OFF Festival Katowice 2018: Charlotte Gainsbourg and a song by many names

From Charlotte Gainsbourg’s intimate secrets to Adam Strug’s songs beyond space and time: The OFF Festival and its audience welcomes any music, old, new, or even newer — just as long as it’s good music.

Charlotte Gainsbourg
Her singing career began with a bang when, at the young age of 13, she performed the controversial duet “Lemon Incest” with her own father, the master Serge Gainsbourg. And she could hardly have hoped for a more successful acting career: her filmography features pictures directed by Michel Gontry, Alejandro González, Iñárritu and Lars von Trier, whose Antichrist landed her award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Naturally, we’re more interested in her as a singer, and we’ve invited her to the OFF Festival to do just that. From her debut album, produced by her dad, through her collaborative efforts with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Beck, to her latest record, Rest, produced by SebastiAn, Charlotte Gainsbourg invariably stuns audiences with her originality and charisma. Rest is at once sad and furious, and we’re expecting more of those emotions in Katowice this August. Inspired by the cult soundtracks to Brian De Palma’s Carrie, Kubrick’s The Shining, and Hitchcock’s Rebecca, the LP features guest appearances from Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk and Paul McCartney, but Charlotte’s artistic persona consistently steals the spotlight.

Adam Strug
He’s an ethnomusicologist, composer and poet, but more than anything else, he’s a singer: a person who paints pictures, conjures up worlds and enlivens stories with his voice. He’s best known for his collaborations with Stanisław Soyka and Wojciech Waglewski as well has his magnificent album Requiem ludowe, which he recorded in collaboration with Kwadrofonik a few years back and later performed at the OFF Festival, leaving the crowd in tears. Unsurprisingly, Leśny bożek, Strug’s latest release, combines deep nods to tradition with bold experimentation. Taking poems by Leśmian, Staff, Asnyk and the folk poet Jan Pock, the singer interprets the verses over his own musical compositions, which draw on local and Middle Eastern inspirations.

The Mystery Lights
To careful observers of the American independent music scene, it might have come as a surprise when, in 2016, the excellent soul label Daptone (the one that brought us Charles Bradley) established the sub-label Wick Records, which went on to release the debut album by The Mystery Lights. To attentive listeners, it’s clear that The Mystery Lights is the kind of record you start an entire label for. It’s pure energy expressed through old-school rock’n’roll and spiced up with a pinch of folk, blues and psychedelic rock.

DJ Paypal & DJ Taye
He comes from the States, lives in Berlin, and plays music from Chicago. Producer DJ Paypal is at the forefront of the genre known as footwork, a position he solidified with the album Sold Out, released in August 2015 by Brainfeeder. DJ Taye debuted with Still Trippin’ (Hyperdub) this March — and what a trip it is! Both of them are part of the famed Teklife crew, and you know what that means: get ready for a party with the kind of humor, energy and sheer tempo that’ll get your blood pumping.

Artur Rumiński is one of those Polish musicians that keeps resurfacing at the OFF Festival — he’s just got that much to offer. We’ve seen him practice witchcraft with Furia and wage war against the sun with Thaw, and now he’s back in an ostensibly calmer incarnation, but one that still reveals plenty of anxiety and emotional depth. ARRM generates sound waves that flow through the broad channels carved by ambient and post metal, with occasional detours into uncharted cosmic territory.

This year’s OFF Festival lineup also features: 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, Or:la, Jacques Greene, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Wednesday Campanella, Hańba!, Furia, The Como Mamas, Coals, Moses Sumney, Yasuaki Shimizu, Yellow Days, Legendarny Afrojax, Nanook of the North, 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

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