I leave tomorrow night after Sasha. I'm freaking out!
Safe travels, Heidi! See you in a few days. Can't wait to eat over there!! Email me your plans for Tuesday night. We should be into our apartment by 9 or so then gonna head out to chow down on some fucking tapas.
well here's something for Saturday and it's free
Looks like they are doing plastikman screenings. I wonder what that's like.
Levon and Jackmaster. 2 guys at the top of their game imo. Levon was silly good a few weeks ago in SF.
Then again, you really can't go wrong either way. Have fun guys!
Uh, that m_nus thing is like 6 blocks from where I'm staying, so I think, hell yes.
I have no idea at all what I'm doing on Tuesday yet, but tapas sound good.
I can say that Four Tet is at the top of his game at the moment as well. He blew me away a few months back when I caught him. It will be a great night for yall regardless. Plus it looks like your Saturday plans are secure now. Stoked for you guys!
^ Good to know. Never had the pleasure of seeing him DJ. Seen him live. Hope to catch a DJ set sooner rather than later.
Heidi - Saturday I hope to get an early start and hit up an area close to you for some shopping then we'll be at that show. We gotta bail early though because we have to be at Plaça de Catalunya by 9pm for our night bus tour. I'm so excited.
Sounds good. I just printed my tentative sonar schedule (they let you customize and create PDFs on their site).
Edit: see below.
My plan is NO SLEEPING from Friday afternoon till Sunday mid-day.
Last edited by chiapet; 06-07-2012 at 02:37 PM.
Yup! That's what I was thinking. Really, I could be happy seeing everything from the 2 Bears onward till close that night, but I need to figure out my priorities that night. Some of the off-Sonar parties look amazing but are artists I've already seen, whereas Sonar has a lot of stuff I haven't caught yet.
In theory what I'm doing:
Wednesday - Rejected vs. Saved beach club party during the day, Ovum at night.
Thursday - a few hours of Sonar by Day, part of the Classic showcase, and part of Warehoused
Friday - Possibly a little of the Apollonia vs. Visionquest beach club party, possibly some of the m_nus event, John Talabot @ Sonar by day, and some part of Sonar by Night (I'm reconsidering going early and may just come in for Richie -> James Murphy -> Squarepusher. Where do I fit Innervisions into this??
Saturday - maybe some of the m_nus event, and a lot of Sonar by Night
The more I look at Sonar by Night the more I love the schedule. Have they mentioned who's playing the bumper car area yet? Or does that just overlap with the other areas?
I may not do anything on Sunday. Seems like a good day to recuperate and go to the beach or something.
Last edited by chiapet; 06-07-2012 at 02:39 PM.
Have crazy amounts of fun, everyone. Super jealous and excited to hear about how it goes.
2/21: Weyes Blood, Half Waif, 20 Minute Loop, Young Moon @ Swedish American Hall
2/22: Uniform, Black Marble, Mall Walk, Blank Square @ Starline Social Club
2/23: Hot Toddies, Great Apes, Brasil
2/23: Japanese Breakfast, Miya Folick, Dante Elephante, Flying Circles @ Rickshaw Stop
2/23: Julien Baker @GAMH
2/24: OCD, Trash Vampire, Phosphene
2/24: This Will Destroy You, Emma Ruth Rundle @ The Independent
2/24: Dr. Rubenstein, Erika, Christina Chatfield @ Monarch
Hah.. no commentary or reviews yet. Interesting.
I ended up going to less than I'd listed here but more than I really thought I'd go to. Tough decisions most days, due to the number of really good lineups for parties that overlapped in schedules. Ended up going to some of the Rejected vs. Saved beach party on Wednesday, most of Ovum on Wednesday, all of the Warehoused showcase on Thursday (skipped the Classic showcase, as good as it sounded on paper, because I was so unhappy with that venue's crowd the previous night), went to some of the Innervisions party on Friday, almost all of Sonar by night on Friday, tried to go to the M_nus party on Saturday but the line was longer than I cared to wait through, all of Sonar by Night on Saturday, and most of the Flying Circus beach party on Sunday.
