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Sonar 2013: Preview

Sónar, Barcelona’s iconic festival ‘of Advanced Music and New Media Art’, is unlikely to need much introduction to any fan of electronic music. With this June heralding the festival’s 20th installment, some 80,000 fans are expected to descend on the Catalonian capital, and for the three days and three nights, Inverted Audio will be reporting from the field.

Sónar cites itself as ‘a pioneering festival with a unique format and content’, a gathering of the most relevant performers, composers, and artists within the dynamic scope of electronic music, and we’ll be trying to transmit as much of the Sónar experience as possible. From the scheduled sets we catch to the general day-to-day frivolity, we’ll aim to prevent the encouragingly low beer prices from moving our cameras and pens down the route of some bad imitation of Gonzo journalism. All the while, we’ll be posting tips, videos, pictures, and general reflections on what has traditionally been seen as a festival closely aligned with the cutting edge, and whether the event, at its 20th outing, is still worthy of that accolade.

Here are a few acts that we’ll definitely be keen to get down for:

  • Thursday 13th
  • Opening the festivities, Cassegrain will be washing the sun-kissed crowds with their deep, murky techno, while Gold Panda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Sebastian Tellier and the partnership of Lindstrom & Todd Terje draw crowds with various forms of delectable electronica.
  • Friday 14th
  • Friday will feature a beautifully diverse array of artists, from Anenon to Atom TM, with recent Atom collaborator Jamie Lidell playing elsewhere. Matthew Herbert and Modeselektor will both be delivering DJ sets, while those interested in genre-bending, gender-confusing electronic vulgarity will be catered for by Christeene.
  • Friday night will be lit by the retro-futurist extravaganza of Kraftwerk’s 3D show, who’ll be accompanied in their legendary status by Derrick May, the ‘innovator’ of Detroit techno’s Belleville Three, as well as Minus boss Richie Hawtin. Not to be eclipsed by such long-established talent, UK bass techno’s enfants terrible Karenn will take to the stage, and elsewhere, fans will be treated to sets from Nicolas Jaar, Objekt, Oneman, and Eats Everything.
  • Saturday 15th
  • After a few hours’ rest, the early birds can expect be treated to the lofty minimalism of Vatican Shadow; Warp’s thumping collaboration between HudMo and Lunice AKA TNGHT, the loopy beatbox stylings of Beardyman, and the chunky IDM of Jackson and His Computer Band.
  • For the closing night of the festival, the Pet Shop Boys are likely to cause a stir, tempered by the potential for Jurassic 5 to include absurd props in the Barcelona leg of their comeback tour. Laurent Garnier will head the ranks of dance music talent Saturday night, which will also feature sets from George Fitzgerald, Phon.o, Maceo Plex (in the wake of the teacup-sized storm of ‘Bathgate’), Anstam, and more.

It’s set to be a big weekend, and you can follow our adventure at Sonar 20 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and right here on Inverted Audio.

Buy tickets to Sonar / View Programme