A Recap of Life and Death x Sónar at Avant Gardner, Feb 8th, 2019


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The most coveted room. The most electrifying live-performance. The best DJ set.

On February 8th, the collaborative event Life and Death x Sónar was held for the first time Avant Gardner with a seemingly perfect filling of event-goers across the grounds. Taking over the multi-room complex on Friday, the lineup featured a diverse range of DJ sets and live performances from Byetone, Call Super, Daedelus, DJ Harvey, DJ Koze, DJ Tennis, Mor Elian, Moscoman, Nonotak, Nosaj Thing, Red Axes, Robag Wruhme, Sinjin Hawke, and Zora Jones.

Life and Death x Sonar NY debut yielded some noteworthy moments. We’re running through them here.

The Experience
Entering the Avant Gardner grounds, revelers were greeted with a vaulted, draped entrance. Somewhere between a sideshow and an opium den, a thoughtful, intimate space was immediately noticed (and appreciated by all those braving the cold). Continuing inside, intimate lighting and deep red abound made the interstitial spaces, which still functioned as necessary flow points for hundreds of attendees, lively and welcoming.

Main Stage: The Great Hall
Immediately drawing guest’s attention, the main stage nestled in the soaring Great Hall was an easy draw. Lighting was well set and complimented the music perfectly, being sure to not distract from the vibrations the air held within the massive space. Projections, though at times confusing in context, added a great deal of texture to the otherwise daunting to fill warehouse. At no location on the floor, from the furthest bar to just in front of the stage, could party-goes go unstimulated by a mix of light and sound. As the night progressed, the projections in the room made more and more sense and became a great part of the production.

The Most Coveted Room: Lost Circus
Nested just outside of the main venue, Avant Gardner’s vintage Belgian Spiegeltent housed a crowd which found itself in no short supply of delicious music. Sonar kept party-goers far from the velvet booths of the space and on the dancefloor. Within the circulation of disco balls, we found ourselves in a groove with others and on our toes, grinning faces abound.

The Most Electrifying Performance: DJ Koze
DJ Koze (Packed Main Room (Great Hall) When AJ and I got there). Hands down the most electrifying moment of the night was Dj Koze’s performance in the packed out Great Hall for a sea of dancefloor creatures that vibrated in unison. There came a point in during his performance where space to dance was difficult to come by. Mostly due to the fact that those within the grasp of the KV2 sound system had been taken by the hypnotic frequencies being fired out.

The Best DJ Set: Robag Wruhme
When it comes down to it, the apex set of the night belongs to Robag Wruhme. He played an absolutely captivating groovy deep tech set in the Lost Circus that had the dancefloor bouncing in unison. There’s just something about a DJ set being played in a more intimate space that allows for sheer energy to be created between the DJ and the dancefloor, and Robag Wruhme displayed that connection full on.

The Sound – KV2:
We can only begin to paint the picture about the KV2 sound system and honestly that might not do it justice because it simply needs to be felt. The speaker stacks are meticulously oriented so that the frequencies blanket anyone on the dancefloor with little to no dead zones. The KV2 system caters to both the bass crazed critters and the mid/hi aficionados via the monster sized subs that literally vibrates bones and enormous stacks that pump clean mids without the throbbing sensation. Again go experience the system it’s worth it no matter what sound comes through it.

About Life and Death:
Life and Death, the electronic music label founded in 2010 by DJ Tennis, stands at the forefront of contemporary, underground dance music. Releasing records varied in tone and texture, the label also purveys its ever-evolving sound via their worldwide event showcases. Ranging from hillside outposts, overlooking Israel’s Dead Sea, to Spanish Colonial mansions, to hedonistic circuses in Amsterdam, the desire to challenge the status quo remains at the core of the Life and Death ethos.

About Sónar:
Started in 1994, Sónar is renowned for its unique format and musical programming that showcases the latest trends in dance and electronic music as well as those artists pushing the limits of musical expression. Since 2002, Sónar has held events in 65 cities across the globe, and currently celebrates annual editions in Barcelona, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Reykjavik, and Mexico City.

A collaborative effort by A. Romano and A. Siconolfi

**Photos courtesy of Avant Gardner taken by Chris Lavado