18.06.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

David Rodigan

Less odd symmetry or happenstance over intention than careful programming, but most Sonars have an overwhelming musical slant. In previous years this may have been towards minimal techno or IDM, but in 2011, Barcelona was soaked in the sounds of the bass explosion. From Hype Williams’ dub regression to Katy B’s nights-out dazzle to Night Slugs’ rude energy to the cold ripples of Surgeon to the Hessle camp’s after-dubstep explorations, the sounds of Sonar could simply be tied back to Curtain Road and Croydon’s hallowed ground. So, it was with great pleasure that David Rodigan – Britain’s great uncle of reggae – brought a crowd of baffled Spaniards and embarrassingly into it Brits through Jamaican music, from King Tubby dubplates to Sleng Teng to Mr Bombastic to Major Lazer to an absolutely monster new dancehall song that no-one caught the name of, with rewinds, stories told over the mic, star jumps and powered enthusiasm. A hero worthy of laurels, and a trip back to the front, a perfect set from a perfect man.

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