15th May 2009
Sonar Festival is back to the English capital as a guest of the Roundhouse, in Camden, in order to participate in the first Short Circuit, the electronic music festival organised by the London venue.
The line-up of A Taste of Sonar provides a preview of some of the artists who will be present at Sónar 2009 in Barcelona, such as Erol Alkan (with his Disco 3000 project), the robotic band Soundclusters, devised by Roland Olbeter (with Tim Exile and John Hopkins as composers and co-performers), Filastine (with a dj set) and the German audiovisual project Moderat (Modeselektor + Apparat + Pfadfinderei).
Other highlights include a special set by Jeff Mills, "The Trip", a live mix of hundreds of images; the famous electronic duo Plaid offering a dj set; Mary Anne Hobbs, Sonar curator and dubstep guru, who will be introducing four of the interesting representatives of today's urban beats (Ikonika, Pinch and Bullion with Paul White); and several Spanish artists, such as Internet2 or Angel Molina.
Jeff Mills "The Trip" (Axis/US)
The artist Jeff Mills presents a totally new project, called THE TRIP. Major figure of techno music and fascinated by science-fiction cinema, Jeff Mills pursues his work on images started in 2000, and offers a sound and image mix of 1 1/2 hours, inviting the audience to a fully sensorial experience. Mixing live more than a sixty of science-fiction movies extracts (from 1920's to 1970's), following the sames principles than in his musical mixes, Jeff Mills invites us to enter a pulsating atmosphere of chaos and fear. The trip is a strong mental and psychological experience which supposes that you accept to enter a particular time and to lose your marks. It is like a long and frightening transition which leads to a unknown place, opening to all possibles. Projected on a special modified screen, the images interact with an stimulating DJ mix, mixing productions of some of the most innovative Techno Artist and of Jeff Mills' conceptual productions such as Contact Special, One Man Space, Alpha Centauri along with new productions made specifically for this project.
Erol Alkan presents Disco 3000 (UK)
On his Disco 3000 podcast, Erol Alkan sets his sights on the disco music of yesterday, today and forever, brings it up to date and lets it shine anew under the mirror ball. The merit lies not only in the selection, but also in Erol’s tweaks to the tunes, which take disco to his own dimension and the concept of the mix a step further. It’s a wholesome and very intelligent piece of archaeology, which will captivate the more demanding ear in this exclusive live version.
Moderat answers to the simple equation of Modeselektor plus Apparat plus Pfadfinderei. In their LP debut for Bpitchcontrol, Sebastian Szary, Gernot Bronsert and Sascha Ring bring together the best from the private domain of each, in order to make their analogue equipment shine and create a new time bomb armed with electro, IDM, electronica, a serious commitment to having fun and astonishing visuals by Pfadfinderei.
Roland Olbeter + Tim Exile + Jon Hopkins (DE-UK)
Roland Olbeter is a German stage designer and multidisciplinary artist based in Barcelona since 1986. He is the creator of Soundclusters, an unprecedented and unusual orchestra consisting of 5 robot instruments (two violins, a viola, a cello and percussion) which follow orders from a midi controller. Exile and Hopkins, highly regarded musicians and adventurous spirits, join Olbeter in writing the music that will be performed by the unusual mechanical band, in a unique and unrepeatable experience of live co-operation between man and machine(s).
Filastine dj set (Post World Industries/US)
Profoundly involved in the anti-globalisation movement, his 20-piece band Infernal Noise Brigade marked the rhythm of the WTO protests in Seattle as well as clearly revealing which side of the fence Grey Filastine sits on. This Barcelona-based, internationally sought-after artist handles the richest and most complex styles with total ease, taking the sounds of the street into the most inhospitable corners: electronica packed with tricks and a special predilection for percussion and ethnic sounds, allowing him to mix Bollywood with Balkan beats, breakcore and hip-hop and emerge unscathed.
Plaid dj set (Warp/UK)
Andy Turner and Ed Handley are two key names who have been involved in two of the fundamental projects of British electronica: The Black Dog (first) and Plaid (afterwards). With a glittering career behind them and a great ability to combine rhythm and melodies in an apparently simple and always personal way, tonight they put on their DJ hats to give us a four-handed session which will undoubtedly be an extension of their usual class and good taste. Their new album, "Scintilli", which comes after a three-year hiatus, is scheduled for the end of the year.
Mary Anne Hobbs presents
Mary Anne Hobbs (BBC Radio 1/UK)
Each week, on her acclaimed "Experimental Shows" on Radio 1, Hobbs unearths new club electronica talent – from the latest in international techno to the new breed of hip-hop, and anything else that sounds fresh and innovative. The contents of her case reflect this daredevil attitude, which is always apparent when the "godmother of dubstep" hits the decks.
Rob Ellis is one of the busiest men in the British dubstep galaxy. He's also one of the most widely respected. From his home in Bristol, this lover of dub heads the prestigious Tectonic label and produces deep dubstep tracks on an unmistakable Jamaican tip, like the double pack tracks (one instrumental version, the other vocal) on his "Underwater Dancehall" debut LP. And he still has time for DJ sessions wherever the mood takes him and to release maxis on labels like Planet Mu and Soul Jazz.
Ikonika has quickly gained the attention of the press and public with just a few references to call on. But what references: two tremendous maxis for Hyperdub, a track on the "Steppa's Delight" compilation for Soul Jazz records and a remix of Dj Mujuva's hit "Township Funk" for Warp. Pay close attention to what this new star of the wonky-dubstep scene has to offer in the future.
The powerful beats that are the backbone of his debut single, the acclaimed "Get Familiar", have placed him in the eye of the media storm in record time. Eclectic but always effective, his live shows, sets and remixes are always crammed with syncopated melodies, beats with a capital B and rhythms that you just can't ignore.
Paul White (One-Handed/UK)
New blood for beats in the British school. London's Paul White, who used to compose symphonies for the BBC and Channel 4, is part of the (as yet) limited but (already) exciting One-Handed Catalogue (which is also home to Bullion). He has released two maxis which mix up abstract hip-hop, dubstep, psychedelia and vocal samples taken from who knows where, and which have already received plaudits from luminaries including Gilles Peterson, Benji B and of course, Mary Anne Hobbs.
Internet2 (Producciones Doradas/ES)
A sworn enemy of convention, the man hiding behind the Internet 2 moniker mixes comedy, drama and classical music filtered electronically with a corrosive sense of humour and an absolutely hilarious spirit. He is something like an unlikely combination of Wendy Carlos and Momus on acid. This is all seasoned with a stage show that oozes irony and leaves nobody unmoved. One in a million.
Angel Molina (SonarMusic/ES)
Angel Molina needs no introduction - his name and artistic career (as a DJ and as a producer) speak for themselves. A respected figure in Spain and abroad and an absolute treat in any booth, the Spanish dj adapts his natural talent to any kind of audience or event, often offering tailor-made sets to the venue he is playing. A dancefloor killer.
A Taste of Sonar – London
Friday, 15th May 7pm