Montreal, Quebec's yearly Mutek festival began in 2000 with the aim to showcase a wide swath of cutting-edge electronic music from established and upcoming acts. Over a five-day period, dozens of producers from several countries populate the city to don their skills and further develop network ties throughout the globe. Some of the artists featured during the festival's inaugural year included Finland's Vladislav Delay, Germany's Thomas Brinkmann, and Canada's (via Czechoslovakia) Thomas Jirku; for 2001, the festival enjoyed building success, featuring many repeat guests, several newcomers, and significantly increased attendance. Experimental labels like Cologne, Germany's Traum and Kompakt each had their own nights devoted to their producers, and other notables like Herbert and Ricardo Villalobos also highlighted the second year. To further get the word out about Mutek, this compilation was issued, boasting 11 completely exclusive tracks (out of 13) from some of the festival's participants. Somewhat defeating the purpose, not much information is provided within the packaging; those who aren't in the know might think Mutek to merely be a new label and not the event that it truly is. Like the festival, the disc touches upon the brainier corners of electronic music, touching upon the strains of tech-house, experimental techno, and ambient. Over a third of the disc is devoted to Traum and Kompakt-related producers like Dettinger, Closer Musik, Process, and Argentina's Gustavo Lamas, who provides one of the strongest cuts with "Enredos." Force Inc.'s Jetone and Mikael Stavostrand also pitch in, as do heavies Brinkmann and Matmos. Overall, this is a decent bet for those who are voracious fans of the producers. Not surprisingly, many of the artists' tracks aren't on the level of their regular material; as a result, the credibility-establishing newcomers often outshine their veteran peers.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman