DGTL is one of the biggest mainstream electronic music festival events and this year the Dutch-born concept celebrated its 5th edition in Barcelona where they had a total of 30,000 people attend over the course of two days. I was very happy to be a part of it all once again where I had the opportunity to enjoy the music, the vibes and the creative artwork.
DGTL is held at the famous Parc del Forum venue and is an event that provides predominantly a selection of house and techno sounds alongside industrial artwork to a crowd of dedicated local and tourist rave enthusiasts. This year was no different. The organisers behind it all achieved this with no problems and also managed to maintain their vision of sustainability by having only vegetarian food on-site, a semi-cashless system and a strong focus on recycling throughout. However, I must admit that even though Friday was a cool party day, the general vibe there on Saturday was much better and I put this down to the combination of the crowd and music that was available on that day.
Thanks once again for DGTL for having Clubber Confession there. Here are my 6 favourite sets from your 5th edition in Barcelona.
6) Marcel Dettman
Marcel Dettman closing the festival on Saturday morning was one of the most memorable sets of day 1. He is known for playing fairly hard and thumping techno and his name is associated with many staple institutions where one can hear this kind of music, one of which is Berghain in Berlin. He totally lived up to this persona at DGTL 2019 at the Generator stage which is the most industrial-looking stages of the festival as it is surrounded by oil tanker containers and equipped with a crazy amount of green lasers that provide a mesmerizing effect in the pitch-black night sky. Marcels set was for sure one of the heaviest out of the whole festival and it was a great place to be just before walking out and rounding up the fun of the first day.
5) Mano Le Tough
Mano Le Tough’s closing set on day 2 at the Modular stage was a true expression of how he dominates dance floors with his musical style and tune selection. Closing a festival as big as DGTL must be a very exciting prospect for a DJ and even more so if you are confident that you got the musical ammunition to drive the crowd wild which Mano certainly did. During his set, I remember elements of house, techno, hard house and trance sounds where a number of his tunes built up with absolute force and dropped into totally random and unexpected sequences and melodies. The crowd was at times confused by the randomness of it but their reactions towards it only showed optimum excitement, joy and euphoria. It’s great when unconventional tunes do the expected and Mano definitely had a great selection of bangers in store for his audience.
4) The b2b2b by Tiga, Dubfire & Seth Troxler
The long-awaited back to back to back to back set by Tiga, Dubfire and Seth Troxler was one of those classic demonstrations of how DJ’s have to read one another’s styles alongside the vast crowd in front of them to provide a musical journey of originality. This set on day 1 of DGTL was awesome in the sense that it had 3 of the biggest DJ’s in the world who each have their very own styles, playing side by side, mixing tunes with big breakdowns, hyper escalations and of course some incredibly fat drops. Their set was held on the AMP stage, another one of the bigger stages at DGTL which definitely had a massive improvement in sound quality this year and the tunes that this trio spun kept the crowd interested and excited for its entirety.
3) Henrik Schwarz
Henrik Schwarz playing live on day 2 was one those sets that covered a whole array of music. Having only seen him in London at Fabric about 10 years ago I did not really know what we would expect from his style at DGTL but I have to say I loved how he played a selection of melodic and orchestral housey sounds mixed in with harder techy tracks and to end it, a number of ethnic/tribal tunes that to me was a true display of his diverse interest in music and a presentation of his live skills. His set was on the Modular stage, which is in my view is the best stage if you want to see an expensive and impressive light show in full effect as there are countless screens, visuals and lasers that are almost visible from all corners of Parc del Forum.
2) Mr G
One of the most memorable sets for me of DGTL 2019 was Mr G’s live set on day 1 at the Frequency stage. The Frequency stage is the smallest stage at DGTL and is definitely the place you go for an intimate raving experience. I have seen Mr G play at after-parties in London back in the day when I used to live there and I have always been a true admirer of his style that brings together representations of filthy old skool house and techno beats with sounds of soul, reggae, jazz and more played with a unique energy that only he, Mr G, is known for. He looked incredibly happy during his performance and was totally vibing off the energy of the crowd where he jumped around in front of it, high fiving people at numerous points which was for sure much appreciated and definitely added joy to everyone’s experience.
1) Sonja Moonear
Sonja Moonear’s set on day 2 at the AMP stage for me was the best set of the festival. Sonja is known for breaking boundaries with her music and the only way I can describe it would be a selection of banging but also quite random and obscure tunes that are communicated by her to vast crowds through her choice of predominantly using traditional vinyl records over digital mediums. I have seen Sonja play at other events such as more underground parties in Romania like Sunwaves and in dark clubs in various cities including Brussels and London and I think it is fair to say that her set at this year’s 5th edition of DGTL was again a true example of her expert ability to read a crowd in her own way and then take it in a direction of her choice. The great thing about Sonja is that she is a musical chameleon. She can entertain a crowd at a seriously underground techno party and also a more commercial festival like DGTL with her tune selection and its always a treat for me to see her spin and achieve this. Even though there were so many good acts this year at DGTL, Sonja, in my opinion, seems to always make her music very personal, interesting and fun and also always looks like she is having an absolute blast while she plays.
I think it is fair to say DGTL was one of the main events in the lead up to the end of the summer in Barcelona and we hope to be back once again in 2020 year for their 6th edition.
Stay tuned for more articles about what’s going on in Barcelona and elsewhere but until then stay safe, enjoy what’s left of your summer and in the meantime check out more of my articles here.