Anthony Child is an English electronic musician and DJ who, under his Surgeon moniker, is a household name in agile techno. Uninterested in limitations of genre and equipped with his Buchla, Child lead a guided meditation using analog synthesizers and field recordings in Montreal, as part of Red Bull Music Academy's programming for Nocturne 3 at MUTEK.
Child's new live set draws on personal recordings of tropical soundscapes from Maui, set against menacing walls of bass-heavy analog sound. As subtle progressions expand his performance into improvised territory, he circumvents the limitations of contemporary electronica to explore the amorphous extremities of sound design and manipulation.
Few knew how to react to a performance carved so deeply out of left field. Ominous vocal passages loomed over the subtly arpeggiated bass drones that emanated from the stage at high volume, creating a wall of sound that mesmerized patrons into taking a seat. Despite the performance taking place at Metropolis, whispers made it known that this was not the kind of performance locals were used to being hosted at this venue.
Child's expedition on tonal close-listening was compromised by a disrespectful crowd that ignored the importance of silent observation during his performance. His exploration of dynamics and tension took amorphous field recordings and turned them into a deep listening experience; however, the audience's chatter often made it difficult to discern the detail in Child's drones. Nevertheless, those who needed a break from the fast pace of modern electronic were in for a tonal treat.