sonar 2017

Our Pick of the line up at Sonar 2017

Sonar is back in June 2017 with an exciting line up and program of cultural delights.

Here’s a breakdown of the bass music artists we recommend you take time to go and see.

AJ Tracey

Some artists are especially gifted when expressing themselves on the microphone. AJ Tracey falls into this category and has already become, in just a short period of time, one of the key names in today’s burgeoning grime scene. Tracey -who forms part of the MTM collective alongside other young MCs like Big Zuu, Jay Amo, PK, Saint and Lyrical Strally- needed just two EPs, “The Front” and “Alex Moran”, to jump straight in to the genre’s premier league. He recently collaborated on a track for the new Clams Casino’s album (sharing the mic with none other than A$AP Rocky) and has worked with legendary garage producer MJ Cole. In December, his most recent EP “Lil Tracey”, managed to surpass in quality even his previous two releases.

Andy Stott

“Too Many Voices” (Modern Love, 2016) marks the latest excellent chapter in Andy Stott’s career. The Mancunian producer continues to re-write his own style, implementing small changes to each new work: in this case the use of overlapping voices, bringing further expressiveness to his already magnetic material. Stott has discovered his own singular sound where house music is immersed in a dense sea of ​​dub, and dance rhythms are soaked in mercury. His recent output has made him one of the most respected producers in the world, and his concert at SonarComplex is a Sónar by Day program essential.


The rapper Bejo, delivers prodigious rhymes and a fully developed sense of humour. The artist, originally hailing from the Canary Islands, now resident in Madrid, recently garnered media attention thanks to his impudent video clips made by confidant Cachi Richi, with the hope of going viral (he describes himself as a YouTube tutorial addict). Also noteworthy, of course, are his lyrics that brim with friendly witicisms drawing ontypical, sweet accented turns of phrase peculiar to the Canary islands. He first caused a stir last summer with the track “Mucho”, followed by the amusing “Poco”. When his fans had hoped that his latest hit would be called Bastante, Bejo went off on a tangent and reaffirmed himself with the track “El puto amo de casa”.

BSN Posse

Many things have changed since Malaga’s Sergio Ruiz (aka Stay Puft) and Enrique Gervilla (aka Broken Lip) renamed themselves as BSN Posse in 2011, shedding their previous BackStreetNoise moniker. The first music styles delivered under their new alias were dubstep and future garage, but over the years they have been assimilating everything they have discovered en route. Consequently, soul, roots, funk and hip hop have merged with their footwork sound of recent years. This unusual combination has served to define their own work as well as the first two years of their label, Iberian Juke. The Americanized Andalusians will return to the festival following their amazing SonarCar show in 2014.

Christian Tiger School

Cape Town duo Christian Tiger School – comprised of Luc Veermeer and Red Bull Music Academy alumni Sebastiano Zanasi – blur the lines between house, techno, instrumental hip-hop and experimental electronics. They released their debut album, Chrome Tapes, in 2015 through the legendary Tommy Boy label and have opened for touring acts like Little Dragon and Hudson Mohawke. The duo’s shimmering “Hey Arnold, Dad’s Here” is beautiful and banging, an ethereal escape that hints at the future of instrumental music.

Clams Casino

A few years ago, Clams Casino became one of the most important producers in new underground and atmospheric hip hop, almost overnight. He recently cemented this reputation with “32 Levels”, his first record in four years. For the album he recruited several of the American scene’s best MCs, including Vince Staples, Lil B, Kelela and his friend and regular accomplice A$AP Rocky, all sharing their respective talents with the producer, although the real strength of this record are the slow, ghostly and addictive beats that are the hallmark of his sound. The New Jersey beatmaker -who prefers to remain in the background and is averse to media attention- will offer a special DJ set at Sónar by Night, in one of his rare public appearances. Expect narcotic rhythms, hallucinating sounds and beats from another world.

DJ Shadow

Nuff said.

Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt is a critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful rapper who releases through his own Tan Cressida imprint on Columbia Records. His debut album, Doris, debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts and he followed it up with the self-produced and equally celebrated album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. His highly technical and deeply personal raps have been praised by influential media such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, and The New Yorker amongst others.

Evian Christ

2017 will finally see the release of the long awaited first album from Evian Christ; on none other than Warp Records, as well as a brand new live show, which he is currently in the midst of preparing. Sónar by Day will offer a rare opportunity anywhere in the world to see him perform this year. The young and extraordinary British producer has already discovered a very personal and instantly recognizable sound. From day one he has mixed hip-hop beats with 90s trance progressions and resonances, adding elements of advanced grime. His last performance at Sónar saw him collaborate with Emmanuel Biard for his onstage show and reached prodigious heights. This year promises to be even better, after months of intense work in the studio.

Forest Swords

Matthew Barnes has finally finished recording the third Forest Swords album. It has been three years since the release of the highly acclaimed “Engravings” (Tri Angle, 2013) and expectations for his new material and live show remain sky-high. At this moment in time information is still limited: we do know that he has recorded several passages of strings, vocal parts and a wind section for the album, and that his transition to live will be supported by scenic and visual elements (his compositions effortlessly evoke images) created especially for the occasion.

The incredibly talented Barnes has released the “Dagger Paths” EP (2010), the single “Rattled Cage” (2010) and the LP “Engravings”, in addition to the music created for the dance piece “Shrine”, which came out in the summer of 2016. Each of these works is thoughtful and exceptionally well produced, discovering an unprecedented territory between ambient, ancestral folk and slowed down techno-dub. If we take into account the quality of everything he has made to date, his concert at SonarHall is expected to be one of Sónar by Day’s high points.

Ghostly Enemies

Ghostly Enemies is the collaborative project of electronic music producer Steven Sanchez and singer Juanjo Pedro. Their sound combines soaring, melancholic melodies with slick, gloomy production, settling somewhere in the pocket between electropop and synth-laden trip hop. At Sónar Festival 2017, the Barcelona duo will be representing for their very own hometown crowd.


In the crowded and competitive UK/ and grime scene, Giggs is a solid bet. Some may have only recently discovered him, but for many years he has been working intensively on rhythms and rock-solid rhymes, with a deep, incredibly varied and seemingly limitlessly creative discourse. 2016 was an important year for him, releasing his latest album, “Landlord” (featuring a collaboration with Stormzy), and launching the SN1 label, also the name of the collective he leads. The labels’ first release was mixtape on which he shares the limelight with co-conspirators including Joe Grind, Kyze and T. Boost. After many years of hard work, Giggs is now experiencing a particularly good moment in his career and will perform at Sónar by Night. Born in Peckham, South London – one of the capitals centers of grime –  Giggs released his debut album “Walk in Da Park” in 2008, a record full of verbal twists and word plays. The following year he signed to XL Recordings, and has since been perfecting his style on numerous albums and mixtapes; A street style sustained by his enviable communicative ability and beats often closer to hip hop than to grime, without shying away from the dominant trap sound of recent years. “Landlord” has been heralded by critics and audiences alike, and has seen Giggs reach the top of his game, with no signs of slowing down.


Jerrilynn Patton will touch down at Sónar after astonishing the world with “Dark Energy”, and is about to do so again with her long awaited second album “Black Origami”, on Planet Mu. The American producer uses footwork to build amazing rhythmic structures, but the truth is that her sound is already so personal and unconventional that it is hard to attribute it to one particular genre. Performing live, Jlin is even more passionate than when in the studio, constructing exciting meshes of percussions, timbres and melodies. Her Friday night concert at SonarLab is highly recommended, arrive early…


2017 will finally see the release of the debut album from Lunice. Its title (in principle) will be “360”, in reference to his global and panoramic vision of dance friendly rhythms, chiefly based around grime, trap, hip hop and new electronic trends derived from beats and breaks. Lunice is extraordinary: a top quality producer and a magnificent showman on stage, where his dance routines and movements already form an integral part of his concerts. After a gestation period in which he has focused on finalizing the details of his long-awaited album, the Canadian will present his new material at Sónar by Night with a typically energetic and supremely entertaining live show.

Mario Nieto

DJ, producer, software developer and an ardent fan of music and technology, Mario Nieto will demonstrate his indisputable skills with a set at Sónar by Night, prior to the DJ Shadow show. His extensive experience as a turntablist, the specialty for which he won several awards in his youth, enables Nieto to treat the decks and mixer as one more instrument. With this, he shapes his method of understanding and enjoying music, resulting in a rhythmic feast that continues to incorporate the hip hop sound that first defined him, but which in recent years has naturally evolved into the new forms of bass music and the sound spectrum we refer to as future beats.

Nadia Rose

If 2016 was all about Lady Leshurr, 2017 is Nadia Rose’s year. The young rapper from Croydon (only 22 years old) has posted just a couple of videos that have captured everyone’s attention: the first was “Station”, which demonstrated her amazing natural lyrical flow, followed by “Skwod”, a hip hop hit with ultramodern production and a pure London flavour, in which Nadia takes over the streets dancing and moving as if a star, an obvious metaphor for what is now actually happening to her. “Skwod” recently won the best video at the Mobo Awards (where she was also nominated as Best New Artist) and served as Rose’s perfect letter of presentation. More hits have followed since then, including the aptly entitled “Boom”, while her first album is due to appear imminently. We will be able to witness her skills first hand on the SonarVillage stage, and at this rate of growth her popularity will indeed transform her into a truly global star.

Nick Hook

Many still remember the set from the St Louis redhead at SonarVillage two years ago, which is not unusual as Hook’s sessions always leaves a long lasting impression of his charisma and energy. Popular with his peers, Hook has an enviable ability to attract talent around him, recently releasing an album eloquently entitled “Relationships”, on which he collaborated with the young and promising Novelist, 21 Savage and Bulletproof Dolphin. He will demonstrate his versatility, reputation and DJ skills at Sónar by Night, playing between the concerts of Fat Freddy’s Drop and De La Soul.


Hsin-Lei Chao, better known as RayRay, works as a resident DJ at a couple of the biggest clubs in Taipei, Taiwan. Meanwhile she teams with friends in the studio to conjure trippy hip-hop and future bass bangers with a Technicolor touch. She’s competed in DJ tournaments in Asia and Canada, having won the Red Bull Thre3style national championship in Taiwan in 2013. She’s recorded with Skrillex, ghostwritten pop songs for Taiwan’s pop stars Kimberley Chen and JPM, and contributed a song to the soundtrack for the hit 2013 Chinese film Tiny Times 2. Chao grew up on hip-hop – indeed, in college she founded a club dedicated to it – and now she’s infusing her own grime- and trap-inspired dance productions with soulful grooves and jazzy harmonics, à la her heroes J Dilla and A Tribe Called Quest.

RP Boo

The meteoric rise of footwork has been well documented in recent years, but even as this once regional battle music has assumed an international dancefloor presence, not all of its figures have received their proper due. RP Boo, AKA Chicago producer Kavain Space, operates largely outside of the crew-based dynamics that dominate much of the footwork world, and while that means his younger counterparts occasionally receive more shine, there’s no denying that it was he who quite literally invented footwork with his 1997 track “Baby Come On”. Given that Space was first taught how to produce by Windy City legend and Dance Mania affiliate DJ Slugo, it’s no surprise that his productions are often raw and rooted in unorthodox sampling techniques.

He simply had the foresight to bump up the tempo, establishing a new template that lit a fire under an entire generation of dancers and producers. While Space’s archival records for Planet Mu (Legacy and Classics Vol. 1) have been widely celebrated, it’s important to note that he isn’t content to simply be a historical footnote. He’s continued innovating, and his celebrated 2015 album Fingers, Bank Pads, And Shoe Prints is proof that even as footwork has spread around the globe, there’s still no one that sounds quite like RP Boo.

Soulection presents Joe Kay + Jarreau Vandal

Hailing from Los Angeles, Soulection came to be in 2011 and is described as a global platform for moving culture. It could also be described as a collective of open-minded musicians and djs or as a label consolidating West Coast beats and bands. Whatever the descriptive tag, Soulection is great news for contemporary urban music in the United States. Soulection follow a Do It Yourself philosophy akin to punk with a catalogue consisting of reggae, soul, funk, house, jazz and any sound accompanied by a groove and a futuristic approach. A visit to Sónar was therefore inevitable and in 2017 two of its principal representatives, Joe Kay (co-founder) and Jarreau Vandal (a dj of Dutch origin and key member of the collective) will take over the controls to impart a deluge of sounds in their set at SonarVillage, the perfect time and place to enjoy their kaleidoscopic take on music.

The Soulection discography is wide and varied. Artists such as Kaytranada, Mr. Crmack and Ta-Ku have already featured on their label and they continue to regularly release top-quality material from emerging names on the American scene, as well as compilations in collaboration with other groups or related platforms. In addition to all of this, they have their own radio station, which began broadcasting in 2011, which already has more than 280 shows, some of them in collaboration with other stations, like the London’s Rinse FM. Their chief motto is “The Sound Of Tomorrow”, but the fact is, the music they love, release, play and share is timeless.

