Travel Blog

31 May

Electronic wonders of the world at MUTEK and ELEKTRA

Two of Montréal’s most cutting-edge summer festivals, MUTEK and ELEKTRA, bring electronic music, high-tech creativity and experimental art from around the world to Montréal, June 1 to 5. This year marks the 17th edition for both festivals, with MUTEK’s roaster boasting over 100 musicians, producers and audiovisual artists – some in free outdoor shows – and ELEKTRA pulling out all the stops in digital multimedia performances and immersive art installations.

Extraordinary A/V shows

As part of citywide arts and culture event Digital Spring, both festivals boldly investigate our world’s digital tendencies through on-screen spectacles, intellectually considered artistry and long nights of underground techno. Audiovisual performances are one of the highlights at MUTEK: the A/Visions programs at the Salle Pierre-Mercure, feature immersive and astounding shows from Russian born, Berlin-based artists Dasha Rush Stanislav Glasov, UK producer Paul Jebanasam, French musician Franck Vigroux and Belgian artist Kurt D’haeseleer, among many other talents. ELEKTRA joins the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) to presents its major multimedia exhibition AUTOMATA at Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery, under the tagline “art made by machines for machines,” while robotic performance Inferno, a theatrical music and light show of intense emotion and distortion called Blink, Bleu Remix a performer immersed in a blue-tinted biological liquid ooze, kinetic audiovisual creations made for the SAT’s surround-sound 360-degree dome, and more machine-oriented fare greets audiences during evening performances.

SATFascinating free events

Relax on the grass or dance to your heart’s content every afternoon from Thursday to Saturday on the Parterre stage next to Place des Arts: MUTEK’s EXPERIENCE outdoor stage welcomes producers from Bolting Bits, Booma Collective and Multi Culti and and off-the-hook DJ sets from Lee Gamble, Frits Wentink, Blue Hawaii, Jlin and more. The PLAY series not only gives emerging and established artists a chance to experiment in unique ways, but welcomes audiences to experience their nightly performances at no charge – making musical discoveries this way is definitely one of the most exciting parts of the festival. The Festival TransAmériques co-presents 5 pm shows from Fake_Electronics and Cop Car Bonfire at UQAM university’s Coeur des Sciences. DIGI_SECTION free daytime program includes artist QAs, panels, presentations, workshops and showrooms from MOOG and Roland. And on Sunday afternoon, Boiler Room curates a series of music-meets-audiovisual events at the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT).

Late-night fun

Go from afternoon shows and evening audiovisual spectacles – and on Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau, a MUTEK-curated afternoon of sunshine-worthy beats at Piknic Electronik – to late nights of deep listening and serious dancing. MUTEK nights are legendary: this year, British producer Lee Gamble teams up with visual artist Dave Gaskarth to present Foldings; Ash Koosha, ATOM™, Colleen, Aïsha Devi, Maayan Nidam, Flanger, Laura Luna and more experimenters make live North American debuts; Montréal’s Tim Hecker expands on his fog and noise project; Red Bull Music Academy takes over two nights at major music venue Métropolis; emerging artists from the European SHAPE project inspire new ways of going electronic; artists from MUTEK.MX Mexico City-based festival unleash their underground sounds, and all with incredible visuals seamlessly integrated into the music. Go early, stay late, be electric.

MUTEK and ELEKTRA, June 1-5, 2016

Up next: Your 2016 Montréal summer festival guide


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