... on MUTEK 2000
by Susanna Bolle

With a lineup that featured some of the most innovative muscians from Eruope, the U.S. and Canada, Montreal's MUTEK promised to be one of the most significant North American festivals devoted to experimental electronic music.

The first two nights, held at the ultra-cool Ex-Centris new media and film center, were mixed-media events. The opening night featured artists from NY's Caipirinha label. The highlights of the evening were Taylor Deupree's delicate, microscopic minimalism (Deupree would play another outstanding set as part of a series of happy-hour shows at Cafe Laika) and Sound Track's restrained tech-house. The venue itself proved problematic, despite its fantastic sound system, with the audience sitting uncomfortably on the floor for much of the show. On the following night, however, when Noto, Komet, Byetone, COH and Signal from the Raster-Noton label performed, all physical costraints were forgotten in the face of their electronic sound sculptures and mesmerizing visuals, which added to the most impressive night of the festival.

For the last three nights, the action shifted to Cafe Campus. Vladislav Delay's extended set, which opened Friday's performance by other Mille Plateaux artists, was one of the most eagerly anticipated of the festival. He did not disappoint, creating a richly textured, complex and fluid form of abstract dub. The same night, SF-based Sutekh turned in an excellent set of atmospheric, detritus-strewn techno, despite some technical difficulties. Saturday's theme was minimalism and featured Cologne's Triple R and Thomas Brinkmann. Brinkmann was very much in Soul Center mode, delivering a hybrid of funk and house which had the crowd dancing ecstatically. The festival wound down with a night of experimental dub from Kit Clayton, Pole and Montreal's Dakca. Clayton's short set of swirling, intricately layered dub was nothing short of amazing, providing another high point
Taylor Deupree