Sonar is the reason why you should be in Barcelona, this June. And with an artist roster that boasts of some fantastic acts like A Trak, Flume and Fatboy Slim, need we say more?
Barcelona fits our definition of one of the most perfect cities in the world. The beautiful, athletic people, sun-soaked beaches and vibrant music scene is everything we need in life.
Sonar has been steadily gaining name after its inception in 1994 by Ricard Robles, Enric Palau, and Sergi Caballero. It gave the local music movement exactly what it needed, a platform for some its most noted acts to reach out to a much larger audience. And Barcelona has never looked back after this revolution. As if one festival were not enough, Sonar has branched into two entities, Sonar Day and Sonar Night. As you guessed it, Sonar Day covers the sprawling parties that take place right in the middle of the city as well as the gigs that happen during daytime, whereas Sonar Night is where all the after-dark magic ensues. Every year, Sonar keeps climbing up our wishlist. And this year, they seem to want to bring the house down with the single greatest electronica lineup that we have seen. Let’s take a look at some of the acts that you cannot afford to miss this year!
- A Trak
Starting his career at the super young age of 18, A Trak, or Alain Macklovitch is not to be taken lightly. The artist has managed to explore a ton of various genres but is specially known for his skills at the turntable. Not just that, he is also a record producer, music label executive and owner of record Label Fool’s Gold. He has managed to carve out a solid niche for himself, having collaborated with the likes of Armand Van Helden for the insanely popular ‘Barbara Striesand’. Make sure you do not miss his hip-hop laced set at Sonar!
The UK based artist takes the tag of multi-talented to a whole new level. Joseph Junior Adenuga, or better known as his stage name Skepta is a rapper, grime artist, songwriter and record producer all in his singular glory. Suffice to say, watching him perform is a treat to the trained eyes and ears, as he gives some of the most technically sound performances in the industry. If his Snowbombing performance is anything to go by, we cannot wait to see what he brings to one of the biggest music stages in the world.
3. Fatboy Slim
What can be said about Fatboy Slim that has not been said already? The electronica bigwig is all set to headline at the main Sónar Club stage at Sónar by Night. This is not the first time he is performing at the Barcelona stage as he performed at Sónar 4 years ago. Returning this year, the insanely talented musician is one of the most hotly anticipated acts. As it has been a crazy year already for the British superstar with gigs lined up all over the globe, it will be interesting to see how he caters to eager fans at Barcelona.
4. David August (live band)
Now here is an artist who is not afraid to experiment. David August flawlessly slits between diverse music genres, bringing them all together to form a collective sound so epic , something he’s maintained ever since his catapult into fame in 2010. His performances are heavily lined with thick bass lines, some imaginative keyboards and a whole lot of other instruments that are tweaked in almost every performance. He and his live band gave an unforgettable performance live in Cologne in 2015 that we still get goosebumps watching. Do. Not. Miss. His. Set.
5. James Blake
Slowly but surely, James Blake has cemented his name as one of the most essential artists in the electronica scene presently. We say because his brand of electronic pop is something the world needs and we love how he is breaking all bars to truly experiment. Blake already has two super hit albums out and everyone is only very eagerly waiting for the next one. Though the first two were more experimental in nature, it is being said that the third album will be a little definite of the artists style. Thus, make sure you find your way to his crazy performance at Sónar.
If there is one new artist you listen to today, make it Kelela. The young and fresh artist is all that your playlist ever asked for. Her neat and evolving style is all about accepting and reveling in change, as she has quickly fit herself into the wildly growing electronic scene. Her R&B tunes and soulful vocals are all you need to hear to seal the deal. Fast emerging as one of the most promising artists, Kelela is the future we look forward to. Do yourself a favour and attend this performance at Sónar this year!
The Australian artist has recieved international recognition due to fast paced and well crafted music. Starting out local Edward Harley Streten, or Flume soon gained popularity in the United States with his first album itself, with music lovers worldwide hailing him as the music prodigy we deserve. He has worked with artists such as Chet Faker and Andrew Wyett. He is also notably known for his surreal remixes including those of songs by Arcade Fire, Sam Smith and Lorde.
8. Ed Banger House Party
All set to close the day edition of Sónar, which is Sónar Day, is a smashing party by Ed Banger, one of the most popular French record labels. Giving life to the event will be Busy P, Para One and Boston Bun. If you happen to drop by this insane bash, make sure you’re ready to have fun that would mostly go against your sensibilities. This is the kind of party where you let your hair down, chuck your shoes off and rave like no one’s watching. Expect to be surrounded by some deep house and hedonistic activities, as the three are specifically known to bring out the wilder side in people.
Check out Boston Bun playing some insane beats at last year’s Ed Banger House Party!
9. Acid Arab
Keeping things fresh, Acid Arab in a different kind of music. Extended bass lines and electro beats set to the tune of traditional Arabian percussion is mostly the kind of music they dabble in. The Parisian duo has unknowingly formed a genre of their own, a freedom they choose to exploit to the fullest. The result is a mix of global music tinged with the hypnotic Arabian beats. Make sure you catch their set to expose yourself to a completely different style of dance music.
10. Kenny Dope
One of the classiest acts to be playing at Sónar this year, Kenny Dope is the kind of star that you can watch once in a lifetime. With superstar stage presence and unlimited knowledge, the New York based DJ is a pioneer in some of the most defining genres of dance music such as garage and original hip hop. Head to his set to experience the gradual evolution of music in the past years as Kenny Dope has promised to play tunes from each level of music history. Having started playing music at an extremely young age, Dope has spent most of his life connected to music.