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June 15, 2024
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10 Standout Performances from the Past 25 Years

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Since its creation in 2000, MUTEK and its multiple venues have been the stage for the debuts of numerous artists, many of whom are now major figures in electronic music.

As the Montréal edition prepares for its 25th anniversary, let's take a look back at some of the performances that have forged its reputation.


1 - Tim Hecker (2001)

Right from the second edition of MUTEK, Tim Hecker established himself as a trailblazer of ambient electronica. His revelatory performance in 2001 combined complex sonic textures with an emotional depth that plunged spectators into a state of meditative reflection. The impact of this show lay in its ability to transform space, and engage the audience in an introspective and collective sonic trip.

Haunt Me

2 - Narod Niki (2003)

Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Akufen, Robert Henke, Dimbiman, Dandy Jack, Cabanne, Luciano et Dan Bell.

The Narod Nikki super-computer band remains one of MUTEK's most ambitious ever. This ephemeral collective of minimal techno's biggest names created a soundscape where improvisation reigned, delivering a performance that defied the conventions of DJing and live production. Each artist contributed a creative flow that pushed, provoked and played with the marks of electronic music, making this evening historic in many ways.

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3 - Ryoichi Kurokawa (2006)

Ryoichi Kurokawa injected an unprecedented visual dimension into MUTEK with his multimedia work. His compositions, seamless synchronizations of audio and visuals, create a synesthetic experience where sounds and form a symbiotic narrative. His performance illustrated the potential of digital creation, pushing back frontiers of audiovisual art and paving the way for today's artists.

Ryochi 2006


4 - Flying Lotus (2008)

In 2008, Flying Lotus transformed Piknic Électronik's MUTEK stage into an experimental laboratory of sound. With his unique style blending influences from abstract hip-hop, electronic jazz and bass music, he delivered a performance that surprised and pushed the prism of contemporary electronic music. His ability to integrate disparate elements into a coherent, captivating whole made this show a benchmark of innovation.

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5 - Modeselektor (2008)

German duo Modeselektor's appearance at MUTEK remains one of the highlights of the 2008 edition. They not only lived up to expectations, but surpassed them, leaving an indelible mark on festival-goers' memories.

The following year, Modeselektor and Apparat joined forces to form Moderat and perform again in Montréal, with the band's Canadian premiere. Their fusion of captivating melodies, powerful rhythms and dynamic visuals created an electric atmosphere that mesmerized audiences.

Modeslektor

6 - Jeff Mills (2012)

Deeply rooted in Detroit techno, Jeff Mills displayed exceptional technical virtuosity. His performance was a masterclass in Djing techniques and live production as an art form, with a precise blend of classic techno tracks and futuristic compositions. Mills knows how to keep audiences on their toes, with carefully calculated transition, tensions and releases.

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7 - Holly Herndon (2014)

Holly Herndon used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to redefine the boundaries of musical creation. Her performance at MUTEK was an exploration of how technology can extend human capabilities and create new forms of artistic expression. Combining elements of vocal composition with AI algorithms, she offered a futuristic vision of music that still resonates today.

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8 - Dasha Rush (2016)

Dasha Rush captured the essence of ambient and techno in a set that explored the extremes of these genres. His performance was an odyssey through dark, introspective soundscapes, offering an experience that was both contemplative and viscerally powerful.

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9 - Honey Dijon (2018)

In 2018 at the Métropolis all-nighter, Honey Dijon dazzled with her ability to blend house and disco with infectious energy. Her impeccable selection and charisma established a sincere connection with the audience, bringing together people from a range of backgrounds around the music. Her performance, marked by a joyful and infectious atmosphere, encapsulated her talent and influence on the global electronic scene.

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10 - Acid Pauli & Diagraf (2018) - Tribute to Leonard Cohen

This performance was a touching tribute to Leonard Cohen, combining subtle remixes of his songs with a poetic visual spectacle under the SAT dome. Acid Pauli and Diagraf succeeded in interpreting the spirit of Cohen's works while presenting them in a new light, demonstrating the emotional power of music when intertwined with the visual arts.

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These artists and performances, among many others, have helped establish MUTEK as an essential meeting place for epicureans of music and the digital arts, and have played an important role in defining the festival's artistic direction. These events have opened the door to today's artists, who in turn have many unforgettable performances in store for you to discover from August 20 to 25.

Since 2018, MUTEK has been actively committed to recognizing and deconstructing the under-representation of female, non-binary artists and artists from underserved and BIPOC communities in the electronic music scene, and more generally in our societies. Year after year, the Festival strives to establish a diverse, gender-balanced program in tune with the times and the city that has hosted it for the past 25 years...

MUTEK also works to support local artists, notably with its initiatives, the MUTEK Market and MUTEK Incubator, a new addition for 2024.

More information on this year's program

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