A few final notes on Sónar Barcelona 2015.

I listened to my first live set of Chemical Brothers at the by Night sessions. And it was boring, thus disappointing. The whole show and visuals were bad-ass, some single tracks were great, but the whole experience as a complete set was dull and without much imagination. With this back catalog of sounds and also the great new tracks (like GO, which I am totally hooked on for a while now) this output was just way weak.

On the other hand FKA Twigs was cute as hell and professional, too. She has an amazing voice and was so adorably honest with her whole attitude on stage. She stood on that huge podium on her own but did not run around much to fill the space but mostly stood in the middle, moved with minimal but exciting choreography and poured her soul into the music. The whole thing was sincere.

Lastly there was one Flying Lotus who also put on a great set, looking back I am so sorry that I ditched this one soon to see the ChemBros. He had an interesting stage with one canvas pulled up and projected on at the front, and he wore glasses of yellow lights that glowed behind. It was creepy and trippy but looked super cool. And of course the music was just what I could have expected.

Finally I had the chance to listen to Mika Vainio in a live set and it was quite a rewarding experience. Deep, true experimental electronics, well played and engineered, and luckily pushed out on a brilliant sound system. It reorganized some guts in my body and listening equipment in my head at certain points but it was well worth it. Actually I was surprised by how harsh and beatless it was after his work in Pan Sonic and as Ø but then again there were some power noise pieces too with heavy rhythms.

Jimi Tenor & Juri Hulkkonen created a dadaist movie and played an experimental set along with it. It was a surrealist piece with something resembling a storyline but with quite some free associations as well.

Squarepusher delivered by far the most epic moments of Sónar Barcelona 2015 by the end of Friday’s Sónar by Day section. He put on a wicked power noise set with mind-blowing breakcore beats and experimental electronic madness. However it was not that harsh noise chaos that you might think of or I expected after listening to the recent album for that matter. It was much more rhythm-based and danceable even if in some crazy ways.

Then after the basic set was over he returned for an extra track, which turned out to be quite a performance. He started by jamming for a while on a bass guitar and after almost ten minutes of playing around he fired up drum beats and electronics and went on playing along with it. And oh boy. The whole set just twisted and turned much more like a psychedelic rock piece than anything of his signature style, something resembling Pink Floyd fucked up on acid. It was truly colossal, the definitive peak of the whole festival so far.

Thank you sir.

Update: I found an okayish recording of the bass guitar solo and following session on YouTube.

KTL, a duo of Peter Rehberg (Mego) and Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))) ) played almost an hour of massive drone noise in the sophisticated auditorium of Sónar Barcelona 2015. It was rather relaxing although not a breakthrough experience.

RGB|CMY Kinetic is an audio-visual installation slash performace created by ART+COM with music by Ólafur Arnalds. It’s the marriage of the dance of light and beautiful ambient set in a dark room where you can comfortably sit or lay and feel completely relaxed and carried away for this 10-minute choreography.

Joanie Lemercier & James Ginzburg presented a live audio-visual performance of epic proportions at Sónar Barcelona 2015. At certain points I felt like my heart and guts wanted to explode because of the serious sonic assault but then I would have missed the 3D grids of what seemed like the cave-like lair of some insectoid alien species. Was not the easiest listen but well worth the experience.

Atom TM just killed it again with a massive audio-visual show at Sónar Barcelona 2015. Dark setting, cold electro from the Kraftwerk legacy cookbook and some crazy shit with the lasers.

Jupiter Lion is a great psychedelic rock band, playing mostly instrumental electronics-fuelled drum-centric stuff with heavy dragging beats. Listening to them playing live right now, note for self: check out their recordings as well.