OFF Sonar Barcelona

HD returned a little bleary-eyed yesterday from the 2015 edition of OFF Sonar, a week of parties put on in stunning locations around Barcelona.

OFF Sonar

Once a year, the Catalan city plays host to Sonar and its partner festival OFF Sonar, producing line-ups that rival Ibiza opening week in venues ranging from hillside monasteries to hidden beach coves. We know you’re busy, so here’s our best effort at summing up the madness in your 5 minute coffee-break.

First up was Poble Espanyol, the 1920s museum in hillside of Mt. Montjuic, for the showcase of Mano le Tough and The Drifter’s label, Maeve. Despite a lineup that boasted Innervisions‘ head honcho Ame and the emerging talent of Aera, it was Mano himself that stole the show with a sunset session that will stay long in the memory. Here’s a taster:

Next up was Resident Advisor’s night at el Monasterio, another stunning hilltop spot on the outskirts of Barcelona. With a varied lineup that featured Pearson Sound, Felicita and Andy Stott, the music flew across genres, sometimes giving the night an uneven feel. That was until the much-anticipated duo of Gerd Janson & Jackmaster took to the decks for a disco masterclass, playing tunes like THIS:

Saturday night meant a trip to the beach to enjoy the delights of Solomun’s Diynamic Records, specifically David August’s ambient live set followed by Adriatique. The Swiss Duo unsurprisingly played a lot of their productions, including this beauty

Sunday brought around the crux of the trip, the Social Music City night at Plaza Major, an old town square inside Poble Espanyol. The lineup boasted wall-to-wall giants including DJ Koze, Maceo Plex and Tale of Us. DJ Koze, given the difficult earlier set, appeared to single-handedly bring the sun down with this one

Facing down the festival equivalent of Day 23 of the Tour de France, we summoned the last of our energies for the evening session. Feeding off a crowd on their last night of a draining week, Maceo Plex laid down a closing set piled high with emotional melodies. Imagine a full orchestral breakdown followed by this and you’ll pretty much get the picture.

Despite all this, we barely scratched the surface of the events on offer. We missed an all-nighter curated by Tim Sweeney, a Villalobos pool party, Nina Kraviz in an aircraft hanger and countless others. Where we did make it though, the venues were surreal, the crowds were friendly and the tunes were always spot on. See you there next year.

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