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Mary Anne Hobbs

My Sónar

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Mary Anne Hobbs | PlayGround | Music Features
Mary Anne Hobbs

When people ask me what's exciting about Sónar 2010 my response is: Everything. The phenomenal sound systems, the finest at any festival on earth. The incredible industrial setting under the warm star studded skies in Barcelona. The wonderful audience who come with open hearts in such vast great numbers. The sunshine. The food. The beach. The Gaudi architecture. It's a multi-sensory cultural experience.

The sheer scale of Sonar is what makes it so significant. To offer up my SonarLab stage to an artist, which (at 8 and a half thousand capacity) is probably ten times the size of anything they may have experienced before, is very exciting. And it's a real challenge to see if a fresh and vital young artist can cross over there. For many, Skream, Flying Lotus, Joker and The Gaslamp Killer particularly, Sonar has been a real tipping point in their career.

Sonar originally invited me to curate in 2007 and to bring UK dubstep to their stage for the very first time. I chose Oris Jay, Kode9 and The Space Ape and Skream to represent the different eras and textures of sound. We had no idea what to expect, especially as The Beastie Boys were headlining at the exact same time as my showcase just 10 paces away on the Main Stage! But the night was biblical. My stage was mobbed and completely wild. It was the first time anyone had a sense of the real potential of the dubstep sound globally. Skream said he felt like a King up on that stage and he told me it was the greatest night of his life on earth. You can see all the footage of my Sonar showcases here.

People frequently ask me how I see the future. The greatest thing about electronic music in 2010 is that you never know what's around the next corner. The cheap production software that allows almost anyone (unless you are in central Africa) to build beats and the global platforming that Soundcloud and Myspace allow moments after a producer has finished a tune, mean that the whole creative process is now accelerating so rapidly, it's impossible to predict what's next. Numbers in Glasgow, Nightslugs in London, Applepips in Bristol and Brainfeeder in LA are typical of the label's that are leading the charge. A handful of hot names to check Sepalcure, Mosca, Kavsrave, Downliners Sekt, Baths (live especially), Lorn, Matthew David, Dr Strangeloop.

Do no miss at Sónar 2010:

I booked him to play my stage at Sonar in 2008 as a hot young LA newcomer. He returns on the brink of global superstardom with "Cosmogramma" to headline for me in 2010 on the SonarLab stage on Friday June 18th 12-3am.

one of the most exciting of the new generation West Coast artists, bringing his full live light show into Sonar By Day on Friday June 18th.

Dazzling young London based star of the UK Funky Scene, and the very first UK funky artist ever to be booked at Sonar for my showcase on the Sonar Lab stage 12-3am Friday June 18th.

Glaswegian boy wonder signed to Warp. He will follow my showcase on the Sonar Lab stage on Friday18th June.

The shooting star of the UK's electronic underground. He was the first artist to be confirmed to play at Sonar in 2010.  I actually booked him way back in autumn of last year to perform on my Sonar Lab stage on Friday 18th June. I imagine he will be devastatingly good.

The Saturday night showcase on the SonarLab stage from Glasgow's inspirational crew. 12-3am. The whole 5 act bill looks impressive, and I'm particularly excited to check Machine Drum's set for them.

Anyone born in my era will find it hard to resist another bout with Bryan Ferry on the Saturday night at Sonar. He was always pop music's real panther.

I’m serious! Old-skool hip-hop heroes play the SonarLab stage on Friday night on the Sonar Lab stage after my showcase. I can't wait!

Notorious as one of the Hyperdub label's most mysterious and elusive producers. I hope he will show in Barcelona. He's a challenging character but i admire his work very much :)

Mary Anne Hobbs showcase wil be on Friday 18th June at SonarLab stage. You can still get your tickets here.

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