Published Aug 23, 2018Canada's most laudable electronic festival is now in its 19th year, and the excitement around Montreal has been building for weeks, but the first act to grace the outdoor stage at Place Des Arts didn't exactly pop; rather, we were eased into MUTEK by tinycastles, a duo made up of guitarist Thomas Boucher and vocalist Lyndsie Alguire.
With Boucher perched on a chair and Alguire kneeling down, hunched over some effects on a white tarp, they delivered a set of huge, sweeping drone music to a few small members of the audience. Numbers did grow after a while, but this was a gloomy day, and a gloomy performance too, so they fit right in. Alguire's vocals echoed out over the courtyard and beyond, everything seeming to slowly travel outward, wave by wave; some xylophonic twinkles were about as lively as their set got.
That said, liveliness wasn't quite the point here — this is live drone music after all. Something like this might have done better in a small room (or a tiny castle, for that matter) where their sound had something to bounce off of. As an outside opener, however, it didn't quite stir the excitement of things to come.