Unsound Krakow starts in less than eight weeks - between 6-13 October - with individual tickets to all events on sale August 20th via Going. This third festival announcement includes music, screenings and workshops curated around this year’s Solidarity theme. A final announcement at the start of September will include remaining names in the music program, installations and the full daytime discourse program.
New additions to the music program include:
700 Bliss (US) ○ Badsista b2b Cashu (BR) ○ Balázs Pándi & Mikołaj Trzaska (HU/PL) ○ Bambounou b2b Lutto Lento (FR/PL, world premiere) ○ Bartosz Kruczyński & Poly Chain (PL/UA) ○ DJ Python (US) ○ Dominik Strycharski Core + Orkiestra Ursus present URSUS Symphony Live (PL, world premiere) ○ FOQL & Edka Jarząb present Mother Earth’s Doom Vibes (PL) ○ Friedman & Pais (DE/PT, world premiere) ○ HHY & The Kampala Unit present Omutaba Lithium Blast (PT/UG) ○ Hildur Guðnadóttir presents Chernobyl feat. Chris Watson & Sam Slater (IS/UK, world premiere) ○ Klein presents Lifetime (UK) ○ Kwartludium (PL, world premiere) ○ Lotto (PL) ○ Lyra Pramuk (US/DE, world premiere) ○ Mentos Gulgendo (PL) ○ Muqata'a (PS) ○ Niemy Dotyk (PL) ○ Opla (PL) ○ Piotr Kurek (PL) ○ Roly Porter & MFO present Kistvaen feat. Katarzyna Smoluk-Moczydłowska, Agata Harz & Barbara Wilińska (UK/DE/PL) ○ Rudeboyz (ZA) ○ Scratchclart & Lady Lykez (UK) ○ Uwalmassa (ID) ○ Zamilska (PL) ○ Zvanai (PL)
The discussion and workshop program is joined by the winners of the open call:
Amy Cutler (US) ○ Anna Marjankowska (PL) ○ Girls to the Front (PL) ○ Pavel Niakhayeu (BY) ○ Ryan Diduck (CA) ○ Tayyab Amin (UK) ○ Zosia Hołubowska/Oramics (PL).
The film program is completed with:
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (CA) ○ Bellingcat - Truth in a Post-Truth World (NL) ○ The Brink (US) ○ The Good Change (PL) ○ Honeyland (MK) ○ Midnight Traveller (AF) ○ My Country, So Beautiful (PL) ○ Push (SE) ○ Putin’s Witnesses (RU) ○ What Is Democracy? (CA/US)
Icelandic composer HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR will perform the live premiere of her Emmy-nominated score to the acclaimed TV series produced by HBO Chernobyl, a depiction of the nuclear disaster, its consequences, and the attempted cover-up that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union. In a raw industrial setting, Guðnadóttir will be joined on stage by CHRIS WATSON and SAM SLATER to perform a site-specific multi-channel work, a stand-alone event in the afternoon of October 12th. A separate ticket is required apart from the festival pass.
Polish composer DOMINIK STRYCHARSKI will present the premiere of a live A/V show based on the score of Symphony of the Ursus Factory, a unique film blending documentary, choreography, body memory, community engagement and music in which workers of an abandoned tractor factory reenact a day of work. Symphony of the Ursus Factory Live will involve Warsaw-based musicians, as well as the Ursus Factory’s brass band Orkiestra Dęta Ziemi Mazowieckiej. As previously announced, the full film - directed by Jaśmina Wojcik - will also be screened in the Unsound day program.
An ensemble piece of another kind will be presented by London artist KLEIN along with her newly formed live band. They will present her ever-evolving multisensory show Lifetime, exploring the fragility of one’s culture through memory and loss, using this performance as a tool of preservation.
Two new works are programmed alongside Sunn O))) at Teatr Łaźnia Nowa on October 11th. Co-commissioned by Unsound, Atonal and Mira, ROLY PORTER & MFO’s A/V performance Kistvaen explores the ways humanity’s ancient roots and technology driven present are inextricably interwoven. Porter’s music blurs the boundaries between field recording, folk instrumentation and digital sound processing, at Unsound featuring Polish vocalists KATARZYNA SMOLUK-MOCZYDŁOWSKA and AGATA HARZ of Polish band Księżyc as well as BARBARA WILIŃSKA. Vocalist and composer/producer LYRA PRAMUK will open with the premiere of an all-new collection of songs, produced entirely from her own voice, and performed through a multi-channel array designed by Ben Frost. Tickets to this event are already on sale.
As part of the free Morning Glory series, new work will be also presented by KWARTLUDIUM, a Polish contemporary music ensemble working with young composers. They will premiere Doppelganger by RAFAŁ RYTERSKI, Bulb by TEONIKI ROŻYNEK and Deaphone by JAN DUSZYŃSKI, three new compositions combining acoustic instruments, mechanisms, electronics, lights, video and VR.
In a rare European show, Indonesian band UWALMASSA will perform their unique take on minimalistic club music, combining electronic rhythms with traditional sounds from Java. The trio is one of the key acts associated with DIVISI62 label, an imprint “aiming to reach new heights in the continual construction of the Indonesian identity”. On the other side of the globe, LOTTO could be described as one of the leaders of new Polish minimalism, blending avant-garde rock, drone and jazz. Exploring the repetition and fusion of genres further, BURNT FRIEDMAN will be joined by one of the members of HHY & The Macumbas, Portuguese percussionist JOÃO PAIS FILIPE in yet another world premiere of new material blending electronics and drums. Another HHY affiliate and percussionist, OMUTABA of THE KAMPALA UNIT will present his unique style in a separate show with Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, part of the Unsound 2019 showcase with Nyege Nyege.
OPLA is a new project by percussionist Hubert Zemler and guitarist Piotr Bukowski. Together they interpret ancient forms of obereks - a type of traditional Polish dance - drawing on their almost trance-inducing qualities. Similar qualities are at the heart of ZVANAI, a new band led by Kamil Szuszkiewicz. Growing out of Lithuanian traditional music interpreted through his previous band Zebry a Mit, this group of musicians are also exploring Eastern European sounds in a truly modern way.
At 89, where a jazz and experimental music program runs alongside the club madness upstairs in Hotel Forum, synth artist PIOTR KUREK will perform in the wake of his recent album Polygome, his first solo record in seven years. Previously announced with The Roundtable Orchestra, saxophonist MIKOŁAJ TRZASKA will perform a second show at the festival, joining forces with Hungarian drummer BALÁZS PANDI for an improvised set.
700 BLISS sees poet and musician MOOR MOTHER perform with fellow Unsound regular DJ HARAM, whose debut EP was released recently by Hyperdub. Together, they connect East Coast club music, hip hop and Middle Eastern sounds. In another boundary pushing MC/producer collaboration, London-based LADY LYKEZ partners with Hyperdub-affiliated producer SCRATCHCLART, previously known as SCRATCHA DVA, to combine the diasporic sounds of dancehall, grime and gqom. Representing the original gqom sound of South Africa is an important act from the Durban scene - RUDEBOYZ, who will bring their deep and heavy sound as heard on their Goon Club Allstars releases.
Further acts in Hotel Forum include Brazilian DJs BADSISTA and CASHU who will close the Friday night with a highly energetic b2b set combining heavy techno, rave and funk carioca music. Poland’s ZAMILSKA will also bring a heavy sound, creating rhythms from beats and vocals alike. DJ PYTHON will present his original take on reggaeton, adding its vocabulary to a deep-house lexicon in a unique live show.
Palestinian artist MUQATA’A will return to Unsound with a solo performance, following his appearance with Zuli last year. He’s not only a rapper, but also a producer, twisting beats into experimental forms. Warsaw’s BARTOSZ KRUCZYŃSKI and Kiev’s POLY CHAIN will explore minimal synth, drone music and beatless acid in a collaborative show following their joint album. FOQL will perform Mother Earth’s Doom Vibes together with EDKA JARZĄB, a new noise project. MENTOS GULGENDO is a new project from Antonina and Bogumiła Nowacka, sisters also known as WIDT. NIEMY DOTYK is one of the most eclectic DJs in Poland in the true sense of the world - expect the unexpected.
BAMBOUNOU and LUTTO LENTO will perform at the festival’s free opening party, with a b2b set full of adventurous takes on club music. The collaboration was initiated by Bambounou, who has Polish roots and is a resident at Poznań club Tama.
The festival’s Solidarity theme will also be explored through the 8-day film program, including documentaries from across the planet, touching upon the theme on both a micro and macro scale.
Filmed over three years, HONEYLAND focuses on the life of one of the last of the nomadic Macedonian beekeepers and her fragile relationship with her bees and hives. In MIDNIGHT TRAVELER, director Hassan Fazili documents his family’s journey from Afghanistan to Germany, where they attempt to claim asylum. ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH documents the human reengineering of our environment.
The short film MY COUNTRY, SO BEAUTIFUL juxtaposes rallies, demonstrations and street riots to document the rise of radical sentiments in Poland, while THE GOOD CHANGE reveals the polarisation of contemporary Polish society by showing the lives and views of two different women. THE BRINK follows American alt-right populist Steve Bannon as he attempts to foster reactionary movements spreading across Europe, while PUTIN’S WITNESSES documents the first year of Putin’s presidency, asking when silence becomes complicity. In WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?, philosopher, filmmaker and activist Astra Taylor travels the world taking a critical view of democracy, exploring where real power lies.
BELLINGCAT - TRUTH IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD tells the story of the collective’s citizen investigations into the MH17 plane crash, the Syrian Civil War and more, using social media, crowdsourcing and digital techniques. PUSH is a lively, incisive documentary exploring how global finance is making cities unlivable.
The film screening program will take place at Kino Pod Baranami on Krakow’s Main Square. Tickets are required apart from the pass, and go on sale at the start of September.
Thanks to everyone who submitted to the Unsound open call for the discourse program - there were plenty of great entries, and we appreciate the time taken in making submissions.
Workshops from the open call include one on nature documentary hacking from AMY CUTLER, zine-making from Polish collective GIRLS TO THE FRONT and flexworking in the cultural industries from ANNA MARJANKOWSKA. Montreal writer RYAN DIDUCK will give a presentation on the relationship between the soft drink and music industries, while Minsk academic PAVEL NIAKHAYEU will discuss Music, Utopia and Solidarity focusing on Belarus and other post-Soviet countries. Music journalist and DIY-minded music events promoter TAYYAB AMIN will lead a panel called Complicity and Accountability: Communities and Allies. ZOSIA HOŁUBOWSKA from ORAMICS will guide a group of participants through speculation into what queer sounds like, resulting in a pop-up exhibition.
Balázs Pándi, HHY’s Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, Lutto Lento, Lyra Pramuk and Mentos Gulgendo are supported by the SHAPE Platform.