The constellations of Sónar by Night: 2. Urban sounds and future beats


So full of stars are the nights at Sónar, that several of the acts can be grouped into constellations; each one representing a distinct sonic universe.

The second of our constellations at Sónar by Night, shines with urban sounds and beats from the future.

Grime & UK Garage

Stars don't get much brighter than Wiley, the East London rapper and producer without whom Grime wouldn't exist in it's current form. Proof if it was needed of Grimes' cultural importance, and Wiley's significant contribution to the genre, came earlier this year with the honouring of Richard Cowie with an MBE from The Queen. With a career spanning over 20 years and an instantly recognizable style, Wiley makes his Sónar debut at SonarLab on Friday 15th June.  

If Wiley marks the beginning of grime, his countryman Preditah gives some suggestion as to where it might be headed. Taking his queues from UK Garage classics and niche and bassline house, but equally at home providing beats for the hottest of the new breed of grime mc's or neo-soul voices (the Jorja Smith featuring anthem On My Mind is a case in point), this Birmingham born producer stands out head and shoulders above the crowd. Pure adrenaline.  

Lyrical flows from all over  

Hip-hop has always had it's subcultures, but Sónar by Night this year brings together three artists who, despite representing very different styles, serve as a global survey of where the culture is at today.

The constantly innovative Yung Lean makes his Sónar by Night debut with a generation of rappers from all over the world indebted to his brand of internet bred, pop-culture fixated wavey rap. His last LP Stranger is a further example of his mastery of narcotic beats and addictive vocals. GoldLink hails from Washington DC, and deftly navigates the line between trapped out party anthems and sultry soul, while Oddisee's talent for introspective and conscious rhymes will be brought to life by the addition of the high-octane funk backing band Good Compny.   

 Contemporary beats, future pop

Two stars in this constellation shine especially bright for their warping of hip-hop and pop tropes into something decidedly new. TOKiMONSTA, who since her debut on Flying Lotus Brainfeeder label has pushed her style towards an increasingly realized neon pop with each release; culminating with the animated and visual Lune Rouge in 2017.

Also concerned with the power of the moving image is Fatima Al Qadiri, whose abstract, minimal and futurist beats come laden with political meaning and provocation. Her show at Sónar at the Resident Advisor SonarLab will also mark her first time playing completely live and promises to be as riveting as it will be thought provoking.  

 Night fever

The dancefloor (or rather, dancefloors), of Sónar by night will be the domain of four DJ's with PhD's in the science of body-moving. Touching on genres from hip-hop to R&B, bass, funk or new currents in urban music, these DJ's will keep the dancefloor lit: Soulection boss Joe Kay, Spain's bass music producer du jour Alizzz, WBMS and one of the festival's favourite selectors, DJ2D2.