Aleksi Perälä MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 24

Aleksi Perälä MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 24
Photo: Trung Dung Nguyen
There are few in the game who have been able to make a career out of IDM for as long as Aleksi Perälä without sounding dated. There are many avenues the Finnish producer could've taken for his MUTEK set — anything from ambient cruises to downtempo plods — but this was at MTelus, a bona fide club, where being able to cut a rug to the performance was a necessity.
Thankfully, Perälä didn't disappoint in that aspect. This was never going to be as effortless as house or techno, however — you could certainly dance to this, but it wasn't a passive affair. As is generally the case with this style of music, some thought was required of the listener to process all those odd time signatures. While that might sound heavy to deal with, Perälä somehow managed to be thought-provoking and fast-paced at the same time.
His set was punctuated with moments of serenity, but you were never too far away from those 150bpm drums kicking back in. He ran through pieces of acid drum & bass, which eventually evolved into greater speeds of pummelling. The last 20 minutes rose to a whomping techno zenith, with strobe lights flickering at seizure-inducing levels. It was intense, but after a few days of experimental fare (which were amazing in their own right), it felt like everyone needed to get sweaty. So, thanks to Perälä for that.