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Unsound Kraków 2022: Bubbles - First Artist Announcement. Passes on Sale This Friday!

Unsound Kraków 2022: Bubbles

Announced Lineup:

700 Bliss (Moor Mother, DJ Haram) (US) / ABADIR (EG/DE) - live / Aho Ssan & Resina present Ego Death (FR/PL) / Alyona Alyona (UA) / bela (KR) - live / Blackhaine (UK) / Caroline Polachek (US) / Debit (MX) - live / DJ Narciso (PT) / DJ Swisha (US) / Eris Drew (US) - live & direct / Ghosted (Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling, Andreas Werliin) (AU/SE/DE) / KRENZ (PL) - live / Lila Tirando a Violeta (UY) - live / Loraine James (UK) / Lucrecia Dalt (CO) / madikoptah (PL) / Marina Herlop (ES) / Nikolaienko (UA) / Osmium (Hildur Guðnadóttir, Sam Slater, James Ginzburg, Rully Shabara) (IS/UK/DE/ID) / Phew (JP) / Phelimuncasi (SA) / Piotr Kurek presents Smartwoods with visuals by Francesco Marrello (PL/IT) / Poly Chain (UA) - live / The Ephemeron Loop (UK) / Two Shell (UK) / Wanton Witch (TH/MY) - live / Wojciech Rusin & Spółdzielnia contemporary ensemble present Vitriolum (UK/PL) / Yung Singh (UK) + much more!


Unsound Kraków 2022 takes place across eight days from 9th to 16th October, with passes going on sale this Friday 1st July at 3pm. It’s high time to make the first artist announcement, but before that some backstory.


Ever since the first Unsound in 2003, a bubbly autonomous form has been growing in Kraków, filled with the festival’s energy. In 2012 Unsound occupied Hotel Forum, then a disused communist-era hotel. The Ectoplasm took up residence in the hotel, evolving as it roamed freely throughout the empty rooms. But over the years things changed: the building increasingly bustled with activity, and outside festival time The Ectoplasm had to hide to elude visitors, taking cover in upper floors, decrepit hotel rooms, stairwells and the empty swimming pool.


Hotel Forum has now been overtaken by cafes, bars and commerce. Like the festival itself, The Ectoplasm no longer has space. Perhaps one day this will change, but for the 20th edition of Unsound, this bubbly form has left Hotel Forum entirely, to become a festival mascot moving openly across the Kraków cityscape. (Concerning Hotel Forum’s replacement in 2022, we have something special to announce: stay tuned.)


Another interpretation of the playful Unsound 2022 Bubbles theme, The Ectoplasm is a celebration of Unsound over the years, but also a reminder of how the city has changed across two decades. It evokes how music is always amorphous, shifting, never still. Which brings us to the artist announcement.


Rising superstar Caroline Polachek performs on 14th October at Laznia Nowa on a bill with Marina Herlop, the Catalonian singer-songwriter whose recent release on PAN similarly fuses experimentation and pop. Tickets to this event also go on sale this Friday (note: the event is included in the festival pass).


Fittingly, since it’s our anniversary, the 20th celebratory edition of Unsound also features festival friends and favourites, including the premiere of the band Osmium made up of Hildur Guðnadóttir, Sam Slater, and James Ginzburg of Emptyset performing on specially built instruments alongside vocalist Rully Shabara of Senyawa. Polish composer and musician Resina and French artist Aho Ssan first met via Weavings shows at the festival - now they come together for a premiere of their new Unsound-curated project Ego Death. London-based Polish artist Wojciech Rusin will collaborate with Spółdzielnia Muzyczna to present Vitriolum, featuring 3D printed wind instruments designed specifically for this occasion, based on Carpathian flutes and ancient double reeds. Piotr Kurek will present Smartwoods, working with visual artist Francesco Marrello as well as live musicians from Warsaw’s jazz and improv scenes. Columbia’s Lucrecia Dalt will present the live premiere of music from her new album on RVNG Intl. ¡Ay!, where Latin American genres such as bolero and salsa meet experimentation and science fiction. 


Manifestations of rap from around the world include 700 Bliss (made up of Moor Mother and DJ Haram), Manchester’s Blackhaine, Nyege Nyege affiliates Phelimuncasi from Durban, South Africa, and the Ukrainian star Alyona Alyona (who is also the first Eurovision judge to appear at Unsound!).


Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin join forces as the band Ghosted, presenting their stripped-back psych-jazz sound; legendary Japanese musician Phew will play solo; Mexican-American musician Debit expands on her experiments with Mayan wind instruments and machine learning; The Ephemeron Loop plays in the wake of her startling debut album Psychonautic Escapism, fusing dreampop, noise, techno and grindcore; and Ukraine’s Nikolaienko will present his enigmatic tape loops.


The Unsound club program will also feature festival friends bringing new work, alongside new and rising names, with Two Shell, Loraine James and Yung Singh representing different aspects of the UK’s strong, diverse scene; Eris Drew presenting a rare live and direct show; New York City Juke Bounce Werk affiliate DJ Swisha; DJ Narciso from Lisbon’s Príncipe label; Warsaw DJ, activist and Regime associate madikoptah; Ukraine’s Poly Chain; Uruguayan producer Lila Tirando A Violeta; South Korea’s bela; Egyptian artist ABADIR with a premiere show featuring live percussion; and a live set by Malaysian-born, Bangkok-based Wanton Witch; Warsaw’s KRENZ will present his deconstructed take on bass music. We of course have plenty more names coming in further announcements. 


The daytime discourse program will again be a big part of the festival. Participants so far are musicologist Michael Spitzer on his acclaimed book The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth; artist-researcher Mark Wright will delve into his book Listening After Nature - Field Recording, Ecology, Critical Practise; Joanna Walsh, author of Girl Online - A User Manual, will explore the unwritten contract of the Internet and what it means to women; experimental musician Paul Purgas will present a talk and listening session delving into the electronic music studio at The National Institute of Design in Western India in the 1960s; Wojciech Rusin will discuss speculative design practices, faux musical traditions and the experience of the Eastern European immigrant; and Agata Pyzik will host an intimate conversation around a recently published anthology of diaries written by the members of the Polish LGBTQ+ community. The infamous Unsound Midnight Movie Marathon – first hosted in 2010 – will also make a special return for the 20th edition, curated by Jigoku.

Weekly and long weekend passes, as well as tickets to the Caroline Polachek/Marina Herlop show will be available on Friday, July 1st at 3pm CEST via Going.


Weekly pass price: 650 PLN (ca. 138 eur), long weekend passes: 560 PLN (ca. 119 eur), Caroline Polachek/Marina Herlop show: 145 PLN (ca. 30 eur).


The Caroline Polachek/Marina Herlop show is included in the festival passes.

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PS - Thanks to everyone who submitted to the Unsound Open Call – the selected entries will be included in our next announcement.


This project is co-financed by the Municipality of Kraków. 

Unsound is a member of the SHAPE Platform co-financed by Creative Europe programme of European Commission.

Project supported by European Cultural Foundation.