Sonar 2017 delivered big time, here are a few highlights from three days and two nights of cathartic dance music goodness.

By Rochelle Shanthakumar

marie davidson1. Marie Davidson

Marie Davidson played her forthcoming album ‘Bullshit Threshold’.  An emotional force live, standout track for me was, ‘Nightlife Drama’, echoing all of the bullshit heard in the realms of clubs and nightlife. The album deals with relationships, gossip, hospitals and club culture, anything that can spin you into an intense isolating existential crisis. Straightforward, blunt, honest and powerful, reflecting ourselves to ourselves by speaking over an intense cloud of electronic layers, calling out the coldness, quickness and cut throat of our times. Marie Davidson was one of the best discoveries for me!


Picture: Santiago Felipe

2. Bjork DJ Set

The opening night of Sonar, featured an exclusive four hour set from Bjork inside the thick red velvety carpeted walls of Sonar hall over at the Fira Montjuic by day venue. The sound was perfect; she effortlessly went from Indian tabla to Arab to Ethiopian to Rihanna to LFO to London grime to dancehall and back again. High energy and amazing taste throughout, steering away from anything boring and resulting in a near four hour straight bout of dancing and dutty wining.


3. Jlin

Hailing from rom Gary, Indiana, the footwork expert assaulted an audience outside the Sonar Lab stage with her technical finesse, flawlessly pounding out the rarest samples and screwing everyone with an album full of genius rhythms, mentored by footwork guru RP Boo and the late DJ Rashad, just watching her play was a delight, track to track to track, on point!


4. Floorplan

Spinning classics like ‘Tell You No Lie’ the duo provided the perfect lose yourself Detroit techno in Sonar Dome on Friday evening, raw techno and floor filling disco as the pair went from old classics to newer material from their new EP ‘Let The Church’.

5. Amnesia Scanner

Queuing for Sonar Complex was worth the wait, once inside a big cinematic theatre with fold down seats, I took mine centre right to witness the spectacle that was Amnesia Scanner, UFO landing visuals and flashes of red and white panned strobe lights and hard, deconstructed abstract techno, playing material from their latest album, ‘AS Truth’.


6. Tommy Cash

The Estonian rapper opened up Sonar by day on Thursday at Sonar Hall with Marilyn Manson twisted perverted rap, played standout track Surf, with visuals that included a slo-mo UFC boxing match. Brutal, unforgettable, disgusting and amazing!