Summer is around the corner, and with it comes Sonar, the biggest, broadest and most anticipated event on the world's electronic music calendar.
Held annually in Barcelona, Sónar has played no small part in establishing the city as one of Europe's electronic music capitals. This year two themes - Black Music and the Sound of Japan - will provide a focus, overshadowing the usual avalanche of cutting-edge, round-the-clock live acts, multimedia shows, DJs, label showcases and conferences.
Black Music has been truly seminal in the development of electronic music - look at both the history and lasting influence of dub, funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, disco, techno, and jungle for instance - and it is celebrated at Sonar 2006 with concerts by some true pioneers (Digable Planets, Linton Kwesi Johnson & the Dennis Bovell Dub Band, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, and The Arkestra) and contemporary innovators (Jeff Mills, Kenny Dope, Pole).
Japanese music, perhaps the most heterogeneous, unpredictable and exciting music to be found today, also features strongly. Japanese artists will dominate the Sonar Complex Stage throughout the festival; Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto will present their sublime 'Insen' at the headlining L'Auditori event, and there will be extensive features on Japanese labels (Plopp and Spekk) and multimedia artists.
Artists scheduled to appear at Sonar 2006 include:
.Tape., 12Twelve, Afra & the Incredible Beatbox Band, AZ Rotator, Birdy Nam Nam, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Circlesquare, Dave Clarke, Digable Planets, Diplo vs A-Trak, Disco D, DJ Krush, Dom Sotgiu plays Blood and Fire, Doravideo, Fat Freddy's Drop, Gilles Peterson & MC Earl Zinger, Goldfrapp, Herbert & Dani Siciliano, Hifana, Horio Kanta, Infadels, Insen: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Isolée, Jeff Mills, Kenny Dope, Kimmo Pohjonen / Samuli Kosminen Kluster, Laurent Garnier & Bugge Wesseltoft feat. Philippe Nadaud, Liars, Linton Kwesi Johnson & Dennis Bovell Dub Band, Marc Richter plays Dekorder, Miguel Carvalhais & Return Cruz play Cronica Electronica, Miss Kittin, Modeselektor, Mondii aka Nao Sugimoto plays Spekk, Nightmares on Wax, Nobukazu Takemura , One Self, Optrum, Rahzel & DJ JS-One, Richard Chartier plays LINE, Richie Hawtin vs Ricardo Villalobos, Sasha, Satoshi Tomiie, Señor Coconut and his Orchestra feat. Argenis Brito, Shit & Shine, Softpad, Superthriller, The MFA, Tiga, Tucker, Ugly Duckling and Yanagisawa Marina.
Labels showcasing their wares and talents include:
Stating Caravan (US), Kindred Spirits (NL), Mosz (AT), Combination (DE), Plop (JP), Capsule (UK), Schematic (DE), Spectral Sound (US), Scape (DE), Hefty (US) and New Sonic Performance (JP).
Add to this the many and delightful charms of Barcelona itself and Sonar 2006 is a very difficult trip to miss.
General Pass tickets valid for all three days and nights (excluding L'Auditori events) are currently on sale for 130 €. Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night tickets will be available from May and April for 25 € and 40 € respectively with L’Auditori tickets 35 € (Orchestra and First Amphitheatre) and 25 € (Other Seats).
Sonar 2006 takes place June 15, 16 and 17 2006 in Barcelona, Spain.