Barcelona’s Sónar Festival proves once again that it’s playing in the big leagues, with a 2020 artist announcement that simply leaves little to be desired across the entire spectrum of electronic music.
For its 2020 edition, the three-day music, creativity, and technology event manages to accomplish what many festivals in the electronic sphere cannot—topping the bill with both unique and must-see acts in addition to a deeply fleshed out supporting roster. This year, Sónar’s lineup is stacked more than 100 artists, turning heads with names like The Chemical Brothers, Eric Prydz, Despacio (comprised of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and the brothers behind 2ManyDJs), Lindstrøm, Battles, Max Cooper, Telefon Tel Aviv, and TNGHT.
Sónar Festival takes place between June 18 – 20 and although the earliest phases of tickets sold out almost immediately, the Sónar pass is available for €170 until February 6. See the full lineup below.
Sit back and relax; The Avalanches are back. The Australian sampling legends re-emerge with their first release since 2016’s Wildflower by remixing The Chemical Brothers‘ “Out of Control.” The remix comes just a week after the 20th anniversary release of The Chemical Brothers’ classic record Surrender.
For their “Surrender to Love” mix, The Avalanches strip away “Out of Control’s” upbeat percussion and spastic synth hits in favor of chilled-out pads accompanied by mellow backing vocals and drums. A psychedelic visualizer comes with the new mix to create an overall serene affair. The remix offers a potential taste into what to expect on the outfit’s upcoming LP, which they confirmed to be working on shortly after their remix’s release.
Prior to “Out Of Control” getting redone, The Chemical Brothers kicked off Surrender anniversary celebrations with one of their most iconic cuts to date: “Hey Boy Hey Girl.” The band provided their own “Secret Psychedelic Mix” to the original, while KiNK provided one fit for the modern dancefloor.
Photo credit: Steve Gullick. L-R James Dela Cruz, Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi
If the saying is true and it is, in fact lonely at the top, it’s a good thing that The Chemical Brothers have each other, as the English electronic duo has sat atop Mt. Dance Music now for over two decades.
Falling on the 20th anniversary of the group’s pioneering album Surrender, The Chemical Brothers’ newest release, not only commemorate an iconic career in dance music but gazes into the future as the group preps for a headlining set at this year’s Glastonbury.
“Eve of Dubstruction” is a dark and techy reimagining of No Geography’s opening track, the perpetually groovy “Eve of Destruction.” True to its name, the reworking has all of the tools to level even the sweatiest of dancefloors. The original version’s menacing bassline still carries the track, but a room-filling clap, head-swaying synth melodies, and staggering builds, each unseen in the original release, all help put the twist at the end of the punch in “Eve of Dubstruction.”
The band returns to North America at the beginning of August to play shows in New York and Montreal before returning to their international tour. Tickets and dates can be found here.
The Chemical Brothers have released the accompanying music video “Eve of Destruction,” the lead track from their first studio album in four years, No Geography. Fans of the group will recognize the track as a mainstay in the duo’s DJ sets over the past two years.
The music video showcases Japanese text juxtaposed over onomatopoeic fight sequences with a variety of comic book-esque characters dressed as monsters and superheroes. The fighting entities make for a chaotic visual element that artfully manages to accentuate “Eve of Destruction.” The quirky video is a fitting complement to the track—see below.
Alok and Steve Aoki have surprised fans by not only joining to re-work The Chemical Brothers‘ “Do It Again,” but also in selecting a piece of music that’s a far cry from what their respective followers might expect from such a collaboration. Both Aoki and Alok have a tendency to float between high BPM main stage electronic tracks and commercial-leaning hits. For Alok, his commercial side features poppy vocals and catchy note progressions, while Aoki has experimented with everything from rap to most recently rock.
The crossover artists’ iteration of the release keeps almost the same introduction, but the two adapt the original smoothly into their signature big room house sounds and highly emphasized low-end. “Do It Again” is out now via Dim Mak.
After a four-year break since their last full-length album, Born in the Echoes, The Chemical Brothers make their return with the release of their ninth studio album No Geography. Building up to the album release, the duo released four singles, “Free Yourself,” “MAH,” “Got To Keep On,” “We’ve Got To Try,” and their respective music videos.
The production behind the latest album draws inspiration from the concept of randomness and jagged edges. Channeling dance energy, experimental boundaries, and mind-bending visuals, No Geography offers up a psychedelic journey into the new soundscapes tread through by the powerhouses behind Born in the Echoes.
The Chemical Brothers will also embark on a coinciding tour for No Geography and have announced festival performances for Creamfields, Glastonbury, All Points, and Mad Cool. The album is out now via Astralwerks. Stream The Chemical Brothers’ latest album No Geography below.
Mad Cool’s lineup arrives as an exemplification of its name. Madrid’s multifarious music festival, Mad Cool is genre amorphous from its headliners to its flanking acts. Lauryn Hill, Empire Of The Sun, The Gossip, and Prophets Of Rage appear as the newest headliners to top the bill, which already touts Bon Iver, The National, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cure. Festival organizers have added several more artists to the festival’s expansive collection of talent, including Marina–formerly of Marina & The Diamonds–Let’s Eat Grandma, SG Lewis, Black Honey, Haiku Hands, and more.
Glastonbury has dropped their highly anticipated 2019 lineup in full after months of tantalizing individual announcements. The first headliner announced for this year, revealed back in November 2018, Stormzy, will make history this summer as the first UK rapper to ever headline the festival. Now, the grime emcee is joined by The Killers, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Tame Impala, and Miley Cyrus atop the legendary British festival’s 2019 lineup.
Adding another music video into the mix of those accompanying tracks off upcoming album, No Geography, The Chemical Brothers have unveiled a zany visual appendage for “We’ve Got to Try,” joining “Got to Keep On,” “MAH,” and “Free Yourself” among No Geography tracks to receive music video treatments. The album is set for release April 12.
The video follows the journey of a stray dog who gets taken in by a science lab and trained to use robotic arms that eventually lead it to drive a race car, pilot a rocket ship, and garner the attention of the high-science community. Directed by Ninian Doff —who showed no signs of slacking with the preposterous and uncanny elements juiced up in both plot, acting expressions, and visuals— “We’ve Got to Try” is a strange delight that works incredibly well with the track’s dark techno undertones, rapid-fire synths, and some sweet vocals for juxtaposition.
In the context of the video, the lyrics, “Yes I know we can make it girl / If we just try / We’ve got to try,” take on an eery meaning with respect to the dog and experimentation. However, through a mostly exaggerated and somewhat sardonic depiction of science and discovery, there are glimmers of redemption in the unorthodox relationship between the stray and the female trainer.
The English electronic music veterans also released a record-breaking three-second remix of “We’ve Got to Try.” Named “WGTT 15000BPM F1 NEEEUM MIX,” the remix clocks in at 15,000 BPM; the cut was made for Formula 1 with the purpose of having the remix match the revolutions per minute that a modern F1 car could produce.