Day 5: Drum Machines / DJs

Aaaand we’re over the hump.  It is Sunday morning (may not actually be morning), and MUTEK is almost over.  But before I go sit in a park and listen to Move D, let me tell you about last night.

Actually, let me tell you about Move D last night, making live magic with Juju & Jordash as Magic Mountain High.  In addition to performing in the middle of concentric hexagons, they wove together classic-sounding live jams on nothing but hardwave, keys, a guitar, and, of course, a melodica.  Not only was there a melodica, there was a seven-minute melodica noodle jam.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from these cats, as improv stuff can go over the deep end very fast, but I came out a big fan.

Next was back to the MAC for Pinch.  My bass-music friends from out west were excited about this cat, and for good reason.  He raced through a too-short set of sparse, deep dubstep, borderline industrial techno, and all sorts of tempos.  With the exception of the very out of place ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’ encore, this was austerity music:  cold, hard-edged, and against you.   People loved it.

People also loved Lee Bannon, on right after Pinch.  Never, ever underestimate the power of jungle, especially not after an entire festival of stripped-back, polite house/techno.  Bannon smashed it, as I believe the kids say these days.  It is interesting to note how applicable the cut-up Amen sound is to modern live performance:  all FX and crazy edits, all the time.

From there, however, I had to leave to see Ricardo.  I had my skeptic’s hat on a bit about Mr. Villalobos, and I am delighted to say that the man delivers.  Three decks, two CDJs, tons of personality, and the guts to run a room full of lusty-for-kick-drum kids through an hour of weird records before a half hour of bangers (Yes, he really did play a remix of ‘Girl I’ll House You’).  Then, back to weird records for 45 minutes, then a colossal dancehall / trance /techno thing, then more heads-down techno.

I fled at 0510, in my continuing battle with the MUTEK cold, but I can’t say enough good things about him:  I’d trust him to DJ my wedding

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