An incredible event considering the circumstances. Sweden is hibernating, and it is crazily cold, and still the Swedish branch of Barcelonian Sónar Festival sells twice the amount of tickets compared to the inauguration last year. Great job! Here´s our top moments from Sónar Stockholm:
1. Matias Aguayo’s Stage Show
Aguayo DJ set was an amazing experience. Matias Aguayo ripped the standard contract with the crowd and signed a new one including some great dance moves, some not-so-great singing and creatively use of the controller to really lift the spirits.
Having taken advantage of his years touring to explore his own musical investigations and create an internationally flavored sonic palate, Aguayo continues to deepen his relationship with his crowd.
2. Nina Kraviz’s Demands
Playing simultanously as Paul Kalkbrenner, the floor started off with only the dedicated techno crowd, but only to fill up as people eventually got bored. We longed for Nina! She did not just bring the industrial soundscape of the East to Sónar, but attitude, exclusivity and champagne. When she mid-set left the controller and started hustling with the stage crew no one know what was going on, but after running back and forth a couple of times to change tracks, the whole stage started transforming. The crew lowered the lights to end up right behind Nina herself.
After her set HMWL tried to reach her for an interview, but rejected since she was “all out of thoughts” after the set, though we bonded over wearing similar watches.
3. Kindness’ Selfies
Adam Bainbridge is Kindness. And kind he is. As he left the stage and joined the crowd everyone soared with their phones to catch the moment. Once back onstage he reached to the front row, borrowed a phone från Johanna Sjöstrand and took this selfie.
Bainbridge brought funk to the festival. But the atmosphere was fragile. The moment Robyn magicly appared the balance changed, and the homebound heroine got the greatest cheers, but together they made a great live performance.
4. SBTRKT’s Visuals
In Wonder Where We Land I we see a shift in SBTRKT’s visual identity. During the show Aaron Jerome kept the mask on, but there’s a new visual emphasis with the introduction of the spirit animal that, on the album’s cover, sits calmly in the palm of an open hand. In the SBTRKT live experience the four-legged creature provides a dramatic focal point, towering over the performers and crowd alike.
The beast is inspired by the Alebrijes, sculptures from Mexico which were born of an artist’s mad, hallucinogenic dream in the 1930s. It invokes the tribal theme of SBTRKT’s previous artwork, and captures the same paradox: something colourful and provoking, but also mysterious and hard to pin down.