Last year Buzzcut breezed in, more or less under the radar, with a five-day event that thumbed its nose at all kinds of conventions.

On next to no money, and with next to no experience of programming or running a festival, the team – led by the initiating forces of Nick Anderson and Rosana Cade – pulled off a startlingly rich and varied feast of performance work, much of it by emerging artists.

Would they – could they – keep that raw, intense energy buzzing a year on, with more experience and a little money to hand?

Well, after the four-day stint in and around Mono, it's clear Anderson and Cade have already surpassed themselves without losing any of the risk-taking edge or the "high end professionalism on a low budget" principle that underpins the Buzzcut vision.

Inside Mono there was a daily roster of one-to-one encounters on offer while brave souls in warm clothing could take to the streets and follow Eilidh MacAskill on her Talkin' Bout Re-Generation walks. In nearby Albion Street an empty shop had been leased and turned into a performance space where an unexpected dimension crept into many a piece, thanks to the noise of passing traffic, shoppers and revellers.

Thomas McCulloch, in Landscape (Remix) (HHHH), was the only artist to strip away the window blinds so that his ritual actions – including holding a mirror up to nature (as represented in the room) – acquired an unpredictable context of urban life beyond the dividing glass. McCulloch's instinct for the antique and primal always creates a sense of "otherness". Here, it felt as if a time portal had opened behind his near-naked form, especially when curious eyes peered in from outside at ceremonies they could only guess at.

Not much has been tweaked – thank goodness – in 29:92 (Phyllis) (HHHH) since Laura Bradshaw showed it as a work-in-progress last year. What has developed is the unhurried poise, the quiet intensity within Bradshaw herself, as she listens to her 92-year old grandmother Phyllis chuckling and chatting (on tape) with no self-conscious restraints about her childhood, marriage and child-bearing – a life so removed from Bradshaw's present-day experiences, she can only try, through evocative movement motifs and occasional comments, to inhabit it. And yet, despite the distance in ages and lifestyle, she cannot help but carry something of Phyllis in her.

This warmly affectionate, affectingly honest solo celebrates a shared DNA, where a life-affirming sense of humour and a tendency to "just get on with things" connects both women.

Memories of Suburbia (HHHH) also evokes an elderly grandmother – indeed Will Dickie uses her actual china and her words in a beautifully tender, wistful solo that catches at the sense of loss she felt as family and friends passed away, and at the sense of loss he carries because of how his own childhood was bound up in those departed lives.

Lithely expressive dance episodes expose the ache and frustration of grief but what emerges, as Dickie dons a skirt and cardigan, is the love within his memories. A real Buzzcut highlight.

So too was Maxwell McCarthy's Muscles + Teeth (HHHH), a hot-struttin' muscle-flexin' wickedly kitsch walk on the pink side that – despite the loss of a tooth – was a bitingly satirical skite at both gay and macho stereotypes.

And stereotypes (as reinforced by ad men and marketing campaigns) were shot down in gales of laughter in Class Act (HHHH) as the affable Harry Giles provided sweets and serious food for thought by playing games about capitalism and the class system with us. Not every performance reached these heights, but overall there was a lot to enjoy and ponder.