token girl: like a girl, but better

Sunday, 13 July 2008

sonar, so good (again)

Kittin is high. Kittin is climbing across the decks on all fours, purring 'Rippin Kittin' and there should be fireworks going off in the sky right now above SonarPub she's so hot. The world's finest goth-techno-leopard-print-diva has devised a super-sized laptop solo show this year, but Mademoiselle Caroline could probably play broken records (which, wonderfully, she's done at previous Sonars) and still have us eating from her paws. Favourites from 'Thee Glitz' days right up to the recent 'Batbox' are multiplied and mixed live into stadium-filling, acid house anthems then overladen with those irresistibly accented lyrics. The Sonar press department might have been hyping the 'female factor' on the lineup, but every single year, the very womanly Miss Kittin unofficially headlines the festival and its reputation rides on her tattooed shoulders.

Last year Hamburg label Dial released (whisper it) 'This Bliss', the debut album by emo-minimal deity Pantha du Prince and some divine decisionmaker has put him in the sublime sunrise-slot. His live set is all surface-sparse techno, teetering on the deep side of house. Whatever it's called, this is music to make you go limp, wobble a bit and not recover your senses until several days later. Each shift in tempo or silky new sound in 'Eisbaden' or 'Saturn Strobe' is an exploding star expanding across the galaxy. When 'Florac' builds up then breaks into a mind-blowing sitar-drone apocalypse, it levels this girl to a trembling wreck, crouching on the concrete floor.

By which time the sun's up for non-stop dj/producer/legend Ricardo Villalobos. Since it's Sonar and since he's closing proceedings (for now) he appears to have undergone some kind of photosynthetic transformation in the Barcelona heat. This morning he could be on the terrace at Space, spinning what sounds Balearic house and having a very non-serious-techno time of it, so that when the glittering curtain finally falls he's grinning, hands aloft behind the decks and we're already counting down the days to Sonar09.

No comments: