SIBIAN & FAUN, SHLOHMO, SALVA, NOUVEAU PALAIS at MUTEK. Rating: NNN
Montreal - Thursday night in downtown Montreal, red-shirted casseroles clattered past the luminescent SAT - Société Des Arts Technologiques, a ‘transdisciplinary' hub for digital studies - where a different kind of altruistic rumble was taking place.
For the second night of MUTEK, the 12th edition of the city's premiere electronic music and digital arts festival, a curious line-up was set to take the Red Bull Music Academy Stage with crunching, threatening, enveloping low-end as the common denominator.
His set felt like absolution for a recent slipshod Toronto show, taking the crowd from fist-pumping tempos to a slow grind, dropping the now-ubiquitous rap-along trap rap suite, and ending heavy on the break beats.
As a projection of a YouTube video for "The Effects of Bath Salts.wmv" played (a gross-out reminder of this week's grisly happenings down in Miami), Shlohmo trolled genres, deconstructing and rearranging their composite parts. R&B was slapchopped and pitch-freaked, brisk funky drums became gauzy, and lithe trance vocals were slowed down, making Drake (clearly a favourite of Shlohmo) sound more desolate than ever. Breaking this recycled-and-reconfigured reverie were blasts of big nostalgia-jams like Christina Aguilera's Genie In A Bottle and Ludacris' What's Your Fantasy.
The first minutes of Salva's set sounded like what Vinny from Jersey Shore would bump in his Range Rover going 100 MPH down the West Side Highway, but there's something unapologetically fun about bottle service dance music assaulted with Lex Luger-like rap flourish.
Shattered bits of popular rap and house anthems peeked through the rest of the set, which went from 8bit shroomwave to Araabmuzik whipcracks to Timbaland-slapped deep house noodlings.