MUTEK spins a web of international talents for its 17th Montréal edition

February 16, 2016
MUTEK spins a web of international talents for its 17th Montréal edition


A beacon signalling the beginning of the summer festival season, MUTEK returns to the heart of the Quartier des spectacles and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) for 5 days and nights of carefully curated performances. Emphasizing live and original expressions of contemporary electronic music and audiovisual arts, the festivities run at a breakneck pace from Wednesday, June 1 through to Sunday, June 5 at various indoor and outdoor locations downtown.

In a city now renowned for its electronic music culture and digital creativity, MUTEK proves once again that the festival remains a vital and vibrant frame that provides a hyper-concentrated showcase of artists from all over the world working at the vanguard of new forms and ideas. Functioning as a hub and meeting place, the festival also plugs the local and international community into a social and artistic circuit that generates revelations, new experiences, and premonitions about what is coming next. After 17 years, MUTEK still thrives on immediacy and unpredictability, on curiosity and conviviality, gathering an array of different audiences, while always creating a sense of proximity to the art and artists. With Montréal as the backdrop, another layer of sensory stimulation is added to the experiential theatre of the whole festival.

This year’s program balances international names, masters and trendsetters with emergent talents, Québec and Canadian artists, and more women than ever. Boasting numerous premieres and special projects, and with a reputation for introducing future stars, MUTEK is excited to announce the first names for what will be another polyphonic and exhilarating edition:

ASH KOOSHA (IR/UK) / ATOM™ (DE/CL) / BURNT FRIEDMAN (DE) / COLLEEN (FR) / DASHA RUSH (RU) / DASHA RUSH & STANISLAV GLASOV present DARK HEARTS OF SPACE (RU) / DAWN OF MIDI (US) / ESSAIE PAS (CA) / FLANGER (DE) / FRANCESCO TRISTANO (LU) / FRANCK VIGROUX & KURT D’HAESELEER present CENTAURE (FR/BE) / FUNCTION (US) / GALCHER LUSTWERK (US) / JLIN (US) / JULIA KENT (CA) / KARA-LIS COVERDALE (CA) / LAKKER (IE) / LOCAL ARTIST (CA) / MAAYAN NIDAM (IL) / OFF WORLD (CA) / ORPHX (CA) / PAUL JEBANASAM & TARIK BARRI present CONTINUUM (LK/NL) / POWELL (UK) / PROJECT PABLO (CA) / ROMARE (UK) / SONJA MOONEAR (CH) / TEREKKE (US) / TIM HECKER (CA)

Artist biographies and links are here.

Get familiar with the artists of our first wave with this sampler mix.

Artistic Highlights

Electronic music masters, veterans and trailblazers always figure into every MUTEK edition. And this year FLANGER — the inimitable German duo of Uwe Schmidt and Bernd Friedmann debut a live show of their mutational, digital/analog jazz, based on their first album in five years, Lollopy Dripper. TIM HECKER, a long time acolyte of the festival, appearing multiple times since 2001, visits again, but with a new performance that combines material from his debut album on 4AD with a fog and light show designed by MFO.  Masterful musicians, DAWN OF MIDI who adopt classic jazz trio instrumentation, make their festival debut with a show of their groovy, minimalist synchronicity.

With the festival’s emphasis on live audiovisual creations that ingeniously meld sound and visual in undeniable unions and startling new relationships, MUTEK welcomes the world premiere of DARK HEARTS OF SPACE, a multiscreen work from DASHA RUSH and STANISLAV GLASOV exploring the poetic implications of black holes — currently being developed with the Banff Centre during their inaugural electronic music and visual arts residency. CENTAURE, a new screen based A/V from FRANCK VIGROUX and KURT D’HAESELEER is a post-digital, virtual safari to the dystopian Anthropocene of our future. Digital visual innovator TARIK BARRI has teamed up with PAUL JEBANASAM to interpret his latest album, Continuum, described as “a speculative narrative of a timeline exploring the magnitude of science’s reach and the precarious role of humanity within this vast evolving system”. Iranian exile ASH KOOSHA who will release perhaps the very first Virtual Reality album, AKA (in April) will present his Oculus Rift triggered A/V performance.

Québec-based and Canadian artists remain the lifeblood of the festival and this year MUTEK is proud to present NYC-based cellist and composer JULIA KENT whose looping pedal compositions create affecting soundscapes; similarly, classically trained, digital interventionist KARA-LIS COVERDALE makes her return to the festival with a new performance of her emotionally resonant music, this time in the larger venue of the MAC; Montréal-based PROJECT PABLO reconvenes his brand of hand-made house; and the festival welcomes the heady jazz-house-dub inflections of Vancouver’s LOCAL ARTIST. There are many many more Canadian and local artists to be announced.

Special Projects

Red Bull Music Academy x MUTEK

Looking forward to the Red Bull Music Academy taking up residence in Montréal this fall, MUTEK is pleased to renew its long running collaboration with RBMA during the festival. Two expansive nights at Métropolis have again been designed:

On Friday it’s a showcase of epic, artful, big room techno with all live sets from: underground definer, Berghain resident and Sandwell District founder, FUNCTION; Irish duo LAKKER whose tense, driving, dub-flecked sound will make its North American premiere; Russian ex-pat and producer DASHA RUSH plays one of her moody but authoritative 4 on the floor 4 sets; and Canadian duo ORPHX return to MUTEK with a brand new propulsive set of their psych-tech leaning sound forefronting modulars.

On Saturday the extended program that runs into the early morning features charismatic performer and pianist FRANCESCO TRISTANO with his seamless mix of classical smarts and electronic interventions; there’s the first North American live set from MAAYAN NIDAM whose trippy productions and DJ sets have already established her reputation for moving bodies; and, occupying the carefully chosen DJ position at the end of the bill, SONJA MOONEAR, known for her discerning disc selections and joyful command of the floor. More artists TBA to complete this lineup!

SHAPE x MUTEK

A member of several international networks itself, and always concerned with global outlooks and connections, MUTEK will act as a convergence point this year for festivals from the European SHAPE network, which is supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union. Acting as a curatorial platform for an amazing array of artists, the 16 members of SHAPE (SOUND, HETEROGENEOUS ART AND PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE), choose 48 artists annually that represent the forward edge of audiovisual, sound and contemporary electronic music. MUTEK will play host to several SHAPE artists this year. Stay tuned for the reveal in our next announcement, but feel free to browse the list of enviable choices here.

Bloc x MUTEK

Partnering with British festival Bloc this year, a lineup at the MAC on Saturday night has been devised that reflects both festivals’ commitment to emergent underground insurgents. London producer POWELL also previously featured at Bloc, debuts a live set of his raw, riffy dirty body music; Brooklyn, now Berlin-based TEREKKE lays down a performance of his L.I.E.S. endorsed smudgy house and hazy dub; understated rap-house phenom GALCHER LUSTWERK offers up a hybrid live/DJ experience; and locals ESSAIE PAS, with a new release on DFA, unleash a hardware set of their punk styled electro-techno.

Resident Advisor x MUTEK

Resident Advisor, longtime media partners of the festival, will collaborate on the Friday night program at the MAC. The lineup includes the folk-music-from-the-moon sound of Sandro Perri's new OFF WORLD project as well as the enchanting viola de gamba player and pop-dubbist COLLEEN. There will also be a dynamic, (poly)rhythmic live performance by BURNT FRIEDMAN, a debut live set from footwork marvel JLIN and downtempo bliss from ROMARE.

MUTEK by Day

MUTEK’s daytime program brings together workshops, showrooms, interviews and discussions, creating a space for exchange and education. Additionally this year, the festival welcomes the second edition of the VR Salon at the Phi Centre. Introduced as the centerpiece of last fall’s MUTEK_IMG event, it’s a forum in which to explore the myriad artistic, technological and industry issues driving the new medium of Virtual Reality, and will boast exhibitions and workshop activities as well as a full day conference on Tuesday May 31. Information on how to participate can be found here.

Passes Presale now on

The best way to enjoy the festival’s many and varied offerings is through the full festival PASSPORT or WEEKEND PASS, now on sale in limited quantities.

The box office is open here.

Passes can also be purchased in person at Atom Heart in Montréal: 364 Sherbrooke Street East

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