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Highlights from Mutek 2005
BY NICK SYLVESTER

Montrealís Mutek electronic music festival earlier this month offered varied dance and experimental-music delights. Here are a few, including a no-show.

Ricardo Villalobos, "Hello Halo"

Bummer this Chilean-Berliner prima donna "missed his flight" and couldnít make it to Mutek for his big Saturday show. Iím convinced that increasingly bugged out, hookless, centrifugal tracks like "Hello Halo" will kill floors 10 years from now. So I can only hope Iím still around for that moment and not having my teeth capped or listening to smooth jazz.

Tim Hecker, "Iím Transmitting Tonight"

A track that got me through a bad spat and an incapacitating snowstorm that forced me to walk home through wet snow. So it just was me, my wallow, my cold, and this songís sailor-drone piano flutters: I was frostbitten but the song kept me warm.

Melchior Productions, "Deep Steps"

After this vetís live analog set at Mutek, I wondered whether artists arenít too quick to jump to the next technology without really pushing the machines they have to maximum discomfort. Itís as if guitarists dropped their instruments every time a new guitar with more strings came out.

fm3, "Ruan"

Christiaan Virant, minimalist glitch-folk duo fm3ís pasty Nebraskan-in-China, was a complete ass at Mutek. But he did have the most interesting thoughts on current issues dogging the genre. Because bootlegging is so rampant in China, fm3 donít release material on CDs; instead, they manufacture and sell their own proprietary player at a competitive cost. Whenever electronic music borrows from localized traditions, be it hip-hop or salsa or rock or East meets West, Virant noted that as soon as an artist buys into well-tempered tuning, he Westernizes his music.


Issue Date: June 17 - 23, 2005
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