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Unsound Kraków 2021 Music Program Released. Individual Tickets on Sale.

Unsound Kraków 2021 Music Program Released

The Unsound 2021 Kraków music program (October 13th - 17th) has been released, and individual tickets to all events are now on sale - you can jump immediately into the timetable with ticket links here. Note: everyone purchasing a ticket needs to be fully vaccinated, and will need to adhere to all festival safety regulations. 

“As stated previously, the festival is scaled back from its usual size this year due to the pandemic,” say festival directors Mat Schulz and Gosia Plysa, “but we’ve still tried to encompass a wide spectrum of music. Since everyone has been glued to their screens we’ve for the most part avoided A/V works, focusing instead on the idea of the experience of listening and dancing in a room together – one interpretation of the word ‘authentic’ from the festival’s dəəp authentic theme.”

Special shows include WEAVINGS on Sunday 17th October, a durational improvisation that first took place online for last year’s Unsound, conceived and curated with NICOLÁS JAAR. Now, Jaar has created a new visual score to bring Weavings to life IRL. Confirmed artists involved in the 90-minute show include AHO SSAN, ANGEL BAT DAWID, ANTONINA NOWACKA, KHYAM ALLAMI, OREN AMBARCHI, PAK YAN LAU, PAWEŁ SZAMBURSKI, RAPHAEL ROGIŃSKI, RESINA, TOMOKO SAUVAGE and VALENTINA MAGALETTI. In another Unsound-commissioned work, Polish trio BASTARDA – best known for their contemporary interpretations of medieval music connected to death – will present a collaboration with JRPJEJ from Nalchik in Russia, who perform Circassian ritual music. 

MMM is the duo of ERRORSMITH and FIEDEL. They last played at Unsound a decade ago, and now are set to present the premiere of their new show, ahead of a new album. OFF LICENSE is made up of icons JULIANA HUXTABLE and ZIÚR as well as visual artist THERESA BAUMGARTNER – they’ll perform for the second time ever to create a sublime audio-visual poem with sonic pyrotechnics. Over the last year THE BUG has released two collaborative albums: In Blue with DIS FIG and Fire, with a hoard of contributors; in a special Unsound presentation, THE BUG returns to the festival to perform with DIS FIG and MC FLOWDAN and MANGA SAINT HILARE.


Tennessee rapper BBYMUTHA had to cancel the first date of her tour at the Unsound-produced Ephemera Festival in Warsaw – but now she’s added a last tour date to accommodate Unsound. Sweden’s ECCO2K – a co-founder of Drain Gang – blends experimental music, rap and pop, and will also appear at Unsound.

Further experimentation at the festival comes from Norway’s BENDIK GISKE, whose recent album Cracks employs techniques of circular breathing to deconstruct the very idea of the saxophone; likewise, Italian RICCARDO LA FORESTA questions the role of the drum as a percussive instrument; an ethereal collaboration between Danish sound artist and ambient musician SOFIE BIRCH and Polish vocalist ANTONINA NOWACKA; Polish composer and musician ALEKSANDRA SŁYŻ is fascinated by connections between the human body, technology and sound; FLORA YIN-WONG will present Blinding Utterance, a reading underscored by compositions and field recordings; and Warsaw’s LUTTO LENTO will team up with a live drummer to present music from his album Legendo, described as ‘a work of sonic weird fiction’. Meanwhile, two singers have been added to SHACKLETON and WACŁAW ZIMPEL’s new commissioned work The Spirit Still Remains: BARBARA KINGA MAJEWSKA and ALEKSANDRA KLIMCZAK.

Due to the present difficulty of travel, Unsound isn’t able to bring together the usual array of artists from across the globe, but we’ve still managed to connect with long-term friends NYEGE NYEGE to bring Japan’s SCOTCH ROLEX (aka Scotch Egg) with Uganda’s MC YALLAH and Kenya’s LORD SPIKEHEART (one half of Duma); the European premiere of South African gqom producer MENZI; the high energy rhythms of DIAKI, from Mali; and DE SCHUURMAN’s Dutch bubbling permutations. 

Club music also comes from a premiere b2b between Polish techno star VTSS and Toronto-based CHIPPY NONSTOP; New York based Jamaican producer and DJ TYGAPAW; TSVI b2b OBJECT BLUE following their EP on Nervous Horizons; NAPHTA’s collision of Polish folk textures and club music; a live show from Krakow’s CHARLIE; and a DJ set from YOUNG MAJLI (who recently released an Unsound podcast), as well as DIS FIG alongside her appearance with The Bug. Some final names will soon be added to the late night music program. 

Another commissioned work is from NY-based Polish director and artist duo PUSSYKREW, who will create an AR experience called / orcl /, including AI-powered deities placed throughout Kraków. The work is part of Pussykrew’s interactive odyssey

New announcements for the daytime discourse program include musician and author DAVID TOOP on ASMR and shared listening; philosopher BENJAMIN BRATTON, on the synthetic and the artificial; a discussion involving ELIŠKA PÍRKOVÁ, MARWA FATAFTA and NATALIA KRAPIVA of digital rights defender ACCESS NOW on the topography of oppression and violence online from Palestine to Afghanistan, Russia and Belarus; writers NORA KHAN and media theorist and artist DEFORREST BROWN, JR. will join MAT DRYHURST for an INTERDEPENDENCE session exploring Web 3, NFTs and beyond; designer and researcher SIMONE NIQUILLE will discuss the future of domestic robots; and JENNIFER LUCY ALLAN will appear in relation to her book The Foghorn’s Lament.

Those selected from the Unsound open call include the aforementioned RICCARDO LA FORESTA; Kraków’s NERDKA GALLERY, who will create a cyber cafe investigating the ‘deep production’ of identity; EWELINA WĘGIEL with her video work People From Here; and MARTIN DISLEY and MURAD KHAN, who will give a presentation on the political implications of machine learning models that generate the faces of speakers based on vocal signals.

Note that due to limited capacity in a smaller theatre space, the Community of Grieving show by Zosia Hołubowska and Julia Hertz requires an additional ticket on top of the festival pass, which can be purchased here.

We will announce the full discourse program by the end of September, along with the final additions to the music program.

Once again: all Unsound events currently require audiences to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If you cannot get vaccinated for health reasons, please contact us at [email protected]

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A significant part of the Unsound 2021 program is realised as a part of the Kraków Culture program supported by the Municipality of Kraków and Krakow Festival Office. Community of Grieving, The Spirit Still Remains and the Bastarda/Jrpjej collaboration are commissioned thanks to the “New Tradition” program supported by Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, co-financed by The Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport. Unsound is a member of SHAPE Platform and the We Are Europe platform funded by Creative Europe.


Music program:

Weavings, conceived with Nicolás Jaar featuring Oren Ambarchi, Angel Bat Dawid, Pak Yan Lau, Valentina Magaletti, Antonina Nowacka, Tomoko Sauvage, Aho Ssan, Paweł Szamburski, Raphael Roginski and Resina (PL/AU/DE/US/IT/JP/FR) — live premiere

AceMoMa (US)

Bastarda X Jrpjej (PL/RU) — live premiere

Sofie Birch X Antonina Nowacka (DK/PL) — live premiere

bbymutha (US)

RP Boo b2b Sherelle (UK) — premiere

The Bug feat. Dis Fig, Flowdan & Manga Saint Hilare (UK/US/DE)

Charlie (PL)

Angel Bat Dawid (US)

Diaki (ML)

Dis Fig (US/DE)

Eartheater & Phoenix Ensemble (US/PL) — special presentation

Ecco2k (SE)

Ricardo La Forresta (IT)

Bendik Giske (NO)

Danny L. Harle presents The Harlecore Experience with live visuals by Sam Rolfes (UK/USA) — premiere

Zosia Hołubowska & Julia Giertz present: Community of Grieving (PL) — premiere

Juliana Huxtable X Ziúr X Theresa Baumgartner presents Off License (US/DE)

Lutto Lento presents Legendo (PL)

Annea Lockwood presents: Piano Burning (NZ)

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe presents Candyman Live Score (US/PL) — premiere

LSDXOXO (US/DE) — European live premiere

Menzi (SA)

MMM (Errorsmith X Fiedel) (DE)

Monster (PL)

Naphta (PL)

Julek Płoski (PL) — A/V show premiere

Scotch Rolex feat. MC Yallah & Lord Spikeheart (JP/UG)

De Schuurman (NL)

Shackleton & Zimpel present The Spirit Still Remains with Barbara Kinga Majewska and Aleksandra Klimczak (UK/PL) — premiere

Aleksandra Słyż (PL)

TSVI b2b Object Blue (IT/JP/CI) — premiere b2b

Tygapaw (JM)

VTSS b2b Chippy Nonstop (PL/CAN) — premiere b2b

Flora Yin-Wong presents Blinding Utterance (UK)

Young Majli (PL)

Hubert Zemler & Miłosz Pękala & Grzegorz Tarwid (PL) — premiere

+ More to be announced!

Discourse program:

K Allado-McDowell (US)

Jennifer Lucy Allan (UK)

Aaron Benanav (US/DE)

Benjamin Bratton (US)

Interdependence, with Mat Dryhurst, DeForrest Brown, Jr. and Nora Khan (US/DE/UK)

Liquid Architecture presents: Machine Listening Unnatural Language Processing (AU)

Martin Disley & Murad Khan (UK)

Mat Dryhurst (UK/DE)

Marwa Fatafta (PS)

Nerdka Gallery (PL)

Natalia Krapiva (RU)

Simone Niquille (NL)

Eliška Pírková (SK)

Pussykrew presents: / orcl /  (PL) — premiere

Kuba Szreder (PL)

David Toop (UK)