In 2016 MUTEK.JP arrived in Tokyo for its inaugural edition taking over Shibuya’s WWW/X venue and the Red Bull Studios Tokyo for 3 days laden with immersive performances, audiovisual experiments, and the latest the local and international electronic music scenes have to offer. In extension of the MUTEK mandate the festival arrived with a mission to provide a showcase of local talent, while connecting it with the international scenes, developing the local community on the way and fostering new exchanges on and off the stages.
Edition 1 by numbers
- More than 3,000 festival entries during 3 days
- Presented a total of 5 programs on 3 stages across 3 venues in and around Shibuya, Tokyo incl. audiovisual performances, discourse program, and workshops
- 23 artists from 7 countries incl. 7 local Japanese and 16 international involved in audiovisual and live performances, and the discourse program
- More than 20,000 views for the live stream of the Digi Section
- Supported by 13 partner organizations
Alva Noto DE / Anne-James Chaton FR / Byetone DE / Dasha Rush RU / DBKN JP / DIAGRAF CA / ENA JP / Junk-E-Cat DE / Herman Kolgen CA / Intercity Express JP / Maotik & Metameric FR/CA / Martin Messier CA / Max Cooper UK / Midnight Operator (Mathew Jonson & Nathan Jonson) CA / Pheek CA / Realrockdesign JP / Robert Lippok DE / Robin Fox AU / Shingo Shibamoto × MMM JP / Ueno Massaki JP
The honor of opening the inaugural MUTEK.JP edition with an impactful audiovisual performance was none other than Quebecois media artist Martin Messier. FIELD as the piece is known sees the artist patching together homemade electronic music instruments that with each new connection blasted the audience with a wall of sound tightly synchronized to his visual explorations. Herman Kolgen followed with a double bill of his pieces AfterShock and Seismik, which explored post-human visualizations and the earthquake data points acquired through the earth’s magnetic field. Max Cooper closed the A/Visions floor with a groovier note in his IDM-inspired performance Emergence followed by Intercity-Express’s audiovisual piece triggering.
A/Visions 2 opened with the premiere of a collaboration between Shingo Shibamoto and visual arts collective MMM, which saw the performer shrouded in a curtain of LED balls triggered by the sounds of Shibamoto’s modular synth sounds. Australia’s Robin Fox followed shooting lasers from the stage right into the audience during his unique performance of RGB. Herman Kolgen followed with his disturbing piece titled INJEKT. Closing off the night were Maotik & Metametric on a lighter note combining abstract and monochromatic visuals with even abstracter grooves.
The opening night of the festival’s Nocturne series saw the celebration of legendary electronic music label Raster-Noton, which took over the upstairs WWW/X venue with its massive Funktion-One sound system. Local representative Ueno Masaaki and his torrent of sound, was followed by Dasha Rush’s curved techno grooves, and Alva Noto’s peculiarly detailed sound explorations together with Anne-James Chaton. Closing the night was Byetone with his more rhythmic approach to experimental electronic music, but not before he was joined by his Raster-Noton collaborators for an encore that ended in a multilayered live jam fusing the best each of the artists had to offer.
The closing night brought together was in celebration of the new found connection between the Japanese and Canadian electronic music scenes. ENA’s dark and droney ambient scapes were followed by minimal groove master Pheek’s performance with the night ending with the brothers’ Mathew and Nathan Jonson’s dance floor oriented live performance as Midnight Operator.
As part of MUTEK.JP’s efforts in community building through discourse and educational programs, the Digi Section, a series of workshops, talks, presentations and live showcases was presented at the Red Bull Studios Tokyo. Over the course of one day the program hosted talks and presentations by Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender, Herman Kolgen, Martin Messier, and Robin Fox.
The evening saw showcases by Native Instruments’ in collaboration with Junk-E-Cat and agraph, a demonstration by Roland AIRA and Yuta Hshino and a solo performance by Akiko Kiyama. The Digi Section also saw the first rendition of the annual Touchdesigner workshop together with visual artist Mathieu Le Sourd aka. Maotik. The Digi Section program was broadcasted live in collaboration with DOMMUNE.