isotone | Page Vide CA/QC — Après vie & Jules Roze | Priori x Shoeg CA/QC+ES/CAT | The Cyclist IE& Jules Roze
Simultaneously, in the Dome, the South Korean duo Salamanda offered a dreamy performance accompanied by visuals from Myriam Boucher. This was followed by the Montreal group Page Vide, highlighted by Jules Roze and his aesthetically pleasing visual universe. The second South Korean performance of this program, artist Sapphire Slows and her modular equipment, also accompanied by Myriam Boucher. Then the temperature rose with a reinterpretation of eurodance by Pascale Project that the Isotone studio visually translated. Following that, Priori x Shoeg delivered a performance of undeniable intensity before Irish artist The Cyclist and Jules Roze closed the 24th edition of the Festival.
The Play Series | Les 7 Doigts
Another innovation of this 24th edition was the presentation of three listening programs in the afternoon in an intimate setting, providing an opportunity to appreciate the original and intriguing nature of delicate live performances. In Studio 1 of Les 7 Doigts, the Play Series this year embraced experimentation, highlighting the exploratory, visceral, and playful nature of contemporary artists in digital creativity.
Play 1 [Thursday, August 24]
Erin Gee CA/QC — Affect Flow | Iza Smelczyńska PL — Szeptucha
With its new format, the Play Series provided a unique setting for the appreciation of performances in a daytime context. Montreal artist Erin Gee was the first to inaugurate this program with her performance "Affect Flow." Then, Polish artist Iza Smelczyńska performed "Szeptucha," which can be translated as "whispers."
Play 2 [Friday, August 25]
URA CA/QC | Nadia Struiwigh NL — Ambient Performance
For Play 2, Ura started the afternoon with experimental notes. Following that, Dutch artist Nadia Struiwigh delivered an ethereal performance, in contrast to her previous night's performance during Nocturne 2.
Play 3 [Saturday, August 26]
Michael Gary Dean CA/QC — Forever Meditations ft. Freddy Speer | Ale Hop PE/DE
For the third installment of the Play Series, Quebecois Michael Gary Dean, accompanied by Freddy Speer, performed "Forever Meditations," followed by the Peruvian artist based in Berlin, Ale Hop, who employed the electric guitar in a rather unconventional manner.
The A/Visions Series | Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts
Large-scale audiovisual and sensory creations, merging sound and technology, took center stage in the A/Visions series, held in the exceptional venue of Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. This series unveiled two triple programs presented by 11 artists, including 8 international ones.
A/Visions 1 [Friday, August 25]
Kyoka & Shohei Fujimoto JP/DE+JP — Cinema Blackbox | Alexis Langevin-Tétrault & Guillaume Côté CA/QC — Aubes | Alessandro Cortini & Marco Ciceri IT
With its three performances, the A/Visions 1 program explored audiovisual expression, particularly with Quebecois artists Alexis Langevin-Tétrault and Guillaume Côté in their performance "Aubes." Then, the duo Alessandro Cortini and Marco Ciceri led the audience into a universe both optimistic and threatening, while the performance "Cinema Blackbox" by Kyoka and Shohei Fujimoto delved into the human brain through an audiovisual approach.
A/Visions 2 [Saturday, August 26]
Hatis Noit & Yuma Kishi JP — Aura | DATUM CUT CA/QC — inex.materia | SPIME.IM IT — Grey Line
In continuation from the previous night, the second evening of the A/Visions series presented three sensational performances. "Aura" by Hatis Noit and Yuma Kishi invited the audience into evocative and nostalgic soundscapes, incorporating elements of Japanese folklore into a powerful audiovisual and vocal performance. DATUM CUT (Maxime Corbeil-Perron) delivered an ethereal performance celebrating the ephemerality, impermanence, and obsolescence of our bodies and technologies. Finally, "Grey Line" was a live A/V show by the media art collective SPIME.IM exploring contemporary issues such as the inevitability of climate change and humanity's impact on the earth in an impressive visual realization.
The Métropolis Series | MTELUS
Returning to the Festival this year, the Métropolis series took place at MTELUS on Friday and Saturday, leveraging the acoustics of this beautiful venue to showcase current trends in techno and house, featuring renowned artists until the early hours of the morning.
Métropolis 1 [Friday, August 25]
SKY H1 & Mika Oki BE | VRIL DE | E-Saggila CA | SYNC (AtomTM & Peter Van Hoesen) DE+BE/DE
The first evening of the Métropolis series began with SKY H1 & Mika Oki, providing ambient soundscapes complemented by a scenography of projections, smoke, and shadows. This industrial ambiance set the stage for .VRIL, known for creating minimal and immersive sonic atmospheres, before handing over the stage to E-Saggila, whose frenetic industrial set certainly did not disappoint. Finally, the evening concluded with SYNC (AtomTM & Peter Van Hoesen), delivering a three-hour performance with eclectic techno sounds.
Métropolis 2 [Saturday, August 26]
Rich Aucoin CA — Synthetic | Aux 88 US | Eris Drew US | Cinthie DE | Jennifer Cardini FR/DE
Presented in collaboration with the Homegrown Harvest collective, this evening was inaugurated by the Canadian artist Rich Aucoin with a performance inspired by the history of synthesizers before the legendary Detroit group AUX 88 took the stage. The American Eris Drew then presented only the third live set of her entire career. Next, the Berlin-based artist Cinthie demonstrated the extent of her talent with a meticulous performance before Jennifer Cardini closed the night with a danceable DJ set that delighted the entire crowd.
THE ASSOCIATED PROGRAMMING
The Satosphere Series
Presented in collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) in their Dome, this series highlighted audiovisual performances specifically designed for such an immersive space. The five programs, each featuring two presentations, ran parallel to the regular Festival programming from Tuesday, August 22, to Saturday, August 26. Here are the artists and works featured:
Manami Sakamoto & Yuri Urano JP — METARACT | Kazuya Nagaya & Ali Mahmut Demirel & Maurice Jones JP+TR/DE + DE/QC — IWAKURA | Nancy Lee & Kiran Bhumber CA — UNION | Stefana Fratila & Diana Lynn VanderMeulen CA — I WANT TO LEAVE THIS EARTH BEHIND | France Jobin & Markus Heckmann CA/QC+DE/CA — ENTANGLEMENT
Renewing our partnership with the popular event Piknic Électronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sunday, August 27, the audience this year enjoyed performances by DJ Stingray 313 B2B Helena Hauff, OJPB, and SIM on the Fizz stage. Additionally, on the Boisé stage specially curated by MUTEK for this occasion, G L O W Z I and Eli Goldstein of Soul Clap took the stage.
Leveraging its expertise in extended reality (XR) content production, MUTEK hosted the North American premiere of the virtual reality experience "Animate" by Canadian artist and researcher Christopher Salter. At the intersection of performance, installation, and radio play, this collective experience presented at Studio 1 of Les 7 Doigts 23 times took the audience on a participatory journey, harnessing the creative potential of new technologies to address the urgency of the climate crisis.
Discover the aftermovie of the last edition: