Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the Sónar Stockholm festival at Nobelberget is imminent. Unlike the standard festival, Sónar is a definitively night-time experience, both in time of day it occupies (although to be fair, in Sweden in February anything that takes place after 17:00 is essentially a night-time experience) and in the line-up. Sónar has booked some of the biggest and brightest names in club music, as well as bands and artists with the knack for getting people moving, to treat Stockholm’s after-dark population. We already had a look at the festival and some of the acts we were looking forward to in our February issue of the mag but with the kick off just around the corner, and more new exciting acts announced, we decided it was time to dip back in for another peep at what’s in store and big up some things we missed first time around.
NIKI & THE DOVE
Niki & The Dove, or as they’re known to their mums and tax authorities Gustaf Karlöf and Malin Dahlström, were always a dance act. But whereas for their last album, Instinct, they went in for thumping beats (there’s a truly awful Niki & The Dub joke to be made here, but I retain just about enough dignity not to make it), their new releases have seen them move to a 80s-influenced soft-synth sound. Comeback single ‘Play It On My Radio’ was as close as you can get to an audio version of a sun setting slowly on an old-school tv, while their last outing ‘So Much It Hurts’ saw them experiment with emotionally-fraught disco. Check them out on Friday on the SonarClub stage.
Canada’s Jessy Lanza first rose to prominence when touring with her compatriot Caribou, and she showed that she shared Dan Snaith’s musically omnivorous nature, building her tracks out of a effortless blend of electronica, techno, house, funk and whatever she feels like. She announced her return after a short break with ‘It Means I Love You’, a piece of featherweight, glitchy dance music, crafted from a sample of South African pastor Foster Manganyi’s ‘I’m Taking A Journey’, which shows that her appetite for digging influence from obscure places is as strong as ever. Lanza plays Sonarhall at 22 on Saturday.
At a festival like this, the crowd needs someone very, very good to take them into the wee hours. Jackmaster’s Soundcloud bio reads ‘Living For The Night’, so it would seem that he feels he has the qualifications, and he has the CV to back him up. The Glasgow-based DJ has put the hours in to perfect his skills in blending tunes together to create the perfect dance mix, and is on the same Numbers label which has also put out release by the likes of Jessie Ware and Jamie XX (who, if you remember, sold out Münchenbryggeriet in about thirty seconds flat back in November). If you’re in the mood to dance until the doors close, check out his set at SonarClub at 1:30 on Saturday.
This is of course, only a small sample of the acts playing over the weekend. Check www.sonarstockholm.com for all the details.
Sónar Stockholm, Feb 26-27, Nobelberget.
Words: Austin Maloney