mutek moments [1] - fragments

[ also @ : ZeD-Capital - direct - site is here for the most recent updates including video + text ]

always hits with the heat, but this year it has dropped with thunder and drizzled the downpour. It's been a slow creep into a week that has snuck up with more punch than expected. What would Mutek be like this year? How many corps into the 'esprit Mutek'? With the late line-up announcement, where are we at with digeratti, the mountain of avant-garde electronic music and culture at 4 dots into the 21c?

(At the panel, Philip Sherburne, XLR8R journalist, is questioning .. 'does anyone read? I don't even read music magazines .. I just pick up and flip through ...')

Last night @ SAT, tripping over bodies. Schneider TM rocks out the floor in three suits of white, lab-rats in a cage. Singin', sputterin', shootin' from the hip and chanting songs about the soundman: "The LEFT SPEAKER IS NOT WORKING!" -- in a mass fucked up vocoder, the drummer slammin' down the MIDI pads, squelch and squelch. The Germans know how to rock the techno-pop. (And to send out the cliche: non-stop).

Earlier, Junior Boys on the geek-tip: is this the incoming of vocal emo techno? (All the reasons we fled indie so many years ago - and here the journalists, hear them now, singing the popification of techno. Hail the song genre, the loop of the moment has faded. But is it really pop? What is pop when sent to the genetic strain of techno?).

Another fragment of the night, the very end of the night, 3am-- and then there was Smith 'n Hack: boing beats slammin' down but without sticking to the 4. Interesting? No, just undanceable skipping samplers. Played song style. Is Smith n' Hack brilliant or just goofing off with gear, stripping work that any other producer would name the beta and not the final release? All these questions that are more or less aimlessly circling the question of aesthetic judgement. But also something else: a stench of death in numbers.

So forget the numbers. Follow the eyes to the trip-out of Fluux. Ah, Fluux, at the new salle in Ex-Centris. No longer do we cramp on the cement floor. Mutek has gone upscale, to the theatre (and sweet surround theatre sound of precisely alienating frequencies). And to the beautiful world of Fluux, the incredible and sustained animation, of gravity and wireframe models swimming in pools of physics. Hands-down, Fluux's performance constituted the most spectacular moment in visual and music production that has graced Mutek's stage (and yes that includes Bola).

Chessmachine: Richard Chartier and COH (Ivan Pavlov). The game: pink vs. blue. Sonic chess. Microscopic to noise. Moves and parries. At this point, sound has become conceptual: the entirety of the performance mimes Duchamp's chess game in New York, on the arch above the park.

'Chess is a sport. A violent sport. This detracts from its artistic connections. One intriguing aspect of the game that does imply artistic connotations is the geometrical patterns and variations of the actual set up of the pieces in the combinative, tactical, strategical and positional sense. It is a sad means of expression though - somewhat like religious art- it is not very gay. If anything, it is a struggle.' -- Marcel Duchamp

++ And a struggle it was, producing through its conflict of moves an intricate back-and-forth. Low rumbles and hard hits from Pavlov; complex rhythms and strategies from Chartier. Increasing frustration as Pavlov gets up from his chair. Deadpan, in his blue. Chartier, in his pink. Each with a coloured flag, hitting the chess timer with a mark of combat and a gentleman's agreement.

Again, another move in electronic music's development: toward the larger concept of the generation (Beyond laptop, the laptop as a piece in a much larger structure. The homology of the laptop to the chess game; the binary moves of the dot and the dash, retreat, encapture, en passant.)

[ fragments arriving // ]

posted. Fri - June 4, 2004 @ 10:00 PM           |