Wednesday, 24 June 2009

JuxtaPoser's Sonar Journal: Part I

Hola amigos! ... and thats about it. After a week in Barcelona I can shakily say "please", "thank you", and "beer" in Spanish...its just as well I was there to check out one of Europe's top festivals, not brush up on my linguistics. Here's my account of my experience of the Spanish festival.

At 3am on Tuesday 16th June, I finished my set at PoNaNa's in Norwich and watched the crowd of 700 happy kids head home, their night over. Mine was just beginning. I caught a taxi home, had a quick shower and figured I'd better start packing, seeing as my flight was in a few hours time. Having hurriedly stuffed some clothes into a bag and checked I had my passport I got another taxi back to the city centre to catch a 5am coach to Stansted where I was to meet two friends; dubstep DJ Guise and another Norwich promoter. From this point onwards, I shall refer to them as TinTin & Snowy - due to Dave Petrozzi's uncanny resemblance to Teesside Tin Tin - see below [NSFW]

With the introductions and hilariously dubbed children's cartoons out of the way, it was time to get our flight. All in all it was a pretty uneventful flight, which is why I was kinda surprised when some people started clapping and cheering when we landed. Seriously, what are you cheering for?! Landing?! That is literally the absolute minimum I expect from a flight. If the pilot had pulled off some kind of emergency maneouvre or maybe done some stunts or something - fair play, clap your little hearts out, but landing? Jesus.

Anyway, eventually the mixed emotions of confusion, anger and pity subsided and we got off the plane into the balmy Spanish heat. Within 30 seconds I'd spotted two guys carrying UDG bags, one of which turned out to be Riva Starr. This set a trend for the following week when we ended up bumping into everyone from Richie Hawtin to Joker to Sinden - Barca was literally crawling with DJs.

We all grabbed our bags and caught a taxi to our accommodation for the week; a 75ft yacht moored in Barcelona Port Forum.

We were still light on crew, however, as three of our party were on a later flight out and wouldn't be arriving until around midnight that night. So, after around 30 hours without sleep, I got to work... and by work, I mean drinking champagne and listening to Mixmag CDs in the sun. After several hours of music, champagne and the greatest lager in the world, Desperados, the others arrived.

The others included two DJs; Champagne Executive and Fazhands (who looks like a cross between DJ A-Trak and Dev Patel, no sh*t, honestly, see for yourself...) and Vintendo, a Manny Pacquiao lookalike from London.

So, with a motley crew assembled we were ready to take to the high seas and go pirating...but instead we decided to go to Razzmatazz, one of Europe's top clubs. That night boasted a modest *cough* lineup of Filthy Dukes, Aeroplane, Vicarious Bliss, Nathan Fake and James Holden. Indeed, one thing that became very apparent very quickly was that a lot of promoters had booked a lot of huge DJs for the same days as Sonar. Just a few names include Felix Da Housecat, David Guetta, Riva Starr, and Josh Wink. There would definitely be something to be said for going to Barcelona at the same time as Sonar and just going to all the awesome parties that get thrown at the same time instead of the actual festival.

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