Day 6: Summer / Smoke Machines

It was supposed to rain all week, and then maybe get sunny for Piknic.  Then, due to special magic, it got sunny on Wednesday and stayed sunny for Piknic.  Special magic indeed.

I arrived at the (gorgeous, beside a lake) venue just in time to catch the bonus Ricardo Villalobos, who is even better suited to loose, mellow summertime stages than he is to big, pounding clubs.  The man who never stands straight played deep house/tech/pop, almost certainly didn’t sleep between his set at Metropolis and this set, and was basically sublime in all ways.

Next up was Mr. Move D, one of my favorite ‘house’ DJs over the past two years or so.  He plays slightly cloudy, slightly dancefloor, entirely sophisticated, and beatifically casual.  Like Villalobos, he is not in a hurry.  Catch him if you can, bring him some red wine, maybe, and you’ll both be all smiles.

From two very laid back Germans to a very fast-moving Englishman, Pinch‘s DJ set was a serious counterpoint. Proving that it is never too sunny to play heavy dubstep / techno / etc, the man from Bristol brought weight of all sorts:  call it comprehensive dubstep, with liberal splashes of grime and techno.

I fled from Piknic, ignoring Donato Dozzy’s hypnotic techno in favour of dinner and a moment to rest sore feet, before heading to the MAC for The Mole’s ex-pat techno, and Nicholas Jaar’s improv opus, From Scratch.

Let’s talk about the long one first:  Jaar’s joint include bespoke visuals, a saxophone, a piano, lots of samples from vinyl, a dancer, a singer, and so on.  Issues about coherence aside, I need to give Jaaar a lot of love for doing something so bold:  if it had been on, say, a Friday evening at a place where I had a comfy chair, I probably would have sat through the whole thing.  As it was, I gave in to both the desire to sleep, and the desire for dance music.

And the dance music!  The Mole had assembled some variation on his live act, which varied from a 3-piece to a 6-piece at various times – and often featuring two of three guerrilla dancers.  They started deep, they pulled vocals off of vinyl, they had a cat on live guiro, they got their party on.  Given that I only had two hours in me, they were my choice – but I’d sure like to sit down with Jaar’s set for four or so hours at another time.

And that was MUTEK.  It was fantastic.

 

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