Hong Kong gigs

Sónar 2018 festival line-up latest: Laurent Garnier, Mount Kimbie and The Black Madonna

Spanish electronic music festival Sónar’s second Hong Kong edition promises to be a classic with a solid line-up of international DJs and bands. Read on for the latest line-up of artists

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 4:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 4:14pm

French electronic music icon Laurent Garnier and British duo Mount Kimbie are among the first international artists announced today for the second Hong Kong edition of Sónar.

The pioneering electronic music and digital culture festival, launched in Barcelona in 1994, will be returning to the Hong Kong Science Park near Tai Po on March 17. Last year’s debut Sónar Hong Kong attracted 5,000 punters with the biggest line-up of electronic music artists and DJs ever seen in the city, including US hip-hop icon DJ Shadow and British musical tastemaker Gilles Peterson.

The other international headliners for 2018 announced today include American house DJ The Black Madonna, Canadian house/techno artist Heidi, Japanese jazzy post-rock band Mouse On the Keys, Canadian electronic outfit Keys N Krates, British dubstep DJ Mala, Iranian-Dutch singer-producer Sevdaliza and French artist Jacques.

For many electronic music fans, the stand-out artist announced today will be French producer Laurent Garnier. Since launching his career in Manchester in 1986, Garnier has become one of his country’s most respected musical ambassadors, working in a diverse range of genres from house and techno to trance and jazz.

Meanwhile, post-dubstep artists Mount Kimbie will be making their Hong Kong debut at this year’s Sónar. The duo have been audience favourites at festivals such as South by Southwest and Coachella, and have produced an eclectic body of work that encompasses everything from ambient music to organic electronica.

Sónar, Barcelona’s influential festival of electronic music and visual art, is coming to Hong Kong

And adding a local flavour to this year’s Sónar are an array of respected local electronic music figures including Hong Kong trap queen Fotan Laiki, tastemaker Tedman Lee, techno producer Basil Tam and house music DJ Sunsiaré.

Another important part of the festival is the Sónar+D programme, which brings together a range of experimental creators and technologists for demonstrations, workshops, talks and installations that all festivalgoers can partake in.

The Hong Kong edition of Sónar is organised by Magnetic Asia, the same people behind the Clockenflap festival and the Your Mum series of live music events.

When asked how Sónar Hong Kong 2018 was shaping up to be different to last year, Magnetic Asia CEO Mike Hill said: “Last year was such a huge success and a positive experience all round that our approach is to very much retain the same format of the event and focus instead on enhancing the overall quality of the content across the full spectrum of electronic music and the +D programme.”

DJ Shadow, Ellen Allien, Dave Clarke – Sónar announces stellar line-up for Hong Kong debut

And when asked about his personal tips for Sónar Hong Kong 2018, Magnetic Asia music director Justin Sweeting said: “There are many more names to come, but even in this first release there are truly unique and incredible performances in store from acts people may not be so familiar with yet, like Sevdaliza and Jacques who are sure to have people talking long after the festival. Likewise, we are very excited to see Fotan Laiki play at Sónar.”

Hongkongers are also being invited to take part in the Sónar Calling campaign to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival’s founding. Sónar headquarters in Barcelona is sending a message in search of extraterrestrial intelligence on a planet 12.4 light years from Earth, and local producers have been asked to submit an original track that could join music by Sónar artists such as the Black Madonna on the journey into deep space.

The Black Madonna will be a popular addition to this year’s Sónar Hong Kong. The American DJ, born Marea Stamper, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the global house music scene in the past few years, and can be replied upon to bring a euphoric, joyful and inspiring set to the festival.

Sónar has been held every year since 1994 in its native Barcelona, where it draws a crowd of roughly 120,000 festivalgoers over three days every June. It has grown into the world’s foremost celebration of electronic music and has spread to more than 50 cities around the world.

Sónar Hong Kong, March 17, 11am-3am, Hong Kong Science Park, Pak Shek Kok, New Territories, HK$180 (Sónar+D programme only), HK$880 (all music performances and Sónar+D programme), Ticketflap