06/09/2005: "mutek, part 2."
Mathew Jonson gets started
Okay, back to Galoppierende Zuversicht. They're two dudes, Styro 2000 and Bang Goes. (No, those are not their real names. But if your names were 'Marcel Ackerknecht' and 'Roland Widmer', you'd change names too.) They have a recent "Basta EP" out on the Swiss minimal techno label Bruchstuecke, which as far as I can tell is their only release as a duo. All of their gear--samplers, etc--was homemade, which reminded me of, er, Wolf Eyes for some reason, and Styro 2000 was wearing a red light strapped to his head, as if he was about to go spelunking. One key piece of hardware was broken, but they galloped confidently (that's what 'Galoppierende Zuversicht' means, seriously!) ahead regardless. They're making their New York debut tomorrow night at DJ Spinoza's Bunker party at Subtonic. Five bucks! Word on the street is that the key piece of hardware will be fixed by tomorrow night, so get psyched.
Neon chandelier at Metropolis
Switzerland's a little underrated when it comes to dance music, isn't it? Germany always grabs all the credit these days. Switzerland should get more props. Here are four reasons. Switzerland's super close to France and Germany, for one, lending it an enviable geographic position for potential house and techno world domination. Second, Bruchstuecke, based in Zurich, is an ace little label. Third, Weetamix, in Geneva, is one of the best clubs in the world right now. Fourth, Switzerland--far from being the land of chocolate, clocks, banks, the Alps, and old people--is where acid was invented. Now, I'm not talking acid as in TB-303 squelches. I'm talking about Dr. Albert Hofmann's synthesis of d-lysergic acid diethylamide in Switzerland way back in the 1940s, which paved the way for Switzerland's pioneering research on psychedelics. A lot of the best and hottest scientific research on the subject still comes from Switzerland; because Hofmann is a national hero of sorts, the government there is a little more laid-back about funding these studies. The most recent 'Altered States of Consciousness' international scientific convention was held in Zurich, too. Give it up for Switzerland, people.
Back to Canada. O Canada! Here's the crowd...
The next day--and my favorite bit in the official Mutek program--was Piknik Electronik, an all-day outdoor event in a big grassy park where DJs play and people dance. Luciano, Serafin, and Stephen Beaupre from Crackhaus all played outstanding sets. (By the way, if you haven't heard Luciano's M83 remix, you can get it on Fluxblog--and is it just me, or does M83 exist simply to create raw material to be remixed? I've heard their records and thought their amorphous neo-shoegaze muck to be nothin' special--but when shaped by the capable hands of Superpitcher, Luciano, and Jackson, among others, their totally boring music becomes total hotness.)
I hung out at Piknik Electronik for three hours or so, and finally got to fulfill my long-held fantasy of dancing inside of an Alexander Calder sculpture. This was the dancefloor:
The sculpture is "Man," built for the '67 Expo. Interestingly, it's really structurally similar to "The Big Sail," the 1966 Calder sculpture that was almost literally in my backyard for the four years when I was in college. So seeing "Man" brought back all kinds of memories for me. This is what you saw when you looked up from the dancefloor. Holy shit!
Luciano looking like a total pimp
Akufen wonders what the hell is going on
The final installment--Mutek part 3--comin' up soon.