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troisk meets jan jelinek / ~scape

How many killer incarnations can this man generate??? As Farben, Jelinek produced pinprick, micro-funky minimal house. As Gramm, Jelinek eased the seat back with the ultra jazz ambience. I could go on. Triosk meets Jan Jelinek beautifully fleshes out and solidifies what I've previously described as "liquefied jazz". It's as if the murky and melted sound of the "Live in Tokyo 9/01" has hardened and crystallized like so many mid-December snowflakes, and in almost as many varieties.

Here Jelinek sharpens the quality of his sounds by capturing the sound of jazz trio, Triosk (L.Pike, A.Klumes and Ben "Donny" Waples) in all their live acoustic glory. Each instrument must have been painstakingly mic'ed because the crystal clear sharpness of the instruments is gorgeous, ESPECIALLY the drum sounds. Where other producers like to take live jazz samples and "throw them in a blender," Jelinek lines them up and arranges them in modern, modal, melodic deconstructions. The tracks ride that beautiful line between modern electronic music and modern live jazz. Although loops are used throughout, there is a definite "live" tension retained throughout the album. Maybe if Four Tet and the Necks collaborated the results would be somewhat like "1+3+1," but I have to admit, probably not with results as good as this one.

On "Theme from Trioskinek", piano loops are sliced and diced with high definition hi-hat rolls and a beautifully plodding double bass loop. Over and over, lush digital hums, clicks and bleeps lift the live-sounding endless drum loops, thick buzzing double basslines and piano melodies. Again, it's easy to imagine these tracks being played live with Jelinek joining the Trio stage-side, laptop in front of him, yet the simple elegance of the arrangements proves that these tracks aren't live productions.

More than one person has commented that this was the album that Herbert's "Goodbye Swingtime" should have been more like; I have to agree. Superb album. Recommended.
listen: jan jelinek/onthelak
listen: jan jelinek/vibespul


b.fleischmann / welcome tourist / morr

The man that started the Morr Music phenomenon returns to the label to present us with his new double album. "Welcome Tourist" is a slight departure from B. Fleischmann's previous works; gone are the simple groovebox beats, but they are now replaced by lush instrumentation alongside his own brand of bedroom electronics. A track like "Guided By Beats" starts off with gently plucked guitar, followed by heavy Def Jux style hip hop beats, then halfway through tremelo-ed synth washes float by. "Pass By" begins with a delicately tapped piano melody, followed by a live bass rhythm until the heavy downtempo beats kick in and cut-up female vocals are dispersed throughout; then at the two-minute mark, beautiful washes of guitar distortion permeate the song -- it is absolutely stunning. On "Grunt," he probably comes up with his most catchy melody yet; all the while Fennesz-style electronic static floats in and out of the song as if to not make it sound too pretty. "Welcome Tourist" contains 11 amazing tracks on the first disc alone while disc two is one 45-minute track that spans the whole spectrum of what Mr. Fleischmann is trying to accomplish. The second disc utilizes acoustic guitars, live drums, piano, strings, cut up vocals, ambient electronics, crunchy beats... you name it, it's in there. "Welcome Tourist" is B. Fleischmann's masterpiece and definitely one of Morr Music's finest hours. What more can I say, but that the man has done it again! Highly recommended.
listen: b.fleischmann/pass-by
listen: b.fleischmann/grunt

deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre / it's a crackhaus thing / onitor

Are you fan of Akufen, Herbert, or the Soft Pink Truth? Do you buy records just because they are on Perlon, Playhouse, or Kompakt? If you have answered yes to any of the above then this is for you! Deadbeat and Stephen Beaupre have created a fabulous, funked-up tech house album with "It's a Crackhaus Thing." Like the previously mentioned artists, this duo incorporates the popular chopped-up style of beats and vocals to their own brand of house and it comes out nothing short of funky. With a track like "Shine Your Light" with its pumping house rhythm, cut-up blues horns and soul vocals you would swear that it was off of Akufen's "My Way". "Little Cosmonaut" starts off all distorted and dirty, with shifting rhythms and a cut up sample of what sounds like a woman's laugh put through about 50 processors. Then right before the two-minute mark, everything drops out just to reveal the lone 4/4 beat which lasts for about 30-seconds until the rhythm, chopped backwards and forwards, comes charging back in while completely new vocal comes in and the melody completely changes. Nothing short of amazing, this record is one for the headphones and the dancefloor. I have to say that the Onitor label is on a roll with last week's amazing Gustavo Lamas CD and now this... There is no stopping these guys. Recommended.
listen: deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre/shineyou
listen: deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre/littleco

plaid / spokes / warp

While Plaid's new LP is a definite change for Warp's number-one party-rockers, in many ways it is not so much a new direction as an old one. As the world of electronica continues to tread water, unsure if it should sink or swim, one of the latest tricks is a look back to the "classic" years, and longtime fans of the group will recognize some of these sounds as reminiscent of the (pre-Plaid) Black Dog days. There is less of a hip-hop/big beat groove here, and a strong classic techno/acid influence (similar to Luke Vibert's new one, although not as overt, or as sunny). The sounds are dark and unsettling, the beats are skittering and slippery. Tracks build slowly, often starting as dark ambient washes and adding sounds in careful layers. This is still dance music, but maybe not for those who need huge backbeat to hit the floor, and it is still the Plaid you know and love, but not in their time-tested easy-to digest formula.
listen: plaid/crumaxi
listen: plaid/cedarcit

baby ford / basking in the brakelights / force inc.