Star Eyes b2b Jubilee

With Star Eyes and DJ Jubilee behind the decks, you’re in for a wild ride and one hell of a good time. As members of two of the mightiest bass music empires in recent memory – Mixpak (Jubilee) and Trouble & Bass (Star Eyes), they’re known to navigate power frequencies with ease and expertise. Their selections can range from latin freestyle to Miami bass, grime, dancehall, hip-hop, techno and yet-uncharted territories and their unique chemistry sets them apart from the pack. With this dynamic duo in control, you won’t be leaving the dancefloor sweat-free or with a frown on your face.

Stööki Sound

Jelacee & DJ Lukey make up Stööki Sound, the most recent sensation to emerge from the bass music universe and London’s underground scene. Upon hearing them, Diplo -always on the lookout for new talent- immediately signed them to his Mad Decent label, resulting in a double artist release with Troyboi -another up and coming name from the UK- who also performed at last year’s Sónar. Jelacee & Lukey quickly felt the need to create their own environment in order to progress and have just taken two decisive steps in this direction: the creation of their own editorial platform, Ö.N.E. Worldwide, and the release of their first official work, “Ösiris”, an excellent EP consisting of grime, hip hop and future beats and brought together through live instrumental pieces, vocal tracks and guest MCs. They are guaranteed to make an impact at Sónar 2017 where they will perform on the SonarVillage stage at Sónar by Day.

Stöoki Sound began working together in 2013 and in just a short space of time have shown that with talent and without prejudice it is still possible to create music that sounds innovative and fresh in the overcrowded spectrum of bass music. The English duo’s compositions blending elements of trap, grime and hip hop are equally at home working in mid or high bpms. They have collaborated with producers and vocalists from their own generation, such as Hucci, Mura Masa, Mr. Carmack and Troyboi, with whom they share an afinity in their open and natural approach to composing and promoting their art form. These Londoners hope to conquer the world, hence the creation of the Stööki Movement together with designer Nadia Abbas, which includes the label, a fashion and jewellery line, commissioned visual projects and several other artistic strands. Next stop: SonarVillage.

t q d (royal t, dj q & flava d)

t q d are Royal-T, DJ Q y Flava D; three of the most important producers in British garage and bass music. Seperately each of them have carved out a solid career and reputation on the scene, but by pooling their talents they have created an even greater resonance than we could have hoped for. Together they will offer one of the most explosive sets of Sónar 2017, as part of the program curated by Resident Advisor at SonarLab: instrumental grime from the past and present, garage classics and 2Step, new bass house anthems, exclusive dubplates and bangers that spontaneously provoke the need to dance compulsively. Mark Taylor has been releasing grime and garage bombs for almost a decade as Royal-T, and has released new material on key labels from the English underground such as Butterz or Rinse. DJ Q was the youngest DJ to have his own show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, which denotes the high standard of his sets and his commitment to the bass community. He has released two albums, the last of which, “Ineffable”, on Local Action, boasts having created one of the bassline scene’s most breath-taking hits, “You Wot!” Next to MC Bonez, Flava D is probably the most influential and relevant woman in the entire scene, with two different releases on Butterz (two separate collaborations with her colleagues from tqd) and several grime and bass music hits that bring her own personal touch closer to pop and house music.

22 January, 2014
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Duncan Richardson

LTJ Bukem @ Village Underground

Galatic Steppa was at The Village Underground Club to review the LTJ Bukem night with Om Unit, here’s what he thought….

The Village Underground Club –  part of a creative community space born out of a victorian warehouse –  is tucked away down Holywell Lane off Shoreditch High Street. Inside it is an impressive high brick walled space with the decks, stage and speaker banks at the back of one end, the sound and light engineers at the other and enough space to brock out in the middle. On entering Tom Central is on the decks with some drum driven, deep bass tunes working the subs and tweeters. He’s mixing it up nicely with the dance floor slowly beginning to fill. Tom Central ends on the Krome & Time’s classic Ganja Man.

Om Unit is on starting with a deep bass, high reverb intro slowly building as more people filter in through the doors. His production, as always, is of the highest standard with the bass beginning to rattle your ribcage. It’s building nicely, knowingly, waiting for the drop. Interspersed breaks with increasing frequency. Then the jungle drops.

Om Unit’s in the flow. Nasty dark bass lines with wickedly fast jungle breaks through to flowing snares and piano liquified Drum & Bass then back into the jungle. The sound system is loud, very clear with an impressive low end and Om Unit’s Bristol Sound is using the full spectrum. Its taking time for the crowd to dig in and dance. He then brings in the old skool vibes including dropping Goldie’s seminal Inner City Life. Now the dance floor is shafting and bouncing.

The original ‘Shadow Boxing’ is mixed into Om Unit’s Remix the crowds buzzin. The mixing is superb and everything’s flowing nicely then the music cuts out mid mix. The crowd doesn’t know if it’s part of the mix. The technical difficulty is dealt with quickly and we’re back up n banging. Roni Size’s ‘Share The Fall’ drops

LTJ Bukem is in the building but he’s letting Om Unit continue to smash up the dance floor which there’s no doubt. 20mins later and the torch is on the decks on the stage above Om Unit you can feel the anticipation building. Om Unit moves from from the heavy jungle drums to some lovely flowing D&B setting it up nicely.


Crowds cheering, Bukem’s on with a nice flowing jazzy roller. No lights up or on the legendary DJ. No final shout for Om Unit but what a set. The crowds moving, lets see how the 1st mix goes down. I’ve seen LTJ here 2 years ago with Roni Size and in Southampton at the Soul Cellar (shamefully now one of the many closed clubs) and he’s not been at his best. The mixings smooth, same as his tune selection. There’s a flow to the tunes that’s slowly building. The decks drop out again and the engineer makes his way up to the decks. All that hard work has to start again. Now the old skool tunes are seamless mixed in, no chopping no messing.

A last minute addition, MC Illaman jumps up on the stage and takes the atmosphere up an extra 10 degrees. Incomes ’19.5’. Its taken a while, now everybody’s dancing and the lights shine on LTJ Bukem for the 1st time and he’s sporting a flat cap. He’s easing back on the heavy jungle breaks to a more liquid vibe though this is only so the Godfather can bring it back to a climax. The pace starts building and now we’re into classic Bukem, Promised Land Volume 2, early Logical Progression. Build up, easing you down, build again then ease off and then build you up and up. The LTJ Journey. The tunes are being chopped, the mixing is slick, the MC’s pumping the crowd and 10 minutes after his sets meant to finish we have the 1st rewind of the night. Bukem is making up for lost time. When the sets up and lights are up, the appreciation is loud and deserved.

LTJ Bukem’s started slow easing the tunes in and out but the last half hour he showed why he is the Godfather of Drum and Bass. A great night, good crowd at a great venue.

Check out Soundcrash for more great events:



22 January, 2014
Duncan Richardson
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sonar lineup 2015

Must See @ Sonar 2015

Sonar 2015 is nearly here and returns with the usual packed line up of quality artists. It can be hard to pick who to see as there is so much good music on offer, so we’ve put together a schedule of Bass Music artists that we think are pushing and representing the scene.



22 January, 2014
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sonar 2015

Sónar 2015 Line Up

Sónar 2015 completes its music program;

Just Blaze, Pional, Koreless & Emmanuel Biard, Nick Hook, experimental trio Nazoranai (Keiji Haino + Stephen O’Malley + Oren Ambarchi) are among 30 new additions to the line-up

The new additions join previously announced artists including The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Duran Duran, Die Antwoord, A$AP Rocky, FKA twigs, Flying Lotus, Róisín Murphy, Jamie xx, Arca & Jesse Kanda, Squarepusher, Hot Chip, Autechre, Siriusmodeselektor, Kindness, Laurent Garnier, Ten Walls, Sophie, Francesco Tristano, Kiasmos, Lorenzo Senni and up to 150 shows appearing at this year’s festival. Check the schedule by day here.

Listen here to the Sónar 2015 updated audio and video playlists.

You can purchase reduced price Sónar Passes, 2 Night Tickets and individual tickets for this year’s festival here.

We’re particularly excited to see; The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Jamie xx, A$AP Rocky, RL Grime, DJ Fresh,

More details to follow on our “top must see” list for the festival

22 January, 2014
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Lazza DNB

KineticXL – Friday, Nov 21 @ AA Dock’s, Brussels

Kinetik presents

#kinetikXL : The celebration of 1 year of Kinetik events

ᶥ Friday, Nov 21 @ AA Dock’s, Brussels
ᶥ 13h of sound, from 18:00 to 07:00 ᶥ 42 artists over 2 stages ᶥ HQ sound & light show

ᶥ And only the finest neuro & dark dnb!


22 January, 2014
Lazza DNB
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Dimensions Festival Launch Party Valencia 2014

Leading up to one of the most diverse festivals the world has to offer the Dimension’s Launch Party Valencia was one not to be missed.

Headlining an extraordinary artist known as Fracture, who has multiple release’s on various industry leading labels. (more…)

22 January, 2014
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