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i i Si l‘x/Al


Barcelona, Thu 12 Sat 14 Jun

I’m queuing for the toilet at last year‘s Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Arts, also known as Sc‘mar. Girls line one side of a narrow corridor, boys line the other. Making a casual assessment of how many girls are ahead of me in the queue, I notice that, without exception, they are all blessed by the hand of God in their good looks. Some of them certainly seem to fit the ‘goddess' category. A glance to my left to take in the boys confirms that they too are all splendid human specimens and yes, my jaw at this point is beginning to hang slightly.

Back outside in the blazing, and I mean blazing heat of Barcelona in June, my reconnaissance of the crowd continues. It’s the second day of the three-day music festival and I’m standing smack in the centre of SOnar Village, a cluster of venues situated in and around the Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), which are located just off Las Ramblas. It’s here that the festival hosts the sonar by Day experience, while across town at three venues off Gran Via, Sbnar by Night rages into the early hours (conveniently, a free bus takes you between the two sites). Standing roughly between what looks like a Spanish Brad Pitt wearing a cowboy hat and bearing his midriff and two leggy Scandinavian blonde twins in bikini tops, I decide it’s time to go indoors where it's dark and the beautiful people are not so sénar power from Bjérk conspicuous. Later on I will be able to confirm that the only (main pic), 20, Matthew ugly people at the festival are the DJs. Herbert, Trevor Jackson

Other than learning where all the good-looking people go (top ‘0 bottom) mid-June, I’m here to visit some friends and see my mate Claire perform with her band Mum & Dad, signed to Manchester‘s Twisted Nerve label. In their combination of Shirley Bassey-style vocals, guitar rock and fuzz-drenched

Underworld, Oxide & Neutrino, Matthew Herbert’s Big Band, Aphex Twin, Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Ladytron and

electronica, they’re representative of what's on offer at sonar: namely, all that’s good in electro, house, hip hop and a new one on me - ‘digital concretism’.

As you’d expect from the multi-media bent of

International DJ Gigolos boss, DJ Hell. Sénar by Day,

meanwhile, has the SOnarCinema experience, a host of

conferences and panels (where they will no doubt discuss fascinating advancements in digital technology),

this international electronic music festival, it's I I'm record and editorial fairs, live acts and DJs popular with boffins and less boring music fans including Miss Kittin, David Grubbs and Tujiko

alike, with the result that - certainly in terms of


last year's line-up - it spans a wide spectrum With all that Sénar has to offer (including of

from more commercial acts such as the Pet Shop Boys (and would you believe they went down well?) to Barcelona), you may well find yourself questioning another obscure turntable techies such as Janek Schaefer, Max year standing in the pissing rain at Balado watching deadly Tundra and Kid606. dull acts such as Travis and the Stereophonics.

But what of 2003’s line-up? Well, it‘s estimated that just shy (Catherine Bromley) of 100,000 people will turn up to see a plethora of old I For more lnforrmr/on ()n this year's line—up. linker sale: an} l {mini favourites and new pioneers at this year's Sénar. So far P/ease.’ 'a reservation centre that col/(zijorafrx; Wm; rm; Few/(d, gr) confirmed to play the Sénar by Night stages are Bjork, to mm:sonares

course, the cultural delights of its host city,

$4, 2? Ma, I/T’X: THE LIST 99