I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by most of the venues used for both the Sonar and off Sonar events. The free beach parties we went to turned out to be really cool... the sound of course wasn't great since it was just open air on the beach, but it was really cool that there was essentially no venue, so not only was it free for entry, you could bring your own food, alcohol, etc, and there was enough space to come and go as you liked at any point in the day or night. The setting for the Innvervisions party was really cool -- again being outdoors, sound could have been better (was good on the 'dance floor', not good once you moved out of that space), but it was very lenient about outside food/beverage, had great views of the city, lots of grassy hillside to sit on, and the ability to wander around Poble Espanyol. Boulevard, Mephisto, I thought had really good sound and were good spaces. Sonar by Night had terrific sound and I thought it was pretty well set up in terms of logistics considering how many people were there. The free M_nus party is the only thing I had to wait in line very long at all for. Everything else had really efficient control at the door for ticketed customers. Transportation to/from everything was really good considering the time of night I was going to and leaving things. It was kind of amazing to just see people out on the street cavorting at all hours of the night.
I was really unpleasantly surprised by the crowd behavior at most of the stuff I went to. Ovum's crowd was so bad that, despite its lineup being the one I had most looked forward to of the week, I could barely stand to be there, and couldn't wait to leave. I can't even really go into it in depth, but will just say: people who have little interest in MUSIC and who are just out 'clubbing' in order to get fucked up, get their picture taken, and get attention. I wanted at least 1/4 of the people in Max Cooper's crowd to die. Like, if I had a weapon on me, I would have gone on a killing spree for the good of humanity. As I did not, we almost got into a physical altercation with some of the really awful people there. It was a bad scene.
The whole week was like... a lot of people doing drugs extremely openly in plain view of event staff / security even during day time hours, and people getting so fucked up all day and all night that they couldn't even function in the middle of a crowd. People who were ONLY there to get incredibly drunk and/or fucked up. They had no idea about the music at all, did not know who they were seeing, and actually made an effort to distract others from the music and to detract from the music. People who -- seeing photographers there to photograph the event, would knock everyone in their path down on their way to push themselves in front of the photographer, until they were sure they were having their photograph taken. People who tried to talk to the DJ through their sets. Not talk to them like ... about their set. Or even ask for requests, as bad as that would be. But like HEY CAN I HAVE YOUR DRINK? and trying to TOUCH/PLAY with their equipment. HOLY FUCK. Sometimes it was so bad that it made me want to punch people (like the couple at Max who kept knocking everyone out of the way while they tried to video record themselves dancing, oblivious to the show). Sometimes it was so bad that it made me laugh (like the girl who pushed her way to the rail at Squarepusher, only to take out her schedule and try to figure out who the fuck was on anyway).
It seemed like Wednesday and Friday nights were much worse for crowds than the others. It could be that I just picked the wrong parties, but other people I talked to were really dismayed with some of the parties too. I didn't expect them to be such shit shows, and I expected people to be more interested in the actual DJs and music that was on. It surprised me that Sonar by Night on Saturday with deadmau5 and Pretty Lights actually didn't have a terrible crowd. (I guess if there was a terrible crowd, they were at a different stage than me).
Sonar by Night's scheduling turned out to be awesome - I can honestly say I saw great stuff from start to finish each night. But on Friday the crowd was so bad that it was difficult to enjoy some of the sets. If I'd been sober, there would have been no way I could stay there. I didn't make it to any of Sonar by day, but I suspect the crowd was good for that. Most of the daytime stuff seemed to be a little more subdued and in control.
I guess I'll post actual reviews and maybe pictures on the stuff I saw, at some point later... for now... I dunno. I saw really really good sets, and some of the parties were terrific, but the awfulness of the crowds really did overshadow the music at several of the events. I think I'd go back again (maybe even next year) because it really was an opportunity unlike any other I've had so far to pick from such a wealth of fantastic events, but I already feel wary just thinking about the people we had to put up with.
Last edited by chiapet; 06-26-2012 at 03:19 AM.
Yay Heidi made it back alive! It was so great meeting up with you over there. I had such a blast but I must say that most of my enjoyment came from being in Barcelona. That city is great and I am very much looking forward to another excursion in Spain. Our apartment was so close to the beach and the public transportation available made it so easy to get to any tourist attraction or venue. I expected to cab it a couple time over the course of the week but the only time we did was getting to and from the airport out of laziness/exhaustion.
