Robin Fox Monument-National, Montreal QC May 30
Published May 31, 2012Following Lustmord and Biosphere's slow-motion elegy to the Cold War, Australia's Robin Fox shifted gears considerably. Fox's minimal glitch aesthetic is abrasive and more visceral than Mark Fell or Alva Noto, and for his MUTEK set, the darkened stage sent forth a single band of green laser as a tonal pulse filled the air. The dominant theme in the show was sub-bass throb under glitch rhythms with a minimalist laser show and projections cast over the room. The music could be felt as much as it could be heard, rattling your rib cage with pneumatic force, like a more deranged Emptyset, who were on this same bill last year. Towards the end, Fox made a diversion into more IDM-ish Autechre territory before the lights went up and the lasers went off revealing the bearded musician onstage to a mixture of applause, nervous laughter and appreciative wolf whistles. This bold programming is exactly the kind of challenging audiovisual experience that makes MUTEK unique.