I'll save you from all of the "anticipated album" talk. All we need to know is that Baby Ford's last collection of tracks, "Sacred Machines," with the I-Fach collective was deep and sick. That, and the fact that there aren't many dudes who made acid house hits for major labels in the late-'80s that still produce up-to-date tracks of note -- tracks for Sender, Perlon, Klang and now Force Inc. -- all varied in style and focus, while every one of them is unmistakably Baby Ford. Peter Ford makes tracks that have all the edge of the high-falutin', so-called "experimental/microhouse" producers of late. They share affection for minimal funk, small sounds, deepness, etc.; the difference is Baby Ford isn't putting on any airs of sophistication. These tracks aren't dry, fresh out of the dormitory, dancing is funny/ain't-I-white bullshit. Besides all the well arranged micro-CLASSIC STYLE house beat arrangements are bouncing acid funk basslines that are wet, juicy and full of ASS. Think Losoul from London without any rave casualty symptoms. (More techno, less house right?) Another key element to the beauty of these tracks is their complete refusal to beg for your attention. With Baby Ford, if you don't place yourself INSIDE the track you will miss it. What may at first seem just long, repetitive and "funky" is actually expertly arranged bits of classic house over layers of subterranean tones, post-4 a.m. soul and, I say it again, ASS. I want my own copy!
listen: baby ford/exopolis
listen: baby ford/parallel

kid 606 / kill sound before sound kills you / ipecac

Kid 606's follow-up to last year's "Action Packed Mentalist" shows the mash-up master just won't let up; "Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You," pummels through acid, technopunk, gabber, jungle, bass and dancehall at a brutal, sweaty pace. Opening track "The Ilness" has a mid-'90s hardcore feel but totally sliced, diced and tweaked out through the Kid's laptop, it lands right in the 21st century. The frenetic BPMs of "Who Wah Kill Sound?", "Powerbookfiend" and the digi-core dancehall of "Buckle Up" will spin you dizzy and leave you in a gritty daze. "Kill Sound" isn't all sonic assault though; Kid 606 sprinkles a few ambient interludes so you can catch your breath, and following the hyper-skitter of the bass-heavy "Woofer Wrecker," he peacefully leaves us floating in space wrapped in a fluffy montage of sounds.
listen: kid 606/theillne
listen: kid 606/buckleup


andrew thomas / fearsome jewel / kompakt

Kompakt's latest installment features New Zealand resident Andrew Thomas with a breezy 35-minute mini-album that leans more on the ambient than the pop side of things. While he may be somewhat distant from the Cologne based label geographically speaking, Thomas is obviously well in tune with the label's aesthetic. Most of the pieces on "Fearsome Jewel" are based around micro-melodic piano loops supplemented by warm washes of synth strings and the obligatory digital clicks and pops. Thomas uses these ingredients well, focusing more on creating a general sound rather then trying to get too caught up in details. The loopy, ambient nature of Thomas' album of miniatures reminds me a bit of Novisad's "Seleya" or some of the more calm installments of the Kreisel 7" series from a few years ago. An extremely pleasant overall atmosphere that would make a wonderful soundtrack for daydreaming.
listen: andrew thomas/7

villalobos / alcachofa / playhouse

Recent minimal house releases have been more "yawn" than "Yeah!!", But I have to say, when I walked into the OM office while this was playing I had to stop in my tracks and say "WHAT is this?! Is this the new Villalobos?!" Ever since "What You Say (Is More Than I Can Say)", this man is single-handedly reinventing the use of the vocoder for psychedelic stimulation. No ironic robot vocal delivery here, just pure wooziness that sounds like an intoxicated person talking to himself. All tracks segue nicely into each other for an uninterrupted listening session. All the sharp, dry funkiness that this man has been refining for the last five years has culminated in "Alcachofa," his finest recording yet. Deep, dry, funky, sharp, and pumping as ever, but these tracks have a new found sense of focus that is unwavering. Villalobos is no longer satisfied with finding a sick, deep, ultra-stoned loop and drawing it out. Now he seems to hack at it with machetes, thrash it about and turn it inside out. These tracks dig deep into you and rewire your psyche. Sick. Guaranteed to be as influential as Akufen's "My Way", but personally, I like this one better. Another thing: Before he sounded like a German-born Chilean, but now he sounds like a hot-blooded Chilean-born German. Guess what? RECOMMENDED.
listen: villalobos/dexter



