Sunday, May 31, 2009


Had an awesome dinner at Méchant Boeuf, a bar/brasserie nestled in the shadow of the Notre Dame Cathedral. The service was as excellent as the food -- fast, attentive, and friendly. There was a 30 minute wait for a table, so we sat at the bar, and then unexpectedly, they came over and set up a small table for us! Very nice :)

After the hot beef injection, we headed over to Metropolis for the fourth installment of Nocturne. Playing in the main room when we arrived was dOP, a French trio who I was really looking forward to seeing. I've been a pretty big fan of their releases over the past year, so their first-ever North American performance was pretty enticing. Unfortunately, like most acts that employ live vocals, I found their performance fairly underwhelming. Guess I just prefer a polished studio sound when it comes to singing. They closed their set with I'm Just A Man, a fantastic release, but live it just meandered into mediocrity, with the singer sounding out of breath and hoarse, probably due to the entire bottle of vodka he was swigging throughout the performance.

Next up was the interesting combination of Dandy Jack and Mathew Jonson. I have seen both of them perform solo previously, and really enjoyed both, so together it seemed they should be even better or a dumbed-down amalgam of the two. It ended up being somewhere inbetween. It was an excellent set, no doubt, but not mind-blowing. Lots of spacey spastik synths dancing over sharp fast-paced beats. It got a bit deeper towards the end, which I enjoyed. I'm always puzzled over who does what in these team-ups, but from what I know of their work, the emphasis sounded to be coming from Dandy Jack. Certainly one of the most solid sets I've heard at Mutek so far, and it got the whole crowd moving.

Just before the Jack/Jonson set concluded, I headed to the Savoy room to catch Pezzner, a Seattle native just picked up by Free Range records, one of my favorite labels of late. As I mentioned before, Pezzner had thouroughly impressed me with his live set in Detroit, possibly moreso because I had never heard of him before. His set in Savoy was just as good, although with a somewhat of a lull towards the middle. He picked it back up though, and from the cheers and whistles, the rest of the crowd was enjoying him as much as I was.

Around 3am, I headed back to the main room to catch the end of the tobias. set. Solid chugging techno, but ultimatley I found it uninteresting. After going overtime for about 10 minutes, tobias. left the stage and made way for Carl Craig. I was curious to see if Craig would perform much differently here as compared to Detroit. His set at Movement was fairly dull, and felt like he was just there for the paycheck. His always-expressionless face gave no insight as to how he felt about it either. Craig began his set with what I can only describe as an asinine over-the-top masturbatory intro track that seemed to say "Hey look at me, I'm famous." A full 15 minutes later, the first beat finally dropped. I had decided to give him two tracks to garner my interest, and he utterly failed. When he actually started playing something danceable, it was the same old epic stadium techno that every Detroit godfather seems to have a hard drive full of. I guess after so long in the game, it might get kind of hard to not just phone it in.

I departed from the main room to give Jeremy Ellis a try before heading back to the hotel. Glad I did! Finally something different and entertaining. Although it came off a bit like a novelty act, Ellis' banging away on two drum units with his chin, elbows, and insanely quick fingers, was refreshing, funky, and very fun. His "freestyle" on the spot creations, using hip-hop and retro percussion samples were probably the most unique thing I've seen the whole time here. Despite his applaudible efforts, my sleepiness soon got the better of me, and I headed back.

Once again, check back for photos to accompany this post in a day or so! I gotta run now... Villalobos awaits!

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