Unsound Krakow takes place from 7th - 14th October. As always, the expansive, varied program has been largely guided by the maxim that you don’t come to Unsound simply to confirm what you know, but to discover, with plenty of emerging artists, premieres and special projects built around the theme of PRESENCE. Tickets to all events go on sale in the middle of August, when we make our next announcement.
Now, the lineup has been joined by:
AUDINT performance & talks with Steve Goodman (Kode9), Toby Heys and Eleni Ikoniadou 🇬🇧 / Bartek Kujawski 🇵🇱 / Chris Watson, Geza Schoen & MFO present: Ephemera - Foris 🇬🇧🇩🇪 / Caterina Barbieri 🇮🇹🇩🇪 / Davy Kehoe 🇮🇪 / Dis Fig 🇺🇸🇩🇪 / DJ Lilocox 🇵🇹 / Eartheater 🇺🇸 / Elena Colombi b2b Olivia 🇮🇹🇬🇧🇵🇱 / Gábor Lázár 🇭🇺 / Gaika 🇬🇧 / Huerco S presents Pendant 🇺🇸 / Hubert Zemler 🇵🇱/ A Tribute to Johann Johannsson with Hildur Guðnadóttir, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Erik K. Skodvin, Sam Slater & Sinfonietta Cracovia 🇮🇸🇳🇴🇺🇸🇵🇱 / Kelman Duran 🇩🇴🇺🇸 / Lena Willikens b2b Objekt 🇩🇪 / Lotic 🇺🇸🇩🇪 / Manni Dee & Ewa Justka 🇬🇧🇵🇱 / MCZO & Duke 🇹🇿 / Nazar 🇦🇴🇬🇧 / Object Blue 🇨🇳🇬🇧 / Paweł Romańczuk, Tomoko Sauvage and Elektro Moon Vision present: Archive, The Photographs of Zofia Rydet 🇵🇱🇯🇵🇫🇷🇵 / Phill Niblock 🇺🇸 / Powder 🇯🇵 / RP Boo 🇺🇸 / rRoxymore 🇫🇷🇩🇪 / Sarah Davachi 🇨🇦 / Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones 🇺🇸🇦🇹🇪🇸 / SOPHIE 🇬🇧🇺🇸 / Syny 🇵🇱 / Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton’s Music & Poetry of The Kesh, With Todd Barton & The Kesh Ensemble 🇺🇸🇵🇱
The Icelandic composer JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON passed away at the start of this year. One the world’s foremost composers of film music, he won a Golden Globe and was twice nominated for an Academy Award. Johann also maintained strong ties to the world of experimental music, through performance as well as collaborators. Indeed, it says a great deal that, having first performed at Unsound Krakow in 2009 with Sinfonietta Cracovia, Johann later skipped attending the 2016 Academy Awards to play at Unsound Adelaide in Australia. Such connections will be celebrated at a very special evening for fans, friends and collaborators of Johann, involving HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR, SAM SLATER, ERIK K. SKODVIN, ROBERT AIKI AUBREY LOWE and SINFONIETTA CRACOVIA. The tribute will close this year’s festival. It is organised in partnership with Krakow Film Music Festival, where Johann also performed previously, as well as Kraków’s partner city, Katowice – UNESCO City of Music, where a second tribute to Johann will take place at NOSPR in Katowice on 31st October, on the eve of All Saints’ Day.
Unsound launched its EPHEMERA project in 2014, a series of synaesthetic installations and live performances connecting sound and scent. The first phase of EPHEMERA was a collaboration between the famous nose GEZA SCHOEN, creator of Escentric Molecules, and three musicians - TIM HECKER (Drone), BEN FROST (Noise) and STEVE GOODMAN aka KODE9 (Bass). Ephemera now presents Foris, an immersive installation created by acclaimed field recordist CHRIS WATSON, Schoen and visual artist MFO - also involved in Ephemera from the start. Centered around the idea of preserving endangered ecosystems in the era of the anthropocene, a multichannel installation of field recordings of selected habitats from across the planet interconnects with the olfactory concept of a forest created by Geza Schoen. Like the initial phase of this unique project, Foris will connect to the next series of Ephemera perfume, to be launched in 2019.
SOPHIE recently released “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides”, an acclaimed album that finds new ways for pop music to grow, seamlessly blending avant-garde sound design with songwriting, industrial and bubblegum aesthetics, as well as a personal story with a universal message. Opening a new chapter in her career, SOPHIE is collapsing expectations, eschewing categorisation and imagining future possibilities, and we’re happy to present her only show in Poland this year at Unsound.
HUERCO S will present the live world premiere of PENDANT, the project behind the acclaimed album Make Me Know You Sweet, exploring an ambient sound affected by tension and anxiety. Krakow-based duo ELEKTRO MOON VISION will create visuals especially for this performance. Italian CATERINA BARBIERI will present a brand new A/V show, working with visual artist RUBEN SPINI to provide a new context for her famed live performances, which investigate the psycho-physical effects of repetition and pattern-based operations in music.
In 1985, sci-fi author URSULA K. LE GUIN and composer TODD BARTON collaborated on Music and Poetry of the Kesh, a unique album of songs and poetry sung and recited in an invented language, made with invented instruments. Originally released as a cassette companion to Le Guin’s novel Always Coming Home and reissued this year by Freedom To Spend, the work will be performed live for the first time at Unsound by Barton and THE KESH ENSEMBLE, including the voices of AGATA HARZ and KATARZYNA SMOLUK MOCZYDŁOWSKA of Księżyc, RAFAŁ GROZDEW, ANIA BRODA and percussionist HUBERT ZEMLER.
ZOFIA RYDET is perhaps best known for taking more than 20,000 photographs between 1978 and 1990, documenting an astonishingly large number of households in Poland - but her full body of work is even more expansive. In a show called Archive, Poland’s PAWEŁ ROMAŃCZUK of Małe Instrumenty will compose music featuring Japanese musician TOMOKO SAUVAGE, who has spent years investigating the sound and visual properties of water. The visual side of Archive will be created from Rydet’s photographs by Elektro Moon Vision in collaboration with Karol Hordziej. This show is presented with the Zofia Rydet Foundation,
AUDINT is a sonic research cell. With their collection Unsound: Undead forthcoming on Urbanomic Press in 2019, AUDINT will host a panel of presentations revolving around inhuman and posthuman vibrations, involving collective members STEVE GOODMAN (aka Kode9) TOBY HEYS and ELENI IKONIADOU. Using ultrasound, Twitter bots and news footage, AUDINT will also present a special performance at Unsound, telling the story of Trump’s Whitehouse, rogue AI, the mysterious “health attacks” on US Embassies in Havana Cuba and Guangzhou, China in 2017 and 2018 and the weaponisation of sonic fiction.
New artists have been added to the PAN X UNSOUND collaboration, celebrating 10 years of the influential label. EARTHEATER’s album IRISIRI adventurously combines pop, classical music inspirations and digital collage techniques, while her shows oppose the normativity of performance. Appearing in Hotel Forum’s club program, PAN artist OBJEKT will play b2b with LENA WILLIKENS for the first time, delving into techno and far beyond to demonstrate why these artists are known as two of the most adventurous DJs of recent years.
LOTIC’s debut album Power opens a new chapter in their career. This very personal yet political work is born of radical changes in the artist’s life, including a period of homelessness and rediscovering their gender identity. Blurring the lines between club music, pop and sound experimentation, Lotic’s powerful new work now incorporates their own voice and promises a memorable live show. GAIKA’s debut album Basic Volume will be released this month on Warp, described by the artist himself as a “collection of alchemical parables for all the Immigrants who wander the earth in search of themselves”. He returns to Unsound with a brand new show of Diasporic sounds connecting Kingston, New York and London, documenting “living in a white man’s world”. Hundebiss-affiliated Los Angeles artist KELMAN DURAN is working with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, also with a political bent, taking the successful Haitian revolution as the main inspiration for his debut album of ethereal reggaeton.
