It is with a heavy heart that I convey to you this terrible bit of news: Sonar has been cancelled and everyone has gone home.
Ah! Dear reader, I joke. Please be kind and let the clumsy japes of your humble narrator slide.
After lunch at a fantastic joint here called A Contraluz (On the suggestion of my companions I had a deluxe breakfast; potato, egg, cheese and Mallorcan sausage all layered and shaped into a patty. Very filling, very, as they’d say here, comida tipica.) I met with compatriots at Bpitch and Border Community’s beach party. Imagine a tiki bar with seating for about thirty with a DJ booth, two bars and, maximum, 40 feet by 40 feet of a footprint on the beach. Now imagine 150 or 200 people dancing in the sand (they point the speakers toward the sea.) Pristine like whoa. Did I mention there was music? James Holden and Petter tag-teamed, and Kiki and Ellen Allien played sets. Ellen as on as ever. She’s a remarkably consistent performer; I probably have seen her six times in the last year, and each time she’s been great or great plus.
When this wound down around midnight we headed for Nitsa, one of more established Barca venues, for a night billed as Kompakt vs. Freud am Tanzen. When we arrived Superpitcher was in the main room and, like a flash, the club filled up. I think the Spanish have a system whereupon all of them show up at exactly the same moment. Luckily everyone arrived to catch Matias Aguayo, who completely destroyed my preconceptions of what his music would sound like interpreted live. Aguayo used multiple percussion pieces, slide whistles cranked into bird chirps and purrs, all sorts of methods to highlight his slithering voice. For a few songs (including a cover of Aaron Carl’s “Down” (remember that one?) his voice was pitched down to a deep gulp. He sampled, looped and toyed with his vocals live, much like Jamie Lidell. Good stuff.
Nitsa was once a theater, so Kompakt was set up at the main stage and FAT played downstairs. One half of the wigged out Wighnomy Bros. appeared as if from thin air and proceeded to break up the party like a drunk uncle, toying with jagged R&B samples and scratchy interludes only to throw things back into groove mode at the slightest inclination. And he was pirouetting.
After Monkey Maffia some nutters from Leipzig called Krause Duo played. They began their set with heavy rave breaks and wound up settling into a nice groove. A German kid who throws parties in Leipzig said they regularly play 12-hour sets. Not sure if I could tolerate that, but they were refreshing.
By this time it was nearly five, and Michael Mayer took over upstairs. He only played for fifteen minutes before the house lights came up, but continued in encore after encore until half past five or so. The crowd was going absolutely bonkers, total pawns in the masterful game he seems to play, dialing up the intensity at will, like a yo yo master who rocks the cradle then spins the toy around in a violent arc. The club scene was a mess–people were climbing over everything, someone had pulled down a ‘salida de emergencia’ sign and was dancing with it, there was broken glass everywhere–but everyone was enormously friendly. Don’t worry, darlings–you all have European doppelgangers who are getting into the festivities.
Here are some lo-fi vids. Besos from Barca!