Elektra is over, and I’m left cold. Not just because it snowed on the last day of the festival, (leaving me no choice but to wear every single article of clothing I had brought with me to MTL at once,) but because last night’s finale, sadly, fell short of what I was hoping for.
We were presented with four performances by artists on the Berlin-based raster-noton music label, known for their roster of minimalist electronic artists. Not to speak to the specific quality of each performance, because the actualy sound engineering of each was quite well done, it was the the absolute minimality of the programming that left me wishing I kept both my extra sweaters on at Usine C. The abstract, if not atonal, sounds pumping violently through the speakers created a wall of such solid sound that it literally felt as though I was swimming in it trying to move from my space on the floor over to the bar – an immersive experience, most certainly, but agressive beyond agressive. There was also a marked lack of visual accompaniment, or willingness to use the video medium to its full potential, in many of the performances, which made for a much less dynamic presentation on the whole than we had been used to experiencing nightly during the festival. It was this lack of sensual variety from performer to performer and from track to track that left truly left me wanting more, wishing that the festival hadn’t ended on this particular note. Much more suited for the festival’s last evening, AD remarked to me as we removed our (absolutely essential) earplugs, would have been Tasman Richardson or Jubal Brown, artists who use both audio and visual mediums to their full advantage, and could have much better showcased the vastly orignal and innovate work being created by Canadian artists.