Montreal comes alive with the sound of the latest trends in electronic music and techno beats during the annual MUTEK Festival – so just what is it all about?
Founded over the Millennium year, MUTEK is an international festival organisation that aims to promote digital arts and electronic music to the masses. Its showpiece every year is a five-day extravaganza held in Montreal, Canada, which brings together more than 100 artists, industry folk and fans to revel in the electronic beats.
Held at Montreal’s Society of Arts and Technology (SAT), and at various indoor and outdoor venues in the popular Quartier des Spectacles, the festival promises to “convert this thriving cultural sector of downtown Montreal into a digital playground.”
Alongside giving stage-time to new talent, many electronic music superstars will be performing at this year’s event, with the aim of putting Canadian artists onto the world stage. Local music-makers including Michael Red, Calamalka and Daega Sound System will head the line-ups, promising “heartbeat-syncing beats,” alongside shows from the UK’s Floating Points, Emptyset and Rockernumbernine, all set against stunning visual backdrops.
One of Montreal’s biggest homegrown talents, Modeselektor, is making another appearance at this year’s event, performing a DJ set following huge demand from festival goers. Some of the hottest new up and comers, including Falty DL, Anstam and “Montreal wunderkind” Jaques Greene will also be turning up the heat in June. Premiers include performances from live-electronics jam bands Wareika and Elektro Guzzi, both making their North America debuts at MUTEK, alongside Radiq from Japan, who will be wowing the crowds with his “jazz-inflected” house music.
MUTEK 2011 has a lot to live up to – last year’s festival was described by the New York Times as “gloriously eclectic, in both sound and origin,” while Time Out Chicago went as far as to say it was “North America’s foremost electronic music festival.”
If you are interested in learning more about the industry, check out some of this year’s workshops, which run throughout the event (running this year from 1-5 June) to have a taste of the action. MUTEK tickets range from a “festival passport,” allowing you entry to all concerts and events for the entire period, which is priced at CA$175 (£112) plus tax, or a weekend pass, which allows access to all concerts and events taking place from Friday night until Sunday night, priced at CA$100 (£64) plus tax.
Visit mutek.org to see the festival’s full line-up, and to snap up tickets.