Tag Archives: Mutek

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CKUT x MUTEK: An interview with Beatrice Dillon

As part of our ongoing MUTEK coverage, CKUT’s own Cyan (of Modular Systems) chatted with the London-based artist, producer, and NTS resident Beatrice Dillon. Read the full transcript below and get to know this prolific, boundary-pushing sound wiz.

C: Does your work as a DJ / radio host influence your own music production?

BD: It’s usually the other way round, I approach DJing as a musician so I search for music that connects with my own in some way – through production, attitude etc. Being on NTS gives me the chance to showcase all sorts of music and hopefully highlight some of the more unknown weirder stuff.

C: Are there any common musical themes/connections/processes that you draw on?

BD: I try to look beyond the 4/4 as that is covered really well by other DJs across NTS. I’m more interested in reduced ideas, unfamiliar time structures etc, I also like to balance newer and older music but to be honest it’s up to the listener..  I actually just play things I like!

C: What do you personally find interesting in a dj set as a listener?

BD: I’m always excited by twists and turns in DJ sets, moments where it could go wrong. I love watching DJs that enjoy the full capacity of a sound system – highs/lows etc..so the set becomes quite sculptural.


C: One of the aims of Mutek is to showcase digital creativity. I was wondering how you would see your work in that context, or not?

BD: Well I use a computer and digital instruments all the time so it’s a huge part of what I do. Like a lot of people, I slightly obsess over technology and what might be possible for me but there’s always an interest in combining approaches. I’ve just produced a commission for a German artist, Jorinde Voigt, who makes beautiful large-format drawings which connect ideas across pattern language, diagramatic expression, algorithmic impulses, colour theory etc and I invited classically-trained cellist, Lucy Railton and Japanese percussionist, Kenichi Iwasa to perform with me as a contrast to the digital.

C: I wanted to know what motivates your collaborations – are you looking for particular types of collaborators, projects or ideas or does this just happen through personal friendships for example? How do your collaborative experiences influence your individual working practice?

BD: Usually through friendships. There’s always something to be gained from listening to someone else.

C: What are some of your upcoming artistic projects post-Mutek?

BD: I have a 12” on Hessle Audio which is a more club focused collaboration with Call Super and a remix for Ploy on the great Bristol label, Timedance. Then I’m focusing on a commission for a sound piece installed in a large cave in the north of England this autumn. Finishing a new solo record, a remix and continuing with some some new solo visual work. Plus, there are live and DJ sets booked too, so it’s a busy few months ahead, looking forward to it!

To learn more about Modular Systems and Traktion, check out Cyan’s website


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CKUT x MUTEK Present buffalo MRI’s Montreal Sessions

As part of our ongoing Montreal Sessions residency, CKUT and MUTEK are thrilled to be welcoming one of our favourite local sound-benders, Dominique Alexander, back into the studio. Familiarize yourself with her excellent work below and catch her live on the air from 3-5pm, streaming from your faithful source ckut.ca.

buffalo MRI is the solo project of Montréal-based experimental musician Dominique Alexander. Since 2013, Alexander has developed an approach focused on prepared tape, field recordings, sampler performance, and fluctuation between structure and improvisation. Her creative process employs a wide range of techniques and sound sources, from voyeuristic moments and spontaneous background noises caught on tape to plunderphonics-style sample work and everywhere in between. From a given handful of recordings, Alexander manages to extract minute details and reconfigure them, weaving unrelated sounds into new images in performance.

As well as having made solo appearances at numerous one-off events and festivals in Montreal, including POP and Suoni Per Il Popolo, Alexander has performed elsewhere in Québec, Ontario, and the United States, with further touring slated for this fall. Her work has also taken the form of collaboration both within music and across disciplines. She is currently one half of experimental duo Urlapse with Joshua Bastien, and in 2016 she worked with visual artists Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau and choreographer Sarah Wendt to compose and perform a live score for their work The Rules, debuted at Montréal’s OFFTA Festival.

Outside of music performance, Alexander has worked in curatorial and academic capacities, giving guest lectures at Concordia University on the history of musique concrète and tape music as well as on the representation and visibility of women in electronic and experimental music. For a one-month residency at McGill University’s CKUT radio station, she hosted the weekly experimental music program If You Got Ears and will continue to appear as a regular guest on the show for future editions. While working to prepare her MUTEK debut, Alexander is also crafting a future release that functions as a reimagining of the “DJ tools” format, her first released work as buffalo MRI in over two years.