Saw Bjork for the second time on her tour last night. The Toronto venue was beautiful. It was on the Toronto Islands, so everyone had to board a ferry to get to the show, which was included in the ticket price. We arrived to this manicured dream park where we had to go over this picturesque bridge to get to the stage. The Stage was set in front of the Toronto city sky-line....and like any city always looks better from a distance. Kid Koala opened, then Bonnie Prince Billy and then BJORK! Kid Koala is the Canadian Scratch Turntable King, so he geeked it up and also dedicated a Audrey Hepburn song for his mom. Awwww. Bonnie Prince Billy has been touring with Bjork, practically the entire time, but I felt like they just didn't work. It's folky, great song writing stuff...but really needs to be appreciated in a small intimate venue with a glass of wine, not before the anticipation of electronic pop artist BJORK! Bjork was fantastic as per usual....entering the stage wearing a black glittery dress with allot of green puffy lace. I would have to say the Toronto Olympic Island show was better than the New York, Coney Island show which I saw two weeks prior. The crowd was cooler in New York, much older and better dressed, but the fireworks and visuals were better in Toronto. At one point last night the sky was completely lit up by gold sparkles. It was fuckin' fantastic and the fire on stage was choreographed perfectly to her music. Bjork's voice was so clear and euphorically emotional...words can hardly describe how inthralled and ecstatic I was. Her poetic clarity consumes me. Desired Constellation must be a new song, but it was defiantly a highlight for me. Matmos are the masters of sound. Their synth noises with twerk-y new sounds added to her performance...made it uniquely brilliant. Nature is Ancient had the actual video play behind it during the song and the rest of the visuals that took place were organic swirls and lines with limbs and body parts floating around. During the Soft Pink Truth remix of In Our Hands, which has defiantly been the song of the summer for me...there was some eskimo animation going on, but I was too busy dancing and cheering to really pay attention. The visuals I remember at the New York show were sparse. Only one screen to the right of the stage with Bjork in a ball rotating in air...very Matthew Barney, but that was about it. The Toronto show was over-all presented better with a more attentive audience. Bjork's performance is always 100%, and defiantly always worth the ticket price. I can't understand why anyone would miss out on the opportunity to see her, as her performances and now memories are a true highlight to life. Yeah BJORK!
Bjork interview after Sonar 2003



kompakt total 5 / Kompakt

What can I say about Kompakt that hasn't been said already? As far as electronic music goes, I can't think of any other label whose releases I anticipate more. When it comes to techno, Kompakt is top. And as their roster and discography grows (seemingly by the week!), the strength of each release gets better and better. A key strength to this compilation (and Kompakt comps in general) is that it flows like an album instead of an uneven showcase, while managing to let each individual's strengths shine. Superpitcher's "Mushroom" is the perfect summer-drive jam -- full of warm synth pad drone accompanied by sporadic bubbles adrift a lazy breeze. Gorgeous. Burger/Voigt's remix of newcomer Phong Sui's beautiful "Wintermute" is, dare I say, even better than the original. T.Raumschmiere's "Total" (perhaps an ode to the series?) brings things into a more banging, grinding territory. Plain and simple, it's a killer. The beloved Reinhard Voigt ups-the-ante even more by delivering a true thumping masterpiece called "Leibe Diene Musik" (which roughly translates to "Your Body Music"). He was born to make music like this. This part of the set peaks with Joachim Spieth's pumping "Nie Mehr Allien." Thomas Fehlmann's "Radeln" brings the pace down and sets the scene for the final cuts, and it's all about lush and ethereal. The comedown is pure heaven. Jonas Bering's "Normandie 2" is a sweeping, ambient techno gem, ending "Total 5" on the sweetest note. Also tracks by SCSI-9, Justus Kohncke, M.Mayer, and Mikkel Metal. Highly recommended.
listen: T.Raumschmiere

guther / I Know You Know / morr

Morr Music's newest hitmakers, the duo of Julia Guther and Berend Intelmann approach songwriting much differently than their labelmates. Guther seem to take their cue from the early-'90s pop music that appeared on labels like Slumberland and TeenBeat. The songs are super simple, with catchy choruses, jangly guitars, and quirky melodic electronics. Julia's vocals at times recall the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates, or Laetitia Sadier, singing in beautiful deep tones, and with a monotone delivery not unlike the Stereolab chanteuse. Her lyrics seem to be spontaneous with songs about lost love, failed relationships and various other personal issues. Ten songs in all, and another fine album for the Morr Music label. "I Know You Know" is a beautiful listen for these last few days of summer, and a must for fans of the Postal Service, Stereolab, and the Spinanes.
listen: Guther


Ulrich Schnauss
A Strangely Isolated Place

Take a close look at your record collection. Like me, you probably own dozens of albums with only one or two good songs, mediocre discs you can't bear to sell because of a catchy college radio hit, or that earnest curiosity your friend played you one night during that perfect two-beer haze before a party, full of excitement. Maybe it's even something you came across in your file-sharing exploits. You're probably afraid you'll never find these records again, and as I approach thirty, that's been the rationale for a lot of questionable hoarding on my part. In short, I will not be selling A Strangely Isolated Place.

Ulrich Schnauss isn't a revolutionary artist. Like Guitar's Peter Grove, he's operating in a software-driven world of loops, and not the least bit concerned about hiding his influences. Though he dotes on everyone from Orbital (unintentional "Belfast" bells rise from the multi-track din that closes "Gone Forever") to OMD ("In All the Wrong Place" begins as a sort of minimalist tribute to "Enola Gay"), he is most obviously obsessed with Slowdive. Listening to his second album, A Strangely Isolated Place, I can only assume Morr's Blue Skied An' Clear tribute to those shoegazers was his idea.

Slowdive's Neil Halstead was a similarly indebted artist. A protégé of the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, Halstead stretched his predecessor's glistening, reverbed delay to such ephemeral lengths that many early Slowdive songs bordered on precious goth (as did many of their fans). As the band disintegrated, dismissed in the press as students, chaos fueled a masterstroke: 1995's airy, weightless Pygmalion is one of the best of the decade, predicting the ambience that's dominated the independent landscape ever since. Ulrich Schnauss takes cues from "Crazy for You", but more specifically builds from the cathedral electronic tracks appended to the U.S. issue of 1993's Souvlaki (in an odd, backwards moment, this widely available American disc is something of a collector's item abroad-- check out the fold-out poster!).

"A Letter from Home" runs in the fields of Halstead's delay, playing like a ferris wheel ride over teenage abandon abandoned, a slow-motion replay of all the moments you'll never get back. But its aching nostalgia is still too mid-90s danceable-- imagine a hollowed-out taken on Chapterhouse's "Pearl"-- to become oppressively morbid or referential. Schnauss loves the melancholy sound of echoing guitar, but he can't find anything to bleat about, resolutely celebrating the simple joys of life, like faraway trains passing by.

Though "Gone Forever" and "Monday Paracetamol" are made up of instantly recognizable sounds, on closer listen, there's a uniqueness to the way Schnauss brings them together. Where Guitar melded Curve and My Bloody Valentine, so Schnauss plays with Orbital, Slowdive and pre-trip-hop dance beats, popularly abused by the likes of Jesus Jones. Distant vocal moans perfectly drift in and out of his punchy tracks, but his keyboards could use a few new tones. Most of the plastic keys produce sci-fi waves comparable to Vangelis, or the 90s technophilia of B-12's Trans Tourist. By the time of "Clear Day", it seems Schnauss is operating on a premium of equipment and ideas, as most of these tracks are interchangeably paced and compositionally slight.

As if to answer for this borderline monotony, Schnauss closes A Strangely Isolated Place with three wildly different pieces. The almost Spiritualized lament "Blumenthal" drips from plucked nylon strings and xylophone hammers, a proper trip-hop daydream that swells to a glorious walk in the clouds in its most coherent moments. "In All the Wrong Place" is even more daring, a µ-Ziq tribute that pays off, properly seating Mike Paradinas' dinky keyboards in a distorted drum-machine bed; I won't go as far as to say it's on par with "Roy Castle", but this is definitely a worthy inheritor to the µ-Ziq's electronica masterpiece In Pine Effect.

The title track closer isn't the best send-off-- Schnauss should definitely have closed the record with "In All the Wrong Place"-- but the title track does continue with the reverential Rephlex sounds that work best on this record. When the Halsteadian guitar comes in, it's almost a reminder of what Schnauss has already left behind, a sound with too few options, one he more than explores on the first half of this wonderfully breezy but repetitive full-length.

-Chris Ott, June 4th, 2003



soft pink truth / do you like to party? / soundslike

After two critically acclaimed 12"s, Drew Daniel of Matmos finally releases his long awaited full-length under the Soft Pink Truth moniker."Do You Party?" is a far departure from Drew's work with Matmos. Where Matmos is experimental cut-up electronics, the Soft Pink Truth is funky and filled with samples galore -- the vocals are cut up, spliced and distorted with elements of house, disco and electro dispersed throughout. The Soft Pink Truth has much more in common with the likes of Akufen, the Avalanches, and Herbert (hence, the album being released on Herbert's Soundslike label). Drew also takes influence from contemporary R&B producers like Timbaland and the Neptunes, as homaged on the track "Soft Pink Missy" which is probably not just influenced by Missy Elliott and Timbaland but probably contains samples from them too. "Do You Party?" is a true genre breaking album, one that is both for fans of dance and experimental music, but all in all this debut is funky, funky, funky! Truly groundbreaking stuff!

speicher / kompakt

Just when you thought Michael Mayer was only about chin-stroking, pipe-smoking intellectual techno, he comes out with a mix of floor rockers, mainly featuring tracks from the recent "Speicher" series on Kompakt. Things get stomping right off the bat with the genre-shifting Superpitcher mixed into T.Raumschmiere's "Musick". (Which has to be the closest Kompakt will ever get to Marilyn Manson.) The club lights are blasting full power by track three (Wassermann's "Ende der Schoenzeit") mixed into M.Mayer's own "Love is Stronger Than Pride", which utilizes lyrics from Sade's song of the same name, and is one of my favorite tracks of 2002. Tracks six through nine are the make-or-break section of this mix... You have to brace yourself. I was turned off at first, but ever since my third listen, this section is
becoming my favorite part. Superpitcher appears again, bringing the energy up, but it's Reinhard Voigt's "How We Rock" that brings that mother home. His grooves are just unstoppable, and will inspire the most jaded intellectual to pump his fist like a weekend warrior. Things break down by track nine and take off into dreamland with Markus Guentner's "Regensburg" (rmx). Epic Gas. The bell sounds will make you close your eyes and smile. Finally, a groove reminiscent of Voigt/Voigt's "Roxy" comes in, all sexy-like with Voigt/Voigt's "Vision 03". The surprise comes at the end when a burst of soundtrack strings lead into what seems like a farewell conversation between a man and a woman in a '50s German film noir. We are left to wonder whether it's a farewell, or a happily-ever-after as it ends with the sound of a door closing.

