Festival Frolics: Sónar 2011 Fest Bests.

Set amidst the sprawling, urbane urbanity of Barcelona, Sónar is a multi-sensory extravaganza as much as it is a "festival". From hazy Estrella Damm-fuelled sunsets in the Ciutat Vella to skull-thumping late nights and sunrises amongst the imposing architecture of L'Hospitalet, the event encompasses so much musically, culturally, experientially in such a relatively concise period of time, said period of time engulfing much of next week. The line up perpetually finds itself at the fore of forward-thinking, tending to contort through a plethora of genres, and the Barcelona leg of this year's bash spanning Thursday 16th, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June is to take in headline sets from the likes of Aphex Twin, M.I.A., Underworld and Four Tet. However if you're in need of a helping hand in delving a little deeper into the run-down, we're here to assist, headlamps at the ready...

Who: Danish electronica maestro Anders Trentemøller, to be backed by full, fully flabbergasting live band.
Why: Anders' Into The Great Wide Yonder LP of yesteryear is entirely sublime on acetate, and quite how he manages to reproduce it onstage at Sónar ought to generate enough intrigue to have hearts swaying in SónarPub.
When/Where: Friday, 11.30pm, SónarPub
  Trentemøller - Even Though You're With Another Girl

Chris Cunningham
Who: Seminal visual artist and Warp Records' ocular accomplice to all extensive purposes, Chris Cunningham
Why: Having been headhunted by Stanley Kubrick, is there any feasible motive for missing out on a laser enthusiast spin his disconcerting New York Is Killing Me remix in what effectively feels like a weather-beaten, bass-ravaged airplane hangar?
When/Where: Saturday, 11pm, SónarClub
  Gill Scott Heron - New York Is Killing Me (Chris Cunningham Remix)

Janelle Monáe
Who: Unfathomably gifted twenty-something Kansas songstress, Janelle Monáe goes crazy and gets nuts like early '80s Prince with a paintbrush, hurling a doorstopper-like hunk of hair about overhead all the while.
Why: If The ArchAndroid rewired the rhythms of contemporary soul, the live show redefines jubilation, and the outskirts of Barça will indubitably be infinitely better for it. 
When/Where: Saturday, 11.30pm, SónarPub
  Wondaland - Janelle Monae

Who: Brit introvert Darren Cunningham, whose sophomore full-length Splazsh sent out menacing ripples amidst the undergrowth of the underground, continually threatening to burst the banks of claustrophobic techno and house.
Why: Sticky sounds and stickier climes, Actress in the SónarHall ought to provide an intimate, if perhaps intimidating affair. Prepare to be entirely entranced and entangled in a gossamer web of luminescence and disturbance.
When/Where: Saturday, 8.30pm, SónarHall
  Actress - Lost

Little Dragon
Who: Gothenburg collective Little Dragon, inadvertently famed for their guesting on Albarn's Plastic Beach LP of 2010.
Why: Yukimi Nagano's vocals are particularly beguiling, and if the oneiric majesty of Machine Dreams seemed inconceivably endearing, its forthcoming follow-up Ritual Union, in the live setting, may well go some way to unifying the many disparate genres showcased over the weekend.
When/Where: Thursday, 5.30pm, SónarVillage by Estrella Damm

Floating Points
Who: Floating Points is Sam Shepherd to his progenitors. 
Why: Floating Points is a producer of deep house nirvana for discerning ears.
When/Where: Thursday, 4pm, SónarVillage by Estrella Damm

Tyondai Braxton
Who: Once-Battles lynchpin, Tyondai Braxton now singlehandedly manufactures warped aural hysteria a stone's throw from Mirrored, were the record transposed onto crumpled sheet music.
Why: Battles are doing quite alright on their own, although it's the trajectory of Braxton that may potentially ascend to loftier realms this estival season. Expect orchestral manoeuvres in the dusk if referencing 2009's Central Market, and once again, expect the unexpected.
When/Where: Thursday, 7pm, SónarHall

Next week's Sónar takes place in Barcelona from June 16-18th, and in A Coruña 17-18th. For more info, the official site can be found aquí.