A review of highlights and successes from a formidable 13th edition
June 07, 2012
After a five-day marathon with over 80 performances by local and international artists, MUTEK 2012 came to a close in the wee hours of Monday morning at the SAT, as enthused revellers fell under Dave Aju’s sonic spell. Having taken over new venues and diversified its program, the organizing team had the pleasure of seeing the festival spread out even more across the city this year, while also recording very high levels of international attendance: tourists made up 47% of the audience, including 42% from outside Quebec, as well as 74 broadcasters and 81 journalists from outside the province, reinforcing its standing as an international showcase. From artistic performances that met (if not exceeded) expectations and an audience that was as large and diversified as always, this thirteenth edition of MUTEK leaves behind many cherished memories!
The MUTEK 2012 stage once again welcomed a slew of highly anticipated acts. Among the many highlights this year: Apparat with full band, who kicked off the proceedings on Wednesday night by delighting the crowd with their headlining set full of soaring melodies; Jeff Mills’ first-ever MUTEK booking, which dazzled anyone in sight at the Metropolis, after solid performances by Shackleton and Monolake on Thursday night; as was the case during each previous visit at the festival, Kode 9 captivated the crowd gathered at the SAT on Friday night with his extensive bass music know-how. And what’s there to say about the performance of enigmatic UK figure Clark in the Satosphère’s idyllic setting, or that of Jan Jelinek, resurrecting his flagship project Farben at the SAT? Both left their unique stamp on this thirteenth edition.
MUTEK 2012 was brimming with powerful moments and kept up a particularly frenetic pace, most notably by offering double bills from Thursday to Saturday, spread out simultaneously over two locations, the Metropolis and the SAT. This was partly thanks to the fruitful partnership with the Red Bull Music Academy. MUTEK’s close and always as promising collaboration with the SAT team gave way to unforgettable moments in the Satosphere, which the festival took over for the very first time, officially introducing this highly immersive and avant-garde space to an important crowd of foreign professionals. Canada’s emerging talents, for their part, did a stellar job in transforming the Place de la Paix into bustling, free rendez-vous of evening musical showcases as part of the now well-established EXPERIENCE series.
Lastly, MUTEK is particularly proud of the success of its new MUTEK_LAB component and the high level of enthusiasm generated by its “Tools for an Unknown Future” symposium, which brought together professionals and interested audiences from May 28 to 30, directly preceding the festival. This extensive achievement was the direct result of a wonderful collaboration with the Phi Centre and the ICAS (International Cities for Advanced Sound) network, many of whose members were in Montreal for the event. This marks a renewal of the festival formula around its new MUTEK_LAB component. The MUTEK team is already mulling over its 14th edition, which will take place in Montreal from May 29 to June 2, 2013.