Sonar 2006, the evolution of sounds.

Sonar 2006

View the Sonar 2006 photo gallery.

The 2006 edition of Sònar, now renamed as “international festival of advanced music and multimedia art” has again opened its flux of sounds, involving a non stop very large public in different spaces, splitted in different sections and basically divided in day and night events. A necessary division, following the festival’s exponential grow in years, and the consequent reached size, that imply a colored and peaceful siege that can’t avoid unease to an entire metropolitan quarter. The program has been so full of events to require ubiquity, and the many different and differently located performances has forced the spectators a happy nomadism from a place to another one (funny for the majority, but less functional for facilitating the contact opportunities amongst the professionals). The many and various shows, even considering more strictly the musical part, has risen the perception of a strong contamination, confirming the idea of an ongoing transition in the musical genres topology, that winks with proposals at the multiplication of possibilities and many other sound derive. If the minimalism once more extreme and rarefied by Alva Noto is actually joining the melodic art-pop of Sakamoto (and the electronic genre alone is not enough to add up, here is the rock, borrowed form club influences (the Infadels for example), while the house is shifting to more styled and atmospheric dimensions (as in the Pigna People case). Some teutonic deep-electro is on the same wavelenght, that for artists like Modeselektor welcomes new rhythmic sequences and even ghetto-style urges. The black music also has drawn attention, from hip hop to abstract beatz (Nightmare On Wax, Digable Planets, One Self, Afra & Incredibile Beatbox Band among the performing bands), blessed by the presence of artists like Nile Rodgers and the Chic (still able after thirty years to dominate the stage with such energy levels to make the younger fan envy). In the experimental video sector, there was the very interesting project of V-Scratch, a real time visualization of scratching, the Toshio Iwai’s Tenorion and the exceptional data driven solutions by Ryoji Ikeda. Of course it’s the night to beat the masses devoted to dance. The fluctuations has seen Otto Von Schirach (djing dressed as one of the Mechanical Orange main characters), and the continuum by Jeff Mills, or Miss Kittin, Sasha, Tiga, Richie Hawtin, Riccardo Villalobos and the beaten and redundant techno by the ‘red baron’ Dave Clarke. The Sonar success is evident, even more if compared to other similar festivals. But a further rationalization of the spaces would be desirable on one side, because it’d then allow a better fruition of the festival itself without touching one of its strength points, that is the contamination possibilities at any level. But let’s leave to the organizers the hard task of finding a good compromise. Finally it’d be worth to note that the sound evolution, even if reflected in many different shades, still lack an analytical and active look at the enormous changes silently affecting the production and distribution possibilities enabled by the new formats.