Taking place from 16th to 23rd October, Unsound Krakow starts soon, meaning it’s time to announce the extensive day program of talks, panel discussions and presentations, as well as several more artists.
New additions include two selections chosen from Unsound's open call for program ideas. The first is a screening of “Where Land Meets Sea” by EMBASSY FOR THE DISPLACED, documenting the refugee crisis on the Greek Island of Lesvos. This will be accompanied by a talk including UK artist HELM who made music for the film, and also collaborated with EFTD on his “Inner Space: Siberia” project. The second is media historian KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX, who travels from Detroit to deliver a talk on sonic spectres, sharing artifacts from her collections as a curator at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, fieldwork from charged landscapes and the audible history of paranormal culture.
Elsewhere, the discussion program explores the Dislocation theme via one-on-one talks with the likes of TOM ELLARD of Severed Heads; South African queer performance duo FAKA; and MATMOS on ROBERT ASHLEY. Artist panels include RASHAD BECKER discussing the current state of the global avant-garde with Iran’s SOTE, while Berlin-based Lebanese artist RABIH BEAINI explores musical cross-cultural pollination with musicians from around the globe. Other panels navigate post-Brexit UK immigration; cross border collaboration and curation with Israeli conductor and Tectonics director ILAN VOLKOV and members of BODY SCULPTURES; and promoters and curators from New York, Berlin, London and Warsaw examine how gentrification is affecting music scenes.
Panels on the creation of commissioned projects in Central Asia and Siberia are complemented by presentations of traditional musical instruments from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well the cult Soviet synthesizer The Polivoks by the creator himself, VLADIMIR KUZMIN. Moving even farther afield, a discussion with figures from Mexico’s NAAFI and Uruguay’s SALVIATEK scenes is programmed alongside a candombe drumming workshop with Uruguayan comparsa C1080 - note that this workshop requires a ticket on top of the festival pass, available here. Elsewhere, DJ LAG and NAN KOLE will discuss the vibrant South African gqom scene.
Many of the above talks are presented with journalists representing Unsound media partners, including The Wire Magazine’s Derek Walmsley, RA’s Ryan Keeling, The Quietus’ Luke Turner and John Doran and Liza Premiyak from The Calvert Journal. Other discussions are led by Unsound operatives Andy Battaglia and Philip Sherburne.
Presentations by writers and musicians include SARAH ANGLISS on surprising precursors of today’s disembodied electronic sound making; FRANCOIS J. BONNET discussing philosophies of sound and listening explored in his book “The Order of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago”; MATTHEW COLLIN, the author of “Pop Grenade” and “Altered State”, on techno resistance and dancefloor activism; pianist R. ANDREW LEE discussing minimal music and temporal dislocation; visual artist HARM VAN DEN DORPEL from LEXACHAST presenting ways he uses software to analyse language and human cognition; and Florian Meyer aka DON’T DJ presents a talk named after his recent LP “Authentic Exoticism”.
As previously announced, JOHANNES KLABBERS will give a talk/performance according to rules set by John Cage as part of his unique post-humanist therapy residence. For more information on how to book a free therapy session with Johannes, head to the therapy page on the Unsound website.
Unsound has also partnered with Krakow’s prestigious Photomonth Festival to present a film series outside the main festival pass called DISLOCATED VISIONS. The works eschew conventional narrative to explore different parts and states of the world through vivid, often spectacular images, with a focus on ritual, trance, music, sound and the otherworldly.
The program screening at Kino Pod Baranami includes RAIN THE COLOUR OF BLUE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF RED IN IT (2015, dir. CHRISTOPHER KIRKLEY), a Tuareg remake of “Purple Rain”; BIGHT OF THE TWIN (2016, dir. HAZEL HILL MCCARTHY, III) featuring GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE searching for vodun origins in Ouidah; DEAD SLOW AHEAD (2016, dir. MAURO HERCE), a transcendent sci-fi documentary set on a shipping freighter; and NEGUS (2016, dir. INVERNOMUTO), exploring the legacies of Haile Selassie I and starring LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY.
Headlining the Dislocated Visions series is a live show at Teatr Nowy presented by RABIH BEAINI, remixing live the films and audio works of acclaimed French filmmaker and world adventurer VINCENT MOON. Tickets to this show can now be purchased via this link.
Another manifestation of the Dislocation theme takes the form of Listening Stations, turning Kraków’s cafes into temporary zones where indigenous ambience blurs with played-back recordings of soundscapes literally dislocated from their original sites. Works include field recordings from Tanzania by KINK GONG; New York by ANNE GUTHRIE; Thailand by MIRT; Eastern European countries by MARTYNA POZNAŃSKA; the primeval Białowieża forest in Poland by IZABELA DŁUŻYK; Czechia and Slovakia by JONÁŠ GRUSKA; traditional Moroccan music recorded in the 1950’s by PAUL BOWLES; Tampa in Florida after Hurricane Frances by MICHAEL OSTER; a casino in Queens by ADRIAN REW; number stations by THE CONET PROJECT; a travelogue by WE WILL FAIL; and a show chicken exhibition by HANNA SABAT.
Heading toward the music program, we would like to offer condolences to the family and friends of DJ Spank-Spank, who recently passed away. DJ Spank-Spank was set to play at the festival with DJ Pierre as PHUTURE. We are pleased to to be able to confirm that Phuture will still play, with ANGEL ALANIS filling in for Spank-Spank - no doubt it will be a very special show.
Final additions to the music program include DENNIS JOHNSON’s composition “November” from 1959, a work that prefigured minimalism, directly inspiring La Monte Young’s “The Well-Tuned Piano”. In a free pre-opening show presented with the Krakow Academy of Music, R. ANDREW LEE performs “November” in its glacially paced entirety, dislocating the audience in time for over five hours.
Completely different takes on texture will be presented by noise artist PUCE MARY, working with the abrasive and sensual sounds of industrial music, while Polish cellist RESINA’s gentle drones are a reimagining of Polish music rooted in a feeling for indigenous nature and landscape.
Having just performed a wonderful show at Unsound Dislocation: Dushanbe, it was impossible to resist adding adding Tajik band SAMO’s collaboration with RABIH BEAINI, performed as a brief prelude to Beaini’s show at Hotel Forum with SENYAWA as KAFR.
Other Hotel Forum additions include DJ MARFOX, returning to Unsound with DJ NERVOSO to play an extended b2b set full of the Angolan rhythms of kuduro, kizomba and tarraxihna. The same room in Hotel Forum will also feature Bala Club’s KAMIXLO and his industrial take on reggaeton, as well as Intruder Alert’s B.YHZZ, working with club rhythms on the verge of noise, while YVES TUMOR’s unpredictable performance follows the recent release of his acclaimed “Serpent’s Music”.
Hotel Forum will also feature two very different artists affiliated with Demdike Stare’s DDS label: Jamaican dancehall duo EQUIKNOXX whose “Bird Sound Power” riddim album counts among the most exciting releases of 2016; they perform with singer SHANIQUE MARIE. The other DDS artist MICACHU is known for pop albums with The Shapes and her “Under the Skin” soundtrack; at Unsound she appears as a DJ.
Also joining the lineup are representatives of Poland’s house and techno scene including veteran techno DJ, Technosoul member and director of Up to Date Festival DTEKK; CHARLIE, the promoter of Kraków’s Szum parties; Radar’s CHINO with a live set hot on the heels of his recent Holger EP; also from Radar, KINZO will present a dazzling b2b mix of house, disco, italo and more with Unsound resident and friend ELTRON JOHN, performing as MARCO Y LUCA. And speaking of friends, it wouldn’t be Unsound without PHILIP SHERBURNE - this time presenting a slow building DJ set.
Finally, the installation program includes not only the previously announced virtual “Treasure Island 2” by TOM ELLARD, but also an automated call centre by SAM KIDEL, who will transform his novel “Disruptive Muzak” album – full of prank calls turned into blissful ambient music – into an installation. Visitors will be able to hear live calls to offices of the HMRC (the UK's tax collection and enforcement agency).
Note that passes to Unsound are now sold out. Tickets to some individual shows are also sold out online, but will be available during the festival or at the door to most events. Please check the specific events on the Unsound website schedule for the latest info, and watch our Facebook page during the festival.