Nocturne 4 – BEYOND THE AUTOBAHN @ Métropolis | 11pm
The centerpiece of Mutek 2011 did not disappoint, proving a more than fitting culmination of the forces unleashed on Wednesday’s opening night. Though Four Tet delivered an energetic and commanding live set that kept the room excited, lesser known acts awed audiences, even from the small, secondary stage in the Savoy room. Many were buzzing about the BC artists holding it down on the periphery Savoy room for Vancouver’s New Forms Festival, proving Canada’s west coast can hold their own. Calamalka wowed the crowd, but Monolithium took it even further, proving to be the name to remember for the night with his high energy take on instrumental hip-hop and electronic music. In the same vein as Flying Lotus, he takes controllerism to the next level, banging out beats on his Ohmi6i4 MIDI controller while maintaining a charismatic and energetic performance. Armed with groove, wicked beats, a good ear for melody and dynamics, and a west coast sense of space, Monolithium is about to blow up. Keep an eye out for his new EP, Simon & G-funk via Error Broadcast.
Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden is clearly a man at the top of his game, cool and confident in manning his sequencer, working the crowd with an emphasis on the low end, and culminating a strong set with a lovely extended version of “Angel Echoes” from last year’s There Is Love In You. While James Holden kept the crowd partying until the sun came up, the highlight of the evening was Austrian guitar-bass-drums trio Elektro Guzzi. Without any reliance on samplers, sequencers or computers, the group manage the feat of recreating 4/4 electronic dance music by employing “real” instruments. Their combination of innovation, creativity and sheer precision allow them to accomplish this serious endeavor, as if Kraftwerk had come full circle. The drummer, possibly the most amazing human metronome since the late Jerry Fuchs, deserves an award for that fact alone. Four Tet was a welcome change for bringing in looser elements and a broader palette of interesting sound, but the artistry by which these three live musicians produce their sound was the zenith of the evening. Unless you live in Austria, you may have to be kicking yourself for a while for having missed this. Look for their debut LP out through Macro with an EP and live album to follow shortly.