You can hear her hosting CKUT’s MUTEK x Montreal Sessions on Tuesday, August 22nd from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Photo: Thomas Boucher



Hi folks,
We’re gearing up for back-to-school, Reggae Fest, and MUTEK — I swear, there never a dull moment in this city… I also got to catch excellent local sound-benders Urlapse the other night, highly recommended for those with brave ears! Tell me what you’re listening to these days?

Throughout the month of August, we’re continuing to highlight performers from this year’s edition of MUTEK on our residency program The Montreal Sessions. Tune inevery Tuesday from 3-pm for a wide range of performers and curators from this true heavyweight of the electronic festival scene. Can’t catch the shows live? Find the full audio for stream or download here.


ckut top 30 – august 15, 2017
1. sound of the mountain – amplified clarinet & trumpet – mystery and wonder CC *
2. le fruit vert – paon perdu – three:four CC *
3. tiny vipers – laughter – ba da bing!
4. markus floats – first album – self-released CC *
5. yoo doo right – ep2 – second best records CC * Continue reading

Nils Frahm @ MUTEK A/Vision 5

Nils Frahm + Pantha Du Prince @ MUTEK 6/2

Nils Frahm @ MUTEK A/Vision 5

Nils Frahm @ MUTEK A/Vision 5

Everyone enters the concert hall and immediately takes a panorama shot of the space. It is pretty spectacular. Subtly strobing lights trace across the very spaceship-like interior of the Maison Symphonique. A gargantuan pipe organ peeks out from behind the stage, which, with its pianos, marimbas, and chimes, looks to be the very antithesis to MUTEK. Nils Frahm enters to a low drone and proceeds to play his third (!) set of the weekend. He genuflects after the first song and humbly explains that he wasn’t quite sure what to do after his previous two sets. The crowd cheers him on. “Do whatever!” An hour later, after delicate piano suites, bombastic synth chargers, propulsive and rhythmic playing on–and in–a grand piano, Nils Frahm receives a standing ovation. The most poignant set of the weekend, by far.

Pantha Du Prince

Pantha Du Prince @ MUTEK A/Vision 5

Though charged with headlining duties, Pantha Du Prince and The Bell Laboratory had a tough act to follow. Taking full advantage of the number of performers and the size of their instruments, the sextet spent much of their time bringing the audience into a head-space of swirling bells. Rolling chime patterns played by austere men in gray aprons carries a certain monastic quality to it, but by the time Pantha Du Prince got behind his computer setup, the show launched full force into a cross between minimalist composition and minimal techno. Think big. Two marimba players doubling a pattern of bright stabs, augmented by percussion of all sorts, bowed, tapped, and resonating. Add a huge, but tasteful, kick drum. It felt theatrical and beautiful to see such rich soundscapes play out over Pantha Du Prince’s restrained electronic grooves. Then there was the part where the audience literally lept to its feet for the finale. “I know this sounds nerdy to say, but I think concert halls do better with a bit of dancing,” mused one concert-goer as we left the huge space. Agreed.

Laurel Halo @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Laurel Halo + John Talabot + Nosaj Thing @ MUTEK 6/1

Laurel Halo @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Laurel Halo @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Laurel Halo takes the stage in an oversized black tee and half acid washed jeans. Three bros rush to the guard rail at the front. Laurel Hal-bros are not to be disappointed. Drawing on the material before and after her 2012 album, Quaristice, she played a set that didn’t really defy your expectations of straight forward rhythm, as much as it took those expectations, locked them in the pantry and proceeded to have an occult dance party outside the door. “I like her pajamas,” said a friend near the end of her set, but to me Laurel Halo looked like a druid. Marshmallow synths, tribal low end, shrill feedback, double double toil and wobbles. A truly trippy seance.

Jon Talabot @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Jon Talabot @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

John Talabot seemed more interested intent on exploring the wilderness around the cult worshipping Laurel Halo was doing. This made for more bird sounds. Big synth bass and two chord progressions whipped the crowd into a frenzy but struck me as too straight. It’s possible I was still in the spirit realm after the last set. I opted for ghoulish beatsmith Nosaj Thing instead.

