April 13, 2019
Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP)
The third year of Sónar Hong Kong’s eclectic music, arts and technology festival packed a punch, with a lineup of DJs both local and international, and a characteristically diverse array of workshops, talks, art, and tech for visitors to peruse.
The Sónar +D section of the show was a carefully curated program of new gadgets and immersive experiences. The display of updated products from music-making tools designer Ableton showcased new software and an updated version of its MIDI controller. The fully-rigged booths were equipped with workstations and headphones, allowing interested visitors to test out the merchandise for themselves.
Fashion was another theme, with two exhibitors displaying their innovative takes on clothing. we+ar TRBL showed off their line of apparel fitted with flexible electronic screens, easily controlled by a mobile app to display the user’s choice of features. Similarly, FUSED Footwear utilizes 3D scanning and printing technology to create bespoke shoes, designed to fit perfectly using nothing more than a smartphone camera.
Elsewhere on the sprawling venue, the music lineup took audiences by storm. At the SonarVillage stage, British Grammy-nominated DJ Bonobo (pictured above) delivered the last outdoor performance of the night through a transcendent set stacked with irresistibly smooth beats. As crowds trickled inside, they were treated to the seductive bass and vibrant electronic melodies of Berlin-based DJ Anja Schneider at SonarClub, while British artist GAIKA took the stage at SonarLab.
The 2019 show, while staying true to its trance and electronic roots, introduced more prominent international names to the eager Hong Kong audience with headliners like British duo AlunaGeorge (pictured above), Bonobo, and Spanish producer and DJ John Talabot. Supplemented by a lineup of VR experiences and breathtaking audiovisual performances from Asian artists and producers, Sónar Hong Kong 2019 was an event to remember. –NB