Buy an exclusive print from the archive
Sonar is an experience we live together. It’s a place for discovery, for friends, sun and a lot of talking and moving of legs, buts and the heavy beating of our raving hearts. It’s through heavy conversing with those we love partying with we know what to go see at the festival, and it’s through these voice we wanted to relate our experience at Sonar this year. Read one for our list of favourites at Sonar 2017. See you next year <3
Avalon Emerson and Courtesy’s b2b was a brutal tandem
I spent the whole festival waiting for this gig: the icing on the cake at Sónar. Avalon Emerson and Courtesy —divas and techno ladies— are two of my favourite DJs at the moment. Their b2b was a brutal tandem. The show started with a few minutes of quietness, but they threw the first beat the whole dancefloor turned into a party, you closed your eyes and let yourself go. I noticed Avalon is strongly influenced by San Francisco, one of the meccas for dancing, because her sound is more futuristic and has brush strokes of house. Courtesy, instead, has a much more personal take on techno, special and out-worldly, undoubtedly influenced by the Danish scene. Imagine all this together in one set: moments of intense darkness mixed with fresh drums and latent beats. Real madness.
The impressive part was seeing how Arca was putting on scene the most controversial halves of our human being
Jesse Kanda ended the show like I start this review: with a fist fucking (and a #pinksock included in it). Was that the most subversive part of the show? It was, for sure, the most notorious one, but I like to believe the true subversions go underground: Alejandro Ghersi wearing a nude outfit, lashing the whip while sunflowers were crying blood behind his back. The sensual but horrifying figures on the visuals of ‘Thievery’ and ‘Xen’, fighting against reification/cosification. Later, he dressed as a white torero —or a naked and pale ballerina—, and the stage went dark. He sang ‘Desafío’, beating himself, daring us with all of his contrasts. After the quietest moment, Kanda projected a penis glan inside a jagged mouth, but the impressive part was seeing how Arca was putting on scene the most controversial halves of our human being, both the viscera and the feeling. A visual prolapse, but also an emotional one.
I arrived alone at his concert, but I too entranced to even notice
One of the best shows I saw at Sonar was Anderson Paak. Although I arrived late (Sonar Night, you were such a maze to me), it didn’t take me more than five seconds to be completely swept away by the energy radiating of Anderson Paak. His drums, his soul and his funk were too catchy and compelling to not start moving. I arrived pretty much alone at his concert, having lost all my friends along the way, but I was too entranced to even notice.
Cashmere Cat made it seem as if the ground was burning
When you mix pop beats with cutting edge electronics it can be sublime or die from its own success. The first is what happened to the Norwegian scene enfant terrible: Cashmere Cat, who went from recording demos for SoundCloud in his basement to later collaborate with stars such as Ariana Grande. His appearance at the festival made for his presentation of his new work 9, loaded with powerful collabs and infectious rhythms. The audience of Sonar is demanding, but Cashmere Cat cut his most pop pieces right in the middle, with an effect that doubled the power of its compositions. To me, this one is one of the most talented out there in the European scene, a sample of how to make a quality cocktail between mass pop and the most bizarre electronic. It seemed as if the ground was burning.