OFF Festival Katowice 2018: It’s OK, this isn’t a cult, it’s just a new batch of artists.

Kult performs the album Spokojnie, cult legends Unsane take no prisoners, and we broaden our cultural horizons with Good Night Chicken, MIN t and tęskno. We’re cultivating quite a lineup for this year’s OFF Festival.

Kult performing Spokojnie
Kult has never performed at the OFF Festival, nor has the band’s frontman Kazik ever played here with any of his many side projects, and that’s reason enough to catch up with him. But where to start? For us, the answer is clear: Spokojnie, the band’s third album, is regarded by many as Kult’s magnum opus. With music that’s mature, original and touching, the record boasts a post-punk sound and songs that are at once worldly and local, and with wise and timeless lyrics to boot. “Arahja,” recently revamped by the band HEY, stands alone in the history of Polish popular music as likely the best metaphor for the conflict that’s tearing apart our country, our cities and ourselves. “Do Ani” is among the most beautiful Polish love songs. “Patrz” deals with the intersection between the state and religion, a issue that remains as pressing as ever. “Tan”: Do we live to work or work to live? Is the Man subject to the same laws as we are? In the thirty years since the release of Spokojnie, not a single note has lost its urgency. For the first time in the band’s history, Kult will perform the album live in its entirety.

Unsane has had a good year. They’ve come out with an excellent new album, Sterilize, accompanied by an enthusiastically-received promotional tour, and the Polish label Antena Krzyku released a double LP titled Shattered, Flattered & Covered — A Tribute to Unsane, featured covers of the New York band’s songs performed by a new generation of noise aficionados. That kind of homage isn’t for just anybody. Unsane is a cult phenomenon, a band uniquely adept at combining the intensity of the Swans with aggressive NY hard core and heavy metal. As we head into tough times again, Unsane’s furious, dirty brand of noise rock once again provides the perfect soundtrack to the world around us.

Good Night Chicken
Can you surf in a garage? You can in Bydgoszcz. Artur Kujawa and Tomasz Gołda have slapped their ridiculous moniker on a totally serious yet energetic and fun project that churns out noise rock with an admixture of rawness. It’s at once catchy and rackety, and there’s hardly a fan of guitar rock that could resist the charm of their new record, You Like the Taste, Don’t You. Just think how caustic these tracks must be live!

Martyna Kubicz is a classically-trained musician and an experienced actress, but she plays no role when she takes the stage as MIN t, a project that’s contemporary in both form and content. Her late 2017 debut album Assemblage earned her a GaMa Award nomination and a finalist spot in a reader poll held by the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. That should be no surprise to anyone familiar with her explosive mixture of riveting r’n’b and dark, dense electronics. It’s got everything from dance rhythms to bold and progressive arrangements — everything MIN t needs to make her one of the most promising acts on today’s Polish music scene.

A collaborative effort by Joanna Longić and Hani Rani, with a name that translates as “longingly.” The former is better known as one half of Bemine, a dreamy electronic duo co-formed by Coldair’s Tobiasz Biliński. Rani, or Hanna Raniszewska, is a pianist whose craft spans classical and popular music and who has collaborated with such acts as Domowe Melodie and Dobrawa Czocher, with whom she performs daring reinterpretations of songs by Grzegorz Ciechowski. What do Longić and Rani do together? “We write songs in Polish, combining the tones, melodies, and sounds we long for.” And it’s true: give it a listen, and you’ll always long for tęskno.

This year’s OFF Festival lineup also features: M.I.A., 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, Harry Merry, Gary War, coL, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Mystery Lights, DJ Paypal & DJ Taye, Wednesday Campanella, Sensations’ Fix, Hańba!, Furia, The Como Mamas, Coals, Moses Sumney, Yasuaki Shimizu, Yellow Days, Legendarny Afrojax, Adam Strug, ARRM, Wojciech Bąkowski, 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 June 10 or until the third batch of tickets is sold out! Campground tickets are also available for 70 PLN.

NIkki McNeill | Global Publicity

Comments are closed.