Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sonar, so good


So, the week before last the preview line-up for this year's Sonar festival 2006 was announced. Seems to be plenty of interest on the bill, though perhaps not quite as much as I'd anticipated - I'll reserve judgement until the full line-up is announced next month.

This much we know...

Hawtin & Villalobos return to continue their 'residency' at the festival; having never caught these guys in the flesh, I'm looking forward to seeing quite how they've forged their reputation for ripping it up so emphatically live. Also on a 'versus' note, Diplo & A-Trak are making an appearance, which should provide some joyfuly uncerebral booty-shaking to break up the bleepy minimalism which I'll be chasing all over the place. Output's Circlesquare, along with Hot Chip, will fill my quota for whiteboy funk, while good ol' Matthew Herbert is on the page, but will alas be performing with Dani Siciliano, rather than turning out one of his coruscating laptop deej sets on his lonesome. We've got Isolee live, which I dare say will be sometihing of an event; BPitch offer up both low-end assault (Modeselektor) and floaty nu-trance stylings (The MFA), while Tiga will be there to scoop up the fun-lovin' hordes and transport them to a sugary parallel universe where electro-house is chart-pop and Erol Alkan is prime minister, or something. I'll certainly be there. Oddly enough, I'm also looking forward to Sasha's keynote set; he used to symbolize, for me, all that dance music has strived to get away from, but recently I've become fascinated by the hushed reverence which the prog overlord commands from any serious muso who was raving in the 90s. The man was, let's face it, ahead of his time, and being unfamiliar with all his past work, I'll be interested to see how he panders to the Kompakt generation.

The label showcases seem to be tending towards obtuse electronica this year, but I may investigate the ~Scape event, which features Pole and Barbara Preisinger. I'll almost definitely be wigging out at the Spectral Sound showcase, where Audion (pictured), Body Code and Ryan Elliott will be cooking up an unforgiving storm, I'm sure. Most of the remaining space on the provisional schedule seems to be taken up by obscurist, noodly electronix (including a lot of Japanese stuff that I've never even heard of) - but if there's one thing Japanese and noodly that I will be attending, it's the 'Insen' collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto. Shit, my chin is going to hurt from all that stroking. Anyway, given the paucity (relative to last year) of electro-tech happenings, it's good to see that the off-Sonar rumour mill is going crazy. Confirmed, er, apres-ski events include a Kompakt vs Musik Krause party at NITSA (oh yes), headlined by Wighnomy Brothers; a Get Physical night at the Loft, featuring Booka Shade live and M.A.N.D.Y. behind the wheels; and the Cologne Pop beach party, where Superpitcher and Michael Mayer will be running tings. Shit, I'm getting excited already, though I must admit I haven't bought my ticket yet. If you haven't yet, fucking do it if you can, sell your grandmother or something and let's go....





I spent most of last week trying to write a lengthy post on the subject of Herbert, but my attempts kept descending into outrageously lengthy, sub-academic meditations that sapped my will to live. It's a credit to the depth and diversity of the Large Headed One's work that he had me so stumped; so here, instead of three pages of my po-faced musings, are a brace of new tracks from his almost offensively likeable, showtune-parodying, suspiciously low-on-glitches forthcoming LP Scale. It's coffee table fodder, but not as we know it...

Download:

Matthew Herbert - Something is Not Right // K!7

Matthew Herbert - The Movers and The Shakers // K!7

Happy Easter.

20 Comments:

Blogger dancerinthedark said...

Very nice lineup but from what i´ve heard you need to be VIP to get into to those speacial parties at the Loft and Nitsa. My friend went there last year and then she had to be VIP to get in. Anyone know anything about this?

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Gareth Watkins said...

looking forward to my first sonar this year. Will be good to have some of the mutant pop boys there, kiran is it just you coming? or rich too?. Those pro passes will come in handy for back stage action ;-)

8:04 PM  
Blogger Tal said...

looks like a nice line-up but you should really try to go catch the most off-sonar events you can, on any day of the week. i caught andy weatherall on sunday at the moog last year. also, about the vip thing, i tried to get to an ravishing tiga/tiefschwarz/gucci soundsystem/etc party @ the razzmatazz (which is in the same place the loft is, only a differnet venue), and basically there werent any problems. but i'm not sure if that helps in a any way.

also, im just wondering something-- whats the best festival to catch this year? is it sonar? i'm talking about the blog reader/blogger type here, with a really open mind, one that can both enjoy tiga and random japanese stuff? what do you think?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

dancer in the dark - from what i've heard, it's definitely possible to get into the off-sonar events if you're not a vip - but you have to queque absolutely ages. I've applied for media accredation, so hopefully I won't have to, fingers crossed...

gaz - it's just me, i think, rich says he really can't afford it. my first sonar too - very excited. have you already got a pro-pass? what did you say to get it (kiransande@hotmail.co.uk)?

tal - i think you're right, will catch as much as I possibly can, and hopefully shouldn't have a problem getting into events. as for which is the best festival, i'd have to think about the answer - sonar looks amazing, my friends are going and I've never heard a bad word about it, so I'm there. But there are other things I've heard are good, like the Cologne pop festival...NOt sure though - any ideas anyone? I think SOnar's range/quality of events is unlikely to be bettered in Europe, though...

9:22 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

yo toof, sorry our chat was cut off - my msn seems to have crashed, it won't let me sign back in...anyway, nice to talk to you, we'll continue the conversation in the near future. take it easy

10:00 PM  
Blogger Chantilly Bass said...

I toyed with the idea of going to Sonar, but the thought of shelling out 1,300 USD just to get across the big country and the pond without lodging is hard to swallow. (And that's a quote from STA mind you!) I'm thinking of checking out the DEMF instead, as its closer to home and has a pretty slick line up. Maybe next year then. Oh, and I wanted to send you guys some music, but there's no e-mail address to be found (or at least that I can find) around here. Guess the RIAA won't be finding you. ;) Happy Easter. xo CB

3:06 AM  
Blogger hector23 said...

Thanks for the Herbert tunes. He kind of lost me with the big band stff, although I bought it and I can't wait to hear what the new tunes will sound like.

Sonar sounds nice, I hope they give you credentials.

Would still love to hear Villalobs and Hawtin do a set together but I doubt it will happen in my part of the states.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

- hector23 - thanks, and don't worry, i'm sure hawtin and 'lobos will find their way across the states in the near future. and yeah, wasn't too keen on the herbert big band stuff myself - i guess herbert's work is one of those things where it's better to pick and choose. i can't even be fucked to listen to a lot of stuff he's done.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

- chantillybass, i've sent you an e-mail!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Electrobot said...

Talking about Hawtin, have you read in Dj Mag that story about the bouncers trying to put Richie Hawtin out of his own gig in a WMC party?

1:46 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

no, haha! i like the sound of it though...if it's in the current issue, i'll pick up a copy tomorrow. To quote Piers Martin: "Say, when is Hawtin going to release a record that’s as gay as his hairstyle? Everyone’s ready." Did you ever see that Slices DVD with the Hawtin/Villalobos interview? HILARIOUS.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Gareth Watkins said...

Chris has his own record label TC+P so we got them through that, still the same price as normal tickets though i think

4:31 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

- oh right, good stuff... yeah, i'm not trying to get a discount, i just want to be able to get into all the events! I've got Paul working on it though, going to try and use the blog/club night to see what i can get...

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Gareth Watkins said...

hope it works for you mate, i think they are about 100 pounds for the pro passes before may 30th then go up to about 130 pounds after, although im not sure for definate. I here poker flat are doing a party there this year at some stage? also the legendry kompakt beach party is too good to miss ;-)

7:35 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

i know mate, whether i get a pro pass or not, we're going to be LARGING it. looking forward to it mate, glad you boys are attending too

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Gareth Watkins said...

Definatly, mutant pop crew on the rampage!

3:19 PM  
Blogger mohumble said...

i tried to check out GET PHYSICAL at Sonar 2005- DJ t and Booka Shade- unfortunatley the queue to get into the building was ridiculously long...

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Logan 5 said...

Listening to Herbert's "Movers and Shakers" I hear the horn section playing directly out of Miles Davis's "Sketches of Spain"... and I like it.

Thanks for the great material.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Mr Soft said...

logan - glad you like. you know, sometimes herbert's stuff (eg 'movers and shakers') sounds almost arrogantly direct and shameless - but there's real quality behind it. thanks for the props, keep comin back!

Mohumble - i know what you're saying about the queques, my mates who went last year said as much. i'm applying for a media pass, based on absolute fabrication, but if i get it it'll hopefully speed my entry into a party or two...But, on the other hand, what gets you up for a nite more than a queuque that isn't too long but isn't too short?

3:18 AM  
Anonymous porn said...

dancer in the dark - from what i've heard, it's definitely possible to get into the off-sonar events if you're not a vip - but you have to queque absolutely ages. I've applied for media accredation, so hopefully I won't have to, fingers crossed...

9:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

site hit counter