I wish I could have made it to Mutek, the pinnacle of all electronic music festivals, held this year in Montreal from May 31-June 4. I won’t be missing next year’s, not after my recent exposure to one of Mutek’s highlights—specifically the sonically precipitous heights reached by Ryoichi Kurokawa in his blistering performance June 1 at Ex Centris.
This video of the performance reveals a revolving electro-treatment plant of rapid succession. Liquid glitch pours into heavy static rubble and hard-driving beats. Kurokawa is also an accomplished visual artist, having done visuals for HUMAN AUDIO SPONGE, an audiovisual performance that featured one of my favorite collaborators in electronic music, Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Kurokawa’s skill cannot be denied in this video, as the mesmerizing montage of intense color and lightning-speed editing provokes a racing pulse, the flooding of synaptic clefts and a dizzying branch of fresh neural-pathways.
Decibel Festival director Sean Horton gave the performance highest acclaim.
“[Kurokawa’s set was] by far my favorite performance at Mutek this past year and the best visuals I’ve ever seen in an electronic music set,” wrote Horton.
Parts of the performance really brought to mind the similiarly seismic music of Neina, especially “Melt,” off the album Formed Verse (Mille-Plateaux). The Neina track features the same feeling of polar oscillation punctuated by fault-rupturing beats and magma drifts.
As Segal noted earlier, the Decibel Festival folks are in the process of wooing Kurokawa into signing onto this year’s festival playbill, which will overwhelm Seattle with its huge talent from Sept 14-17. Nothing for sure just yet.
See Dave’s Post here for the tentative line-up.