Sónar Lisboa kicks off the electronic music festival’s 30-year celebrations at the end of this month. Combining faultless curation with amazing locations and industry panel discussions the festival is jam-packed with countless ‘do-not-miss’ moments. Here’s our pick of who to catch.
SHERELLE b2b Kode9
We didn’t make SHERELLE the first Disco Pogo cover star for nothing. The Londoner is one of the most thrilling DJs on the planet right now, with a heady blend of footwork, jungle and hardcore wowing crowds globally since she broke through with one of the most iconic Boiler Room sets ever in 2019. Paired here with Hyperdub founder and fellow footwork fanatic Kode9 for a one-off back-to-back, you know you’re in for something very special indeed.
7 - 9pm, April 1 @ SonarVillage
Skream b2b Mala
Talking of back-to-back pairings with a sprinkling of magic dust, it’s hard not to get excited about Skream and Mala rolling back the years in Lisbon. Skream’s spent most of the last decade building a reputation as one of the most dependable party starters in the world of house and techno, but we fully expect him to be rolling in the low-end when he teams up with Deep Medi boss and fellow dubstep OG Mala in Lisbon.
3 - 4.30am, March 31 @ SonarHall
Cinthie’s a stalwart of the Berlin house scene, really finding a following in the 2010’s as part of the Beste Modus collective (alongside the likes of Diego Krause) and later with her own 803 Crystalgrooves imprint. Her debut album ‘Skylines - Citylights’ is one of the most satisfying house music long players in years but fell through the cracks a little due to being released slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic in summer 2020. Don’t miss the chance to catch one of the most delectable selectors of groove-filled house music play her live show at Sónar on Sunday evening.
6.30 - 7.30pm, April 2 @ SonarVillage
More than two decades into his career, James Holden’s something of an elder statesman within electronic music but his live show is brimming with as much vitality, intensity and inventiveness as ever. His latest album, ‘Imagine This Is A High Dimensional Space Of All Possibilities’ sees Holden balance his recent jazz-infused work with some of the rave punch of his earlier work and we cannot wait to find out how it transfers to the live arena.
11pm - midnight, March 31 @ SonarHall
Berlin-based Peruvian producer Sofia Kourtesis is one of the most interesting producers and DJs in house music right now, bringing her intrinsic musicality to remix work for everyone from Jungle to Jose González and Flume alongside her own convention-bending productions. Do not miss her peak-time Friday night set.
10.30pm - midnight, March 31 @ SonarClub
Sónar’s always keen to give homegrown talent a platform and they don’t come much more important to the Portuguese scene than Lisbon DJ and one-time resident at Lisbon’s premier nightspot Lux Frágil, Yen Sung. With three decades as a DJ behind her, Yen Sung is a font of house, techno and hip hop knowledge and something of a national treasure in Portugal. Don’t miss her Sunday afternoon set.
5 - 6.30pm, April 2 @ SonarVillage
There’s few more charismatic performers behind the decks than Folamour right now. With a heavy blend of house, disco, soul and funk, he’s bound to blow away the cobwebs of a heavy Friday night when he takes to the decks for his early evening slot on Saturday.
5 - 6.30pm, April 1 @ SonarClub
Astra club (DJ Tennis b2b Carlita)
Sónar Lisboa is coming through strong on the back-to-back sets this year and Turkish producer and selector Carlita with Life and Death founder DJ Tennis is a pairing we can’t wait to see. Carlita started out in classical music and she takes inspiration from everything from Turkish psychedelia to 80s synth music. If DJ Tennis and Carlita’s 2022 single ‘Cineceittá’ with Alex Metric is anything to go by, expect euphoria and etherealness in equal measure.
3 - 4.55am, April 1 @ SonarHall
A regular at Berghain, Timewarp and Dekmantel, VTSS has been steadily rising to techno’s top table over the last few years. However, there’s more to her than thundering 5am sets (although she’s pretty good at that too). Last year saw her release a series of EPs and singles on Ninja Tune, which saw her embrace a more experimental and personal sound, featuring her own vocals and saw her play back-to-back sets with everyone from Daniel Avery to Objekt. This is bound to be one of the highlights of day one.
1.30 - 3am, March 31 @ SonarHall
There are few spectacles in dance music as reliable as a KiNK live set. The Bulgarian producer brings a seat-of-your-pants spontaneity to proceedings, blending techno, house, acid and experimental sounds as he commands an array of analogue synths and controllers in real time. He usually looks like he’s having the time of his life doing it too. The perfect companion to take you into the early hours of Saturday morning.
4.30 - 6am, March 31 @ SonarHall
For more information about this year's Sónar Lisboa and to buy tickets head here