SlowPitch Monument-National, Montreal QC, June 1
Published Jun 02, 2013In complete, hushed silence and utter darkness, SlowPitch (aka Toronto's Cheldon Paterson) stepped back and composed himself for a moment before stepping forward to his table of gear for his second consecutive MUTEK performance. A spoken sample talking about snails chimed out over the top of fragile ambience in what sounded like an homage to The Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds": "Snails are simply just boring... or maybe you're fascinated by snails," the voice could be heard saying. Paterson placed the stylus on the label of a slab of vinyl and pulled the record dragging the needle over the paper, creating a sinister groaning sound. Organic-sounding beats drifted in from time to time, then falling back to a dark ambience filled with field samples of birds tweeting and cars passing by. Images of snails appeared on screen behind him in mirror image and heightened, processed colours. The audience, mostly seated on the floor, sat in entranced reverence, and the gapless set meant that there was no pause for applause until the very end. The psychedelic imagery of the Emoralis film (made in collaboration with Wifihifiscifi) made clever use of the snail's movements and antenna to create a compelling animation. Paterson has long shown mastery of the decks and electronics, but this performance also demonstrated mastery of building a compelling set arc and a fully immersive experience.