pole/ 45/45 / ~scape

Stefan Betke's "Pole" (a name made synonymous with deconstructed, submerged glitch dub) comes to the surface with a newly discovered sense of melody, arrangement and a bit of uncharacteristic jigginess. There's been a slight shift toward the "jiggietronic" feel of modern pop soul, even amongst the ultra-serious avatars of modern electronic music. While Pole "2" was popularly referred to as "too reggae", and not "deep" enough, "45/45" takes new themes and explores them so effectively that the listener is likely to become charmed beyond remembering the artist they're listening to. Change is good. Track four, "Back Home" is a slinky groove featuring sampled trap drums, a looping upright bass melody and a warm chord surge that qualifies it as the unofficial union of Farben and Tortoise. Believe it. "Round Two", one of the two "jiggy" jams, manages to have that stunted funk without being typically German/Teutonic. A simple break, micro melodica notes, a looping synth stab that comes in at the right time, and a tinkling water glass... In "The Bell" all the elements are masterfully coaxed in little by little, steadily, and constantly ping-ponging off of each other. A flawless EP, I haven't heard this much variety and strength in a long time. Recommended.

opiate / sometimes / morr

I hadn't heard Opiate before, so after seeing the album cover (a nighttime city horizon obscured by a lambent yellow-green glow) I was half-expecting to be sunken into the review-chair wrapped in a thick haze while listening. Quite the contrary... "Sometimes" is by no means sluggish or drugged-out like I thought it would be. Nor is it even close to boring. There are many layers that reveal themselves each time you'll play this. Each of the six songs has good ideas, and Opiate builds upon them nicely. He creates a warm electronic environment with exquisitely crafted moods and atmospheres. The use of "real" instruments like piano or the sample of a violin augment these tracks just the right amount, like a touch of the perfect spice. The glitchery is not overused or superfluous in any way, and the "niiiice", catchy beats are well programmed and well executed. There's an occasional squiggle of digital debris that escapes into the ether somewhere, in the guise of a displaced voice (see "Perdot"), or the swirling wisp of a microscopic jet stream (see "opiTTT"). The pleasant, tingling, soft crackle and wistful melody of "Snow Story" is as inviting as a mug of hot cocoa in front of a fireplace, and "Stp!" is a sensuously funky cut! Ah, this little album just gets better each time I listen to it. There are a couple of moments where Opiate reminds me of his fellow countryman Goodiepal (both are gifted with the seemingly effortless knack for an irresistible melody), but this does not surprise me, it only convinces me that "something different is in the water" over there in Denmark. My only complaint about "Sometimes" is that it's only 23 minutes, and by the end I'm left wanting more... well, I guess it's a good thing, right? Short but sweet. Looking forward to the long player.


stewart walker & geoff white / discord / force inc

Stewart Walker and Geoff White are two of North America's best-known and most talented techno producers, each with a unique and distinctive sound of their own. They have joined forces for Force-Inc. to release "Discord", an album that seemingly consists of two separate projects yet when played together, or in alternating sequence as it is, combine for one hella-fied dancefloor mix. Imagine a tag-team session where each artist brings six of their newest tracks and tries to kill the other with their hottest shit, almost like a techno soundclash. "Discord" showcases the duo's impeccable knack for creating sexy, melodic house, bubbly crunchy minimal-tech and everything in-between. A true collaborative effort, every bit as good as the Theorem THX series (of which Walker was a participant), and sure to end up on my top ten for the year.


movie reviews.
1. The Celebration.

directed by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg and is developed under the rules of dogma 95. The Celebration is about a family reunion that is brought together to celebrate the father's 60th birthday. The tensions and rawness of the characters explodes on film and the editing is out of this world. The actors continue to act despite the fact that the camera is not always on them. This to me is real acting. This flic won many awards and is defiantly one of my top 10 movies of all time.

2. Julien Donkey Boy

directed by Lower east-side new yorker Harmony Korine. Harmony is one of my favorite directors for displaying the disturbing portrayals of humanity. He is also know for the movie Gummo. Highly recommended. I also saw this in new york at this little artsy theatre where I could feel the vibration of the subway below me...this atmosphere and quality of flic left for a lasting memory.

more recent movies.........

3. The Hours

In Adaptation and now The Hours I rediscovered Meryl Streep....who I believe should have got more acknowledgement for both of her amazing performances. The Hours touches on so many levels of humanity and doesn't under-estimate the intelligence of the audience.

4. About Schmit

David LaChappelle is a pop kitsch contemporary photographer who usually exploits the surreal aspects and environments of U.S. culture....I believe About Schmit does the same thing by placing a retired senior to rediscover family life in the bleak surreal environment of hickville USA.

MUTEK / Music, Sound and New Technologies - 4th Edition
Montreal, May 28 - June 1, 2003


Featuring over 70 artists from 15 countries, the festival returns with its most explosive program ever! For this fourth edition, MUTEK presents twelve unique programs of concerts and performances over five action-packed days and delirious nights. The diverse and daring programming delivers an expansive overview on electronic music in all its myriad forms - from aesthetically challenging to celebratory. Presented in three locations, MUTEK gathers proven artists as well as new discoveries for a program punctuated by rediscoveries and rarities that offer a perspective on the past and a glimpse into the future.

