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...
Matthew Herbert - Something is Not Right // K!7
Matthew Herbert - The Movers and The Shakers // K!7