Ready, set, go! Today the real countdown starts for a new edition of Sónar, and we have a first batch of names for you. With all this, the stress comes: the impatience, the eagerly awaiting June to arrive so that we can enjoy the sweetness that is the 19th edition of Barcelona's International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art. There's a lot to share, so let's do it bit by bit.
Sónar around the world.
On 11th and 12th May, Sónar São Paulo will take place. It is (so far) the biggest of the events organised by Sónar outside of Barcelona. Björk, Justice, James Blake, Four Tet, Modeselektor, Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto and Little Dragon were, until today, the international artists confirmed for the first ever Brazilian edition. Today, fifteen new names were added: the guitar-exploding post-rock of Mogwai, the mentalist techno of Jeff Mills, the math-rock and dadaism of Za!, the diabolical polyrhythms of Squarepusher, the elegant and carnal house of John Talabot, the sugar-sweet dance-pop melodies of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and the crunk and future funk of Hudson Mohawke. From Brazil are Gui Boratto, DJ Marky Vs DJ Patife, M Takara + Akin, Gang Do Eletro, Silva and Ricardo Donoso.
The event will take place in four different spaces: SónarClub (the nocturnal stage with a capacity of 15,000), SónarVillage (3,000 capacity, semi-indoor and with artificial grass, like at the Barcelona event by day), SónarHall (for the experimental artists), and SónarCinema, a room for the projection of documentaries and audio-visual works. Sónar São Paulo will also have its own SonarPro, the section for the presentation of companies, projects and new products in the field of “technology and creation”.
Sónar will also travel to Japan this year. On 21st and 22nd April, the fifth edition of SonarSound Tokyo will take place, with a line-up that mixes important international artists with some of the cream of the Japanese scene. Usual suspects of the European electronica world like Rustie, Mount Kimbie, Dorian Concept, Squarepusher, Vincent Gallo and Clark will share the bill with Japanese artists such as Ryoichi Kurokawa, Mergrim, Anchorsong, Oorutaichi and Typingmonkeys.
Sónar is also gearing up to take a trip to Africa for the first time ever. On 2nd March, there'll be A Taste of Sónar in Capetown, South Africa. Organised in collaboration with multi-disciplinary event Design Indaba, the evening will feature performances by Modeselektor, Byetone, Brodinski and some of the most remarkable South African artists of today.
The Sónar team has just announced a first batch of names for the mother festival in Barcelona, which will be celebrated on 14th, 15th and 16th June. The line-up is extensive and varied, as usual. The first name that stands out is The Roots, who we haven't seen in Spain for quite some time. Furthermore there will be some first-rate technological shows that will most likely blow everyone's mind, such as 'ISAM' (the spectacular audio-visual show by Amon Tobin) and Diamond Version (the new project by Alva Noto and Byetone, head honchos over at Raster-Noton).
Sónar's poppy side will be highlighted this year, with such tasty artists as Hot Chip (presenting their new album), Metronomy, Austra, Peaking Lights, Maria Minerva, Friendly Fires and The Suicide Of Western Culture. Furthermore, people like John Talabot, Azari & III, Modeselektor, Luciano, Fatboy Slim (his first time at Sónar), Laurent Garnier (introducing his latest project, LBS) and Sónar regular Richie Hawtin will be waving the flag of the most hedonist brands of electronic dance music. Between those two extremes are such lauded young artists as James Blake (DJ set), Nicolas Jaar, Jacques Greene, Blawan, Ital, Julio Bashmore, Thundercat, Cooly G and Maya Jane Coles. Plus eternal adventurers, such as Mouse On Mars, Squarepusher and Supersilent.
When it comes to the showcases, Sónar Barcelona 2012 will feature three powerhouses of electronic music: Hyperdub, Brainfeeder and 100% Silk, plus BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac and her guests.
So there you have it, more than enough reasons to get your tickets. You can even pay in several instalments, so you have no excuse.