Wojciech Bąkowski, Sensations Fix, Harry Merry, Gary War and coL are a motley crew even by OFF standards. See them perform at the Experimental Stage when Ariel Pink takes over as curator for one day. Our thanks to Ariel for this musical adventure!

Wojciech Bąkowski
You’ve definitely heard of this guy. While Bąkowski is more popular nowadays as a visual artist, especially after the dissolution of the duo Niwea, he’s still very much a musician. On Kształt, Telegaz and Duchy kotów he reveals himself to be an explorer who never reaches his goal, branching out and eschewing stylistic self-determination, and avoiding narrative structures, refusing to give a foothold to a broader audience. He speaks or stays silent. He can be lyrical or repulsive. He is elusive. And the more elusive he gets, the more you want to follow him.

Sensations Fix
A forgotten gem of the Italian prog-rock scene. Franco Falsini traveled across Europe and the United States in the 1960s in search of inspiration, and eventually returned to Florence, where he recorded a handful of albums that would achieve cult status upon their reissue at the start of the present decade. The reemergence of these long-coveted recordings sparked a resurgent interest the band’s dreamy variety of prog rock, one heavily steeped in electronic sounds, and Sensations Fix came back as a live act.

Harry Merry
This artist claims to take inspiration from rock’n’roll and blues as well as schlager music and French chansons, Slovenian pop and Serbian turbo folk. He also credits the novels of Charles Dickens and the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Sibelius — particularly renditions conducted by Herbert von Karajan — for influencing his work. Harry Merry, the Dutch underground’s best-kept secret, is among the most original and quirky artists ever billed for the OFF Festival. This is one show you’re never going to forget.

Gary War
Greg Dalton is a friend and alumnus of the Experimental Stage and a former member of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. The apple falls not far from the tree, it seems, as Gary War’s music is a blend of psychedelic rock, shoegaze, and synth-pop, all veiled in a mist of nostalgia. He’s just come back from a five-year break with the album Gaz Forth, a record that’s partly a reminiscence about the golden days of radio, and partly a trip into outer space.

If you missed this artist, you’ve got plenty of catching up to do: between 2001 and 2008 alone, coL churned out no fewer than 47 records on his own label, JesusWarhol. He’s collaborated with other artists (including Ariel Pink, under the moniker Atheif), shot movies, and produced albums. Unsurprisingly, one of his albums is titled The Prince of D.I.Y. It’s impossible to sum up his art in just a few sentences: this cool, dreamy music is one of a kind, a genre all of its own — and so are his live shows.

This year’s OFF Festival lineup also features: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ariel Pink, Grizzly Bear, Zola Jesus, Jon Hopkins Live, Aurora, Turbonegro, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing Some Loud Thunder, Marlon Williams, John Maus, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead performing Source Tags & Codes, Big Freedia, David August, Egyptian Lover, Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares (The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices), Oxbow, Bishop Nehru, King Ayisoba, Housewives, Chastity Belt, Or:la, Jacques Greene, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Mystery Lights, DJ Paypal & DJ Taye, Wednesday Campanella, Hańba!, Furia, The Como Mamas, Coals, Moses Sumney, Yasuaki Shimizu, Yellow Days, Legendarny Afrojax, Nanook of the North, Adam Strug, Bass Astral x Igo, Sorja Morja, Skalpel Big Band, and Sonbird.

The 2018 OFF Festival Katowice will take place August 3–5 at Three Pond Valley. Three-day passes are now available at the OFF Shop for 330 PLN. This price lasts until April 15 or until the third batch of tickets is sold out! Campground tickets are also available for 70 PLN.

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity