31 MAY - 4 JUNE 2006

From May 31 to June 4 this year, the MUTEK Festival grabs hold of Montreal and ushers in the summer festival season by shaking up the city for its 7th consecutive year. Gahering more than 70 local and international artists, the programming for MUTEK 2006-as always-boasts several headliners and overflows with new discoveries. With approximately 40 performances divided over 10 programs, along with its peripheral program (including panels, workshops and other diverse activities), the Festival is shaping up to be genuine whirlwind of sound, music and audiovisual creation where every event will reveal its own brand of awe-inspiring creativity. Let yourself be transported by this maelstrom of digital culture, making Montreal the epicenter of the world electronic scene for 5 full days and nights.

Well-established in the heart of Montreal, MUTEK prides itself on dutifully responding to the expectations of Montrealers as well as the tourists visiting the city during the Festival. As such, MUTEK mobilizes no less than six venues this year: Ex-Centris, the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), the Fonderie Darling, Metropolis, the Monument National and Parc Jean-Drapeau. The 7th edition of MUTEK offers a captivating itinerary, ideal for anyone seeking new experiences in and around Montreal.

Ex-Centris: games and organic elements steal the show! In continuing the tradition spanning the last 7 years, the MUTEK festivities kick off at Ex-Centris on May 31st. A truly inspiring environment, the Cassavetes theater welcomes the A/VISIONS 1 program born out of playful progressivism, with: Pierre Bastien (France) and his automated mechanical orchestra; the advance-premiere of the Cubing performance by Montreal collective Artificiel, who rely on Rubik’s cubes to explore the infinite relations between color and sound; the collective Sensors_Sonics_Sights (France) reuniting artists Cécile Babiole, Laurent Dailleau and Atau Tanaka in a sound/image performance based on harnessing the power of movement, where the trio’s members maintain a real-time conversation around which they modulate the flux of sound and light thanks to original usages of sensor receptors.

Continuously involved with bringing you the evolution of form and function, MUTEK presents the A/VISIONS 2 program on June 1st. Uniting experienced artists whose different sensibilities combine to explore the intimate relationship possibilities between image and sound, the evening features the following line-up: Ryoichi Kurokawa (Japan), who treats image and sound as a single entity and composes complex and detailed time based sculptures; Marc Leclair and Gabriel Coutu-Dumont (Canada) with their project 5mm, based on Marc Leclair’s (Akufen’s) album Musique pour 3 femmes enceintes, a performance that reveals a new side to the album as layers of sound and images are reworked into the original soundtrack; Simon Pyke (Britain), also presenting an audiovisual permutation of his Freeform project, based on recent work with his brother Matt, who was previously associated with the prestigious collective of graphic artists, The Designers Republic.

The Society of Arts and Technology: at the heart of the action The 7th edition marks a return to the Society of Arts and Technology (SAT) for MUTEK. Wednesday, May 31st, SAT welcomes the first program in the MUTEK NOCTURNE series, debuting in high regard with a new generation of artists: younger brother of the talented Mathew Jonson, Hrdvsion AKA Nathan Jonson (Canada) is considered the little genie of electro. He’s preparing an exclusive new set for the MUTEK public that will linger on the deconstruction of sounds by diverting them away from their primary function. Next up, operating under the banner of the legendary British label Warp is Jackson and his Computer Band (France), who proposes a sophisticated and enigmatic electro demonstration. Then, a young artist inundated with critical praise in Europe: Chris Clark (Britain), who’s already mastered the art of creating strong imagery with his music. He thrives on creating tension then relieving the pressure with strangely soothing melodies… Your ears have been warned!

Thursday, May 31st, the NOCTURNE 2 program is painted with eclecticism, variety and electricity. Three artists/groups, preceded by reputations of the most enviable kind, will be united on the same frenzied bill.  From dub to electro-pop, from electronic to hip-hop, with elements of ragga and tribal mixed in, the evening promises a veritable slalom among different styles. Taking part will be Eliot Lipp (USA), 1-Speed Bike (Canada) and Modeselektor (Germany). Indeed, surprises are guaranteed!

SAT also welcomes the INTER_ACT 1 and 2 programs, presented free of charge during the “5 à 7” periods on June 1st and 2nd. Canadian artists from different backgrounds, experienced or new to the musical scene are invited to collaborate and initiate creative/diffusionary works on site. The line-up: Chris Bryan vs. Jamie Drouin; Piers Whyte vs. Scant Intone; Dreamcatcher vs. Endos; Jonathan Parant vs. Subtle Movements; Gyges vs. VROMB; Kolumkilli vs. Aidan Baker; Martin Tétreault vs. Ringo Starr. Other similar activities will be added to the weekend calendar at SAT and will be announced soon.

