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Unsound Krakow 2014: First Artists Announced
The Quietus , June 17th, 2014 06:10

The Krakow edition of Unsound Festival returns for 2014 with a theme of 'The Dream', and an impressive set of initial artists, including Quietus favourites Carter Tutti Void, DJ Stingray, Perc and Swans

Unsound Krakow have announced the first clutch of artists and events that will take place at this year's edition, which runs from 12th to 19th October 2014. As well as the previously announced Swans, following the release of their mighty new album (and one of tQ's favourites of the year so far) To Be Kind, other performers will include Carter Tutti Void - returning to live action three years after their Transverse performance at Mute's Short Circuit festival - alongside Detroit's evergreen DJ Stingray, dynamic dancefloor collagist Total Freedom, techno artists Perc and Rrose and a new collaboration between The Necks and Radian.

Drawing all these artists together is the festival's theme for the year. Following last year's 'Interference' and 2012's apocalyptic 'The End', the overarching theme for 2014 is 'The Dream', centred around emergent festival culture, the emptying of monetary value of music, and the declining economic security of artists under the guise of freedom via networked existence. Tying in neatly with William Burroughs' centenary this year, Unsound describes it as "the (unintended) result of a century’s worth of counter-culture". Says the text that accompanies the announcement: "The Dream plays out on laptops used for work and leisure, in networked coffee shops, airports, international ― artistic enclaves and nightclubs. Anxiety is its underside: those Living The Dream often do so in precarious financial situations, while in the background, ecological and economic systems lurch towards collapse."

The theme, says Unsound artistic director Mat Schulz, is meant as a form of "auto-criticism and self-reflection aimed to trigger discussion" - with Unsound implicated as one of many artistic institutions participating in the culture it hopes to question. "Music is one of the ultimate harbingers of an emergent Dreamstate," continues Unsound's theme description. "Its cultural capital expands even as its labour is gradually emptied of monetary value. Impacted by the new music-industry infrastructure, media companies and brands, a kind of global ―underground forms, where the insatiable drive to be fresh produces, paradoxically, more of the same. Nowhere is this more evident than the modern festival, where line-ups seem to become more homogenised, whether at mega-raves or smaller specialised events."

It certainly feels like a pertinent subject to be discussing at the moment, with the emergence of a global 'underground' festival circuit in recent years, all of which seem to draw from a pool of common artists. Unsound suggest that the theme will be interrogated through its series of talks and discussion panels, alongside art projects and films.

The festival's announced line-up so far pairs some of the festival's more regularly seen names with a few curveballs. Ben Frost will be performing following the release of his recent AURORA album, and Container's Ren Schofield will be doing a special show with jazz drummers Kenneth Kapstad and Thomas Jahrmyr, who we're promised will act like "human drum machines". Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti join live forces with Factory Floor's Nik Void for the first Carter Tutti Void shows since 2011. As usual Polish artists will be represented: so far they've announced the newly reformed Księżyc, alongside Zamilska. On the dancefloor, there's a broad range so far: New Jersey house explorer Joey Anderson, alongside Drexciyan associate DJ Stingray, Total Freedom, Perc and Rrose, and further electronic experimentations from EVOL and TCF. Deathprod's Helge Sten will perform his band's album Treetop Drive in full. Australia's The Necks and Austria's Radian will be collaborating for a live show.

Lastly, so far, the Ephemera installation premiered at Unsound New York earlier this year will return for the Krakow edition. It pairs Berlin scent artist Geza Schoen with Tim Hecker, Ben Frost and Kode9, creating scents to match their sound work - we're promised 'Drone', 'Noise' and 'Bass' respectively.

Tickets - either full week long or weekend passes - will be available from the 26th June. For more information and tickets, click here to visit the Unsound website.

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