This is a two-part review of Sonar Tokyo 2011 – part 1 is here. Thanks to Davide at RBMA and Sonar for their help over the weekend.
As I write this review on a shinkansen heading to Shikoku it’s been nearly 48 hours since Sonar Tokyo ended and I don’t think my brain, or body, has properly recovered yet. Following day 1′s late night affair – for which the only solution was a 5am bowl of ramen under the tracks at Shibuya station – Sonar Tokyo continued with a daytime event on Sunday April 3rd.
The young Sayian who’d rescued the festival the night before had gone back to L.A and while the line-up still suffered from cancellations, Sonar day 2 managed to be the best daytime festival I’ve been to in Tokyo, and one of the best I’ve been to overall. With international acts such as Mweslee, BFlecha, Dorian Concept, Claude Young, Kode 9 and Battles alongside Japanese artists including De De Mouse, Sauce81, DJ Baku and ROVO among others it was going to be hard managing to see everyone and coping with a hangover accumulated over 2 nights and a day of hanami.
Still I somehow made it to the venue by 3.30pm. The can of Chu-I I’d decided would be a good idea proved an interesting choice of hangover cure as I walked into the RBMA tent to find Spain’s finest Mweslee ripping the crowd (and his synth) to shreds with his colourful productions. [sidenote: I managed to miss BFlecha and Sauce81's early appearances but I'm told they both suitably delivered]. A silver lining in the cancellations that plagued the event is that many of the acts that did make it had more time to play, and Mweslee put this to good use by splitting his show into two halves. After whipping the crowd into a frenzy with 45 minutes of his own material, he deftly switched to Serato and vinyl and spent another 45 minutes driving the ever busier tent nuts with dancefloor anthems new and old. From Addisson Groove’s ‘Work Dem’ to crunk refixes via Girl Unit’s ‘Wut’ and a cheeky Pony remix, it was a pleasure – and no surprise – to see the crowd give him a deserving clapping ovation.