Spain's Sonar 2000 Takes Shape

Autechre, Plastikman, Jeff Mills to play annual Barcelona festival in June.

The experimental-techno duo Autechre, Death in Vegas, Jeff Mills, Carl Cox and Plastikman will headline the electronic-music festival Sonar 2000 this summer in Barcelona, Spain.

The three-day, three-night event scheduled for June 15–17 boasts more than 50 live performances, 70 DJs and 90 titles projected at the SonarCinema, organizers confirmed.

Other notable acts scheduled to perform are Luke Slater, Gilles Peterson, Pan American, Abe Duque, Kit Clayton, Echoboy, David Morales and UK rap-dance outfit Stereo MC's, whose 1993 release Connected (RealAudio excerpt of title track) made Q magazine's "90 Best Albums of the 1990s."

Now in its seventh year, the Sonar Festival, like the Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach, Fla., every spring, also features several record-label showcases. Mute, Disko B and Studio !K7 are among the 15 labels participating this year.

As opposed to the focus on fun-in-the-sun and feel-good beats at most European festivals, Sonar has established itself as a home for

avant-garde music that challenges convention.

Sonar 2000, dubbed by organizers as "a reflection of the evolution of contemporary electronic culture," also has set out to promote emerging Spanish artists such as Latin hip-hop groups 7 Notas 7 Colores and Fangoria.

Several concerts and DJ sets from the festival will be broadcast over its official Web site (www.sonar.es). Live chats with artists and organizers are also planned, though details have not been announced.

Autechre, consisting of Sean Booth and Rob Brown, have released several groundbreaking techno albums, including last year's EP7, and are notorious for their technically complex and sonically intense live sets. Mills, Cox and Plastikman (born Richie Hawtin) are among the world's icons of techno.