The Fonderie Darling:
bridging the gap between Berlin and Montreal! The new home to MUTEK throughout the year (the Festival offices are now up and running), the Fonderie Darling welcomes festivalgoers to its venue for the first time on Friday, June 2nd and on Sunday, June 4th for two nights that are already shaping up to quite memorable. To usher in the weekend, Friday’s NOCTURNE 3 program offers an immersion of warmh and lightness within minimalist territory. Its artists practice relative discreetness to more adequately channel the fluid and evocative nature of their music, in a quest for a rapport and efficiency without comparison. In action will be: Steve Beaupré (Canada) whose performance will encompass his inimitable relaxed, yet restless style in blending funk sounds with house and techno, while also underscoring the release of his new album for the MUTEK_REC label; the young Spanish prodigy Alex Under, one of the European producers of the moment, performing his personal recipe of contrasting different micro-sounds from various techno streams including deep, minimal and house; and, in the spirit of a collaboration with Berlin’s Club TransMediale’s “Festival for Adventurous Music and Related Visual Arts”, three German artists: Lawrence, Guido Schneider and Dimbiman.

Capping off the festival in style on Sunday, June 4th, the finale of the NOCTURNE series, NOCTURNE 5, provides a display forum for Berlin-based label SCAPE. Included is a world premiere of a live, group-backed presentation of the recently released album for SCAPE by Mike Shannon (Canada). Also on the menu: a performance by German artist Pole (founder of SCAPE) who will be unveiling the North American premiere of his new project with musicians Zeitblom (Bass) and Hanno Leichtmenn (drums); plus, performances by Jan Jelinek (Germany) and Deadbeat (Canada), unquestionably two flagship SCAPE artists highly respected in their ability to astonish in a live setting.

Saturday afternoon will see artists Sonja Moonear (Switzerland), Audio Werner (Germany), Henrik Schwarz (Germany), Guillaume Coutu-Dumont (Canada) and Dandy Jack (Chile) provide a varied rhythmic soundscape for a warm and easy atmosphere…What better way to lead up to the intensity of the Metropolis event later that evening!

For the following afternoon, the synergy of MUTEK/PIKNIC shines bright by offering festivalgoers the final North American tour stop for Minus label’s min2MAX, led by Richie Hawtin. With accompanying performances by Troy Pierce, Marc Houle and Magda, the afternoon promises to be a dynamic one full of improvisations and more than likely a surprise or two…

Metropolis: the main evening-event keeps its promises… Over 7 years, the Metropolis event has become an undeniable peak of the Festival. This year, it’s with a supercharged ambience and an eclectic program that the evening-happening (NOCTURNE 4) unfolds on Saturday, June 3rd. Accordingly, there will be ample opportunity to be amazed by the original, striking performances by caustic French duo Nôze, who harmoniously blend electronic and acoustic, and by quintet Los Hermanos (USA), with their reworking of salsa/techno drawn from the repertoire of mythical Detroit record label Underground Resistance. The night will also serve as an occasion for the public to witness a return to Montreal
(after a 5-year absence) of one the Festival’s favourite artists: Thomas Brinkman (Germany). Montreal producer Mossa (Canada) will also take part in the procession-a crowning moment for the artist who’s just released a remarkable new record on French label Circus Company. Among these four presentations, the night will definitely contain some surprises for the privileged crowd gathered at Metropolis on that special evening…

Monument National: new experimental space for exploration The Hydro-Quebec room at Monument National is where MUTEK will welcome Montreal duo Skoltz_Kolgen for a third consecutive appearance, following their Fluüx:/Terminal (2004) and Askaa (2005) projects. The duo, which needs no introduction, has obtained a carte blanche from the Festival for the installation of its EPIDERM v.2 project. Logically following EPIDERM, successfully presented at Usine C in the summer of 2004, EPIDERM v.2 aims to explore the world of the infinitely small, from the skin’s surface to atomic particles. An innovative observational experiment for and with the public, it proposes an immersive experience through participation by lying on your back to interpret its visuals. A
unique opportunity for the spectator to witness the metamorphic reaction between media arts and science!