Nicola Cruz made his Montreal debut as part of Sunday night's (August 27) NOCTURNE 6: Other Hemispheres at the Society for Arts and Technology during MUTEK. The Ecuadorian DJ and producer married a sense of the natural beauty and folkloric rituals of his native Ecuador with a more contemporary electronic sound palette, integrating indigenous and Latin melodies.
Cruz bears a loose sonic resemblance to the distinctly South American sound collages of Nicolas Jaar. Playfully referring to his sound as "Andes Step," Cruz imbued his chromatic set with a sense of spirituality, as he garnished the Latin instrumentation of his set with heavy, bass-centric percussion. He made full use of hardware controllers onstage, resulting in live performance that was overwhelmingly warm, diverse and intricate.
The intricate and fluid performance of his dub-tinged Andean downtempo was an immersive experience that was hypnotic, psychedelic and relentlessly danceable. The entire floor was restlessly gyrating for the length of his hour-long set, bringing Ecuadorian heat to the floor in Montreal.