D.Fining: Mutek Festival 2012 Review

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Expect to find the unexpected in Mexico City (DF) with Marcela Viejo, keyboardist/vocalist of Mexico’s praised electropop ensemble, Quiero Club. Mexico’s capital is a lively, rich, and diverse place where one is bound to find oddities, novelties, and underground movements of sorts. In this weekly column, Marcela takes you along on her musical quest to find these rare gems and obscure scenes via reviews, interviews, and profiles. The idea is to search.

Last week one of the most important digital and electronic music events in México took place in México D.F. Mutek Festival 2012 kicked off on October 1st with a free inaugural concert in Centro de Cultura Digital. Holy Other from England cut the festival’s red ribbon, after which there was a visual program by Paolo Montiel of Nerd Light/COCOLAB at the Pillar of Light (Estela de Luz). Likewise Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were replete with super-interesting cultural activities. Everyday around 10:00 a.m. there were free workshops in Centro de Cultura Digital, and film screenings about Mutek, and documentaries about the projects invited to this festival were scheduled in the evenings at Cine Tonalá. All day from Monday through Friday we were lucky enough to attend the various activities and accommodate our schedule according to our personal tastes and preferences. It’s a pleasure to know that there is something interesting to learn about music and digital sound-art everyday, and to be able to see and hear projects, some of which we had not a single expectation about. Thanks go to Sony, who was the official sponsor of Mutek. It was a top quality event and it surprised more than just one of us.

Despite the existence of Mutek since 2000 in the world and in Mexico for the last nine years, I had my first opportunity to attend on October 3rd (thanks to an invitation from my friend Gina Jaramillo who added me to the guest list). Luckily, my schedule allowed me to enjoy A/Vision1 (The Analog Future) on Wednesday night at Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris. I arrived right at 10:00 with DJ Yumiko, who for me is the best company for enjoying this type of show. Unfortunately Nils Frahm, the German who is apparently counted on for his grand piano, had already left the stage. A set of synthesizers connected to a big screen released musical notes that generated light projections with an electric pulse, which gave light to his instrumental music. According to many of those in attendance, he won the honor of being the best show of the night. Sadly I was unable to get there in time. We entered the theater, took our place in our seats, and immediately Le Révélateur — a Canadian audiovisual project with great audio moments — appeared on stage. The group appeared as two shadowy silhouettes, and a big screen right in the center of the stage that projected their music with colorful and abstract visuals.

They transport us to ecstasy as we travel through the avalanche of sound and color in their music. The show finally closed with Pierre Schneider and François Wunschel from France, both of whom belong to the Exyzt collective. Their show 1024 Architecture won the night. Their act consists of four translucent screens on which are projected expressionist lines and grids in black and white with an audio sensibility and with quite a bit of perspective and depth, which gave off a 3-D effect. In addition to their good musical and visual taste, they demonstrated that their show goes beyond only music and visual effects. In one part of the show there is a lot of interaction with the body and there is even a moment in which they both act. It is highly recommendable.

Lastly, I cannot fail to mention that I was also invited on Friday to the Teatro Metropolitano by my friend La Royale and Yesco, one of the best representatives of the new school of electronic music in México (cofounder of the label Electrique Music). This former punk with a hint of Prince and vocal effects caught the mood of the closing night of Mutek, and was followed by a Rebolledo DJ set. Finally, Matias Aguayo was next, and he achieved to get the crowd at Teatro Metropolitano to dance at an under 40-degrees temperature.

Congratulations to Mutek 2012!

You can see more details about the invited projects HERE.

To read more articles by Marcela Viejo in D.Fining, click HERE.