Dazed Digital



December 7, 2011

We speak to Federico Torres, the director of the Santiago edition of the cutting edge electronic music festival

  • Text by Nico Castro

MUTEK is a festival created in Montreal in 2000, as a platform for electronic music and digital techniques. Through its history, it has expanded to different continents including South America, from Brazil to Argentina and Chile.

The Chilean edition launches this week with a full on experience of live shows, club nights, showcases and talks, the daytime escapades centred within the Centro GAM whilst Club La Feria rocks the afterhours parties.

The main attraction is undoubtely Nicolas Jaar. The Chilean-American artist is one of the most innovative electronic musicians to emerge this year, and he returns to the country where his father was born to celebrate a major 2011. Satellite Voices spoke to Federico Torres, the director of the Chilean version of the festival.

Satellite Voices: How important is it for Chilean culture to have a local version of a festival like MUTEK?
Federico Torres:
MUTEK has always been a platform to expose new sounds and digital art all over the world. The goal of the local version is to offer the Chilean culture a space to connect with creative environments from other places - to have the possibility to see and hear new things and, at the same time, be able to show what's going in Chile to the rest of the world. We have a context in Chile in which the cultural offer keeps growing, and that's perfect. MUTEK takes place within that context, to occupy a space that was created not only to show, but also to develop the local scene.

SV: What differences can we find between previous editions and this one?
Federico Torres:
Mainly that this year we have a full festival set-up. There's workshops, hearings, interactive audiovisual installations, gigs, live acts and parties. It's the closest we'd ever been to the Montreal structure. This works with your previous question because we have six different music workshops alone, to talk about audio software and hardware, and with artists explaining their recording process, like Deadbeat. 

SV: What was the criteria to select the line-up?
Federico Torres:
When it comes to international artists, MUTEK Chile has a team a collaborators that supports us in generating an interesting proposal for the Chilean audience. Among them we have some important local people but also the Mutek Family, which broadens the palette of artists to consider. For instance, there's Boris Chimp 506, recommended by MUTEK Spain. It's an awesome show and there's no way we would have heard of him if it wasn't for the director of the Barcelona edition. The same thing happens with the Canadians, but that's more obvious. The good thing is that MUTEK belongs to ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound), a network of festivals that gather to collaborate via artists exchange and other stuff. We were supported by five other European festivals, so that's how we got the chance to book amazing artists that are unreachable to our ears at the moment.

SV: What are your five must-see shows this year?
Federico Torres:
It's a tough one. Well, obviously the most awaited show is Nicolas Jaar's. It's a great show to see because of his age and the way that he's changing the speed in which we hear electronic music. I'm also looking forward to see Jacob Korn. He comes from Dresden and he started with a lot of glitch and hip hop. Now he's into deep house, without forgetting where he comes from. It sounds really fresh. Thn there's Midaircondo from Sweden, with these celestial atmospheres that make Björk sound plain, with an awesome stage presence as well. I could also add shows that everybody's expecting, like POLE, Deadbeat, Mostro, the release of Andesground's new album or Cholita Sound, but I think that my last must see show is Christof Kurzmann, with our eternal Edén Carrasco. They come with a show full of surprises!

MUTEK Chile runs from December 6 to 11. For full venue information and tickets. Check them out here.

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