16, 17 and 18th of June the city of Barcelona hosted their 12th edition of the International Festival of Advanced Music and Multi-media Art; The Sonar festival 2005. A festival with an forward-thinking of electronic sounds and media art, time and time again. While “Sonar By Day” focuses more on “art installations” like multi-media art audio-visual projections and showcases of labels. “Sonar By Night” could be more or less seen as one big celebration of parties on 1 location in 3 different rooms. This year I covered Sonar for Groovetrackers. It would actually be my first time at this quality festival. Looking very promising and inspiring, with some great dance and electronic music artists and acts across these three days.
Arrival on Thursday the 16th late in the afternoon….. A nice summer breeze welcomed us in the beautiful city with it’s modernistic and gothic architecture. Our first night started off at club Razzmatazz. An old warehouse with 5 different areas located in the Poble Nou district with perfect sound systems. We got on the list through Border Community, who hosted the Loft that night. It took us a while to get in because the girl that was taking care of the guest-list was not a very bright person…. Tiefschwarz and Adult live were playing in the Lolita area; A small room with nice red lights and a good atmosphere. Basti Schwarz played when we got in. A set with “new” electro and rocky acid tunes, the energy was good in the room only his mixture (he didn’t look very sober) and the ventilation failed a little.
A young talent named Avus started off the Border Community night at the Loft area from minimalistic techno to deep electro/techno. After that Nathan Fake live and James Holden followed with the deep Border Community sound…. Not being sober anymore too, their tunes felt a little bit too much for me and I continued my trip to the Razz for the last hour where Tiga already played a three hour set. The Razz had by far the best vibe. I really enjoyed the last hour of Tiga his set. A perfect tight mixing, rocky electro-techno and acid tunes with a fat and round sound, it was just like a huge pop-concert and a perfect hour to end my night.
After sleeping a couple of hours on the beach and regaining some energy, I headed to the Sonar Festival in the afternoon. Vert, an English, funny looking bloke, teased his crowd at the Sonardôme. Playing a live set with acoustic piano and guitar tunes and mixing it up with some typical English humour. After that Miss Kittin started off her set….But for me it was getting way too crowded at the Sonardôme. “I think it would have been better to put an artist like that @ an open area spot.” Fortunately I received a txt message on my cell about a Bpitch Control party at the Beach, off we were.
Sacha Funke played some warmy electro tunes when we arrived and it felt like an nice little in crowd party. A perfect warming up for the Bpitch Control / Kompakt showcase that would be at club Nitsa that night. After having a nice late midnight dinner (it definitely would do our frozen life-styles good to eat a little later), we pursued our way to club Nitsa; A nice old theatre not very far from the Ramblas. I got on the list through Groovetrackers and after telling the guy at the door that I was going to write a nice little report, both of my friends could get in as well (thank you for that); The night could not started off better………..
Eventually it was far and away the best night and best music experience for me throughout the whole festival. Ferenc live with a beautiful liveset full of Detroit influences: Spacey techno with minimalistic sounds…… uplifting enough to dance on it….just amazing! Then Thomas Andersson live; a rocky up-tempo electro/acid set. I actually heard him perform for the first time one month before @ a Border Community night in club Panama Amsterdam. After these 2 nights he definitely wakened my interest. Michael Mayer played in the end as well, but for me he did not stand out so much as the two other live artists did. Because of these two splendid live sets I could not stop dancing the whole night, thank you! (Too bad that we could not discover the after party in the end………………………………)
Day 3 on Sonar; the highlights for the Sonar by day / Saturday were most certainly the live acts. Especially a band called the General Electrics (Compost label) really made my flesh creep. The band consists of 4 young French guys, playing their instruments so composed and using sharp lyrics. Their pumping jazzy electronic sound really whipped up the crowd. And of the things that strikes me again after their performance and gradually throughout the whole day festival, is that the sound systems are far more tuned in for live bands then for dj sets……………Maybe then Sonar by Day should only book live performances and bands instead of dj sets and Sonar by Night should be the playground for vinyl freaks………Nevertheless this festival is definitely worth going!
DJ SHIVA www.djshiva.nl
Dj T. and Booka Shade (Get Physical), Ellen Allien (Bpitch Control), Miss Kittin , Headman(Gomma), Laurent Garnier, Jamie Lidell, The Chemical Brothers, 2 Many dj’s, Moloko, LCD Soundsystem. Just a small sample of names of the various and inspiring line-up this year.
Line Up Razzmatazz
Miss Kittin singin
Ochtendwandeling naar huis
Popconcert van Tiga