Published May 29, 2015There is no shortage of minimalism at Mutek, whether it be actual "minimal techno" or simply artists that peel away layer after layer of their compositions to reveal only the bare bones. But it was probably a good thing that Jesse Morrison — performing under his Fake_Electronics moniker — was the opening set for Mutek's second night of Nocturne events at the MAC, because had it been placed anywhere else on the night's lineup, it would have slowed things down to a glacial pace.
Used as an exploration of his fascination with modular synths, the Fake_Electronics project mostly consists of Morrison crafting slow and sparse mechanical compositions. Accompanied by monochromatic patterns by visual artist EWERX, the experience could at times be overwhelming in its simplicity. The glitchy and slowly reverberating patterns enclosed you in darkness, as if you were trapped in the womb of a depressed robot. The ominous voice interlude recalled his set at last year's edition of Mutek, but somehow slowed down even more. Whereas his pacing can often slowly speed up incrementally, Thursday's was pared down to the strict minimum.
There's no denying Morrison's ability to strip away any superfluous elements, showcasing one of the simplest forms of micro-house I've ever experienced. And while the visuals and the compositions were in tandem, highlighting each other's restraint, a different set of projections may have enhanced the offering, creating a more immersive experience. On its own it wouldn't have been as obvious, but when surrounded by a slew of other performers vying for the same effect — often on the same night — it wouldn't hurt to stand out a bit.