In wild anticipation for next week’s festival in Barcelona, we’ve listed up our top acts to see – and not just because of their name and fame but what they’re out to present at Sonar this year. The list includes several of today’s most prominent artists who are at the forefront of electronica and whose talents are reshaping the sounds of today. Sónar is constantly on the pulse of the current electronic music landscape.
Its interactions and hybridisations with digital creation and new media, unites established artists with emerging talent, in all areas of musical and audiovisual production.
Always attentive to technological innovation applied to audiovisual creation and stage design, Sónar presents shows transformed into immersive experiences, built around complex ideas embracing art, sound and technology. Here’s our run-down of the artists who will promise all that and more in the beautiful setting of Barcelona.
Sónar 2014 presents the new show by MASSIVE ATTACK, Bristol band who have been a benchmark for electronica over the last two decades. MASSIVE ATTACK will present their new live show and the next phase in their audiovisual performances, exploring political propaganda, and the influence of technology. MASSIVE ATTACK will release their brand new show in Sónar Barcelona 2014, which promises to take another step forward in their audiovisual exploration of political propaganda and the impact of technology on our society.
The Sónar exclusive show by PLASTIKMAN will debut new unreleased material at Sónar by Day with OBJEKT, a new live concept crowned by a spectacular light obelisk. RICHIE HAWTIN will also perform at Sónar by Night with one of his high-precision technological DJ sets.
Sónar presents DESPACIO powered by McIntosh, which comprises of 3 DJ sets by JAMES MURPHY and 2MANYDJS, who will play vinyl only, for six hours on an exclusive stage at Sónar by Day, throughout the three-day festival. JAMES MURPHY and 2MANYDJS will also perform sets at Sónar by Night.
The festival line-up includes several of the most prominent artists in cutting edge electronica, whose talents are reshaping the sounds of today: FOUR TET, JAMES HOLDEN, JON HOPKINS, THEO PARRISH, ONEOTHRIX POINT NEVER, BONOBO, WOODKID, SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO, NILS FRAHM, MODERAT, BURAKA SOM SISTEMA, LAUREL HALO, CARIBOU, THE MARTÍNEZ BROTHERS, FOREST SWORDS, representatives from the American label LIES and BEN FROST, among others.
The festival adds various performances from Nordic artists such as NENEH CHERRY or LYKKE LI, who will present their new albums at Sónar; new Danish rising star MØ; cosmic disco king TODD TERJE, also with his new album; TRENTEMØLLER, between pop and epic electronica; and the imaginative and pulsating FM BELFAST and WHOMADEWHO. JON HOPKINS, will perform Immunity live, one of 2013’s prolific techno albums; ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER (aka Daniel Lopatin) one of the most acclaimed artists to appear on the experimental scene in recent years, offers an audiovisual show based largely on his superb R Plus Seven (Warp, 2013).
MAJICAL CLOUDZ is a pop art duo based in Montreal and formed by singer-songwriter Devon Welsh and producer Matthew Otto. MAJICAL CLOUDZ’s songs are striking and sincere and instantly addictive upon first listen. Although they follow the traditional format of keyboards and vocals, their live performances have an expressive and emotional force and the ability to transform pain into a vivacious and vibrant feeling.
FOUR TET is at the peak of his powers as a producer and remixer, and bastion of UK electronica, appealing to all kinds of audiences; the great THEO PARRISH a mighty musician, producer, remixer and DJ, the driving force behind the Detroit house scene for the last 15 years, will close SonarVillage stage on Friday 13th; JAMES HOLDEN, head of the Border Community label, performs his stunning album The Inheritors live with a extraordinary stage show, and will see to one of the festival highlights: his four handed set with DAPHNI (Dan Snaith, CARIBOU).
Canadian Dan Snaith’s CARIBOU has selected Sónar to present a rare live show before the release of his next album; popular young German pianist NILS FRAHM, one of the most revered new school representatives combining acoustic with electronic; American LAUREL HALO with her lush experimental sound inspired by Detroit techno and the minimalism of Steve Reich; Northern England’s FOREST SWORDS debut at the festival and will perform their perfect fusion of atavistic dub, ancestral folk and cinematic guitar lines in the spirit of Ennio Morricone; and Australian BEN FROST, the renowned experimental electronica artist living in Iceland, will present his new album Aurora supported on stage by his band.
American PRETTY LIGHTS will present a luxuriant visual show and perform “A Color Map Of The Sun”, nominated for best dance / electronica album at the last Grammy Awards; FLUX PAVILION, one of the most in demand dubstep producers and DJ’s in Britain, with his sonic palette of sweeping hyperbolic bass lines; London quartet and UK chart topping Rudimental focused primarily on fusing pop and drum’n’bass; GESAFFELSTEIN, artist name for Parisian musician Mike Levy who will present his acclaimed debut album Adelph.