MUTEKLIVE002 - Akufen
March 24, 2009
MUTEKLIVE002 - Akufen
Live @ MUTEK Montréal 2001
The early history of MUTEK is often told as a story that centres around the rise of Marc Leclair , who back in 2000 was a talented but mostly anonymous musician in his mid-30s who'd been experimenting with electronic music in Montreal since the late-80s.
As the story goes, when MUTEK launched in 2000 as a platform where rising names in serious electronic music could come to North America and extend their community to the producers who were at work here, Leclair was the early success story who managed to get his first recordings on Eric Mattson's Oral and Jeff Milligan's Revolver imprints into the hands of Thomas Brinkmann , who performed at the first edition of MUTEK.
Brinkmann then took those records back to Europe, and the Akufen phenomena began to take off with a release schedule that led from Background to Trapez to Perlon and eventually to the behemoth of forward-thinking techno at the time, Force Inc .
This particular set comes from the middle of that rapid ascent into techno royalty. Recorded in 2001 as part of a Traum showcase, Leclair here was perfroming alongside the likes of Process , Gustavo Lamas , Phillipe Cam , and label head Triple R . It's difficult to overestimate the buzz surrounding the Akufen project at this time. The North American techno scene was in a drought, following the post-rave meltdown that had led to many cities adopting bylaws that stemmed the rise of the genre, and so Akufen was approached as the great white hope not only for Montreal, but for the whole continent, an eccentric micro-sampler who could go toe to toe with Matthew Herbert or anyone from Germany and rise to heights that haven't been afforded to many producers since.
Leclair isn't one to bask in the limelight, and all the attention that he would receive in the 2000 to 2003 period had the effect of shutting him down creatively and wreaking havoc on his personal liffe. As the years passed and more people asked about follow-ups, he withdrew into his private world and essentially stopped releasing music. Fortunately for us, that dark period appears to have drawn to a close, and this coming MUTEK, Leclair has agreed to take on the guise and myth that is Akufen one more time, with his first live appearance in five years and his first new material in that time as well.
Until then, we thought it fitting to look back to a time when Leclair was still younger and hungrier, still unaffected by the harsh pressures of touring and promotion and sounding every bit like he was enjoying the cultivation of his passions.
Check out Akufen in the MACROMUTEK section