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Festival: MUTEK BCN 2024 – Sound & Audiovisual programme highlights

Text by Irem Erkin

Bang 1, Martin Messier with curator Jay Jaehoon.

MUTEK, one of the most innovative and disruptive festivals, returns to Barcelona with a vision that encourages the exchange of ideas with creatives from all over the world and with exceptional avant-garde performances that aim to represent the constant mutation between the past, present and future. The international festival of electronic music and digital creativity MUTEK Barcelona will disrupt the city’s status quo once more, marking a momentous 15th-anniversary edition set to unfold from April 9th to 13th in Barcelona.

This edition, as previous ones, includes both national and international talents, such as the innovative Daito Manabe, the eclectic Vegyn, the collaborative duo Roméo Poirier & Ohme, the ambient virtuoso Grand River, the avant-garde stylings of Yamila, the electronic maven Acid Thermal, the atmospheric Amantra, the genre-blending DJ Metaforas, the experimentalist Efe Ce Ele, the captivating Honeydrip, the sonic explorer LANAV, and the boundary-pushing Jehia

These exceptional artists complement the previously unveiled lineup from December, featuring Autechre, Ricardo Villalobos, Hatis Noit, Martin Messier, Sofia Kourtesis, Nick León & Ezra Miller, Pelada, Actress, DATUM CUT HiTech, Iglooghost, Jlin, Maher Daniel, Michelle, Sian Fan, and SPIME.IMThis brings the total count to an impressive 28 artists, full of novelty and eclecticism, each poised to present captivating live performances, audio-visual shows, and installations across four distinct venues in the city: Sala Apolo, Roca Gallery, Paral-lel 62, and Antigua Fábrica Estrella Damm.

The lineup for the 15th edition of MUTEK Barcelona is now final, with the recently announced inclusion of Daito Manabe. An artist, programmer, and engineer of considerable acclaim, Manabe, in collaboration with the Japan Foundation, graces the city to debut his latest audio-visual spectacle. Daito Manabe will present his AV show, which is rich in high-definition realism through the recognition and recombination of elemental building blocks. Manabe’s groundbreaking approach centres around meticulous observation, unveiling the latent potentialities embedded in the human body, data, programming, computers, and various other phenomena.

MUTEK Barcelona takes off on Tuesday, April 9th, at Sala Apolo with the exclusive concert of the English electronic music ensemble Autechre. Renowned for delivering a classic, enigmatic, and intellectually resonant audio experience, Autechre sets the tone for the evening. On the same night, attendees can anticipate a Live audiovisual presentation by Belgian musician Roméo Poirier in collaboration with the innovative Ohme creative studio. Poirier and Ohme will unveil Tales of Entropy, an immersive audio-visual exhibition curated through the dimensions of generative music production, polarised light microscopy, and computer vision. 

This avant-garde showcase epitomises a convergence of artistic ingenuity, providing an unparalleled sensory experience for the audience.

MUTEK 2023

Five days of music and sonic exploration will delve into the realms of large-scale sensory audiovisual works,  merging image, sound, and technology at the core of the A/Visions program. The convergence of artificial intelligence, neuroscience, modular synthesizers, and analogue visual landscapes intertwines with lyrical art and electronic vibrations, delivering an organic and transformative experiential journey. Hatis Noit marks the live debut of the acclaimed album Aura, inviting audiences into poignant and nostalgic soundscapes. Additionally, Martin Messier is set to unveil his latest project, 1 Drop 1000 Years, making its premiere in Spain. This original performance contemplates a fundamental process for the balance of life: homeostasis.

DATUM CUT will showcase their current projects, aiming to forge connections between outdated media and modern technologies, exploring novel aesthetic possibilities.

Enthusiasts of the festival will also immerse themselves in five evenings of curated listening programs within an intimate setting designed to capture the original and captivating essence of delicate live performances in Antigua Fàbrica Estrella Damm. This series spotlights both local and international artists, featuring debuts and premieres from emerging talents. Efe Ce Ele will showcase a Live AV performance, navigating the realms of experimentation and emotionality while addressing the contrasting concepts within the binary culture.

Grand River, in collaboration with the Instituto Italiano di Cultura Barcelona, will present All Above (Editions Mego, 2023), a Live AV show delving into the depths of orchestral sound, organic textures, electronics, and synthesis. Noemi Büchi will debut her album Matter, capturing the tension between growth and decay, consonance and dissonance—a reflection of Büchi’s personal catharsis expressed through music.

SPIME.IM will premiere their live audio-visual show Grey Line, a raw and sincere exploration of contemporary issues such as the inevitability of climate change and humanity’s impact on the Earth. Additionally, Yamila will revisit the emotional textures of Spanish folklore and the possibilities within contemporary electronica, bringing her haunting, evocative, and emotionally transcendent sound to MUTEK for the first time, courtesy of Wallonie-Bruxelles Musiques.

Once again, MUTEK Barcelona returns with a remarkable sensory spectacle, offering an extraordinary fusion of audiovisual delights and a musical feast for both the eyes and ears.

Tickets are available from this link

(Media courtesy of MUTEK Barcelona)
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