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July 15, 2022
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Voices of the future: 9 artists who master vocals at MUTEK 2022

MUTEK22 Ellxandra credit Sean Vadaru 1

Ethereal, enthralling and perhaps a little wicked... the voices of electronic music have that little something that hardly leaves us indifferent. Whilst some producers look to technology to create intoxicating melodies, others choose to remain faithful to the purest instrument in the world: their voices.

As part of the 23rd edition of its festival, MUTEK Montréal invites you to discover nine artists who make use of voice as a vehicle of vibrancy.

Tarta Relena (ES/CAT)

Certain acts leave no doubt that contemporary artists are inspired by the past; the Catalan duo Tarta Relena is one of them. From liturgical chants to Corsican polyphony, they draw much of their influence from Mediterranean folklore; their music takes us further afield, transporting us to India via Georgia. Their two voices interpret traditional songs, tapping into forgotten, almost primitive memories, whilst the rare appearances of electronic productions desperately strive to keep us in the present.

To be discovered during Play 2, August 26, 2022 at the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT].

Play 2

Presented as part of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Cooperation between Catalonia and Quebec with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull.

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Marina Herlop (ES/CAT)

Some voices, undoubtedly Marina Herlop's, transcend and speak to the soul. Whilst classical styles of piano and voice claim her first two albums, Pripyat, her latest project released in late May 2022 is quite different; Herlop has discovered computer music and is left with only one creative obsession: aesthetics.

From an acapella piece that suddenly spans into electric guitar lines and dissonant synth notes to a piano melody on which an extraterrestrial voice hangs, Marina stretches, modulates and processes on her own terms, without constraint. Her music is now polymorphic, transporting the human voice into unexplored sonorities.

To be discovered during Nocturne 2, Thursday August 25, 2022 at MTELUS.

Nocturne 2

Presented as part of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Cooperation between Catalonia and Quebec with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull.

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Caterina Barbieri (IT)

Whilst preparing this article, there was no doubt about introducing Caterina Barbieri, usually known for her modular synthesizer ventures. However, Spirit Exit, her latest album released on July 8, 2022, changed everything. For the first time, the Italian composer integrates vocal instruments and strings to her productions. From the very first notes, inquisitive electronica takes us into a world from which it seems impossible to escape, a sad reflection of our time. But the light does exist, and Caterina urges us to see it, to hear it. Throughout the album, these voices, these prayers guide us to find this humanity that seems to have been forlorn.

To be discovered during Nocturne 2, Thursday August 25, 2022 at MTELUS.

Nocturne 2

Presented with the support of the Italian Institute of Culture of Montreal.

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EEJUNGMI (CA)

EEJUNGMI has long understood the cathartic qualities of audio. At first glance, her pop-electronic compositions seem comforting. Yet as we move through Katie Lee's soundscape, assurance gives way to doubt and retrieves buried memories. Inspired by her recent research on rivers and the poetry of water, these songs explore the emotional landscapes of grief and the transportation and change that accompany it.

To be discovered at Experience 6, Sunday, August 28, 2022 at Tranquil Esplanade.

Experience 6

machìna (KR/JP)

Yeohee Kim knows change well. She first began her vocal explorations through jazz before embarking on a career in K-pop, which folded once her creative freedom dwindled. Under her new alias machìna, she began to explore electronic music and finally blossomed musically, offering an experimental sound that fuses modular synthesis and vocal manipulation. Thanks to this union of technology, analog systems and voice, she forges her own style of electronic music that has no limits.

To be discovered during Nocturne 2, Thursday August 25, 2022 at MTELUS.

Nocturne 2

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Smerz (NO)

If there is such a thing as unfathomable music, it is the Norwegian duo Smerz, who take shape between hip-hop tones, techno rhythms and baroque harmonies. As the first notes hit, a strange disorder settles before their voices guide us through dissonant territories where opposites are linked with disconcerting ease. In constant duality, their music oscillates between English and Norwegian, contemporary and traditional, darkness and light.

To be discovered during Nocturne 2, on Thursday August 25, 2022 at MTELUS

Nocturne 2

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Ellxandra (CA/QC)

Not all voices are melancholic, and Ellxandra proves that with each of her appearances. Immersed in music from a young age, Ellxandra scoured funk and jazz bands until 2015, when an encounter with electronic music broadened her musical palette. Today, her soulful voice is calibrated to meticulously crafted house rhythms, offering an explosive and naturally danceable performance.

To be discovered during Play 2, August 26, 2022 at the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT].

Play 2

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MUTEK22 Ellxandra credit Sean Vadaru 1

This article was written by MUTEK for their 23rd edition of the festival

Words : Grégoire Chevron
Translation in EN : Lola Baraldi

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