I'll try to keep it relevant. First off, I would not recommend Sonar the festival. The sound and venue were amazing but it was SO crowded (at least the night we went, Friday). The amount of smoke in the main room was really draining on me (I woke up with a sore throat that morning and was sick by the next) and those bathroom lines were rough. They seem to have it down as far as the cheap shuttles to the venue, the sound was AMAZING, but it was just too crowded for my taste. Sonar by Day may have been more tolerable.
I would recommend Barcelona during Sonar. The amount of quality events going on was overwhelming. I'm sure the city is a great place any time of the year, but there was just a constant energy in the air. The Ovum show on Wednesday was pretty crappy. I think my biggest complaint was the sound bleed from the main room when you were on the left side of the 2nd room. I really enjoyed everyone we saw that night- KiNK, Max Cooper, and Perc. I wish we had the energy to stay till the end of Perc though. Thursday I went to East Ender which is a 4 day event held at an outdoor venue on the beach. I went specifically for CLR's showcase which was to start at 9pm but ended up beginning around 10pm (the event began at 2pm but CLR didn't start until 10 and ran till 6am). The event was kind of a mess - no real set times were ever announced; there were no schedules or booklets; drinks were a lot; you had to buy a cup to fill with beer or soda which cut down on trash tremendously; as well as drink tickets in advance. It never got super crowded at the 2nd stage (Desolat ran the main stage and it was a fucking shit show over there), the sound was great, the venue was gorgeous, the bathroom situation was fine, and there were bats flying around. I was able to catch all of dOP's set and really enjoyed them. Tommy Four Seven followed and was solid, Brian Sanhaji was also solid, Marcel Dettmann was a trainwrecking fool schmoozing it up taking photos and shots the whole time, Terence Fixmer was ok, and then Chris Liebing played for 3 glorious hours into a lovely sunrise. Everyone we spoke with that night knew who they were seeing music-wise which was not the situation AT ALL at Sonar. Oh and the security was practically non existent everywhere I went. At East Ender, 2 security guys walked by yelling at people to dance and were just cracking up. They didn't care what was going on. I didn't see anyone get arrested, kicked out, busted, etc.
I was really excited for Friday since I would be seeing Amon Tobin, Nicolas Jaar, Richie Hawtin, Untold, and Squarepusher. The shuttle system they set up was great - centrally located pick up, cheap at €2.50, and only took 15 minutes to get to the venue. We headed over fairly early in order to beat the crowds and purchase our tickets at the door. The whole process was extremely easy and there were no lines anywhere. Entering the venue took no time at all and the search was just a glance in my bag. The venue was large and awesome - just a massive newer warehouse type of building with two of the stages having no roof overhead but walls all around. The sound at all 3 stages was dialed in perfectly. Eduardo de la Calle was the first set I caught since I arrived early and decided to get a spot for Amon Tobin. The sound for ISAM was unreal. I saw that show in Seattle but the sound at Sonar was so incredible that it seemed like a new experience. I did leave after a couple tracks because I wanted to get a decent spot for Nicolas Jaar. The crowd there was a mixture of completely clueless people waiting for their chance to fist pump and people that had an idea of what to expect. It wasn't until the end of Jaar's set when trying to head to the Sonar Pub stage that I realized how fucking crowded the venue now was. It was a mess. Made it over to Sonar Pub and grabbed a drink somewhat easily but didn't stay long because James Blake was just doing an awful job at djing. I won't even get into Richie's boring set but after his 90 minutes were up the main room of 10-12K? cleared out by 80% and I went to the rail for Untold into Squarepusher which was the highlight of the night. If anyone ever puckers their lips while looking at you and mimes applying lipstick, they are asking for chapstick. Ignore them. Or laugh at them. That crowd was a trip. When my boyfriend and I arrived at Sonar on Friday we were already discussing returning the next night but by the time Richie Hawtin started we agreed that there was no way we would return.
I found out from a very nice Brit that FACT magazines 4 day party that was to run from noon-10pm Thursday-Sunday got busted around 6:30pm on Thursday. It was being held at the olympic pool up in Montjuic so the venue had a kick ass view. That was to be my Sunday show but since they got shut down on Thursday and cancelled Friday's we decided we'd probably bail. They did find a venue for Saturday and Sunday but the comments on their RA and fb event pages were so negative that we figured it would be wise to bail. Music seemed to be a second or third priority for us. Having never been to Barcelona before I found myself not even caring about making it to shows and opted for sight seeing and relaxing at the beach instead. I think the highlight of my trip was eating acid and going to the beach, Barcelona Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, then on a tour of Casa Batlló. That was an amazing day! I can definitely see the appeal and where the hype stems from over Off Sonar week. Barcelona is such an incredible place to hold the plethora of events over this insane week. There were even shows getting announced the week of - it was really quite overwhelming! I am so glad that we went and would love to return especially now that I have a better idea of what to expect.
This is long. Sorry. Killing time at work until an appointment, heh.
Saturday at Sonar by Night did turn out to be a LOT better -- in terms of being far less crowded and a much better crowd. It's baffling because I thought for sure that the acts booked that night would draw a worse audience. When I wandered away from you guys at the beginning of Richie's set, my night changed for the better -- the crowd was so much better in the other room, and being in the open air was also a lot more manageable for me in terms of the cigarette smoke. The shuttle situation afterwards was also completely different (people actually queued up in a single file line and waited patiently). I really don't understand what caused Friday to be so bad.
Sonar by Night on Friday and Ovum on Wednesday were the only things that were really pretty terrible crowd-wise but it was just so severe that it really dampened my spirits going into the weekend. I probably would have tried to do more parties if I hadn't been feeling so deflated by those two nights. I still had a pretty incredible time though.
Let's see. On Wednesday, Aaron and I went over to the Rejected vs. Saved free beach party at Mac Arena Beach Club for a while. We mostly wanted to see how long it took to get to the venue, since it was pretty far away from the city center, and how strict the venue policies were (about backpacks, etc). I was really, really pleasantly surprised with that place, and given the quality of lineups they had there, I would probably even consider just going to Barcelona during Sonar week to hang out a bit at those free parties. They posted set times well in advance, so it was very easy to show up just for what you wanted to see. The weather was perfect, and we caught Mark Fanciulli and Subb-An before leaving to get ready for the night time events. I have to say that the crowd was already getting kind of sloppy by 6PM (people next to us first selling molly completely openly, like money and baggies exchanging hands totally openly, then kept doing k totally openly and were falling all over and tackling each other in the middle of the crowd. Good grief).
At Ovum at Boulevard Culture Club with Lilia and Adam, I saw Max Cooper, KiNK, parts of Perc and Luca Bachetti's set, and the tiniest bit of the Steve Bug B2B with Josh Wink set. I liked parts of the venue. There was sound bleed in a specific spot but I thought the rest was pretty good. I think if it had been less crowded and the crowd had been less awful, we would have had a really good time there, and I would have gladly stayed till the end. I didn't leave due to lack of energy, just lack of willingness to be around those people any longer. When I think about the music I saw there, that was a REALLY good 4 hours of music.
On Thursday, I laid pretty low and only made it to one party. This was primarily because of how poor I thought the crowds were on Wednesday. It took a lot of effort to make myself go out on Thursday, especially since I mostly wanted to see Max and he wasn't playing until 5AM. But I skipped all the other parties I had planned, and just focused on this one, Warehoused's 2nd Birthday party celebration at Mephisto. Really happy with the decision. Mephisto was a bit further away from the tourist areas and other venues, but very easy to get to (1 token = less than 1 euro) night bus ride that took me right from my apartment to right to the venue in about 20 minutes. The bus was full of people going to the show, making small talk in many languages, and passing around bottles of wine. At Mephisto, it was clearly a more restrained and more experienced club-going crowd. People were for sure drinking a lot and quite a few people appeared to be high as fuck if you actually looked them in the eye, but they were not a mess, everyone seemed knowledgeable about the music and was dancing hard most of the night. There I saw Oliver $, Catz n Dogz, Deetron, Butch, and Max Cooper. I wasn't really that into Butch's set, but the rest of the acts was great. It was particularly thrilling for me that the crowd -- while having thinned out a bit -- substantially picked up in energy for Max's set. There were quite a few people there who were clearly familiar with his music, ie, as the first notes of particular tracks were played, people would cheer and dance their asses off. I noticed a lot of people sitting out Butch's set, only to go fucking nuts during Max.
After that night, I was ready to make more of an effort on Friday. A day of tough calls as there were 5 different events I wanted to go to, all overlapping, and had to scrap some plans in order to make the best of the events I was going to. I headed up to Poble Espanyol for the Innervisions showcase. This was set in the monastery courtyard of the Spanish Village, and they had brought in Funktion One sound to support the event, so the sound was quite good within the main event area (though not very good off to the sides on the hills where you could sit and watch). Things started off slowly and they had a couple of technical glitches early on, but the crowd started to build and people were dancing more later in the afternoon. I caught Dixon & Ame, Tale of Us, and Henrik Schwarz there. It was a shame to leave before seeing Todd Terje (and the Ame live set), but I'd decided I wanted to check out all of Sonar by Night rather than going late in the night, and be able to hang out with Lilia some more. As my admission to this event included admission to Poble Espanyol, I took a little time to sightsee while I was up there and enjoy the spectacular views of the city). Drinks at this party were really expensive but also incredible. I am still thinking about my 10 Euro mojito.
I caught up with Lilia and Adam at Sonar. I was immediately impressed by the venue, the facilities and the sound. Caught the tail end of Eduardo de la Calle. I'd planned to watch just a little of ISAM, but the sound was so good, and the set was fitting my mood so perfectly, that I stayed through the end. The crowd for the set was terrific, especially towards the end. Lots of dnb heads just waiting for that last ~20 minutes of his set, heh. (In fact, they were awesome people watching all night). I was totally off my face, so afterwards, I hung back, watched part of Coyu and marveled that the whole place was set up for tripping! I took a little time to wander around and find the shortest beer lines, grab a ton of drink tickets and find the most hidden bathrooms which made the rest of the weekend a lot easier. I never waited in lines for more than a few minutes. I met up with Lilia and Adam again for Richie but it was SO smokey and I was so unhappy with the crowd, that when Richie's set started off in an incredibly boring way, I decided to split. I did check back a few times, to make sure it hadn't warmed up... nope, still bland. Caught a little of Annie Mac, then went to James Murphy's set -- which was fantastic. The crowd was good, his track selection was good (a nice mix of obvious/recognizable and weird stuff). Kind of changed my attitude towards the night. Plus being open air, I finally got a break from the thick cigarette smoke that was in the main room. Left just before Fatboy Slim came on and the crowd rushed into that stage... walked up to the SonarClub stage just as Untold ended and had no problem getting a spot on the rail for Squarespusher. His Sonar set was not at all as good as that at Creator's Project in SF, but was still pretty satisfying for me other than a very abrupt ending. After that, we left, having had enough of the crowds for the night, and had a pretty unbelievable adventure in Awful Partygoers trying to get home.
Saturday: I skipped sonar by day, I tried to do the free M_nus party but gave up after a long wait in line (I had to get to a post office to ship new records home ), then prepared for another night at Sonar. I ran into some friends on the Sonar shuttle who were going to join me, but when we arrived, they found the night had sold out. Despite this, it really didn't seem as crowded. It felt like a lot of people showed up for New Order and then left not long after. The crowds for the rest of the night were much thinner, and it also seemed to be an older crowd than the previous night. I arrived in time to get a good spot for New Order, who were ... OK. When I saw Bad Lieutenant a few years ago, I decided I never really needed to see New Order, and I probably could have held myself to that. It was satisfying to hear those songs live, but I really don't think Bernard sounds good at all these days. For most of the set, he just seemed winded and old. But! I'm happy to have seen this there included in my festival ticket price, rather than having sprung for a ticket once they tour. Afterwards, I caught most of Metronomy's set (who were pretty good), the first half of Maya Jane Coles's set (surprisingly good - much better than the bit of her set I saw at DEMF), all of Hot Chip (good), a small part of Azari & III (didn't really strike my fancy), the second half of the Mary Anne Hobbs B2B Blawan set (which turned out to mostly just be Mary Anne Hobbs. She was ok. A few good tracks but got a little boring for me). Modeselektor was the highlight of my night, probably of my week, and I had no trouble getting a spot on the rail walking up at the last minute (though the crowd filled out pretty well after a few minutes). Stuck around for some of Laurent Garnier LBS, which was kind of boring. Watched a little of Kode 9, then popped my head into the main room (SonarClub) where deadmau5 was on. I wanted to see how bad the crowd was and how awful the set was -- based on Friday's showing, I thought the crowd would be a mess. It actually was fine though, and not really crowded at all. From there I kind of bounced around until Julio Bashmore came on, and finished out the night there.
