Wrap-up of Mutek 2006

Anyone who wanted to chase away all the rainy and grey weather we have been having in Montreal lately would have just had to attend any or all of the events that happened over the five days of this year's Mutek festival. Mutek is in its 7th year and the organizers know how to organize a good time for those who are in attendance. Beginning with the kick-off cocktail on May 31 until the final Nocturne on June 4, Montrealers were treated to mixture of stimulating sounds and sights. The cocktail event involved plenty of libation, discussion and food (they had chefs there making stir fries on sight). It was a pleasant beginning to a fun event.

The organizers did not even let the poor weather put a damper on their two outdoor Piknics this past weekend. Piknic Electronic and Mutek join forces during these outdoor events which took place at Parc Jean Drapeau on Ile Ste. Helene Saturday and Sunday past. Well, that is kinda a lie as the Piknic on Saturday took place at the Darling Foundery in Old Montreal as it was raining. But the crowd did not seem to mind being indoors, especially on a day like that, and continued the party inside. Many different artists from all over the world, including Magda (United States), Marc Houle (Ontario), Sonja Moonear (Switzerland), and Henrik Schwarz (Germany), were on hand to provide top-notch music for those in attendance. The Sunday was much better weather wise and the event was held outdoors. It is a very cool concept to have the festival hold something during the day and outdoors. There is nothing quite like dancing barefoot in the grass on a nice Montreal summer day. For those less outdoorsy, the five Nocturne evenings would be your cup of tea. They were held at Darling Foundery, Metropolis and the Society of Arts and Technology. Each one was well attended and the musical talent was greatly appreciated by the crowds. Each evening turned into a sweaty dance-a-thon for those there.

For something a little different, Mutek provided visual and audio stimulation during their various A/Visions evenings, which were held at Ex-Centris (the major sponsor of the festival). The crowds on the two evenings watched in rapture as such things a Rubik cube manipulations, light working with sound shows and "5mm"- a film and music collaboration that explored pregnancy and its marvels. Another different and innovative event put on by Mutek was their two Inter_Act evening shows. Inter_Act's goal was to provide a space/venue for different Canadian artists to be able to come together to work and create something new. Often these artists were of different musical backgrounds and styles yet once together they often times created beautiful music together.

All in all this festival has become bigger and bigger each year with its attendance swelling more and more with each passing year. This year the over 70 artists from Canada and all parts of the world provided festival goers with a breath of fresh air musically speaking from what one hears when you turn on the radio in Montreal. Several veterans of the electronic music scene further cemented their reputation and others were discovered and now have a new legion of fans. The music, audio visual presentations and technology to be discovered at Mutek was fantastic and each year I go away from the festival anxiously awaiting what they will bring to us the next time round. Bravo Mutek!!

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