Abandoned Footwear & arc
Abandoned Footwear is the alias of musicians Jay Fields and Michael Buchanan. Buchanan has been writing electronic music for over 15 years with the collaborative projects Nommo Ogo and Seacrypt, and his solo project Identity Theft. He has released music on Record Label Records, Katabatik, Oraculo and Falco Invernale. Fields has been producing and performing music as Exillon since 2003, with releases on Ad Noiseam, Detroit Underground, Tigerbeat6, Zod Records, Puzzling Records, Terminal Dusk, and Component Records. Together, they play a skewed form of “abandoned house” music using an entirely hardware synth and drum machine based system.
They perform at this year’s MUTEK.SF with arc, a visual art project investigating immaterial states, framing the space of encounter as a site of unfixed ritual and sensory research. arc has been presented at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Massart Film Society (Boston), NDSM Treehouse (Amsterdam), and L’ Abominable (Paris/La Courneuve), among others.
Alex Trujillo, is a Northern California-based artist specializing in digital tech art installations ranging from physical materials such as stainless steel, mirrors, wood, acrylic, programmable LED lights, projectors and video screens. Alex often works in building immersive environments using structure, light and sound. Alex has worked in a professional career in architecture, motion graphics, 3D, audio and video production.
The dark and mysterious sounds of Berlin-based music duo Amnesia Scanner have solidified their standing as leaders in the underground, pushing the boundaries of the avant-garde electronic. Sound is only part of the package though. The self-described XperienZ Designers craft unique live performances, layering music and performance together in all their bizarre brilliance. Amnesia Scanner bends time into techno, bass into dark wave and stretches our conceptions of noise and music for something wholly unique and all their own. Previously, they’ve had notable appearances at the 2018 editions of Sónar and CTM Festivals. 2018 also saw the release of Another Life, which Resident Advisor called “a complete sensory overload you can't turn away from” and “the duo's most triumphant release yet.” Before becoming Amnesia, the duo produced techno as Renaissance Man.
Arpanet is the solo project of the artist operating as Heinrich Mueller. In his other guises, he is also known as a Detroit techno and electro auteur and one of the masterminds behind Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, NRSB-11, and Der Zyklus. Arpanet, as the name implies, encompasses both the ideas of electronics (especially electronic music created by synthesizers like the ARP) and connectivity, a reference to the original ARPANET which was one of the precursors to the internet as we know it.
West Coast Premiere.
BLEIE & Chelley Sherman
Drawing on elements of xenofeminism, alchemy, and metaphysics, Chelley Sherman and BLEIE use audiovisual media as both lens and mirror in the pursuit of a more direct and clear language for the process of transmutation. In the construction of their audiovisual performance, they symbolically navigate through representations of motion around an undisclosed center. The sonic journey interweaves with the visual representation of micro to macrocosmic transformations, exploring time dilation through a three dimensional space.
Chelley Sherman is a virtual artist from San Francisco. Her work is governed by patterns and texture which harness the neural systems that underlie enthrallment in darkness, ritual, reverie. Her practice consists of experiments in extended realities, virtual and augmented, as well as interactive sound installations and AV performances. Using computational methods and researching cognitive processes of perception, she explores the relationship between light and sound and resulting psychoacoustic effects in spatial sonic architectures and landscapes. She has presented installation and performance work at media arts festivals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York. She has also given talks and lectures at IDEO, Gray Area, and Adobe Research.
BLEIE is a San Francisco-based producer and performer, creating hardware and computer based experimental electronic music ranging from mercurial noisescapes to a more cerebral and singular techno. Her work is both a personal sublimation made public, and an attempt to mutate predominant narratives.
Byetone is the work of artist Olaf Bender, whose creative work began in film and has progressed into multifaceted music endeavors. Through his early experimentations in film, he came into contact with the East German underground band AG Geige, later becoming a permanent member of the group in 1988. Following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Bender worked in music distribution, eventually taking his industry experience and founding the record label Rastermusic in 1996. Rastermusic would go on to merge with Carsten Nicolai's Noton sublabel to form Raster-Noton in 1999. Since the label’s founding, Bender has also produced solo work as Byetone, releasing his first record on Raster-Noton in 2008. His music presents a minimalist rhythm-based style signature to his work, embodying an archaic, rebellious sound full of energy. As Byetone, Bender has produced remixes for artists such like Modeselektor and VCMG, as well as sound works for fashion designers like Rick Owens, Nina Ricci or NikeLab. In addition to being part of Raster-Noton's supergroup Signal, he is also part of the duo Diamond Version (together with Carsten Nicolai) that released a series of EPs and a full-length record on Mute Records in 2013.
Originally from Caracas, Camila Magrane grew up alternating between two worlds, living between her father’s native US and her mother’s homeland of Venezuela. This double exposure has giber her work a greater understanding of what it means to have various perspectives. After graduating from film school, she freelanced as an editor and camera operator, eventually landing in the game industry as a cinematic artist. Most recently, Magrane has been exploring the involvement of technology and interactivity in art. She has been most noted for the creation of her “digital photogram collages” where she has established a postmodern aesthetic by combining traditional darkroom techniques with the use of digital tools.
Liquid Loom is the work of science-artist Cere Davis, a kinetic sculptor and science educator based in the Bay Area. With a degree in physics and an early career working in scientific fields ranging from volcanic lightning to liquid crystals to research in Antarctica, her works are analog experiments in emergent dynamics which connect new forms of media/interactive art and kinetic sculpture. As a part of her work, she collaborates with scientists and artists to inspire scientific curiosity and participatory learning through interactive art and critical making. Liquid Loom is an optokinetic arrangement in which Davis builds a bridge between digital art and material culture. The dynamic interplay between invisible charges and liquid crystal leave behind visually resonant footprints as they are born, reborn, grow, change and slowly fade away.
Cool Maritime & Emily Sprague
As Cruel Diagonals, Megan Mitchell composes unsettling, ethereal music, drawing on her history as a jazz and classically trained vocalist. Influenced by early experimental filmmakers such as Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger, her work has been described in cinematic terms, evoking moods and montages of an eerie, surrealist timbre. Mitchell performs and creates in numerous capacities, releasing critically acclaimed albums with Drawing Room Records and Longform Editions and acting as proprietor of the left-of-field music index for non-male composers, Many Many Women. She is also an avid researcher, holding a Master in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Washington specializing in audio archiving and visiting and documenting places of abandoned industry with her field recorder and camera in tow. Cruel Diagonals is an outlet for destructive sample processing, vocal exploration, and a palette for inter-media contemplations and applications. Warped field recordings and layered vocals incite a beckoning to a phantasmagorical, metallic-tinged state of existence.
Spanning over four decades of work, Bay Area musician Carolyn Fok (CYRNAI) specializes in electronic experimental music, composing and producing with synthesizers, piano, guitar, and percussion. Her adventures in sound began at the tender age of 9, recording stories into a tape recorder and experimenting with her father’s musical instruments and effects units. By the age of 16, Fok had become inspired by pioneering industrial electronic artists like Cabaret Voltaire, as well as anarcho-punk acts such as Crass. Her debut release as CYRNAI, 1985’s cassette-only Parts of The Insomniac Wheel, was issued on the Ladd/Frith label, followed by Hypno-Seizure and the 12” EP ‘Charred Blossoms’ the following year and two versions of ‘To Subtle-Drive’ (1989/1990). She has recently embarked on an ambitious project that involves releasing her vast archive of music via her website Memoir Of Sound.
As Diagraf, Montréal-based DJ, VJ, designer, and filmmaker Patrick Trudeau constructs mesmerizing visual narratives deeply linked to music. His visual style combines minimalist graphic elements and complex evolutive particles systems with emotive cinematic content. Keenly tuned in to the sounds of the musicians and producers he works alongside, Diagraf often creates original content inspired by their music, calling himself a reverse filmmaker as he edits his images live while the musical performance unfolds. As well as launching his Unreal Dwelling Studio in 2009 for his various projects, Trudeau also produces music and video with audiovisual performance group Orbital Mechanics, honing his craft with the latest technology and increasingly working with generative elements and immersive content to develop a visual language that crosses sensory boundaries. At home in dome, multiscreen and all manner of performative contexts, Diagraf has intertwined his images with the music of Ricardo Villalobos, Max Cooper, Voices From the Lake, Pheek, The Field and more.
Paris collective DISNOVATION.ORG was started by Nicolas Maigret (FR) and Maria Roszkowska (PL). At the intersection of contemporary art, research, and hacking, they develop situations of disruption, speculation, and debate, in order to question dominant techno-positivist ideologies, and stimulate post-growth technological narratives. Their research includes artworks, curation, and publications. In 2018, they received a Design Trust Grant (Hong Kong) for a research about China’s Shanzhai culture Their work has been presented at numerous art centers and festivals internationally such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Transmediale (Berlin), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), FILE (Sao Paulo), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Strelka Institute (Moscow), ISEA (Hong Kong), Elektra (Montréal), China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing), and the Chaos Computer Congress (Hamburg). They are currently visiting researchers at the University of California, Irvine.
Since 2013, Doc Sleep has been the co-owner of Jacktone Records, specializing in techno, ambient, and experimental electronics and recognized by Fact Magazine as one of the Top 10 labels of the year in 2018. She cut her chops as a DJ in San Francisco’s vibrant dance scene over the past decade, before making the move to Berlin and becoming a resident of Room 4 Resistance. In 2019 she released an EP on her home turf of Jacktone, with another release from Dark Entries on the way. Doc Sleep has contributed solo and collaborative tracks and remixes to Dark Entries, 100% Silk, Discwoman/Allergy Season, Tribal, Run the Length of Your Wildness, Twirl, and Outpost, to name a few. She's DJ'd throughout North America and Europe, including Panorama Bar and Saule, Tresor, De School, Lux Fragil, Dance Tunnel, Under Bron, Kaiki and Aaniwalli, Elsewhere and Hot Mass.
Inimitable electro duo Dopplereffekt are one of the most mysterious, thrilling and consistently challenging entities in electronic music. Originated by Gerald Donald, one-half of Drexciya and responsible for era-defining releases under a variety of enigmatic aliases, the current iteration of the group includes Donald and fellow explorer To-Nhan. Together, the pair’s razor-sharp production and a peerless capacity for transportive soundscapes are as likely to reference concepts embedded in physics and biology as they are capable of moving crowded dancefloors. Dopplereffekt inhabit a unique contemporary sonic world, with a restless creativity and intense commitment to carving out their own musical space.
