For all the multi-camera Boiler Room rigs and debates over how vinyl records make music more visible than on a laptop, there’s an elephant in the room.
Most electronic music fans don’t have any clue what’s going on. And even if you do, most of the technique behind the records is invisible – doubly so when the prevalence of DJing emphasizes mixing over musical improvisation.
So, Jeff Mills’ “Exhibitionist 2” project – a film and performance series following up on the video/music release of a decade ago – seems both compelling and aptly named.
It brings us back to some ingredients sorely needed in techno and electronic music.
Science fiction and futurism? Check. Scifi writer David Calvo will be on-hand, and don’t miss Mr. Mills waxing poetic on science and the future in a recent Fact interview.
The human body, gesture, and performance? Absolutely. Pianist Mikhaïl Rudy and choreographer Michel Abdoul are collaborating with Mills at Paris’ legendary Louvre, connecting modern art to old, machine performance to organic. Bassist Angie Taylor and keyboardist Gerald Mitchell will render materials from the release live, too.
And the goal is nothing more than the liberation of the DJ. The film will display “not only how a DJ uses the latest technology, but how he thinks in real time to create and work spontaneously like a musician playing an acoustic instrument or a soloist thinking of rhythms on-the-spot …. how the technology of today is allowing DJs to be more free and thus, more creative,” says Mills in the press for the project.
Most of the European scene will be in Barcelona on the 19th for SONAR, but if you’re in Paris you can catch him live in his residency.
It’s impressive just how much love Detroit artists continue to get on the other side of the Atlantic – behold, one of the world’s dustiest art museums makes Mills a resident. (To be fair, New York’s Museum of Modern Art has managed to reach out, too, from its PS 1 series to residencies like King Britt.) But the fandom in Europe for Detroit and the USA is nonetheless staggering.
And if none of this has you sold yet, well –
You also get Jeff Mills absolutely wailing on a 909 in what appears to be The Construct loading program from The Matrix. And that’s simply badass.
This scene does kind of sum up festival EDM versus 90s techno for some of us: