In 2023, MUTEK.JP curated a dynamic three-day festival that embraced diverse musical and aesthetic dimensions, staying true to each day's distinctive vision. Held at the two-level live venue, Spotify O-East, with state-of-the-art LED vision, the performances ranged from captivating audiovisual experiences to electronic rhythm-based music, creating an immersive atmosphere. This year, we departed from our usual signature programs of large-scale audiovisual concerts and performing arts stages at theatres. Instead, we integrated these elements into the three-day event at Spotify O-East. With the two-day program at WOMB, the most prominent club in Shibuya, the festival placed a greater emphasis on dance music and party elements compared to the previous year's edition.
The international flair was unmistakable in the guest roster, with attendees from the US, Asia, and Oceania regions, reflecting MUTEK.JP's global influence. Beyond music and media arts enthusiasts, the event attracted active professionals passionate about creativity and technology. The success of Edition 8 is a testament to MUTEK.JP's commitment to not just showcasing artists but building brands and partnerships, fostering a diverse community.
In terms of programming, we can only express our respect and gratitude for the artists. Without them, their project would never have made its worldwide premiere and their first collab session would never have happened at MUTEK.JP. Each decision had its unique journey, ranging from artists attentively embracing our ideas to receiving proposals from the artists themselves, encompassing collaborations, new projects by artists, the return of our favorites, and more. Notably, the selection of emerging local artists play pivotal roles. MUTEK.JP aims not only to be a platform for veteran artists with established expressions but also a space where promising artists, armed with sharp sensibilities, individuality, and ambition, can challenge themselves alongside these seasoned creators.
In Edition 8, all live/DJ performances embraced an audiovisual format. While there have been numerous live performances by audiovisual artists and works/shows created as A/V content in the past, we actively encouraged artists to blend musicians/DJs with visual artists in their productions. This year's festival solidified MUTEK.JP's commitment to showcasing the value of immersive audiovisual experiences, pushing the boundaries of music and visual arts, and fostering a dynamic synergy between them. Our focus is on creating a flexible cohabitation that adapts to diverse situations. Looking ahead, our ongoing challenge is to further increase the representation of female and non-binary artists, promoting gender equity within the scene.
The concurrent conference event, in partnership with Mawari, explored the convergence of technology and creativity in the XR industry. Collaborative production with XR and creative tech companies took centre stage, emphasising the fusion of technology and artistic expression. While talk programs were scaled down, emphasis shifted towards organising XR installations and exhibitions.
As we enter the ninth year in 2024, plans for Edition 9 are already in motion, with anticipation building for the 10th-anniversary celebration. Stay tuned for more updates.
Edition 8 by Numbers
Festival/Conference: 4 days, 3 venues in Shibuya, Tokyo
Total guests: 4,615
39 performances across 5 music programs
3 workshops and 7 talk programs
3 exhibitions, 5 XR artworks, and 2 XR content experience booths
43 local Japanese artists, 19 international artists
16 Japanese local experts, 5 international experts
Gender representation: 32% female, 68% male
Support from 23 partners, government agencies, and cultural institutions
Tap the image to watch the Edition 8 aftermovie. ↓
Thursday, 7 December
at Spotify O-East
The program "Nocturne 1" focused on audiovisual fusion, where technology, sound and visuals merged. The audiovisual unit tamanaramen, comprised of musician Pikam and visual artist Hana, premiered their new work, "Whispers by the Water." Following this, the Austrian duo Peter Kutin and Patrik Lechner presented the Japan premiere of their A/V live set, "Achronic," utilizing AI neural networks. In a collaborative performance featuring YPY, a solo project by Koshiro Hino, and three members from the Sado-based taiko performing arts group Kodo, along with visual artist Seiichi Sega, electronic sounds, taiko rhythms and minimal delicate visuals merged in a captivating live performance. Daito Manabe showcased the latest version of his remarkable A/V set, a culmination of his work previously performed at Sónar Barcelona 2023. The event concluded with the Japan premiere of the Italian art collective SPIME.IM, presenting their A/V work, "Grey Line," reflecting current societal conditions.