In recent years, the duo resurfaced on Berlin’s Leisure System label with 2013’s Tetrahymena EP, the wildly well-received split Hypnagogia 12” with Objekt and 2017’s Cellular Automata, their first LP in ten years since 2007’s Calabi Yau Space on Rephlex. Cellular Automata approaches mathematical growth and decay as an iterative process, with each data input considered individually relative to the overall model. The result represents one of the group’s boldest creative endeavors, defying expectations while remaining unmistakably Dopplereffekt.
ecco screen is a San Francisco-based experiential art studio founded by American artist Jeffrey Bryant in 2015. ecco screen explores human emotion, interaction, and introspection through the use of light, sound, and technology. The works range from interactive installations, immersive experiences, to audiovisual performances, designed to invoke crowd participation. Resulting in a marriage between art, design, and interpersonal connection. Since 2015 ecco screen has exhibited at renowned festivals and galleries across the United States, Canada, and Europe including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Igloofest, ArtFutura Roma, Mutek, Electric Paradise, Stanford University. Collaborations with established brands include Dolby, NASA (JPL), Acura, Tool of NA, MullenLowe, Google, ASAP Rocky, Lululemon.
Julie Matson is a Vancouver-born, Montreal-based, sound artist, writer, and musician dedicated to exploring the aural relationships of difficulty, language, and beauty. Echo Beach is her conduit for coaxing musical sounds out of electronics within a full sound spectrum of genre-bending electronic pneumatics. Through her work, she creates soundscapes of layered synthesis with atmospheric droney electronic melodies that lull you into a dreamy haze. Combining technology and the art of handmade gestures, she adds a level of intention, care, and connection that is often lost in the transmission of synthesis. Analog synths and effects pedals, coupled with poetic arrangements and experimental drifts and peaks meld different worlds of music into a definitive style, distinguishing Echo Beach apart from other contemporary projects, letting the collage of sound take the listener on a journey to their inner-most sanctuary.
Ectomorph occupies a unique place in Detroit techno history. Founded in 1994, they released their first singles in 1995 as an attempt to make Detroit music for Detroit itself, not exclusively for export. The mystique of their early singles led to mythic status and a strong underground cult following, which they have continued to develop through releases on their own Interdimensional Transmissions label, as well as remixes on many high profile labels and projects like Shari Vari and the Dirtbombs. Their live shows are legendary for their ability to fluidly incorporate improvisational techniques into their synthesized music and for the sheer amount of analog equipment use. Performing an all-analog live show, no computers, samplers or drum machines are used with all the sounds come from their modulars and mountains of Moogs.
A classically trained pianist, King played keyboards and sang in Toronto synth-pop bands for several years before embarking on solo electronic production. Her debut 2016 EP Pressurize opens with pitch-shifted, drawn-out spoken-word, easing into harmonic ethereal vocals and industrial noise and bass before concluding in a hypnotic fuzzed-out wash of synth and voice. Each track is a new showcase of King's technical mastery and flexible aesthetics and she's described the album as an audio diary of feelings and vulnerabilities, reaching out to emotionally connect with listeners who've stepped into its singular sphere. In the summer of 2017, King joined other Toronto and Montréal talents at pre-festival event Nano MUTEK in Toronto, a collaboration with underground electronic music collective and event creators It's Not U It's Me. At MUTEK Montréal 2018 and MUTEK Mexico 2018, she performed genre-evading live sets of recent heavier, driven and high energy material.
Freeka Tet is a French-born, NYC-based digital artist and creative working in the realm of experimental art. His work is a mishmash of styles and mediums; combining objects, prosthetics, animatronics, hacking, coding, electronics, audio and video plunderphonics, bricolage, and performance-based work. He takes inspiration from internet culture, memes, trolls, and irrational social human behavior as he reinterprets the elements he comes into contact with, blurring creative expression with technical execution. Tet’s work has been exhibited at museums and events such as Day for Night, La Gaité Lyrique, Benaki Museum, Foundation Cartier, Google IO2018, Miami Art Basel, and more, and he lectures and workshops on new media and interactivity for institutions such as the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Rennes and Samsung Creative. Tet has also collaborated with creative minds such as Kyle McDonald, Charlie Lemindu, and Satoru Higa, and has conceived stage design and consulted for musicians such as Chromeo, Jackson and His Computer Band, and Gesaffelstein. His portfolio of clients includes Nike, W Hotel, and Levi’s, among others.
Italian art studio fuse* presents the US premiere of Dökk, a performance blending aerial artistry and technological complexity for a visually striking mix of digital art and innovation. Founded in 2007, fuse* operates in the area of encounter between art and science with the aim of exploring the expressive possibilities given by the creative use of emerging digital technologies. As a collective, their work is rooted in the community in which they operate, supporting and promoting creators with the aim to spread cultural and creative knowledge. Since 2016, they have co-produced the NODE festival for electronic music and digital arts.
