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.
Today we're discovering the fourth and final constellation of Sónar 2018: One that takes in the pole stars of modern techno, as well as those stars providing new and muscular takes on the dancefloor.
The consensus is total: Helena Hauff is, today, one of the best DJ's in the world. Over the years at Sónar, we've followed her evolution closely: from her days as resident at Hamburg's Golden Pudel, through to her current reign at the top of the international lists. All the while, her mission has remained the same - to build on the template put down by early EBM and analogue techno, while discovering the warmth in the darkness of the sound. Talking of artists at the top of their game, few duos have marked as spectacular a career as Modeselektor. The Berlin duo are currently riding high on the cusp of releasing their long awaited compilation LP Modeselektion Vol. 04, which marks a decidedly darker evolution towards contemporary techno.
Staying in Berlin (via Tokyo), a special mention has to go to the twin star system of Ben Klock & DJ Nobu who will be performing together for the first time at Sónar. Expect an intergalactic journey pushing the outer limits of sensorial techno.
Few genres are evolving as quickly or as brightly as techno, and Sónar by Night brings together many of the key names of the new generation. Objekt and Call Super are two that stand out, both for their cultural similarities - both are DJ's and producers, born in England and based in Berlin - as for their approach; meticulously crafted electronica that is forward looking and experimental while remaining incredibly danceable.
No less exciting, but taking their cues from the past rather than the future are the young Belgian talent Charlotte de Witte and another englishman, Benjamin Damage. Both drawn instinctively to the raw builds and crisp bass of analogue equipment, as well as the punk spirit of early techno and European dance.
In a Galaxy far far away...
For the third year, electronic music hub Resident Advisor are co-curating the SonarLab stage on Saturday 16th June, and with them three unstoppable new talents.
Among them, Errorsmith, the veteran producer and music software engineer who after years of relative silence has emerged with one of the records of the year - the Razor sharp techno meets dancehall album 'Superlative Fatigue'. Making his Sónar debut on the stage will also be Scots producer Lanark Artefax, whose ascerbic electronica has already won over the likes of Aphex Twin and Björk. And finally, the emerging talent JASSS will open proceedings with a set that promises to be as ecclectic and captivating as her recently released album; that spans club music, jazz and African tribal rhythms.
One artist who deserves his own section is Angel Molina, hands down the most respected and influential DJ in Spain, as well as a talent closely intertwined with Sónar: he's one of the only DJ's who has been present at every single Sónar since 1994. Never complacent, Molina still manages to push things forward 25 years on, taking risks, avoiding trends, and displaying absolute mastery when it comes to the dancefloor. This Anniversary year, he'll be playing between Modeselektor and Helena Hauff, forming a devastating trio on Friday night at SonarPub.