tamanaramen JP — Whispers by the Water
KUTIN & Patrik Lechner AT — ACHRONIC
YPY & Kodo + Seiichi Sega JP [World Premiere]
Daito Manabe JP
SPIME.IM IT — Grey Line
Friday, 8 December
at Spotify O-East
The event "Nocturne2," which focused on an experimental and multifaceted approach to sound and immersive visuals, featured Tokyo-based singer Friday Night Plans presenting live set from her 1st album "Visitors," produced with Ena. The performance showcased a fusion of R&B and experimental sounds. Combined with film director Leo Iizuka's VJ, which used only documentary footage, the show provided a cinematic concert experience.
Following this, the duo consisting of Scotch Rolex a.k.a Shigeru Ishihara and Shackleton, unvieled a live performance of their album "Death by Tickling," released in 2023, in collaboration with Portuguese visual artist Pedro Maia. This world premiere was a captivating experience. In the first ever live session by Foodman and beat maker Ramza, visual artist Kezzardrix joined forces to create a fantastic A/V show. Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones, founders of Fractal Fantasy, closed the event with their latest A/V live performance, converting their movements through motion capture into sound and visuals. The show enveloped the audience in an enthusiastic mood.
Friday Night Plans + Leo Iizuka JP
Scotch Rolex & Shackleton + Pedro Maia JP+UK+PT — Death by Tickling [World Premiere]
Foodman & Ramza + Kezzardrix JP [World Premiere]
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones CA/AT
Saturday, 9 December
at Spotify O-East
In the eclectic spectrum spanning from electro-acoustic to media art, 'Nocturne3' seamlessly connected various genres. The electronic trio Black Boboi, consisting of Utena Kobayashi, Julia Shortreed and ermhoi, delivered an outstanding performance featuring a diverse range of compositions. Montreal-based VJ Yanneek collaborated with the band, bringing vivid and immersive moods to the stage. Following this, the Japanese premiere of 'Homeostasis' took place, featuring Canadian saxophonist Ida Toninato and composer/visual artist Pierre-Luc Lecours, who previously showcased the piece at MUTEK Montreal 2023. The world premiere of the duo of composer/experimental guitarist Oren Ambarchi and singer/electronic musician Phew, accompanied by painter Akiko Nakayama, transported the audience to mysterious landscapes.
The closing act featured the Russian generative art duo, 404.zero, presenting their latest work 'ISOTRP.' Utilizing their uniquely developed audio-visual synthesizers, they blended a monochromatic futuristic aesthetic with minimal organic sounds, creating a captivating fusion.
Black Boboi + Yanneek JP + CA/QC [World Premiere]
Ida Toninato & Pierre-Luc Lecours CA/QC — Homeostasis
Phew & Oren Ambarchi + Akiko Nakayama JP [World Premiere]
MUTEK.JP x WOMB 1
Friday, 8 December
The annual all-night program, 'WOMB × MUTEK.JP,' took place over two nights. On the first night, Haruka, known as the co-founder and resident DJ of Future Terror, set the mood as the opening DJ. Techno producer Sodeyama performed a rare live set. Jane Fitz, a renowned UK DJ with expertise in weaving acid, spacey house, psychedelic techno, trance, and ambient genres, graced the main floor with her DJ set.
Sodeyama JP - live
Jane Fitz UK
VJ: Manami Sakamoto JP
LJ: AIBA JP
Hugo LX FR
Aoi Kuhihara JP
MUTEK.JP x WOMB 2
Saturday, 9 December
The second day of the all-night event that concluded the festival featured a debut live performance by the Tokyo-based duo Itti and HAIOKA, with visual accompaniment by strings VY. Following the first ever live set in Japan by the UK drum & bass luminary dBridge, Skull Disco founder and top-tier exponent of polyrhythmic tribal sounds, Shackleton, took the stage with a solo live set. The party came to a close with the experimental and groovy set by Lynne, a Japanese DJ seamlessly navigating between experimental and drum & bass genres.
