New additions include Underworld, Arca, Four Tet, Vince Staples, Kaytranada, Holly Herndon: PROTO, Leon Vynehall, Jlin, Daphni, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Fennesz, DJ Koze, Red Axes and Body & Soul.
This year's July edition of Sónar Barcelona will represent the full spectrum of contemporary electronica, with artists from around the world and every genre imaginable.
In a crowded field, one of the highlights has to be the return of Arca to SonarHall. One of the festivals' favourite artists, the relentlessly inventive musician and performer will reign again over Sónar by Day with a new show comprising previously unreleased material. Early reports suggest this to be exhilarating, overwhelming and extreme, adjectives that pretty much perfectly sum up everything they touch.
At Sónar by Night, Underworld will offer an impressive audiovisual show at SonarClub. The mythical British duo will present the themes of their recent "Drift", and will recover immortal hits from their career and the electronics of the 90's, such as "Born Slippy", "Rez", "Cowgirl" or "Dark & Long". Vince Staples, one of the most respected MCs of American hip hop in recent years, will debut at the festival with a concert at Sónar by Night, featuring songs from his excellent "Big Fish Theory" and "FM!", albums loaded with imaginative and precise beats, whose unique energy will be channeled on stage to spectacular effect.
Masters of rhythm at Sónar by Night
The great Four Tet will offer his only Spanish festival appearance of 2019. DJ Koze, whose "Knock Knock" was one of the albums of 2018, will helm a closing set at SonarPub, where the renowned British DJ Daniel Avery will also play. Also at Sónar by Night, house and techno sets from two of the most revered up and coming producers on the circuit; Dj Seinfeld and Mall Grab, and a unique back to back set from Peggy Gou, and Palms Trax, the perfect pairing to bring up the sun at SonarLab, the stage co-curated with Resident Advisor. And pride of place at SonarCar, the Body & Soul collective, referents of New York house who will take the reins for a 6hr set, steered by legendary DJs François Kevorkian, Joe Claussell and Danny Krivit.
Funk around the clock
Kaytranada (presenting their long-awaited new album) and veteran Waajeed, an illustrious figure on the Detroit scene, will bring high doses of groove and new funk to the great pleasure of Sónar's nocturnal audience. Meanwhile, in a more futuristic and advanced terrain, the brilliant Jlin will offer new routes for techno and footwork with her passionate live on SonarLab. In addition, Sónar 2019 will feature shows by three artists that project current hip hop to a new dimension: Irish MC Rejjie Snow, multi-instrumentalist trap-jazz Masego and sensational Parisian rapper Lomepal.
African renewal and global dance
The influence of African artists is once again acknowledged at Sónar with performances by South Africans Sho Madjozi and queer duo Faka; Nigeria's magnetic soulman Obongjayar; the broken rhythms of Palestinian beatmaker Muqata'a; and the always excellent Red Axes, presenting their Trip project and their sound experiences in Ethiopia and Ivory Coast. Global beats and tribal percussions will also be very present in the performances by Peruvian duo Dengue Dengue Dengue and the young and extraordinary LYZZA (taking her Brazilian origins to new sound dimensions), as well as in Branko, founder of Buraka Som Sistema's set, tracing new sounds collected from his travels.
Research, experimentation and emotion
Sónar by Day adds to its programming the great innovator Holly Herndon: PROTO, taking a further step in her research into the links between the human and the machine with a new ensemble on stage in which vocalists and musicians coexist with Artificial Intelligence software. The presence of Kelly Moran, a new Warp signing, also stands out, presenting the compositions of "Ultraviolet" with a spectacular format that she calls Grand Piano Live AV Show and the experimental AV Live of the Italian Caterina Barbieri.
Sónar by Day will also host three artists who's sound bears the fingerprints of latin rhythms and latinx trap. The sensual Guatemalan r&b vocalist Jesse Baez, the emerging Colombian trap mc ha$lopablito and the reggaeton DJ La Diabla, who arrives with the mission of setting the whole Village on "fuego".
Live shows and sets for all tastes
Rounding out the announcement are a number of high-profile artists performing at Sónar by Day: Daphni, with a 2hr closing set on the first day of the event; the great Erol Alkan celebrating the end of the festival on Saturday at SonarVillage; the excellent Desert+Desilcence, dropping perfectly crafted synth pop gems at SonarHall; and the A/V show from Max Cooper who will also be performing with Bruce Brubaker as Glassforms at SonarComplex. Leon Vynehall, one of the most brilliant and versatile creators in the UK today, will also be playing a set of house and open and emotional electronics at SonarVillage.
Sónar by Night adds the sets by artists of experience and contrasted quality, such as the always infallible Dj Tennis, the queen of bass and UKG Flava D, the very new and very promising HAAi - recent winner of the Essential Mix of the year - and international techno star Joseph Capriati, closing Friday night at SonarClub.
Body & Soul (6h set)
Caterina Barbieri Live AV
Dengue Dengue Dengue
Holly Herndon: PROTO
Kelly Moran - Grand Piano AV Live
Max Cooper Live AV
Peggy Gou & Palms Trax
Red Axes Live