On Sunday, I trekked back down to Mac Arena Beach Club with a supply of snacks, beer, and mimosa fixings, and got many hours of sun, while watching Heidi, Inxec, Clockwork, Bill Patrick, Benoit & Sergio, and (part of) Audiofly. Had to bail before the night was done to go do laundry, pack, and prepare for the rest of my trip...
I took a lot of photos on Saturday due to the ease of getting to the front of most stages -- and some videos -- I will see if there is anything worth uploading.
In summary, I actually would recommend Sonar, but with the caveats that the crowd could be as bad or worse than any US EDM massive, that some of the sets may be indoors with virtually everyone but you chain smoking cigarettes, and that you have to be willing to give up the good spot you've staked out to get away from annoying/bad crowd members. I went in on Saturday with a much different attitude and had a much better time. Next time (and I am thinking of going next year again), I would not buy a Sonar festival pass, I'd wait until set times are posted and then buy one or both Sonar by Night passes, in advance, if I wanted to go. I would plan more time at the beach parties and earlier day parties. And I would probably avoid some of the venues in the Ramblas areas which seemed to attract bad "clubber" crowds that were not present at the further away venues. I also found that drink prices were a lot better once I got away from those more central places. (Mephisto drinks were like 1/2 the price of Blvd. Even Sonar's drink prices were really not that bad - like 2 euro for water, 4 euro for beer, 7 euro for red bull & vodka). It was brilliant to be able to walk to and from most of the shows or have a cheap bus or shuttle ride home.
I'm actually pretty happy with the trip... there were a lot of minor problems and set backs but I love Barcelona and had a great time there and thought my trip was a perfect balance of partying/event going mixed with relaxing and eating and enjoying the city and weather. There were so many choices at all hours of the day and night that it was pretty easy to pace oneself, for example, feeling able to take time to have a leisurely dinner before going out, or to come home and chill over beers or bloody marys for a few hours before going to bed.
Last edited by chiapet; 06-26-2012 at 02:51 PM.
Man, the crowds at Primavera were like the absolute polar opposite of what you experienced. Glad it was still a great time though.
8/7/16 - Sufjan Stevens @ Hollywood Bowl // 8/8/16 - Radiohead @ Shrine // 8/8/16 - Boris @ Regent
9/14/16 - Wilco @ Theatre at Ace Hotel // 9/18/16 - Kraftwerk @ Hollywood Bowl
Now that I've complained a lot about Sonar, here is one of the most fun things ever. Neon, blacklights, strobe, bleep bloops, and not being able to see straight....
The DJs for SonarCar weren't very good, though.
Edit: Lucy played the SonarCar stage in 2011. I'd kill to have been there.
Last edited by chiapet; 07-09-2012 at 05:21 PM.
Shall we just keep this thread for Sonar 2013?
Almost certain I am in for next year.
Sonar 2013 will be held June 13-15, 2013. The first round of announcements were made last week:
Kraftwerk – 3D show (DE)
Pet Shop Boys (UK)
Two Door Cinema Club (UK)
Hot Natured (UK)
Lindstrøm & Todd Terje (NO)
Vatican Shadow (US)
Bradien + Eduard Escoffet (ES)
Fantastic Mr Fox (UK)
The 20th anniversary of Sonar Barcelona will take place on the 13th, 14th and 15th June 2013.
The stand-out feature of the line-up preview is the extraordinary new show in 3D by Kraftwerk. The prestigious German group was founded in 1970 and has been one of the most influential outfits in the music of the last 40 years, in electronica and in popular music in general. Their eight studio albums are more than classics - they are true anthems in recent music history. For their performance at Sonar 2013, Kraftwerk will be reviewing their hits with a unique and updated sound at SonarClub, the festival's main stage. Their new show adapts 3D technology to their own language and gives body and volume to the powerful imagery that has accompanied them throughout their career. The show can be enjoyed with standard 3D glasses.
Another unquestionable benchmark - in this case in the field of electronic pop - is the British duo Pet Shop Boys. After the recent release of their latest album "Elysium”, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who began working together in the early ‘80s, will be presenting a new show featuring visuals and technological content at Sonar Barcelona. The creators of countless legendary songs of our era, including “West End Girls”, “Domino Dancing”, “It's A Sin”, “Always On My Mind”, “Go West”, “Being Boring”, “Domino Dancing”, “Flamboyant” and “New York City Boy”, Pet Shop Boys have always been a step ahead of their peers, shrewdly navigating the currents of electronic pop and dance music, while maintaining an admirable and carefully balanced critical and commercial success.
