September 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Early fall equals party time in San Francisco: we have three massive music festivals coming – first LovEvolution, then Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and finally (as a hip cherry on the proverbial cupcake) Treasure Island. The rest of the world doesn’t sit and envy though — they’ve got their own. Here are three fests in Europe and the US that exemplify what “a badass lineup” means.
Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland. Sunday, October 9 to Sunday, October 16
If you’re hungry not only for new sounds, but for an intriguing curatorial concept to hold them together, you should head to Unsound. Last year’s topic was “horror,” and this fall the artists will be grouped under the banner of “future shock.” The theme explores the phenomenon of “information overload” and how people will need to brace up for what the future holds — many a participant’s music might be best described as dystopian.
Who I would see: With his partner The Spaceape, London-based producer and Hyperdub label founder Kode9 made one of my absolute favorite albums of all time: 2006’s Memories of the Future. This year’s Black Sun is somewhere up there, too. Kode9 is hailed as an originator of the dubstep genre, but he offers something more complex and sophisticated than the lumpen “brostep” that seemingly rules the world today. That doesn’t signify sexless intellectualism though: Kode9’s music always stays markedly physical, with Memories of the Future’s hair-raising bass pressure replaced on Black Sun by sensual, funky beats and synth sounds so crisp you’ll want to wear them for your wedding. All of it is coupled with the narrative about the Earth after a radiation disaster. At Unsound, Kode9 (sans Spaceape) will be paying a live homage to the 1960s sci-fi movie La Jetée, which tells the story of a time traveler in a world ravaged by nuclear war.
Extras: Unsound will also feature a wide array of producers and musicians whose releases all played a part in making 2011 interesting – including, but not limited to Morphosis, 2562, Andy Stott, HTRK, Kangding Ray, Sun Araw, and William Bennett’s Cut Hands.