Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sonar 2010

Just about recovered from the 2010 edition of Sonar festival and accompanying events. While last year could have been seen as a welcome return to form for the festival in the face of competition from other local festivals - this year Sonar excelled itself with the representation of more homegrown performers and the increase in actual music acts. Gone were the almost staple diet of Detroit techno kings playing the closing hours at Sonar night and in its place more bands, live shows and a whole Friday night stage more less dedicated to hip hop.
Thursday kicked off with a sizzling hot party organized by the former Friends & Family promoters, now called Plat Du Jour, in collaboration with Hyperdub that witnessed pretty much the full Hyperdub roster, Mweslee, Guido and Flying Lotus as a special guest alongside a host of others. Rolling out of bed the next morning was difficult and I was unlucky to miss Arkestra's BFlecha playing live in the RBMA stage. Alongside Noaipre and her later performance in Sonar Galicia with Arkestra leader Mweslee - it was refreshing to see such acts finally get some recognition and what I hope will be continued support. Other performers from Barcelona and around Spain at the main Sonar event worth noting were; Delorean (uplifting trippy fun but quite flat), the future psychedelic drone of Narwhal, a disappointing John Talabot who whirled between his more interesting recent production and tedious tech house, a promising petite poppy performance by Lucrecia Dalt and a solid daytime DJ set at the outdoor stage by Annie Hall.
Of the big acts for those with more discerning tastes; complete with towel on head and fetching female aides, Moodymann played a wonderful midday ode to vinyl - spinning solely slabs of wax with live playlist commentary, a real education for the techno heds. Flying Lotus went as far out as to drop some Weather Report on Friday night (the first time someone dropped jazz at that stage!?) and gave everyone who plays only one genre of music a lesson - jumping from beats to jazz to deep house to electro to garage and back again. Joining these two in the big name league; Hudson Mohawke who also played off Sonar events most nights and the Saturday LuckyMe showcase complete with hippo mask disguise. Friday night he made his own with a memorable DJ set alongside Olivierdaysoul on the mic - his presence and sounds filling out the 8,000 capacity SonarPub stage.
Although there was many other acts worth mentioning, Hovotron playing a live set at new Barcelona record store Discos Paradiso for a Lo Fi Funk showcase being one, the main surprise and show stealer was Brooklyn gal Pursuit Grooves who I only previously knew as one of the producers featured on the first Beat Dimensions compilation from 2007. Curious I made my way to the front and was blown away with the soulful jaw jack beats and house euphoria of her live set. Punching pads from a Dilla tiempo through to a bouncy house hop via uplifting acid house moments - she even had time to jump on the mic to whisper some slick rhymes, when not jumping energetically around the booth. A fantastic live show which, had everyone in the RBMA tent grabbed and bouncing. Listen back below:

Images from RBMA and Sonar.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

DO IT! oslo 25.06

Coming up to end of June and time for the third DO IT! Oslo session at the hallowed home of music that is Blå and it's gonna be BIG. We got Mweslee - one of the hottest and most exciting beats talents around playing a live set - alongside one of Norway's finest proteges playing one of his last gigs before his Berlin move, Telephones - and lets not forget the talented groups of residents that include local illustration crew Cupofill, VJ Pop Com, myself spinning wax and potential Norway's first real beats representative Inko who shares his Domenican origins with a life in the nearby Oslo town of Tønsberg. Music is going to take in anything from jazz, funk, soul, boombap, garage and beats with a nice tropical underline. Something for the floor and something to go home and remember the next day as a cultural experience worth mouthing about on Monday morning. Big up Tom at La Cocina for helping us hook this one up. Oslo you have been warned -
Å FROM 22:00 DO IT!
Poster: by Alexander Horne (me) 2010.