The Northern Ireland trio Two Door Cinema Club is another of the great attractions in the line-up of Sonar 2013. During their live show, the band will be reviewing their two albums released to date, which have made them one of today's most powerful and vigorous producers of electropop hits, with tracks like “What you know”, “Undercover Martyn” and “Something Good Can Work”.
Within Sonar's 100% dance territory, this year's highlights include the live show from Hot Natured, the energetic collective of DJs and producers led by the already essential Jamie Jones, the new king Midas of underground house, and the special collaboration between Lindstrom & Todd Terje, Norwegian producers who combine luminous electronica and nu-disco. Another name on the up, Fantastic Mr Fox, will be deploying his unique vision of R&B on an abstract and at the same time danceable tip.
Among the sonic explorers, the festival presents Vatican Shadow, the project who rediscovers industrial techno by the American producer Dominick Fernow.
In the Spanish artists section, we have a couple of very special guests, Bradien + Eduard Escoffet, the combination of the Barcelona-based instrumental group and the poet Eduard Escoffet presenting their new album 'Pols' live.
More line-up will be announced soon.
You should keep an eye on it! The festival itself is one thing (and will have a lot of good acts), in addition to that, last year, there were like 150+ *other* events during the Weds-Sun of that week. I'm not exaggerating either. Some days had 40+ events.
Paul Kalkbrenner (DE)
Sherwood + Pinch (UK)
Nicolas Jaar (US)
Foreign Beggars (UK)
Maceo Plex (US)
Mykki Blanco (US)
Karenn (Blawan + Pariah) (UK)
Gold Panda (UK)
La Bien Querida (ES)
Sound Pellegrino presenta Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team + Matthias Zimmermann (FR)
These new names include outfits whose appeal is tried and tested, like the British trio Darkstar, one of the most interesting projects to emerge from low-rev dubstep, who are about to release their new LP, "News From Nowhere", on the prestigious London label Warp; and the American trio Liars, presenting their excellent new LP "WIXIW," which is much more synth-based and oriented towards electronica than their previous albums.
Among the latest names to be added to Sónar Barcelona is the new artistic duo Karenn, which brings together two masters of today's rawest techno: Blawan - who astonished us at Sónar by Night last year - and the talented Pariah; the New York trap producer Baauer, who has hit the mark this year with his formula of powerful basses and rhythmic forcefulness; the British beatmaker Gold Panda, the main man at the Ghostly International label; and the haute école funk-based tech-house by the popular American dj Maceo Plex.
Sónar 2013 also presents the performance by a unique and very special duo: consisting of Adrian Sherwood, a cult name in dub in the British Isles and the founder of the influential On-U Sound label, and Pinch, an eminent personality on the Bristol dubstep (and post-dubstep) scene.
Two international electronica benchmarks return, in the shape of Germany's Paul Kalkbrenner, now consolidated as one of today's most popular names, who will be bringing his new album 'Guten Tag' under his arm; and the Chilean-American Nicolas Jaar, who returns to Sónar for the third consecutive year entirely on merit.
Two of the biggest names on the Spanish scene, Delorean and La Bien Querida, will also be present at Sónar Barcelona. The Basque outfit are releasing a new album in 2013, two years after the international success of "Subiza," while the project by Ana Fernández Villaverde and David Rodríguez has given their songs a considerable twist, dressing them up in dazzling techno-pop costumes for their latest album, "Ceremony."
Two unique and irreverent artists will be visiting from the United States underground scene: Mykki Blanco, the standard bearer of the movement known as "queer rap" (a mixture of hip-hop rhyming and powerful techno basses); and Christeene, a man-woman who takes the extravagance and perversion of electronic pop one step beyond mischief by means of a highly individual sense of humour.
This batch of additions is rounded off by the showcase from the French label Sound Pellegrino, in association with the historic rap group TTC and a platform for some of today's most cutting-edge and freshest dance beats, headed by Matthias Zimmermann and the Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team; and the highly respected British hip hop and grime collective Foreign Beggars, presenting their powerful new album, "The Uprising".
Karenn. This is making my day better.
I decided to start a new thread for Sonar 2013, so that the first page can be kept updated with the lineup & after party announcements: