20060916 Back home for a few days

Well I have been getting around a bit lately … just home today from my visit to Istanbul. A very busy couple of days work and some good times. I stayed in an old palace now converted to hotel – Çırağan Palace (say jiraan) on the banks of the Bosporus.

By Friday rolled around I had exhausted myself and headed back to the old town. Walked past a few of the places I visited in 2004 before getting lost in the maze of the Grand Bazaar.

Lights in the Bazaar

So a few hours of great shopping later … I headed back to the hotel. Thinking I’d have a nice soak in the hamaam before heading out, I was thrown by the fact they wanted 70USD for this! So I’ll just have to find a good place next time.

This week, I’ll be off to Johannesburg. I think I’m starting to miss my home comforts so just having a quiet night at home.

20060616 sonar.es day 2 night 1

Well we bagan this holiday in style – in an open air club at the old castle here. After that we managed to sleep til about 4pm. Missed the 'surprise act' of Scissor Sisters as they were playing, we queuing … hmmm no worries. Day 2 had less hip hop music and more live acts, we saw some fantastic new groups, others we had to sit and watch from a big screen as the room they were in was too full. Not sure yet, but expecting the ticket sales to top 90,000 people. Most interesting act was a Japanese guy who was using a fluro tube for a guitar and making some weird noises.

So we left and headed back to the lovely apartment to get ready for Sonar Noches 1. If you can picture 4 warehouses each larger than the Hordern Pavillion you might get close to the size of this place, I was told one room could hold 45,000 people. This is such an amazing festival of music and a/v stuff, I'll definitely be coming back each year.

I have to check out flickr – there was so many people with cameras and videos, I'm sure there are some amazing shots. Watching CHIC (le freak cest chic) the lead singer was asking everyone to email all the pictures to them. Anyway YES we watched CHIC – with their boogey/disco from the 70's, of course it was a bit OTT, but you have to remember that house music, techno and many other genres basically are progressions from Disco. Thats the history of modern music.

So who else was there – Jeff Mills with his amazing hard techno (and a sigue in to disco) follwed by Satoshi Tomei (who a few of us saw at SOS in Sydney, remember), Tiga was cool with vocals by Jake from Scissor Sisters, Laurent Garnier started a lovely set in his French house style (lots of Sax, some guitar and drum kit).

The place closed about 530, so we headed home for much needed sleep.

20060615 sonar.es day1

so we have just got back to the apartment Ian booked, there's a thunderstorm going on right now but we have had an amazing day. We are staying in the heart of the old town – I'd recommend the extra euros for this place – not just location, but having our own place and not staying in some hotel in just grand (the place is grand too). 

Sonar … how to describe … well it's been a mixed day. I'm amazed at the people who have come to this electronic audio/visual 3 day fest from across the globe – spotted some aussies, french, dutch, english and tomorrow we will see a famous kiwi act 'fat freddys drop' so its a global party.

The sonarday is situated right in the city and if you believe that last year some 90,000 people attended, then you get an idea of the size of the centre where this event is held. There is also a new tech symposium which surprised me – people doing cool stuff with mobiles, GPS and music. First demo I saw was of a system that plays random music based on Satelites currently flying overhead!

Once the rain has stopped I think we'll head out and explore the off-Sonar clubs. Perhaps a dance on a terrace in a club overlooking BCN! or maybe we'll go find some German techno in the form of the Tresor record label (we've seen some of their stuff in LON).