Unsound Krakow 2017 takes place between 8 - 15 October this year, built around the theme Flower Power. It’s now time for a new round of artist names. Remember, although passes are sold out, individual tickets to all events will go on sale in August.
BILL DRUMMOND of the KLF perfectly encapsulates aspects of the theme, embodying rebellion in the music industry in a way that goes beyond staid notions of counterculture. At Unsound, Bill will give a lecture and screen his film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow And All Music Has Disappeared. Although the rest of Unsound's daytime discourse program is as usual free, this talk requires a separate ticket and is not included in the festival pass. Bill will also continue his work as a shoe shine boy in Krakow, part of his project to shine one thousand pairs of shoes around the world before 2025 when he turns 72 years of age.
Exploring the moon as a symbol of femininity, mystery, transformation and death, KSIĘŻYC made their return to the stage at Unsound 2014, and have since toured widely. This year, we’ve invited cult Ukrainian singer-songwriter SVITLANA NIANIO to collaborate with the band, as well as Małe Instrumenty’s PAWEŁ ROMAŃCZUK. Their show will initially be presented in Ukraine as part of Unsound Dislocation: L’viv.
Other Unsound friends returning to celebrate our 15th anniversary include HOLLY HERNDON with a vocal ensemble in tow presenting an ecstatic and joyously physical show that intersects the festival’s 2017 theme with new material and modes of communication. LAUREL HALO will present a live iteration of her acclaimed LP Dust, which confirms her place as one of the most original artists around, drawing on techno, jazz, funk and soul to craft otherworldly songs. Live, she will perform with eclectic New York percussionist ELI KESZLER. And the Unsound Krakow birthday wouldn’t be the same without BEN FROST, who returns with a new show featuring work by UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS. He’ll play on the same bill as fellow Mute artists EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN.
More premieres will come from RAINFOREST SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT aka Dominick Fernow of Prurient/Vatican Shadow fame. For the first time, he’ll present the dark, rhythmic ambient music of RSE live, exploring the darkest side of nature through sinister field recordings from the primeval tropics. JAMES HOFF will employ his audiovisual project HOBO UFO to explore the abandoned city of Pripyat in Chernobyl’s Zone of Alienation via a modified version of Google Maps streetview that responds to sound. The work will tackle the idea of digitization of our environment and how the language of computing has gradually shifted our perspective of nature.
Rarely performing live, ELEH is one of the most enigmatic artists in contemporary electronic music. His show at Unsound will channel the recordings of HARRY BERTOIA, an American artist who created tonal sculptures alongside the classic furniture designs for which he is best known. Made from the early ’60s onward, these sculptures summon sounds collectively known as sonambient, a combination of the words “sound” and “ambient”. Eleh’s show will be accompanied by an installation set up throughout the festival by JOHN BRIEN, head of Important Records. First presented at New York’s Museum of Art and Design (MAD), this four-channel work draws on Bertoia’s original Sonambient recordings.
Veteran artists giving a unique perspective on Flower Power include minimalist musician and composer JON GIBSON. He will present VISITATIONS, his 1973 piece reimagined for modular synthesizers and percussion, set to the 1970 film One Way, which takes the audience on a road trip through American desert landscapes. Gibson and his group featuring BRITTON POWELL and JONÁŠ GRUSKA will be joined by Polish drummers HUBERT ZEMLER and MIŁOSZ PĘKALA.
75-year-old MIKE COOPER’S biography describes how he turned down an offer to join the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, instead taking a path that led to folk/rock records, painting, travelling and collecting Hawaiian shirts. Mike will use laptop steel guitar and electronics to perform his abstract ambient exotica, still influenced by music of the Pacific.
Filmmakers and travellers VINCENT MOON and PRISCILLA TELMON will appear at the festival to present the live cinema version of their new multi-form work HÍBRIDOS, an “experimental-ethnographic study of current-day spiritual cults in Brazil, mixing tradition and modernity.” Three years in the making, the Híbridos show will include musician and longtime Unsound friend RABIH BEAINI.
Lithuania's ARTURAS BUMŠTEINAS will present BAD WEATHER, a piece for Baroque theatre noise machines. Utilising wind, rain and thunder machines, it aims to inverse the theatre hierarchy, using spliced pre-recorded voice as a ghostly deconstructed background, while the instruments take the lead. This show is presented with Cricoteka and is not included in the festival pass.
