Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME)

Luis Cardona

Various Venues in Downtown Winnipeg // August 14-17

Big Names // Download, Kevin Saunderson

Local Talent // Ghost Twin, DJ Voth

Cost // Festival passes are $60 while tickets to individual shows range from free to $30

Regular downtown parking rules apply.


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The Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME) has been going strong since 2010 as multi-venue event that puts the spotlight on local electronic artists in addition to showcasing heavy hitters from around the globe.

“Myself and some other people had been thinking of doing something like this in Winnipeg for years and years,” director Nathan Zahn says.

“Then in 2009 I went to Montreal to the MUTEK festival , which is a world renowned electronic music festival, and I was really inspired after that to make something like that happen here.”

This year buying a festival pass for MEME will allow you to catch three different shows at the Pyramid Cabaret, Union Sound Hall and Pantages Playhouse featuring a diverse roster of electronic music acts.

Additionally the Cube in Old Market Square will be buzzing the entire weekend with a number of performers you can catch for absolutely free.

“There’s three acts that really stand out in no particular order,” he says. “Kevin Saunderson is a really legendary techno producer from Detroit who is considered to be one of the three people that sort of founded the techno sound. Spy From Cairo is coming from New York and he plays an oud (a stringed instrument from the Middle East). He mixes a lot of cool world sounds with electronic music. Download is a band made up of the guys from Skinny Puppy, the whole industrial scene is a little different, but I think it will be some of the more creative and challenging sounds you’ll hear at the festival.”

But despite booking some bigger name acts from out of town, MEME’s focus is still pretty local and Zahn estimates about 70% of the line-up is from Manitoba.

“I think the scene here is similar to what’s going on in other cities, it’s usually split between two general scenes. One is the top 40 EDM (electronic dance music) party scene that’s mostly made up of teenagers and people in their 20s. The other is the older, long-time scene that’s for people of all ages and usually more sophisticated and artistic. The partying is still there, but it’s not the only focus,” he says.

One of the many local acts performing is Ghost Twin, which will be opening for Download at the Pantages Playhouse on August 16.

The duo, made up of Jaimz and Karen Asmundson, started in 2012 and plans to record its debut EP later this year.

“One of the things that was on my bucket list was actually seeing Skinny Puppy live and we actually went a few months ago to see them in Minneapolis during the winter,” vocalist/synth operator Jaimz says.

“It was great finally seeing them and now because of MEME we’re really looking forward to playing with some of them when they’re here with Download.”

Part of the series: 2014 Summer Festival Guide

Published in Volume 68, Number 29 of The Uniter (August 5, 2014)

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