The Barcelona based Sonar Festival is the International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art. With the growing emergence of the experimental electronic/dubstep scene in the UK, in 2006 Sonar asked as the queen of the genre, Mary Anne Hobbs, to provide the best dubstep from the UK on her own stage. This is something which has continued ever since, and I think 2010 may have been the biggest year for the stage yet.
This year's line-up excited me so much that I stayed up from 2-4am to listen to the recorded sets from the MAH stage, and after a couple of listens I regret not joining the 10,000 others that attended the festival and got a ridiculously good exploration into electronic music. The line-up comprised of MAH, Joy Orbison, Flying Lotus and Roska, the latter 3 undoubtedly among the best and most exciting artists of the year.
Undoubtedly the man I was most excited about hearing was Joy Orbison, without doubt my favourite artist of the last year, with numerous brilliant releases ('Hyph Mngo', 'Brkln Clln/J.Doe', 'The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow' EP). I was in no way, shape or form disappointed, he delivered a quite wonderful set, which included the fantastic 'Miniluv' by Martyn, plenty of Orbison's own work as well as a few unknown and unreleased tracks that were absolute gems, and which I'm desperate to find details about. The set is very well mixed, with smooth, slow transitions from one track to the next, just the way it should be done, moving through dubstep, UK garage/funky and house. This kid is so talented it actually scares me slightly. This is a must listen.
Roska and Fly Lo also provided really great sets, sticking to their respective sounds of UK Funky and glitch-hop/electro which fill the basis of their sets. Both these men have come off the back of a huge year, with Roska releasing his debut album 'Rinse Presents Roska' (which is actually a good listen) and Fly Lo releasing his third album 'Cosmogramma', which is a work of art, and album that takes you on a journey you will never have experienced musically before.
And as usual, MAH once again provided the goods with her great set, which included the latest releases from Sepalcure, Kode9 & The Spaceape, Altered Natives and Dorian Concept. You can listen to the highlights from these sets now by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00srzn8, and listening to the podcast for MAH's show. Please do it, you will not be disappointed.