Highlights of the invigorating and challenging program are many:
        - Renowned explorer of sonic textures THOMAS KOENER returns to Montréal accompanied by his mentor ASMUS TIETCHENS.
        - SEÑOR COCONUT sees the return of ATOM HEART, this time with a full orchestra! This is Señor Coconut's first North American performance, and the final chance to experience their electro-latin interpretations of Kraftwerk classics that will be retired after this performance.
     - A rare performance by Britain's COIL, the eminent cult group from the '80s industrial tradition who continue to experiment and innovate within the contemporary currents of electronic music.
- Influential and acclaimed artists POLE, RICHIE HAWTIN, MONOLAKE et T. RAUMSCHMIERE return with new material.
        - MEGO, the impressive Austrian label, offers a revealing glimpse of new directions as represented by some of the hottest artists in the field of experimental electronic music - HECKER, KEVIN DRUMM and TUJIKO NURIKO have all received nominations for Prix Ars Electronica recently.
        - Experimental approaches to the turntable as instrument, from the experimental hip hop of SIXTOO to the abstract deconstructions of MARTIN TETREAULT.
        - The festival culminates in traditional celebratory and innovative style with a new genre of improvised concert by laptop super-group NAROD NIKI - a collective that gathers numerous important figures from the international micro house scene.
      - And a wealth of surprises that will make connoisseurs drool, delight fans and titillate the curious.

To complement the performances, the MUTEK_INTERSECTION segment of the program offers a series of panels and workshops dealing with subjects and concerns particular to electronic music and of interest to all professionals in the field (complete details will be revealed on the MUTEK web site early May).

Over the years, MUTEK has established itself as an important event on the international scene and attracts more than 25% of its audience from outside of Montréal. We invite you to join us for this exploration of new territories found at the intersection of electronic music, sonic creation and digital culture.



EX-CENTRIS 1 / 8:30PM @ EX-CENTRIS / 15$ + tx

Plumbing the depths of experimentation, this program offers a profoundly serene and meditative journey through the power of sound and ambience as guided by two revered masters of sonic research.

CLINKER (Edmonton, CA)
(Thomas Koener & Asmus Tietchens)

*Presented in collaboration with PARACHUTE 

NOCTURNE 1 / 10:30PM @ MAIN / 20$ + tx

A dive into sonic textures, electronic dub and organic soundscapes for a sublime evening of sophisticated and compelling de/reconstructed rhythms and melodies.

POLE (Germany)
DEADBEAT (Montreal, CA)

*Presented in collaboration with CONVERGENCE 


A meeting of multiplied intensities with artists who propose a dense and complex mix of musique concrete and accumulated 'noise' to create urban compositions that touch digital and actuelle genres.

- NO TYPE label showcase -
COIN GUTTER (Vancouver, CA)


EX-CENTRIS 2 / 8:30PM @ EX-CENTRIS / 15$ + tx

This program features rare and unique collaborations by artists who meet and work at the intersection and the integration of the digital audiovisual.

RECONNAISSANCE (Oren Ambarchi & Martin Ng - Autralia, Tina Frank - Austria)

TIM HECKER (Montreal, CA) vs 242 PILOTS (US, Poland, Norway)

*Presented in collaboration with e|i magazine

NOCTURNE 2 / 10:30PM @ METROPOLIS / 25$ + tx

This is an unforgettable night that journeys into the dark visceral heart of the avant-garde for an intense and unpredictable electronic cabaret featuring the mythical Coil in their first North American performance. 


*Presented in collaboration with VICE


A unique opportunity to discover the next wave of talent emerging out of Montreal, with aesthetic approaches that range from experimental hip hop to digital experimentation and sonic manipulations.

MONTAG (Montreal, CA)
OTOTO (Montreal, CA)
[SIC] (Montreal, CA)
SIXTOO - Diesel Powered Systems (Montreal, CA)



The much anticipated return of Richie Hawtin and his label to the roots of minimalism. Supplemented by a selection of strong new talents, this night combines the pleasures of dance with exploratory researches for a key moment of this year's festival.


- MINUS / PLUS 8 label showcase -

MIAU ANALYSIS - visualisations

*Presented by VIA RAIL CANADA, in collaboration with FLYER and CODA

EXPERIENCE 1 / 3PM @ MAIN / 15$ + tx

Four masters of turntable deconstruction do brilliantly inspired and sonically surprising things with record players in homage to turntable pioneer Raymond Gervais.

MARTIN NG (Australia)
THE MOLE (Montreal, CA)



This evening unites an explosive and extravagant cocktail of artists who like to wander off the beaten track. At the center of this exuberant night are Atom Heart and his 8 piece orchestra in their first North American appearance - Señor Coconut's final performance of his playful Latin explorations of Kraftwerk. MUTEK unplugs?

SENOR COCONUT AND HIS ORCHESTRA (Chile, Venezuela Germany, Denmark)
LUCIEN N LUCIANO (Switzerland - Chile)

*Presented in collaboration with ICI MONTREAL and MONTREAL MIRROR

EXPERIENCE 2 / 3PM @ MAIN / 20$ + tx

This program that allies sonic experimentation and a taste for risk finally brings to Montreal the Viennese label MEGO, renowned for spoiling avid enthusiasts of exploration. Digital disintegration, genre confusion and sonic surprises guaranteed!


- MEGO label showcase -
PITA (Austria)
HECKER (Germany)


*Presented in collaboration with GROOVES and CKUT

FINALE / 9PM @ MAIN / 25$ + tx

True to tradition, MUTEK finishes forcefully. The night begins on a high note rich in texture and ambience before culminating in a massive throwdown by the secretive laptop "super group" Narod Niki who are set to incite a collective delirium. Truly a party for the people!

MONOLAKE (Germany)
MAMBOTUR (Chile, Venezuela )
NAROD NIKI - SPECIAL PROJECT (Germany, Chile, Switzerland, Canada, US, France)

*Presented in collaboration with XLR8R, TECHNIKART and ABLETON



Tickets are available online since April 15: WWW.MUTEK.CA

Ticket sales will start May 1st in the following locations:

        HUB : 4040 St-Laurent Blvd., 514-845-8884
       CD ESOTERIK  1841C St. Catherine W  514-937-5192
        ATOM HEART  364B Sherbrooke St. E  514-843-8484

Tickets for Metropolis (May 29, 30 & 31) are also available through ADMISSION starting May 1st: WWW.ADMISSION.COM    1-514-528-2828



The MUTEK team has put together the following special packages, giving you a chance to enjoy MUTEK to the fullest:
   - MUTEK_PASSPORT* (all concerts): $150 (+txs)
   - WEEKEND PASS * (May 30, 31 & June 1): $80 (+txs)

*HURRY! Limited quantities available in limited quantities



FOR VISITORS from out of town, MUTEK has partnered with the Downtown Quality Hotel, conveniently located within walking distance of all festival venues.

RESERVE BEFORE MAY 1ST to get the special MUTEK rate.  All details on this special offer can be found on WWW.MUTEK.CA

Don't wait - places are limited!



The fourth edition of MUTEK is being made possible thanks to the help of a number of valuable partners, collaborators and sponsors.

MUTEK wishes to thank:


GOVERNMENT PARTNERS : Canada Council for the Arts * Ministère des Affaires municipales et de la Métropole * Emploi Québec * Conseil des Arts de Montréal * Department of Canadian Heritage * Musicaction * Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade * Tourisme Québec * Ville de Montréal * British Council * Goethe Institut Inter Nationes * Austrian Cultural Forum * Pro Helvetia

MEDIA PARTNERS : Ici Montréal / Montréal Mirror * XLR8R * Technikart * Flyer * Vice * CBC (Brave New Waves) * SRC (Navire Night) * Bande à part * Convergence * Coda * e|i * Grooves Magazine *  CKUT * Parachute

TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS : Applied Accoustics * Ableton * M-Audio


SPONSORS : Downtown Quality Hotel * AgenceCode *  McAuslan Brewery * Guru * LL Lozeau * MIDEM * Mr Edgar * La Boîte de Comm

MUTEK - 3530, St-Laurent Blvd, Montreal, suite 406, Qc, Canada, H2X 2V1 -


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Death Cab's Gibbard, Dntel's Tamborello Form Postal Service

You can thank the U.S. Postal Service for the upcoming collaborative effort between Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, the brainy electronica music-maker also known as Dntel. The twosome's debut album, Give Up, due from Sub Pop Feb. 18, is the result of 10 months of musical swapping via good ol' snail mail. "It was really great to get a little package every month or two," Gibbard was quoted in a Sub Pop press release.

The duo, aptly calling itself The Postal Service, began bouncing ideas between Tamborello's home in Los Angeles and Gibbard's in Seattle in December of 2001. Gibbard first met Tamborello while paying a visit to Tamborello's roommate, Jealous Sound guitarist Pedro Benito (Gibbard and Benito had become friends when their bands toured together).

Gibbard and Tamborello had previously collaborated when Tamborello (also known for his work with Figurine and Strictly Ballroom) asked Gibbard if he'd add vocals to "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan," which subsequently appeared on Dntel's 2001 longplayer Life Is Full of Possibilities. "It seemed kind of effortless," Tamborello said. "He came down and sang it once and we were just really happy with it."

The positive experience they had on "Evan and Chan" prompted the two to start the Postal Service project. In late 2001, Tamborello began sending Gibbard CD-ROMs of his bass-heavy, layered electronic music. In addition to his distinctive, heartfelt vocals, Gibbard also added guitar, drums and keyboard tracks to the mix with the help of Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla at his Hall of Justice studio. He also wrote the lyrics.

The 10-song album includes: "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," "Such Great Heights," "Sleeping In," "Nothing Better," "Recycled Air," "Clark Gable," "We Will Become Silhouettes," "This Place Is a Prison," "Brand New Colony" and "Natural Anthem."

Though born out of a songwriting process quite different from that used by Death Cab, the record — which also features vocal contributions from Rilo Kiley guitarist/vocalist Jenny Lewis and solo artist Jen Wood — sounds a bit like Death Cab Goes Electronic. "Some of the songs are very much of a Death Cab mode," Gibbard was quoted as saying in a Sub Pop press release. "But people have been commenting, 'Wow, the lyrics are really different.' When somebody is just handing you music and you're supposed to sing over the top of it, it feels different than when you're sitting at home with a guitar trying to write a song."

Gibbard said most of the songs are "just kind of daydreaming and coming up with ideas for songs that aren't necessarily based in reality.... It didn't feel right for all the songs to be breakup-type songs. They just felt more like the kind of songs that you would want to dance to, and you wouldn't want to have a lyric that's super heavy."

One of the songs, "Such Great Heights," was a first for the Death Cab frontman. "'Such Great Heights' is the first time I've ever written a positive love song, where it's a song about being in love and how it's rad, rather than having your heart broken."

