Sónar has gradually become one of the world’s most respected electronic music festivals, bringing top international DJs, record labels, artists and music fans back to Barcelona every June. 2015 is the 22nd edition of the festival with the official title of International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art. Like past years, Sónar will focus on cutting-edge electronic culture, represented in music, art and film, and will provide a great mixture of top acts both new and old, amazing venues, breakthrough digital art forms and intense club nights.
The confirmed acts for Sónar 2015 include established classics as well as emerging phenomena. There are more than 150 acts that will make up this year’s edition of Sónar by Day (at Fira Montjuïc) and Sónar by Night (at Fira Gran Via). Among the first are Manchester duo The Chemical Brothers, composed of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, who have spent the last 20 years redefining the concept of live electronic music; and Autechre, who are one of the most prominent duos signed to Warp Records and are respected for their contributions to abstract and experimental electronica. Other acts that can’t be overlooked are the UK’s Tahliah Barnett—better known as FKA Twigs—who was met with admiration at Sónar 2014 thanks to her hit debut album, LP1, released the same year; and Irish singer Róisín Murphy, formerly part of Moloko. Not to mention big name DJs Skrillex and Jamie xx. The regulars will be there as well: Hot Chip, Flying Lotus and Duran Duran.
There are also more Sónar women in this year’s programme. Holly Herndon, based in San Francisco, who often uses the visual programming language Max/MSP to create custom instruments and vocal processes, will share her worlds of dystopian sounds. British poet, performer and playwright Kate Tempest will present her first album. And German techno and electro DJ, Helena Hauff, will bring up the tempo with her original beats.
In recent years, the extended Sónar programme has started to generate as much excitement as the live acts at the main stage and night sessions. Parallel activities to the concerts include art installations, a conference dedicated to digital culture, decibel-appropriate kids’ specials and more. Come check it all out.