Collaborations and special performances in Hotel Forum this year include WIFE and MUMDANCE, who will debut their collaborative project BLISS SIGNAL, colliding starkly different backgrounds in grime, black metal and experimental pop. Salon Des Amateurs’ LENA WILLIKENS and VLADIMIR IVKOVIC will come together for a two-hour mixdown, while Mixpak’s DRE SKULL will play b2b with one of the bass-heavy label’s brightest stars, JUBILEE. Italian PAN signee STILL will be joined by Nigerian vocalist DEVON MILES, Erythrea’s FREWEINI and Italy’s KEIDINO to present the leftfield dancehall of his upcoming debut album. Manchester’s finest party SWING TING is coming in full force as well, with SAMRAI and PLATT joined by MC FOX.
Further non-technonormative additions to the lineup include Discwoman’s DJ HARAM, mixing East Coast’s booty bounce music with traditional Middle Eastern dance and experimental sound design; two artists involved in London’s deconstruction unit NUXXE, SEGA BODEGA and COUCOU CHLOE; and Argentina’s MORO, whose relentlessly percussive style of “ramba” music connects him to both NON and GHE20G0TH1K. Representing Portugal’s Príncipe style of batida is DLYCOX, the Paris-based member of the Tia Maria Produções crew.
Operating on the outskirts of club music is J.G. BIBERKOPF, whose eclectic and futuristic sound as heard on his Ecologies series is informed by various strains of dance music, both in texture and rhythm. Poland’s LUTTO LENTO pushes boundaries as well, choosing a collage approach that gives his mysterious music a dark sense of humour. There’s also BLACK ZONE MYTH CHANT’S unlikely but very successful marriage of psychedelic drone and footwork.
Club names for this announcement are rounded out by rising Bristol improv-techno act GIANT SWAN, whose blistering live show is attracting a great deal of attention, and two artists whose 2017 albums count among the best in house and techno music respectively: the New York DJ and producer OCTO OCTA, who recently joined Honey Soundsystem, and L.I.E.S.-affiliated EBM-twister TZUSING.
UNSOUND 2017 ARTISTS ANNOUNCED SO FAR:
Arturas Bumšteinas pres. "Bad Weather" (LT) — world premiere
Ben Frost (AU/IS)
Bill Drummond (ZA/UK)
Black Zone Myth Chant (FR)
Bliss Signal (Mumdance & Wife) (UK) — world premiere
Coucou Chloe (FR/UK)
DJ Bone b2b DJ Stingray (US) — world premiere
DJ Sprinkles (US/JP)
DJ Haram (US)
Dre Skull b2b Jubilee (US)
Einstürzende Neubauten (DE)
Ewa Justka (PL/UK)
Giant Swan (UK)
Holly Herndon (US/DE)
James Hoff pres. “Hobo UFO” (US)
J.G. Biberkopf (LT)
John Brien (US)
Juliana Huxtable (US)
Księżyc, Svitlana Nianio & Paweł Romańczuk (PL/UA)
Laurel Halo (US/DE)
Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic (DE/SB)
Lutto Lento (PL)
Mike Cooper (US)
Moondog for Gamelan with Iwan Gunawan and Stefan Lakatos (IN/SE) — world premiere
Moor Mother (US)
NIVHEK (Liz Harris/Grouper) & MFO pres. “After its own death” (US/DE) — commissioned project
Nina Kraviz (RU/DE)
Octo Octa (US)
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement (US/DE) — world premiere
Robin Fox pres. “Single Origin” (AU) — world premiere
Sega Bodega (UK)
STILL feat. Devon Miles, Freweini & Keidino (IT/ER/NG)
Swing Ting & MC Fox (UK)
The Jon Gibson Group with Hubert Zemler & Miłosz Pękala (US/PL)
Vincent Moon, Priscilla Telmon & Rabih Beaini pres. "Hibridos" (FR/LB/DE)
Visible Cloaks (US)
Zonal & Moor Mother (UK/US) — world premiere
Black Zone Myth Chant, J.G. Biberkopf and previously announced Varg are supported by the SHAPE Platform.