Raised in Brixton, schooled in Sutton and of Jamaican and Grenadian descent, GAIKA has never chosen a linear path in his creative outputs. A polymath by nature, GAIKA’s creative output has always straddled different worlds, taking influence from academia, British reggae sound systems, philosophy, and political theory as much as the influence of fellow musicians. These themes intersect with meditations on his own identity through his music and are evident on his debut album with Warp Records, BASIC VOLUME, a sprawling yet cohesive album that devours genres and spits them out tangled around personal tales of love, loss and rebellion. 2018 saw the exhibition of SYSTEM, a collaboration with Boiler Room and Somerset House Studios celebrating and amplifying Carnival and sound system culture. “[It] is about space, and holding space. It’s about literally drawing a line in the sand and saying: ‘This is who we are and we’re here to stay. You can’t turn us off’." GAIKA was previously part of The Murkage Cartel, an arts organization based in Manchester and has collaborated with the likes of Jam City, Nick Leon, and Buddy Ross.
Graintable is the moniker of Portland, Oregon based producer James Cooke. To date, his omnivorous output has encompassed everything from new age-y house to instrumental hip-hop and UK techno. With the acquisition of a Roland Juno-106 in 2013, he found his creative process becoming more open-ended, and his compositions more experimental. Late night sound design sessions soon developed into ambient compositions of their own, saturated with the landscape and weather of the Pacific Northwest. The rain-sodden, star-gazing sounds conjure up lonely radar blips in the midst of a whirling storm. Spiraling arpeggios channel into noisy crescendos while subtle melodies come to the fore like woozy slo-mo synth pop wrapped up in a wool blanket.
Halal & Relaxer
Halal & Relaxer is the collaborative live set between Aurora Halal & Relaxer, the new project of Daniel Martin-McCormick. Both are known for powerful and darkly trippy live hardware shows, and as a duo combine Halal's mood—playful, psychedelic, acidic and intense—with Relaxer's pulsating, bass-line driven grooves and paranoid vocals. Previously, as Ital & Halal they released two EPs of colorful techno and performed their live debut at The Bunker NY Unsound Edition. They have since re-formed with this new concept which they introduced at Nachtdigital this summer. Together they also run the Sustain-Release festival in New York, which Aurora founded in 2014.
San Francisco based producer/musician Hydroplane (Renzo Gorrio) experiments with playful sound design, unpredictable rhythms and intertwining synth melodies to create a pleasing and emotive yet complex and sometimes psychedelic sound. His latest full-length release, Panda, can be found on Schematic Records. Gorrio also composes music and does sound design for WNYC’s Snap Judgment.
Jason Charney is a multimedia artist and composer based in Baltimore. His work investigates technology and how our minds and bodies are shaped by its presence and mistranslations.
NETZ2.0 is a sonic interactive installation by artist, musician, performer, and developer Jens Vetter. His work addresses aspects of the ubiquitous use of technology and uses templates from nature, in this case, the web of spiders, as a metaphor of a mechanized environment. At the same time, it represents a kind of "environmental instrument" that uses net-like topologies to challenge the entire body when generating sounds. This is the NA premiere of NETZ2.0. Vetter is currently working as a Research Assistant and Ph.D. candidate at Tangible Music Lab in Linz, Austria.
Hailing from a Nova Scotia’s mystical South Shore, junked-analog duo JOYFULTALK is the brainchild of instrument builder and alchemist Jay Crocker, joined by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Dicey (Ox, Lab Coast). Together, they conjure up micro-climate trance music, weaving the instrumental and analog into wordless fields of handmade electronics. Their music channels a sonic regionalism influenced by the craggy tree lines and flowing rivers of Lunenburg County, with gnarled soundscapes rendering natural spaces in a hazy parallel universe and navigating the astral plane by way of their rugged maritime environs.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Raised on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington state, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's compositions are surreal yet rooted in nature. By combining the organic elements of her upbringing with the technological prowess gained from her studies at Berklee College of Music, Kaitlyn's impact on modern music is distinct and significant. Her music, informed by her experimentation and the unique sounds of the Buchla 100 synthesizer, has put her on the path to global recognition. This upward trajectory was later cemented with the release of her 2015 full-length, Euclid, on Western Vinyl. As of late, she has continued to release solo albums, as well as a collaboration with new age pioneer Suzanne Cini, and earned numerous best-of nods by the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, Rolling Stone, and SPIN. For MUTEK.SF, she will lead an interactive experience for the album Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga, a meditative event intended to help others practice how to learn and connect with those around them.
Kelly Moran’s horizonless vision in prepared piano and other musical mediums is partially owed to extensive academic training. Shortly after earning her B.M. in piano performance, sound engineering, and composition at the University of Michigan, she enrolled as a fellow in University of California, Irvine’s Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology MFA program in 2010. It was there that she finally fused her lifelong loves of dance and composition, perfecting the art of music in motion. After completing her studies, Moran could be found in the studio, recording her own music, or taking the stage at area venues to perform alongside artists from across the avant-garde spectrum. To date, her collaborative resumé encompasses stints in the no-wave rabble-rousers Cellular Chaos on bass, the avant-rock band Voice Coils on synthesizer, and the experimental outfit Charlie Looker Ensemble on piano, to name a few; she has also composed alongside fellow pianist and long-term John Cage collaborator Margaret Leng-Tan (confirming Moran’s direct connection to the New York scene), the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, and the esteemed percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Notably, she has worked with fellow Warp records artist Daniel Lopatin—known to most as Oneohtrix Point Never—who enlisted the pianist for his live band, and made her keyboardist for his global Age Of tour. She holds a sponsorship from Yamaha, and was also awarded one of Roulette Intermedium’s coveted 2018 Van Lier fellowships, enabling her to develop artistic endeavors even further.
Kode9 & Koji Morimoto
Kode9 has become a defining figure in the DJ world. His early DJ sets and radio shows helped spread the South London sound internationally in the 2000s, and his sets now weave together an unpredictable, bass-heavy mix drawing musically from further afield. In this live A/V show, the man otherwise known as Steve Goodman will present a new performance inspired by Japanese video game music and set to visuals created by Kōji Morimoto, the legendary Japanese animator whose work on films like Magnetic Rose and Dimension Bomb have earned him a cult following around the world. Whether through his depictions of majestic landscapes or elaborate cyberpunk alleyways, Morimoto's own distinctive sci-fi styled methodologies and expressions twist together the real world with alternate realities in unexpected ways, providing a perfect accompaniment to Kode9's unclassifiable output.
Kyle Evans is a new media artist, sound designer, educator, and performer. Focusing on the intersection of art and technology, Their work commonly explores concepts of hacking, technological failure, and digital media artifacts. They are actively involved in multiple internationally recognized collaborative and solo new media projects including Cracked Ray Tube, Limited Hangout, and pulseCoder. They are currently an instructor of audio production, electronics, and creative coding in Austin, TX.
Lara Sarkissian is a composer, DJ, and filmmaker. Alongside artist 8ULENTINA, she is a co-founder of CLUB CHAI—a Bay Area record label, event series, and curatorial project that artistically hybridizes non-western sounds with electronic music. Sarkissian’s electronic music is rooted in her visual work as a film scorer and AV artist, drawing on experimental sound design, and creative storytelling. 2017 saw her live international debut at Moscow Museum of Modern Art’s 'Hosting the Inhuman' exhibition, performing a live-score to her short film IR HOKIN HANGEEST. She has worked in immersive sound, producing a 360 sound piece and live show for San Francisco's spatial software and immersive audio space Envelop and collaborating with video artist Jemma Woolmore for the ISM Hexadome exhibition. At MUTEK.SF 2019 Lara will have a special live set with Khatch playing duduk and frame drum.
Lawrence English is composer, artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, his work prompts questions of field, perception and memory. He investigates the politics of perception, through live performance and installation, to create works that ponder subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception. For over a decade, English’s audio investigations have traversed a divergent path where musical and environmental sources are granted equal focus. His work calls into question the established relationships of sound and structure –field recordings and musical materials work in unison, acting as suggestive devices. Published widely on respected imprints including Touch, 12K and Winds Measure, his work is sculpted and overwhelmingly intricate. English’s imprint and multi-arts organization ::ROOM40:: maintains a steady release schedule from an eclectic array of Australian and international artists.
Under the artist name Layne, Rachel Aiello composes field recordings, abstract auditory textures, and rhythmic concrète churns into a hypnotic aural terrain reminiscent of the inceptive work from her seminal female forebears in experimental electronics. Recently released on Karl O’Connor’s Downwards Records, she displays her proficiency in creating a vast soundscape and spatial atmosphere. Layne’s DJ sets are as rhythmically and sonically venturesome with enigmatic shifts between wave, electro, electronic body, acid, and techno. She has shared the stage with artists such as Suzanne Ciani, Karl O'Connor, Veronica Vasicka, Daniel Miller, and many more, and is the resident DJ and co-founder of San Francisco club night VX.
Firmly rooted in jazz and hip-hop, Lefto has sharpened his crate digging sensibility working at the now legendary Music Mania record store in hometown Brussels. His passion for jazz resulted in a remix album for the famed label Blue Note Records. Known for his gloriously eclectic DJ sets, he switches effortlessly between genres and forever moving forward always with an ear in the past. In addition to his work as a DJ and producer, he has curated stages at the Dour Festival, held nights in Gent in collaboration with Democrazy, served as resident DJ for Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Festivals, and released compilations with Universal Music and American brand 101Apparel.
There is no one like Dutch synth pioneer Legowelt. Born Danny Wolfers, his vast musical output spans many different worlds—some real, some imagined—and does so in a unique and captivating fashion that keeps listeners enthralled.
Since first emerging in the early 90s as a key part of the Dutch West Coast scene and Intergalactic FM family, he has become a core member of a scene that takes inspiration from Detroit and Chicago pioneers as well as fantasy films and sci-fi culture, forging his own path in the modern day techno community. Perennially fascinated by old and battered noise-making machines, his dizzying output is defined by analog textures and classic values as well as an ever-roaming sense of sonic investigation that veers from techno to freaky house deepness via old school acid.
Marc Schroeder is a California-based creative technologist and artist working with interactive spaces and data visualization, electronic music, written word, and data systems. Marc’s work aims to explore inner experiences that while may be universally shared, might not yet have a name, shape, or sound.
Marc is an artist in residence at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, and is working on the launch of The Sound of Sinners, an ambient-focused record label.
A master of the visually immersive choose-your-own-adventure, Marpi is a Polish-born San Francisco based digital artist. His artworks are interactive, scalable, and multi-platform, giving anyone the ability to shape them and create their own. By building windows into the same universe, Marpi provides an empty canvas where the art does not exist until people create it. Marpi’s creative work revolves around building 3D environments, digital beings, creating immersive AR/MR, virtual reality experiences, interactive art events, and nonlinear storytelling in style and difference.