Nosaj Thing @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Nosaj Thing @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Those kick drums don’t let up. It’s like this: Nosaj is playing Tekken at an arcade. Every punch is a wallop of sub bass. The jabs are snare drums. You are a punching bag for this. Swift and deft behind a flat-brim and a laptop, Nosaj Thing often seems possessed by the ghost of the 32nd note–twisting and tearing wormholes into the atmospheres of his productions. The spirit of boom bap is alive and well, but it’s grafted onto the body of its descendants. Distant cousins of dubstep basses erupt over intricate drum patterns, then to be tempered by ominous melody. It’s no surprise why this guy was tapped by Flying Lotus as one to watch–and that made it all the more special when he dropped Getting There off of Until the Quiet Comes. The crowd flipped, and in the space between the beats, they went “WOO.”

One more night/day to cover the shows–stay tuned!

Empty Set

Emptyset + Jon Hopkins @ MUTEK 5/31

Empty Set

Empty Set @ MUTEK Nocturne 3

There’s space in the front at Metropolis. Pale lime press necklaces are everywhere. It must be half full but it feels loud with talk. Empty Set take the stage behind huge monolithic chunks of metal spewing wires. Take a bright white triangle and dip it in tar–this is Empty Set’s music. A lot of it is made by pitting the acoustic resonance of natural spaces against bursts of static and sub oscillators. Live, the crowd becomes resonator. Syncopated low end turns your nose into a kick drum, the cartilage into the drum head. Shrapnels of white noise ricochet off illuminated bodies. The whole thing is visceral to the umpteenth degree. “Welcome to MUTEK” it spells out in the charged air.

Jon Hopkins @ MUTEK Nocturne 4

Jon Hopkins @ MUTEK Nocturne 3

By comparison, Jon Hopkins’ set was cozy. Warm bass squiggles and distended piano figures over rolling, interlocking rhythms made for a whole lot of head bobbing. Jon himself doesn’t appear to stop moving on stage, bouncing across his set-up, firing off percussive taps on his Kaoss Pads. When I spoke with him last month, he talked about trying to make “infectious grooves” on his new album, Immunity. Seeing him carry an audience through an hour or so of unbroken rise and fall certainly felt like a proof of concept. Amplified microscopy filled the wall behind him, and it felt good hearing small sounds on a big system.

Take a listen to a tune from Jon Hopkins here and stay tuned for more coverage of MUTEK!


MUTEK Sessions, part deux: an on-air hang out with Marie Davidson of DKMD!

Tune into the MUTEK Sessions from 3-5pm today to listen to Dan Melon spin some rad electronic music and hang with Marie Davidson (DKMD). Huzzah!

Missed last week’s show with Patti Schmidt? No worries, you can check out the playlist and archive right here.


May’s Montreal Sessions: MUTEK SESSIONS

Tune into the first edition of Cyan and Dan Melon’s Montreal Sessions radio residency tomorrow from 3-5pm! We’re calling it MUTEK SESSIONS because the two will be focusing on the programming of this year’s MUTEK festival. Expect rad guests and music selected by two folks with excellent ear for the best in electronica every Tuesday in May from 3-5pm.

UPDATE: First guest was Patti Schmidt>>> Check out the archive.



The 11th Annual Mutek Festival Kicks off on the 03 of june

Check out the Schedule to see what Mutek has is store for this year.

Tune in to your favorite radio station for mutek previews, interviews and special

live performances.

On the May 30th edition of Modular Systems,  DJ Cyan gave an over view of the festival

and played some select picks and spins by artists playing the festival : listen to the show

New Shit had a very special guests in studio from Syndey Australia, Pimmon

accompanied by a silent visual artist/filmaker  Dappler Effect , came in for an interview

with Erin and Aj, and played a live set on Monday May 31st edition on New Shit.

Pimmon with Dappler effect will be performing together at the Friday  A/Visions 3

event at the Monument National. listen

A Silent Action Film, Tueday mornings 1-2am will feature a festival preview with an

experimenta/ambient edge. The programme will featuring music and information on

some of this year’s performers.