Whenever I visit a new city for the first time I’m always armed with my trusty Lonely Planet travel book. Come the second visit, having gotten all the classic sightseeing locations stricken off my must-see-in-my-lifetime list, I dump the guide books and make sure to Facebook people residing in that same city and get the lowdown on what’s simmering on a local level. This usually results in a lot of actively seeking out their suggested gallery openings, visiting their work studios/spaces, exploring local music dens where their bands play, etc. It’s a side of a city that’s just not found in the usual tour guide’s more pedestrian Top 10 lists. So now that I’m on my third visit to one of my favorite metropolises, it’s time to get damn right down and familiar with my city. Visit the ‘local’s’ bars — which are hidden amidst the tourist bars and restaurants with their low key signage — where I hope they have kept my seat warm. This time I’ll be armed with my notebook, and for the next few weeks reporting on the “What’s What & Who’s Who” that makes a city truly a place to want to keep going back to visit. Come along with Lost In a Supermarket and follow our upcoming LIAS Takeover: Barcelona series, featuring posts and interviews.
Starting here with my pre coverage of Barclona’s pioneering festival Sónar and SonarPro. This Year Barcelona will see its 19th Sónar event — a festival of advanced music and multimedia art that has been taking place at various venues in Barcelona, Spain in the third week of June since 1994. More than 80,000 people will attend the festival day and night (concerts, showcases, professional zone, exhibition area), which presents the leading names on the international music landscape. It boasts an extensive line-up of emerging artists and DJs (including essentials like New Order, The Roots, Amon Tobin (who we’ve featured HERE), James Murphy, Fatboy Slim, Canada’s Deadmau5, Hot Chip, Die Antwood, Squarepusher, British house, Maya Jane Coles and Julio Bashmore, Mouse on Mars, et al), trendsetters in today’s music and new media art along with its more professional/career-aimed side event: SonarPro. SonarPro is an essential area of Sónar that allows both professionals and the sector of the public that is most interested in technological innovation to keep abreast of what is happening in the creative businesses and industries sector. There are product presentations, lectures by leaders in various disciplines and meetings with other professionals.
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If you’re a so called ‘music head’ then the Sónar program is simply faultless, its lineup extensive and well considered, including current experimental multi-genre music producers like Flying Lotus, the man behind the Californian Brainfeeder label, emerging talent from the dark synthpop duo from Canada, Trust, and the Russian techno DJ and producer Nina Kraviz. The festival also features the Red Bull Music Academy for a second year running, and this year BBC Radio 1 have joined forces with Sonar and programmed a special lineup curated by Annie Mac. Annie hosted the BBC Radio 1 Presents Stage on June 15th and BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix was broadcast live (which you can STREAM HERE now), featuring sets from Simian Mobile Disco (presenting their new record, “Unpatterns”), DJ sets from Annie Mac herself on the decks, the duo of French DJs Brodinski vs Gesaffelstein, and British beat makers Jack Beats.
Personally I’m most looking forward to reporting on Sónar’s selection of what they deem to be the most relevant and interesting artists on the scene today including live shows by Arbol (presenting his new album, halfway between electronic and acoustic sounds), El_Txef_A (quality deep house from Bilbao), Koulomek (with a show featuring visual and interactive electronica), the Barcelona-based Cadiz native Fábel (melodic IDM) and Microfeel (cinematic electronica), sessions by Logical Nonsense (with a set of ambient electronica to kick things off), the eclectic electronics of emerging Coyu, the young and increasingly popular teams Yall DJs and Machine Beats, DJ2D2 and Amable (at Sónar for the first time), the DJ and director of the Ibiza Sónica radio station Igor Marijuán, the bloated beats of Blastto, a head-to-head set with Guillamino and Diego Armando (one of the main men behind the Bankrobber label), and the experimental and danceable techno of Eduardo de la Calle. That and I’ll be chatting with a bunch of festival goers to get their take on the festival. Stay tuned. Wish you were here! – Freddi c
Sónar 2012 Barcelona – June 14-16th