Sound Sculpture is an interactive musical instrument produced by Ryan Edwards of MASARY Studios, a team of artists awakening built and natural environments through live music performance and video projection mapping. By unlocking the hidden possibilities of an urban landscape or space, their works are at once a performance, a dissection of architecture, and an immersive visual spectacle. Sound Sculptures encompasses a physical sound and light environment that facilitates play and connection as a tool for creative expression, making musical composition more physical and sculptural creation more audible.
Michael Claus takes the familiar sounds of techno, electro, and kin and shakes their foundation. Twisted around, shifted, and corroded, he moves from deep, affecting washes of ambient sound into heavy, hard-hitting drum tracks with a gentle steadiness. Claus has released numerous albums and EPs across several well-regarded labels in the U.S. techno underground. His first 12", Ice Pick, was released on Left Hand Path in May 2018 and he has released several cassettes on Detroit-Berlin outfit Jacktone Records and L.A.-based twisted house label 100% Silk. Claus recently launched his own imprint out of San Francisco, Silva Electronics, crafting club music for uncertain futures and unsettled dancers.
Mozhgan b2b Josh Cheon
Iranian born and California based, artist and DJ Mozhgan has been honing her dark arts on the decks for quite some time. In 2011 she started We Are Monsters, a party to develop her passion for dark, and mysterious dance floor sounds. As a resident DJ, Mozhgan helped curate an instantly recognizable sound and atmosphere that has become synonymous with the party and the acts she has booked to play there. Often touring alongside We Are Monsters resident Solar, she has found herself behind the decks at Berlin's Panorama Bar, NYC's Output, Burning Man's Disco Knights, Paris's Badaboom, and Wake Up Call Istanbul. Her stylized approach to dark discotheque has also made its way into hearts with a series of hit mixtapes and live-sets released online. As the status-quo catches up to her eccentric taste in Cold Wave and Industrial beats, Mozhgan finds herself a seasoned veteran ready to take on new dance-floors.
Josh Cheon grew up in suburban New Jersey, spending his weekends in New York City dancing at goth club The Bank and digging for records. After moving to San Francisco in 2006, he was a member of queer DJ collective Honey Soundsystem from 2007 to 2017. His love of underground 80s music pushed him to start Dark Entries in 2009, a record label specializing in reissuing lost music from that time as well as contemporary bands referencing those analog sounds. Dark Entries takes great care in preserving sound quality and respecting the aesthetics of its artists, with all of their releases carrying over from the DIY days of indie record labels of the 1980s.
Nihar & Subset
Nihar and Subset have been constructing A/V performances together in various configurations for the past 7 years. For their performance at MUTEK.SF, Nihar draws from the musical backdrop he has created as a DJ, live performer, and promoter, while considering his experience as a South Asian immigrant—a diaspora wracked with overwhelming inequality. Concerned with global supply lines and the hidden costs of globalized labor, Nihar and Subset have been inspired by Rahul Jainʼs documentary “Machines”, which chronicles the repetitive, back-breaking work that laborers endure in a textile factory in Gujarat, India. Both music and visuals mirror the contradictory nature of the textile factory floor—harsh bodily discipline and uniformity exist along the delicate and colorful clothing products. Together, they create a show that immerses and confronts, flirting with but never wholly converting to the established canon of danceable rhythms.
French visual artist Olivier Ratsi’s work presents objective reality, time, space, and matter as a series of intangible informative notions. Focusing on the experience of reality and its representations, as well as the perception of space, he conceives works that encourage the viewer to question their own interpretation of what is real. As part of his work process, Olivier Ratsi creates systems that deconstruct our spatiotemporal reference points, often using the technique of anamorphosis, developed during his research. Ratsi is based in Paris and one of the co-founders and former member of the artist collective AntiVJ. Now working as a solo artist, he has had solo and group exhibitions and shown in museums around the world.
Quarso is a multimedia studio based in Mexico City, creating immersive experiences through the use of technology in the fields of the multimedia arts, experiential marketing and visual showcases for performing artists. Their work employs video mapping, interactive developments and installations, lighting and electro-mechanic systems, and applications that connect people with new ideas.
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement distorts nature sounds inspired by the landscape of Papua New Guinea into the dark and ritualistic realms of ambient music. Part magic and part mysticism, RSE is the brainchild of Dominick Fernow, a multi-media artist working under a variety of other monikers since 1997. RSE debuted in 2011 with a series of cassettes released by Fernow’s label Hospital Productions. They were remastered in 2017 as the cassette box Water Witches. In 2017, he released the album Ambient Black Magic, which featured Silent Servant and Substance. Melding together the natural and the artificial, RSE creates the soundscape of an imaginary world that’s both foreboding and intriguing.
Imagined as an ironic brand, revlux works the edges of techno, pop production, jungle, and commercial rave in a range of tempos, subverting and celebrating electronic musical tropes while giving them a precocious new look. A native San Franciscan, Oren Ratowsky began his journey into electronic music as a techno and house DJ, nesting into the underground scene as co-founder of the label and promoter gang Booma Collective in 2009. His first release came out on Booma, with other material appearing on compilations, including a high-profile remix for Nicolas Jaar's Other People label. Woozy, psychedelic melodies, trance, decelerated jungle and taut and dexterous production coalesce into a bizarre amalgam of sound, effortlessly straddling the commercial and the experimental. These days, Ratowsky finds himself working as a producer in Los Angeles, collaborating with artists on projects ranging from pop to hip-hop and rap to happy hardcore, as a producer, co-writer, and engineer. He has also worked as mastering engineer on a number of underground heavyweights, including HuercoS, J. Albert, and Debit.
Robot Koch & Mikael Le Goff
Award-winning German composer Robot Koch joins forces with visual artist Mickael Le Goff to present Sphere, an audiovisual show designed especially for planetariums. Sphere takes audiences on a trip through space and time, oscillating between dark, synth-driven science fiction moments and blissful suspension, carried by lush string arrangements. The immersive full-dome show features custom made projection visuals and music composed specifically for a 3D sound environment.
Shed is the moniker of renowned techno artist René Pawlowitz. Born in Frankfurt, Pawlowitz first became interested in electronic music in the early 90s. By 2002, he had moved to Berlin and, with the support of iconic Berlin record store Hard Wax, founded his own label Soloaction Records. On his own label he released his fist EP as Shed, Red Planet Express in 2004. 2008 saw the release of the first album ‘Shedding The Past’ which went on to be named album of the year by Resident Advisor. Since then René has cemented himself as an evergreen producer with releases on a number of household labels including Ostgut Ton and Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons imprint to name a few, adding to his impressive work under alias including Head High and The Higher. Whether it be through track selection in his DJs sets or the raw power of his live show, Pawlowitz manages to merge rough dance floor skeletons with detailed melodies, harmonic structures and airy arrangements for an evocative performance that isn’t easily forgotten.
Sepehr is a producer, sound designer, live performer, and DJ based in San Francisco. His formal start in electronic music was through the DJ circuit in the burgeoning San Francisco underground of the early-to-mid 2000s. In late 2017 he began performing live PA sets, utilizing his immense production backlog to perform vivid and electric sets, from potent dance music to psychedelic and esoteric soundscapes. His new project, The Dream Journal, will be debuted at MUTEK and explores sonic interpretations informed by a dream journal he has kept for several years. Alongside scoring the journal from an auditory perspective, he will be joined by Bay Area visual artist Sophie Baker who will provide a visual interpretation of the dreams via 3D mapping and animation..
Igniting dance floors all over the world for the past 10 years, Shiva’s dynamic range pushes boundaries and shakes souls. Mixing genres effortlessly, she is a force for any dance floor. Her intuition and talent for tuning into any crowd have come from years of honing her craft and holding down numerous residencies all over LA, from The House of Blues and Viper Room to The Roxy and Ace Hotel, just to name a few. A prominent tastemaker in LA’s notorious beat scene, Shiva was one of a few producers selected to help close out the last month of the infamous Low End Theory and has opened for artists such as CeeLo Green, Nas and Damien Marley, Cypress Hill, Pusha T, Snoop Dogg and many more. She is the unique entertainer who can be as at home in the club as she is in front of a stadium full of YouTube influencers or a room full of world-changing thought leaders. Shiva has performed for some of the world’s biggest spiritual teachers and visionaries, including Abraham Hicks, Panache Desai, Michael Beckwith, The Agape International Spiritual Center, Kyle Cease, Peter Diamandis, and XPRIZE. From the basement to the ballroom, Shiva has grace, grit, and a lot of talent. Wherever she is playing in the world, hearts and minds are moved open.
One day, Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt abandoned their classical training for digital chamber experimentation. Inspired by the freedom and immediacy of footwork and bass, the duo began to spin their lyrical intuition on the low end spectrum of electronic music, creating a hypnotic, intriguing sound with an emotional honesty so minimalist as to be brutal. Okey (2017) and Have Fun (2018), two releases for XL Recordings, extract just the necessary pop and R&B to deliver both the sexy and the sad, as corny as they are rebellious. With incisive tracks like “Because” and “No harm” and intense performances that shine equally in the intimacy of a club as at a massive festival, Smerz has created a sound that’s both captivating and disarming, one pop song at a time
Exploring the sounds of techno, electro, ambient, breaks and post-punk, Solpara is a Lebanese-American producer and DJ born and based in New York City. Starting in 2010, after moving to Montreal, him and his friends Oren Ratowsky (aka revlux) and Valentin Stip started the underground event series Booma Collective which also started its own label in 2013. Since then he has released music on labels like Other People, Quiet Time, and L.P.C. Solpara has been playing live and DJ sets locally and internationally, sharing bills with artists like the Zenker Brothers, Objekt, Marie Davidson, Essaie Pas, Huerco S, Mono Junk, Lee Gamble, Nicolas Jaar, and Via App among others. Notable appearances include Boiler Room NYC, MUTEK Montréal, B018 in Beirut, Demi-Monde in Paris and Światło in Warsaw.
Steve Hauschildt & Martin Tzonev
Chicago-based electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has composed minimal sounds at extraordinary levels for over a decade, first with his former band Emeralds and later across a steady and critically-acclaimed stream of solo releases. As a live performer, he explores the intersection of experimental music and video art, having toured heavily across North America, Europe, and Asia. In his work as a recording artist, Hauschildt utilizes synthesizers, computers, and digital processing to continuously transmute and evolve modes of electronic music. 2019 sees Hauschildt teaming up with Los Angeles-based multi-media artist and motion designer Martin Tzonev for a multidimensional creative experience. Tzonev, who is based in Los Angeles, seamlessly blends the cultural and commercial, leading him to work on major brand campaigns such as Nike, VISA, Yahoo Sports, Netflix, Facebook, and North Face.
Founded in 2015 by Milo Reinhardt (/||\||\) and Teodoro Zamudio, susy.technology has expanded to include Cat Lamoureux (Valeda), Xavier Arocha (Witnessing) and Jimmy Bertrand (Neo Edo). Operating as a digital label and collective of artists based in Montréal, susy.technology functions as a platform for collaborative experimentation and exploration of audio-visual work engaging with the futurity of interactive media, digital arts, and extended reality. For the past four years, their collaborations have taken shape through live AV and full-dome performances, projection mapping, VR experiences, and installation works. Their work addresses topics central to our experiences and concerns, namely gendered violence, personal and collective trauma, technological dependencies, border politics, and digital death. They have developed audio-visual and installation works for such prestigious festivals as MUTEK Montreal, Sonar Barcelona, La Société des Arts Technologiques, Red Bull Music Academy, Forms Festival, and Sight + Sound festival.
Argentinian DJ and producer Tayhana has established herself as one of the most powerful musical forces on the South and Central-American dancefloors. Her explosive energy and a vast selection of vigorous club tracks, along with an extensive collection of regional hits, make her a favorite of many DJs and club-goers. In addition to producing and DJing, Tayhana also co-founded HiedraH Club de Baile, an essential party continuously revolutionizing both the sonic and physical atmospheres of the Buenos Aires underground. HiedraH Club de Baile politically and provocatively dares to play with varying rhythms from “ghettos” around the globe all while pushing and preserving the experimental evolution of their local sound. Over the past couple years, Tayhana has collaborated with the record label SALVIATEK in Uruguay and is a recent addition to NAAFI in Mexico. Currently, Tayhana is developing her new project, “Encuentros Furtivos” (translated to “Stealthy Encounters” in English), a platform for collaborating with different friends and artists, via multiple forms such as music, clothing, and audiovisual elements. The first release will be a pack of tracks with SALVIATEK’s Lechuga Zafiro that play with key parts of Argentinian cumbia turra and Bolivian Saya.
The Hacker presents Amato Live
A pioneer in his field and of the Grenoble electro scene, Michel Amato’s contributions to music have been immense. As the Hacker, he has made inspired music that has influenced generations of dance music and listeners. His music has materialized with Amato Live, a full actualization of his work. Oscillating between new wave, acid, and techno, this live machine is a furtive retrospective of the career of the producer who, supported by a massive light show, lends itself perfectly to the immersive live experience. Amato spent his younger years absorbing futuristic Techno sounds from Detroit, bands like Depeche Mode, New Order, Kraftwerk, and Front 242, as well as Italo Disco and Acid House. Given the breadth of his influences, it’s no surprise Amato's own discography defies simple definition, covering a wide range of styles in the years since his first release in 1996. His appearance at MUTEK.SF 2019 will see the NA premiere of Amato Live.
Veronica Vasicka is a photographer, musician, DJ and the founder of record label and digital music resource Minimal Wave. As a founding member of East Village Radio, she managed the station during its pirate days and began collecting obscure, long forgotten gems that fell somewhere between the cold wave, post-punk, industrial and synth-pop genres. Not knowing how to classify these bands, she coined the genre Minimal Wave and set up the website minimalwave.com as a resource to share her finds with the rest of the world. In addition to Minimal Wave, she founded the label Cititrax and has released over 50 albums, amongst them two highly lauded compilations: The Minimal Wave Tapes: Volumes 1 and 2 which were later released and distributed by Stones Throw Records. Vasicka has DJ’d events for Art Basel, MoMA, MoMA P.S. 1, Miu Miu, Surface To Air, Agnes B, and 22/4 Hommes Femmes. She has also played the Cynetart Festival in Dresden as well as numerous club nights around the world.
Yağmur Uyanık & Joey Verbeke
Yagmur Uyanik is a San Francisco based New Media Artist based with backgrounds in architecture and music. Her work combines forms and visual elements using sound and light to extend the digital media to a point that it becomes a physical experience for the viewer. Uyanik has received her Master’s degree in Art & Technology from San Francisco Art Institute as a Fulbright scholar. Her work was shown at galleries, museums and festivals around the world including Ars Electronica, Sonar D+, Signal Light Festival, Exploratorium and Geneva International Film Festival.
Joey Verbeke is a New Media Artist and the Head of AI Innovation, with a background in music and computer science. He focusses his work on imbuing qualities of surreality, curiosity, frisson, and exploring our ephemeral and finite sensory-limited existence. Leveraging technology as a medium, he searches for tangents from its linear progression to explore alternative and innovative applications, approaches, and perspectives. His work extends beyond subjective limits and gives the viewer a chance to question the reconstructed reality he creates.
Verbeke’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions including Denver International Airport, Sundance Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, SXSW, TED, and Future of Storytelling.