Much more than music, SonarSound Tokyo’s Barcelona grandfather is a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears. They call it a festival of advanced music and multimedia art – and here in Japan, that ethos can flourish.
The Ageha/Studio Coast event celebrates the mega-club feel of the out-of-town night-time venue on Saturday, but also hints at a day spent in the Catalonian city centre idling away the hours absorbing as many genres as possible in the sun on Sunday. But this is not all late night beats and terrace sangria.
Ageha is perhaps the natural venue when bringing the festival to Tokyo – it feels like the style has been updated naturally, and the multimedia ethos has plenty of space. Expect sound installations, light shows and as fashionably tech-savvy crowd, with DJs and live acts competing for your attention with more than just their records. Artwork at Sonar can shock, amaze, or just make anyone with a designer-bone in their body – and fans of minimalist perfection – feel in heaven.
The event last year was one of many affected by the earthquake of March 11. Many artists cancelled, and punters clearly wrestled with desires to temper their revelry in such a time, or let off steam in a stressful period. In fact, Sonar Sound 2011 was nearly cancelled, before the organisers reached the late decision to go ahead – and give half of the ticket sales to the Japan Red Cross.
The last-minute edition of Underworld’s Darren Emerson did help to fill the coffers somewhat, but it was a laid back affair, somewhat overawed by the scale of the venue and events elsewhere. Some Flying Lotus fans may disagree, and Emerson did fill the floor with Born Slippy and other favourites, but surely there are higher hopes for 2012.
UK Drum and Bass and Acid comes from Squarepusher, who headlines on Saturday night, with jazz-electro outfit The Cinematic Orchestra closing Sunday. Art installations and presentations by the likes of Amon Tobin, and local based collective PARTY will more than keep you busy.
For a full lineup see the SonarSound website.
Day or night tickets are ¥7,750 (¥14,500 weekend passes have already sold out) and available here.
Doors open at 8 p.m. Saturday 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday 22 April.