Festival season has finally arrived! Now that days are longer, sunnier, and hotter, we all want to enjoy our free time in open-air places doing cool stuff. And attending Sónar Barcelona is, of course, one of them! The electronic music festival – known for its approach towards the combination and research of music, art and technology – comes with a strong program of must-see concerts, DJ sessions and tech-shows. To make it easier for you, we’ve selected the ten we’re looking forward to the most!
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The mysterious Berlin-based duo will be presenting one of the most experimental performances of the festival. By combining tools and techniques from cinema, the performing arts, and the latest high-tech, they turn the stage into a living entity that wraps the audience in a unique sensorial experience, which they like to call Xperienz. Their set, scheduled at SonarComplex during Sónar by Day on Saturday, is a promising one, and highly recommendable for those lovers of experimental music.
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Arca & Jesse Kanda

In a time in which the LGBTQ+ collective rises against the forces trying to oppress them – see the latest tragic news about Chechnya, for example – artists like Arca are more necessary than ever. He’s become one of the most relevant singers and performers in recent years, and has worked closely with Björk and FKA Twigs because of his sensitivity and uniqueness. He’s one of the highlights Sónar’s first day, since he’ll be presenting his new album and performance. What can we expect? We still don’t know yet, but we hope he comes as powerful as in his latest music videos, such as Desafío and Anoche, made by Jesse Kanda, who’ll be in charge of the AV during the show.

De La Soul

They’ve been performing for thirty years now, but it doesn’t seem to lower their energies; on the contrary, their experience and know-how onstage sets them on a privileged position, as they’re capable of putting everything upside down when being in front of an audience. The Long Island trio will present their album De La Soul and The Anonymous Nobody, which includes genres like funk, rock, rap and soul, but will of course sing some their most emblematic songs. The question is: will they ask journalists and audience alike to put their cameras down and enjoy the experience through their senses, as they did some months ago at Sónar Reykjavik? We’ll have to be there to know.
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DJ Shadow

It’s been twenty years since the iconic DJ released his acclaimed first LP, Endtroducing…, but he’s fresher than ever. On Friday night, he’ll present The Mountain Will Fall, his most recent work. Worldwide known for his love for the sampler, Josh Davis – his original name – has put the instrument aside and left his comfort zone to create an album that focuses on rhythmic and melodic constructions, with the help of friends like Nils Frahm and Run The Jewels. In addition, he’s also prepared a brand new performance on stage. Are you ready to be mindblown?
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They are back, and this must be the most eagerly awaited event of this year’s Sónar. For once, the hyperbole is justified. On Saturday night, the legendary duo will take over the desks to rock the sound of their new album, entitled Woman. Epic and romantic, Woman spreads the emotional power of gospel melt with rock's cheekiness, a dazzling aesthetic we’ve been missing for five years. After performing at other festivals earlier this year, Sónar is the next stop. And yes, we can expect from Justice to do the damn thing they've built their stage reputation on: blasting dance floors with the best electronic music!
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The German-based trio has become, in a few years, one of the most celebrated electronic groups in the music scene. With already iconic hits like A New Error, Bad Kingdom or Rusty Nails, their concerts are vibrant, powerful and effective. Accompanied by a great light setting, electronic instruments and, usually, all-black-everything outfits, it is clear that we won’t miss this performance.
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Nicolas Jaar

If music were science, Sónar would be a laboratory, and Nicolas Jaar one of its most curious contributors. On Friday 16th, between 01:45 and 03:15, the Chilean DJ will introduce his new album, Sirens. Along with an exclusive live show, described as the culmination of his own quest, Nicolas Jaar wants to make electronic music overtly political. He is undoubtedly the genius of silence; the only one who could link stillness and experimentation, cryptically letting the notes flying to such a festive surge! Here's a carnal music that makes you dream, bounce and love. What else should convince you?
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If Sónar is known for its revolutionary technological approach, it’s, partly, thanks to artists like this. The duo Nonotak, composed by French illustrator Noemi Schipfer and Japanese architect-musician Takami Nakamoto, will be onstage on Friday evening presenting Shiro, in which sound and light intertwine to create a dreamy yet avant-garde show. The audio-visual performance includes a structure with lights and screenings that will play with the audience’s perception of reality, so prepare your senses to embrace light and sound as never before.
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The Black Madonna

We already told you last year: the Chicago-based DJ was one to watch. And, oh, we were so right! Considered DJ of the Year by the prestigious music magazine Mixmag, one of the strongest – and most activist – female voices in electronic music is coming back to Barcelona to offer another enjoyable and danceable set. This time, though, she’s closing Sónar on the last night of the festival. Of course, we’re going to be there ‘til the sun rises!
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Pascal Arbez-Nicolas, aka Vitalic, brings back his fuzzy disco to Sónar 2017 on Saturday night. The pioneer DJ and producer will be celebrating fifteen years of an unstoppable career through a live set composed as a spectacular stage show. But Vitalic is also here to introduce Voyager, his most recent album, which sets his return to the top of the international scene. Mighty electronic riffs and banging beats combined with a very stylised techno; that's Vitalic's equation. Although we expect not become glitter-covered galactic glamazons like the ones in Waiting For The Stars, we can’t speak for ourselves after the beats start running through our bodies.
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