Itti & HAIOKA + strings VY JP - live A/V
Shackleton UK - live
dBridge UK - live
VJ:SO IN THE HOUSE JP
LJ: AIBA JP
Block Univers JP
One of the Digi Lab programs was the annual TouchDesigner workshop, co-hosted by Derivative and MUTEK.JP in collaboration with Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]. The second workshop, entitled Neuro Music, was a collaboration between VIE Corporation, specialising in the development of next-generation wearable earphone-type brainwave sensors, and Ableton, exploring the societal implementation of neurotechnology with a guest speaker Foodman. This was followed by a lecture session entitled "Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045: Special Collaboration", produced by VIE, and an A/V live session by Shinya Fujii & XVX and Rei Wakita.
The third workshop, co-organized by XR producer &Pull and Mawari, focused on MXR, a no-code tool for creating 3D and XR content. Both workshops took place at Shibuya Stream Hall.
VIE presents: “Neuro Music - Dive into your brain"
MUTEK.JP Pro Conference in collaboration with Mawari
MUTEK.JP, in collaboration with Mawari, organized the conference event "MUTEK.JP ProConference in collaboration with Mawari" held over two days on December 9th and 10th. The event included the immersive XR installation "assimilating XR," a collaborative creation by dancer Hiroaki Umeda and Mawari. Additionally, "MUTEK Immersive Collection," showcasing three VR works, and an exhibition of works curated by the experimental XR project/community NEWVIEW.
The event also provided experiential booths for two XR contents, "GOFL by Liquid City" and "Magical Forest by Designium," leveraging Niantic's AR platform for developers. The talk event held on December 9th brought together artists, creators, technologists, experts, and contributors from around the world to delve into the future of technology, exploring keywords such as AI, XR, and WEB3, and examining the roles of digital creativity, art, and community.
assimilating XR installation
MUTEK Immersive Collection exhibition
NEWVIEW “Humarium” Tomoro Kinoshita exhibition
XR Experience Booth:
GOFL by Liquid City
Magical Forest by Designium
MUTEK.JP Pro Conference Talk Session
Luis Oscar Ramirez Solorzano (Mawari), Eric Wagliardo (&Pull / MXR), Faizal Zia (GSMA), Takeo Yatabe (Mawari), Keiichi Matsuda (Liquid City), Jay Kogami, Bartek Kolacz (Kalkul)、Naotake Masuda (Neutone), Yoshiro Tasaka (Shibuya City Office), Taihei Shii (Founder of Startburn), Kyoko Kunoh (Ars Electronica), Mariko Nishimura (HEART CATCH), Saeko Ehara, Yuma Yanagisawa, Claudia Montes (Vision Itinérante), Arif Khan, Tim Stevens (British Film Institute), Nori Nakata (NORIFORCE), Niinomi (NEORT), Yusuke Shono, Shunsuke Takawo
Arts Council Tokyo, Mawari, Niantic, ETERNAL Art Space, VIE, TouchDesigner, Ableton, NEWVIEW, MXR, SHURE, Shibuya Stream Hall, Spotify O-East, WOMB, Shibuya City, General delegation of Quebec in Tokyo, Federal Ministry Republic of Austria, austria kultur, INSCAPE, Roland, SUPER DOMMUNE, POKETALK, Sony PCK Inc., ONKEN, PRISM, amazon music, Johnnie Walker, COLE HAAN, Designium, Liquid City, YOKOHAMA DANCE COLLECTION
Aftermovie: Timothée Lambrecq
Music: Daito Manabe
Photos: Shigeo Gomi, Masanori Naruse, Yasuko Tadokoro, Tatsuki Nakata