The title of this announcement might sound like a joke, but we’re dead serious: The Brian Jonestown Massacre is joining this year’s OFF Festival lineup, while bands Hańba! and Furia are back for repeat performances, alongside Jon Hopkins Live, the Como Mamas, Coals and Moses Sumney.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
rock’n’roll / psychedelic / folk rock / shoegaze
We’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while and, from what we gather, so have you and the band. The Brian Jonestown Massacre is finally coming home to their rightful place at the OFF Festival! For nearly three decades, the band has sustained our faith in rock’n’roll with their grimy, belligerent, self-deprecating, psychedelic guitar rock. From blues to shoegaze (and back), from their legendary 1995 debut Methodrone to last year’s Don’t Get Lost, the collective commanded by the charismatic frontman Anton Newcombe has yet to disappoint us.
Jon Hopkins Live
ambient / IDM / techno
Jon Hopkins must have considered a career as a classical pianist, but he threw his lot in with modern electronic sounds instead. He started out as a synth player for Imogen Heap, which led to a collaboration with Brian Eno, whom he joined in the studio to record a Coldplay album. Jon went on to work with such artists as David Lynch, Zucchero and King Creosote, scoring films while progressing in his own career as one of the UK’s leading electronic music producers. Skirting the line between dreamscapes and real life, his trademark melodies are built from clean, spacious and refined sounds, distilled to their essence on the Mercury Prize-nominated album Immunity (2013). His next record, slated for release this May, takes another step into the future of IDM, and we can only assume the tracks will feature heavily in his OFF Festival live set.
folk / urban folk / punk
“I remember how it used to be before the war. Those were the days…” Our grandparents’ generation can get pretty sentimental about the pre-war years. But if Hańba’s music is any indication, punk’s best years happened before World War II.
We’ve featured them at the OFF Festival before, in 2015, setting off what turned out to be a significant series of events. Their performance in Katowice’s historic Nikiszowiec neighborhood, recorded and broadcast by Seattle’s KEXP Radio, opened doors for the band, landing them a record deal that was signed onstage. With two albums (Hańba! and Będą bić) and a Polityka Prize to their name, this Kraków street orchestra is back to shake us up and warn us about the threat we pose to ourselves.
black metal / necro-folk
Since their first appearance at the OFF Festival, Furia have played three shows at Primavera and put on a visionary performance at the Guido coal mine, 320 meters underground, drawing inspiration from the paintings of Teofil Ociepka, one of the leaders of an early-20th century occult group in Janów Śląski. They released the album Księżyc milczy luty, one of the most critically-acclaimed Polish records of 2016. They played a ghostly wedding band in an outstanding play directed by Jan Klata at Kraków’s Stary Theater. What else? You know, the same old stuff: they’ve been putting on phenomenal concerts and continue to be the most unpredictable figures in the new wave of Polish black metal, and, like it or not, they’re leaving their mark on the genre.
The Como Mamas
gospel / soul / spirituals
Had enough extreme sensations? Then come to mama for a hug and a gentle song… We’ve never had a band quite like the Como Mamas here at the OFF Festival. Straight out of the small Mississippi Delta town of Como, by way of New York City, thanks to Daptone Records (who introduced us to Charles Bradley), come Ester Mae Smith, Angela Taylor and Della Daniels. Their album Get an Understanding and its promotional tour have made waves far beyond traditional gospel music audiences, and it’s no wonder: the impact and dedication of these songs crosses all boundaries.
electro / synth pop / avant pop
The Silesian duo Coals — Katarzyna Kowalczyk and Łukasz Rozmysłowski — may be relative newcomers to the scene, but this is already their second appearance at the OFF Festival. They had little more than an EP titled Homework the first time around, but their original, unique style turned heads, some of which belonged to the KEXP crew, who shot a video session with Coals in Katowice (and later another in Reykjavik). Then came concerts in Poland and stints at a number of international festivals, along with the release of their debut album Tamagotchi, which lived up to high expectations: it’s a nostalgic and eclectic product of the musicians’ myriad inspirations, from hip hop to synthpop. More importantly, though, it’s a collection of excellent and mature songs.
folk / soul
This Californian singer-songwriter, the son of Ghanaian immigrants, is a protégé of TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. He started out as an opening act for Sufjan Stevens and Erykah Badu, a fact that tells you a lot about the unique character of his music, which borrows as much from folk (or even freak folk) as it does from soul. His debut album Aromanticism landed him on a number of year-end lists in 2017. Listening to Moses Sumney’s album is an experience so intimate that we can hardly conceive the emotions the artist might evoke in us with a live performance.
This year’s OFF Festival lineup also features: Grizzly Bear, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah performing Some Loud Thunder, Marlon Williams, John Maus, Big Freedia, Turbonegro, Egyptian Lover, Aldous Harding, Oxbow, Bishop Nehru, King Ayisoba, and Jacques Greene.
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 290 PLN. This price lasts until April 15 or until the second batch of tickets is sold out! Campground tickets are also available for 70 PLN.
Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity