From Polish legends who flipped the world of jazz on its head, to a British legend that transmogrified punk rock. Plus a host of new names that are just beginning to write legends of their own.
The long-awaited return of a Polish band whose name translates to “racket,” one of the leading acts in the homegrown genre known as yass. Łoskot is back with a lineup that features Mikołaj Trzaska, Olo Walicki, Piotr Pawlak, and Macio Moretti. Some might brush it off as a harmless trip down memory lane for those of us who experienced the yass revolution as it happened and a history lesson for younger audiences. But we all know how ruthless Mikołaj and company can be, and that means that anything can happen at this show—and is unlikely to ever happen again.
We’re attentive observers of the new punk scene emerging across the pond and we jump at the opportunity to invite its representatives to the OFF Festival, so it was only a matter of time before this happened. Coming to Katowice straight out of Brooklyn’s best garages, it’s The Men! A band that’s just as respectful of tradition—from The Velvet Underground to Fugazi—as it is willing to veer off into noisy realms as distant as country music. And as you’ll hear on their outstanding records Open Your Heart, New Moon, and Devil Music, as well as their live shows, The Men take their noise seriously. We’ll find out just how seriously soon enough.
Mitch & Mitch
This allegedly Warsaw-based band sounds suspiciously Brazilian. Their faces might ring a bell, but they’ve still got plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Mitch & Mitch have been an OFF Festival mainstay from the start. They’ve played everything from country music and cover songs that you wish they had composed, to Zbigniew Wodecki classics that (luckily) he composed and they helped him dust off—and it’s always been top notch. They recently released a new album featuring the Brazilian producer Kassine, titled Visitantes Nordestinos, which will certainly find its way into their setlist. But who cares: we’re going to dance to whatever they play.
A British cellist, composer and producer whose work you may have heard on the recent Radiohead album A Moon Shaped Pool, as well as on recordings by artists such as Massive Attack and Actress. Luckily this Royal Academy of Music graduate and member of the illustrious London Contemporary Orchestra still finds time for solo projects, and his latest album Upstepping is a singular blend of classical and dance music, from deep house to footwork. They say his live shows can leave you confused: do you focus and listen or let your body follow the rhythm?
Joining us from Rockford, Illinois is Ryley Walker. He’ll be bringing his guitar, an instrument he’s fully mastered and uses to compose intricate and charming songs. Ryley’s music combines two traditions: that of psychedelic hippie music that rambles on and on, and that of folk music, or perhaps blues storytellers who sing it raw and simple, like life itself. His latest record, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, contains (as the title suggests) plenty of gold that’ll shine beautifully in the August sun.
This singer/composer’s debut album, Architect, was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, while his sophomore release, The Midnight Sun (2016), merely confirmed that the title of Scotland’s most sensitive musician is well deserved. C Duncan has an unparalleled ability to combine the elegance of classical music with the sugary asceticism of dream pop. No one could possibly sound better on a beautiful summer night.
A Hungarian by heritage, a Swede by birth and upbringing, and a global citizen by choice, DJ/producer Kornél Kovács combines dance music influences from across the globe, from Africa, through the Balearic Islands, to Detroit. In 2010 he joined Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvist to launch Studio Barnhus, which released Kovács’s debut album, The Bell (2016), an unpretentious collection of cheerful yet intelligent music. We’re going to dance to this.
There isn’t much to talk about here: this is a band you just have to hear and see. Idles hail from Bristol and are said to have formed just to dance on the grave of the local independent music scene. They play post punk that they themselves describe as occasionally unlistenable, but they’re wrong about that. Their full-length album Brutalism is a solid LP of excellent music, but it doesn’t tell the whole truth about the band. They only reveal their true faces at their wild, shameless and fierce live shows.
Last year’s sensation Lor are coming into their own on the Polish independent music scene. These four extraordinarily talented teens from Krakow met in music school and got together to make magic. This story opens with the charming song/video “Windmill” and continues with a series of enthusiastically reviewed shows. And their fascinating tale is only getting started…
This Warsaw quartet is clearly inspired by American hardcore and noise rock, but they’ve developed their own original sound. The LP Warsaw Wasted Youth has certainly been one of the most successful guitar-driven debuts on the Polish scene in recent years. Their concerts are equal parts energy and hypnosis.
We regret to announce that Daniel Johnston will not be joining us at the OFF Festival. Due to health problems, the artist will not be able to tour Europe this summer. We’re certain that Daniel will get better and perform for us in the future. His absence leaves a pretty significant hole in the lineup, but luckily we’ve managed to invite another independent music legend, this time from the UK:
This Is Not This Heat
That’s right: This Is Not This Heat is not This Heat. But the band does follow in the footsteps of the legendary British band, with Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward at the helm. In their day This Heat was was among the few British bands to offer a meaningful response to Europe’s Krautrock revolution, and in doing so nudged the punk scene in a more avant garde direction. Their two albums—This Heat and Deceit—were enough to inspire an entire generation, from Sonic Youth to Massive Attack, from Radiohead to Caribou. And we’re proud and happy to announce that they’ll be playing at the OFF Festival.
OFF is a festival for the discerning music fan and the place to discover the best alternative acts from around the world. A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia. OFF is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time. OFF Festival’s reputation is growing year on year driven by the festivals forward–thinking, eclectic music policy and it’s bold and eclectic lineups. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance and the organisers and crowd have one serious finger on the pulse when it comes to music.
OFF Festival takes place from 4-6 August 2017. 3-day tickets from £52 available at off-festival.pl
Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity | We Are Global
Music PR | Festival PR | Event PR