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Sónar 2023 – 15 June 2023 (Barcelona)

17 June 20235 min read

Like every year at this time, and in what has become a tradition, you don’t really know it’s hot until you get to the Village stage at Sónar during the day and are confronted with the blast of sweltering that comes with the DJ or performance of the day. Faithful to our encounter with electronic music (more than ever in this 30th anniversary edition, where the line-up turns away from proposals other than electronic and urban music), after work we went to the Fira de Montjuic in Barcelona to launch a new edition of Sónar. Unfortunately, not arriving before 5pm meant that we were unable to attend any of the scheduled talks at Sónar+D, which this year focused mainly on the trendy topic of AI.

Sónar 2023 Thursday

Bradley Zero & Moxey, Sónar 2023 – Photo by Víctor Ramos Santafé for Indieofilo©

To start the day we went to the SonarHall to see one of our national weaknesses, Marina Herlop. The one by Piera offered a show full of delicacy and rhythm that at times reminded us of Bjork herself, with an incredible balance between accompanying voices, different languages (even invented ones) and instruments that created soundscapes that transported us mainly to corners of Asia. On stage we could see the Tarta Relena, flute players, a percussionist and even a girl playing castanets on some songs, masterfully mixing tradition and experimentation, defending their latest album Prypiat (2022) to perfection. It is difficult to have the feeling that you have seen what will be the best show of the festival when it is still in its infancy, but on this occasion the Catalan has confirmed that she is already in the running for the main stages and times

Marina Herlop - Sónar 2023

Marina Herlop, Sónar 2023 – Photo by Nerea Coll courtesy of Sónar organisers

In a 180º turn, the next stop on our itinerary was 700 Bliss, the duo of Moor Mother and Dj Haram. Their mix of hip-hop and electronica gradually caught on with the audience in a show that was slow to take shape due to some technical problems. For a good part of their show, however, there was a sense of ‘wannabe’ that didn’t convey all the good things on their debut album Nothing To Declare (2022). With this in mind, we decided to give a chance to the British Grove, whose concert was one of the big surprises of the day. Between dancehall and punk, it was a fast-paced performance in which the Bristolian showed incredible magnetism, repeatedly breaking away from the table to rap live and deliver hits such as “Feed My Desire“.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Sónar 2023

Oneohtrix Point Never, Sónar 2023 – Photo by Víctor Ramos Santafé  for Indieofilo©

The enjoyment of his concert, almost in its entirety, made us arrive with the Oneohtrix Point Never session already in progress. Between audiovisuals full of moving shapes and minimalist lights, Daniel Lopatin offered a show full of enveloping textures that created a hypnotic universe out of extreme care. Among the thousands of sounds that played for minutes at a time, you always felt that each one had been carefully placed at that moment to make it mean something. After his show, we can only hope that he will stop concentrating on productions for third parties (The Weeknd, FKA Twigs…) or films so that we can enjoy more live shows like the one at Sonar.

Grove - Sónar 2023

Grove, Sónar 2023 – Photo by Víctor Ramos Santafé  for Indieofilo©

Going outside allowed us to get closer to the b2b that Bradley Zero and Moxie were doing on the main stage. In a session that combined disco, house and African rhythms to perfection, a near-perfect remix of Mory Kanté‘s “Yeke Yeke” was a highlight that brought the tent down, which they achieved with a closing set that included Sylvester‘s “You Make Me Feel“. Our final performance was on the same stage as the Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, who gave a concert that was closer to pop, with an impressive Charlotte in high boots and a sequined dress who didn’t stop moving throughout the show. Between hits such as “Blenda“, “Ceci n’est pas un cliché” or “It Hit Me“, the show was fast and furious, characterised by an incredible sound quality in which they mainly presented their album Tropical Dancer (2022).

Victor Ramos

Fanático de la música desde que mis padres me ponían a Eydie Gorme y Los Panchos o el Discotuna por la A2. Intenté tocar varios instrumentos, pero soy muy torpe con la mano izquierda, así que ya sabéis el resultado final. Fan del britpop, Post-punk, el rugby y el baloncesto...


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