The duo plan to tour in the spring, and hope to record more Postal Service albums in the future.

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tim hecker / radio amor / mille plateaux

Also known as Jetone, Canadian Tim Hecker comes at us with his second full-length under his own name. Far from a sonic assault,"Radio Amor" is more of a meditation on noisy texture and fractured melodies. Consisting mainly of what sounds like heavily processed field recordings and piano "Radio Amor" stutters its way through 50-minutes of frozen melodies and glowing nostalgia. Though the source material sounds old (radio perhaps), the compositional techniques and digital production imply an extremely recent vintage. While his editing sometimes seems forced, when he lets the roughness of the source material take over there are some extremely rewarding moments. Track five, "7000 Miles," stands out in particular as Hecker gives the piece a bit more space to develop. Not quite as satisfying as recent somewhat similar efforts by Fennesz or Mitchell Akiyama but a fine release none the less.


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mum / finally we are no one / fat cat

Mum's "Yesterday Was Dramatic" set a whole new standard for electronic music. Not by chance, the young Icelandic quartet expertly blended the world of digital with the world of analog. Amidst the Aphex-styled cut-up beats and bleeps, the album steered far from IDM's icy trappings, instead hovering above lush, green pastures -- warmly melodic and wonderfully organic. Two years later, these same descriptors can and will be used in describing Mum's follow-up, "Finally We Are No One." Their second proper album is, however, a further expansion upon the warmth and feeling of its predecessor. Continuing to draw upon a variety of sources, from programmed beats and synthesized washes to a more traditional assortment of instruments (including guitars, trumpet, accordion, glockenspiel and cello), "Finally We Are No One" is much more majestic in its approach. The digital element, though still very much a keystone, is subdued allowing the melodic elements more room to interlace and drift. (Production credits include Valgeir Siguresson, also noted as an engineer and programmer for Bjork's "Vespertine.") Starting with the slow building bell tones of "Sleep/Swim," a music box melody segues into the shimmering "Green Grass of Tunnel" with the hushed voice of Kristin Valtysdottir, hauntingly ethereal yet playfully childlike. (Her twin sister, Gyda, is the group's cellist.) Like a lucid dream, songs flow in and out of each other, but still remain distinct. Even the bedroom electronics of the almost instrumental "Don't Be Afraid, You Have Just Got Your Eyes Closed," remains graceful throughout its beeps and gurgled beats. Like "Yesterday Was Dramatic," Mum's new offering floats around otherworld lullabies and rich textures, always soothing and quiet. For this one however, Mum have completely surpassed the boundaries of electronica and created a record that is ultra-modern, incredibly organic and instantly a classic.

dntel / life is full of possibilities / plug research

Yet another pastoral techno offering for those cold wintry nights inside. Yet this record is a bit different than others in this rapidly-growing sub-genre of electronic music. Boasting guest vocals from Mia Doi Todd, Brian McMahan (Slint), Rachel Haden and others, DNTEL uses vocals as a textural tool within the songs. You'll hear time-stretched vocal distortions, manipulated acoustic guitar, and accordion combined with the pretty keyboard washes and clicky beats: the combination providing an icy tension that feels like a sudden gust of cold air to the face. I've waited for a while for someone to explore the dichotomy between organic and electronic extremes in a sophisticated way; that eventuality is here and it's worth the wait. If you've appreciated the melancholy of Boards of Canada, Lali Puna and the like, but want a little bitter mixed with the sweet, check this out. One of the best electronic albums I've heard this year.

jan jelinek / la nouvelle pauvrete / scape

Few artist have been able to feel equally comfortable in the realm of experimental sound, and that meant for dance-floor exploration; Jan Jelinek has successfully accomplished both. Drawing from his previous works as Farben and with "Computer Soup," Jelinek and his fictitious band the Exposures have fused both concepts into his latest endeavor "La Nouvelle Pauvrete," creating a beautifully balanced album that is as haunting as it is funky and peaceful. Dry, filtered micro-samples are melded with grainy, glitch rhythms, bringing to life songs that range from murky and somber, to minimal, mystic, bubbly bliss. While Jelinek's previous efforts were exercises based on black music, house or dub, he now supplements these with a segment of musical history new to his compositions -- classic white rock, pop and folk. Jelinek even lends his voice to the mixture, conceptually commenting on the influences of Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra, and Throbbing Gristle. If you believe in the works of Brinkmann and Delay, you must buy this record; you simply can't go wrong

tomas jirku / sequins / force inc

Jirku eschews the familiar (the only sounds you'll recognize here are one richocheting guitar fragment and a vocal snippet) on his second CD for a set of dense, decisive, oblique gestures. His work centers on that hypermodern concept, the fragment. Assembling fragments seems to be the only un-tapped-out method left for modern art, and Jirku's thwips and strains and fizzles all pronouncements for a cut -- not an edit is made without it's requisite 'thwap'. Jirku's music has beats, certainly, and they're jumpy and catchy, with the complex lightness and flexibility of carbon fiber rather than steel's clanky stiffness, with the sequential familiarity of throwing plastic dice over the surface of a boardgame. Definitely one to watch, and on an aesthetic par with Brinkmann, Delay, etc.--I think I even like this even more than those artists' recent work.


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June 01 - 05, 2016 - Mutek Montreal
June 10 - 11, 2016 - Unsound Toronto