Rough Trade

Mutek Montreal 2013 wound to a brilliant close with a series of extraordinary events. For me the day's music started off with Piknik Elektronik and one of my favourite producers, San Proper. The Amsterdam producer and DJ did not disappoint with typically amazing music and truly bizarre stage banter and swagger.

  <p>As soon as San Proper finished up, I rushed over to the Symphony Hall to hear an unplanned second fill-in set from German pianist Nils Frahm and then the main event, Pantha Du Prince. Frahm's A/Visions concert earlier in the week had been a much talked about event, I'd caught only the end so I was happy to hear more. Frahm moved from piano to piano to synth, weaving a new age meets classical meets electronic web of sound that once again dazzled the audience. I have to admit that the sublime final encore I'd heard at the previous event had blown me away more than this unplanned second set, but that may have had to do with the fact that Frahm had not expected to be playing this concert, and may have largely improvised; he'd made a disclaimer at the beginning of the set indicating that he wasn't sure what to do since a good chunk of the audience had probably already heard him do the set he'd prepared for.</p>

  <p>Pantha Du Prince followed with a jubilant, ecstatic concert of music featuring The Bell Laboratory, a group of musicians playing steel drum, gong, marimba, hand bells and other bell-like instruments. I was previously unfamiliar with Pantha Du Prince but this concert dazzled me and everyone else present. As the music exploded into a glorious mix of orchestral and house music bliss, the audience began to erupt into the aisles and stand up form their seats to dance. The lab-coated band exited through the aisles of the hall, performing a hand bell piece.  Standing ovations prolonged the perfect final concert hall event of the festival. I've been subsequently listening a lot to the Pantha Du Prince &amp; The Bell Laboratory album, Elements of Light, getting more and more into it; it's truly brilliant and if you're not familiar, I can't recommend it enough.</p>

  <p>I headed to VIP for refuelling before heading to SAT for the final club event. I caught the last two acts, Juan Atkins &amp; Moritz Von Oswald, and Juju &amp; Jordash. Although Atkins and Von Oswald are techno music legends, I found their set a bit tepid. It was good, but not shockingly good. Juju &amp; Jordash followed with an improvised set that was full of jaw-dropping moments of technical and musical flash and wizardry. This was a great final  set for the festival, but at some point it was late, and I was burnt out from seeing a week's worth of late night music and eventually it started to feel like it was going on forever, and I was happy that the festival was over. But already thinking about next year. </p>

  <p>If you haven't checked out Mutek, I've gotta say it's a very cool festival, an interesting mix of electronic and experimental music but also a very strong visual art component that really impressed me, and the fact that they split shows between clubs and concert halls really is brilliant.   </p>

  <p><small class="muted">Creative Commons Photo by <a href="">saschapohflepp</a></small></p>