One of the key composers in minimalism and a fixture on the New York scene for more than five decades, PHILL NIBLOCK will celebrate his 85th birthday at Unsound with an extended show exploring the textures of slowly evolving, intense sounds. (Unsound history buffs might also be interested to know that the second-ever event organised by us in 2004 was, in fact, a Niblock concert!) Canadian artist SARAH DAVACHI represents a different generation of drone artists, working with piano, organ and synthesizer sounds to create melancholic ambient compositions.
SINJIN HAWKE and ZORA JONES will present their long-awaited live show, an audiovisual spectacle blending motion capture techniques, dance and futuristic club music built from elements of hip hop, Jersey club and footwork. The producers are known for immersive environments created for their FRACTAL FANTASY website/label, building new worlds with every release and exploring the relationship between sounds and virtual space.
RROXYMORE brings a live set of her bright-coloured techno, a dizzying wormhole of lush, psychedelic sound, while the Irish three-piece DAVY KEHOE are pushing toward an often frantic post-krautrock vibe. Japanese deep house DJ POWDER will also appear at Unsound, finishing her European tour with an euphoric set at our infamous closing party. ELENA COLOMBI is one of the fastest rising DJs of recent months, known for her eclectic mixes and a great NTS show - she joins forces with Unsound resident OLIVIA in a special b2b set. Following her excellent performance at last year’s Unsound, EWA JUSTKA returns for a collaboration with British techno producer MANNI DEE. Their manic vision of club music is a true sensory overload, with bpm rising way beyond the norm, hard beats and incredible light design. A long overdue appearance by GÁBOR LÁZÁR also brings an intricate light show that will be synchronised to the precise rhythms of his recent album Unfold, where monochromatic pointillism clashes with body-moving grooves and bouncy bass.
Further deconstructing club music is OBJECT BLUE, an artist whose debut EP promises a live show that mangles different genres of British club music, including techno, post-dubstep sounds and leftfield rhythms. A similar post-genre approach is visible in DIS FIG’s sets. Known for surprising mash-ups of hip hop and experimental music, as well as risk-taking mixes, she’s definitely one of the most creative artists of the CDJ era. Poland’s BARTEK KUJAWSKI has been working at the edges of electronic music for almost two decades now, most recently throwing himself into the Internet abyss with Puerile Things Inferno, a manic record of abstract sounds describing our online habits.
Footwork’s godfather RP BOO returns to Kraków with his new album I’ll Tell You What, a new turn towards the avant-garde for the fast-paced genre. But Chicago isn’t the only place where footwork is growing. This year, Pawlacz Perski released a compilation called Doubts 2, where Polish artists experimented with the genre. One of the standout tracks was by HUBERT ZEMLER, who translated rhythm for live percussion. He will now present his experimentation live, tying in with RP Boo’s show. Fasten your seatbelts: speed lovers will be delighted with a buzzing scene from another part of the world. In Tanzania’s Dar Es Salaam a new genre is brewing above 180 beats per minute. Singeli combines aggressive rhythm with rap, inspired by Zanzibar’s tarab and South African house. Kraków will feature the European debut of MCZO & DUKE’s incredible show, ahead of their album set to be released by Nyege Nyege soon after the festival.
Angolan artist NAZAR is pushing a brand new rough version of kuduro music, infusing the genre with the sounds of war and conflict. And Unsound wouldn’t be the same without a artist from the Lisbon-based label Principe - another take on Angolan sounds can be also heard from DJ LILOCOX, whose house music is deeply rooted in the country’s traditions.
Last but not least, there’s Poland’s SYNY, who have been pushing their unique brand of hip hop to its limits, working with twisted sounds of dub to achieve a truly unique, nocturnal sound. Their smoky, oneiric sound of their sophomore Sen album translates into equally smoky, oneiric live shows.
Thank you also to all who submitted to the call for entries to Unsound. We will contact everyone soon, and include additions from the call in our next announcement. And in the meantime, to keep up to date with the latest news, consider signing up as attending Unsound on our Facebook page.
Caterina Barbieri, Ewa Justka, Syny’s Piernikowski, and Tomoko Sauvage are supported by the SHAPE Platform.