6 Artists From This Year’s Mutek MX Lineup Who Are Leading the Mexican Avant-Garde

Lead Photo: Photo by Takami Nakamoto
Photo by Takami Nakamoto
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Since its first edition in 2000, Canadian festival Mutek has been nothing but a reliable source of avant-garde electronic sounds and forward-thinking digital arts. 2015 marks the 12th edition of Mutek.Mx, which kicks off today. For four days it will flood Mexico City with concerts, parties, conferences, multimedia installations, and panels, allowing the attendees to live and breathe electronic music culture firsthand.

On this occasion, the festival is bringing legends and popular names in the current global electronic scene, like Atom™, DJ Koze, Clark, Alessandro Cortini, Ben UFO, and many more, as well as a few Latin American acts (but not enough, in our opinion), like Colombian artist Lucrecia Dalt and Brazilian ambient magician Ricardo Donoso. The locals are well-represented, as we get around 15 artists from across Mexico, including names like White Visitation, Las Brisas, and Kampion. But since we’re suckers for the underdogs, we’re compiling some of the lesser-known Mexican names from the lineup, so you’re well-informed before hitting the festival.


Benfika – Oct. 21, PLAY 1

The mysterious Tijuana artist Benfika is ready to present the music from his debut 121214 EP, released through Canadian imprint Infinite Machine, which is a well-balanced mixture of abstract sounds and the elegance of UK genres and techno. He succeeded in his set at this year’s All My Friends festival and now he’s ready for Mexico City.


Grenda – Oct. 21, PLAY 1

Also from Tijuana, youngster Eduardo Amezcua (aka Grenda) has already mastered a lush and cinematic production style that’s highly evocative. Proof of this is his debut EP on Static Discos, Living Right, where he mixes pop, downtempo beats, and hip-hop like a pro, resulting in bright and hypnotic music that’s just pure bliss.


And the End of Everything – Oct. 21, PLAY 1

Individually, Alfredo Ramírez and Alan Aguilar already make awesome music as Me & Myself and No Light, respectively – the latter is also part of the Mutek.Mx lineup – but together as And the End of Everything, they click on a different level. 237, their latest EP released by NSMBL NET, is their fantastic and nostalgia-packed take on future garage, infused with elements taken from ambient, techno, and jungle. We’re eager to see how this translates live.


Fak.ename – Oct. 23, FMCC 1

Gerardo Rodríguez recently popped up on our radar with his Fak.ename project and new EP, titled uiɐɹ´ƃqnp. His music is some sort of bastard dubstep, full of disjointed beats and pulsating bass tones, and the sounds are mostly generated by granular synthesis, so they chirp and slurp back and forth around your speakers, providing an on-the-verge-of-collapse atmosphere to his music.


A-rp – Oct. 23, FMCC 1

Hailing from Mexico City, Daniel Quintero produces heavy industrial-influenced techno tracks under his A-rp moniker. His latest EP, AX|ON, was recently released on Maligna, and it’s filled with nasty saturated sounds and unexpected genre explorations. He lets himself be influenced by the sounds of dancehall, EDM, hip-hop, and post-punk, but strongly standing on techno ground.


Manrico Montero – Oct. 23, FMCC 1

Unlike the rest of the producers on this list, Manrico Montero has been involved in music for years now and has become a legend in the Mexican experimental music scene. Now residing in Bolivia, Montero has a more academic approach to music, and he bases his musical experiments mostly on free improvisation and nature-centered field recordings, as evidenced on his latest album, Sisal.