Unsound 2023: DADA

Sunday, October 1, 2023 - Sunday, October 8, 2023

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  • Sunday, October 1, 2023 - Sunday, October 8, 2023

Unsound starts in Kraków on October 1. The final artists to be added to the lineup include a premiere live show from Poland’s Piernikowski called Beyond the Echo of Time, and DJ sets from Olof Dreijer – formerly of The Knife, this year with a release on Hessle Audio; Lisbon’s Nídia – a day after the release of her new album on Príncipe; and OKO DJ from Paris, whose sets showcase her impeccable taste for the weird and the wonderful.

Conceived and curated with AIAD - our Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director – Unsound in(ter)ventions will take place throughout the week, and include Warsaw sound and visual artist Anna Zaradny; French guitarist and performer Julian Desprez; Kraków saxophonist Paulina Owczarek; Swiss composer and sound artist Tobias Koch; and Ukrainian musician Heinali presenting Synthtap with Kraków tap dancer Beata Kędzia-Sowa. The Machine Listening Songbook will thread its way through the festival, exploring speech decomposition and voice-cloning, with a nod to the legacies of Dada and concrete poetry.

We’ve also added a closing party on Sunday October 8 in the former strip club beneath Hotel Forum, where Unsound once had a club called 89. The lineup includes DJ sets from London’s Mica Levi, Miami’s Nick León, Sweden via Bristol’s k means, Prague’s phil in a maze and Kraków newcomer jul.ci. There will also be an opening-night afterparty on Sunday October 1 in the small but vital Ukrainian-run bar Sekta Selekta, in Kazimierz, featuring bijū and Badalian b2b Venger – all Poland-based artists from Ukraine – and a DJ set from Ziúr. Both these events require a ticket apart from the festival pass, with proceeds from the Sekta Selekta event going to Starenki, supporting elderly people in Ukraine.

As mentioned, the Unsound discourse programme is now live, with a week of presentations, discussions and workshops exploring the spirit of DADA – and its shadow theme, DATA.

New additions include Andy Battaglia of ARTNews leading a discussion with Unsound artists, exploring the relevance of the Dada movement in today's world. Is it still possible to shock via art? Delegates from the Office for Postartistic Services will present Polish art projects blending avant-garde art with activism. Olga Drenda will channel Dada’s irreverence to meme her way through humour and politics in contemporary Poland ahead of the premiere of her new book. In the same vein, Günseli Yalcinkaya, Kieran Press-Reynolds and Gregor Różanski will host a TikTok viewing session. Luciano Chessa will bridge the worlds of Futurism and Dadaism, spotlighting Luigi Russolo's The Art of Noise, connections between noise and the occult, and his own Intonarumori reconstruction. GG Albuquerque will journey through the sonic landscapes of Brazilian funk. Ecology of Care will lead a talk on neurofuturism through a neuroqueer lens, examining the biases of emerging technologies and exploring the intersections of neurodiversity, accessibility and technology.

Registration forms for Unsound workshops are now available on our website. These include podcast workshops with Resident Advisor’s Chloe Lula and ideology generator workshops with Günseli Yalcinkaya and Kat Zavada. Soft Data workshops by Polish artist Maja Demska invite participants to treat their body as a data canvas to visualise the internal circulation of information.

Stand by for Failure - A Negativland Documentary will screen at Kino Pod Baranami alongside Negativland live show and artist talk. Following a live show at Ephemera Festival in Warsaw earlier this year, Ukrainian musician Heinali will present his album Kyiv Eternal as a film, with footage of pre-war Kyiv collected via an open call, assembled by Maryana Osnach in collaboration with Kachna Baraniewicz - also screening at Kino Pod Baranami. Ticket revenue from this event will go to Musicians Help Ukraine.


  • Weekly and Weekend Passes - SOLD OUT
  • Unsound Club Pass - limited number left
  • 1st Oct - WHIZZLECLANK - available 
  • 2nd Oct - GOBBLEFLIB - available
  • 3rd Oct - SKRONKIFY - available
  • 4th Oct - SYMPOSPHERE - available 
  • 4th Oct - PPENING OARTY - limited number left (pass doesn’t cover)
  • 5th Oct - BLARBTANGE - limited number left
  • 5th Oct - ZOOBOPFIZZ - available
  • 6th Oct - ZIGGLEWUMP - available
  • 7th Oct - MARGINAL CONSORT - limited number left (pass doesn’t cover)
  • 7th Oct - FLIBBERTWIRL - available 
  • 8th Oct - PLOSING CARTY - available (pass doesn’t cover)


Third announcement

Unsound has added further names to the 2023 program (taking place in Kraków between 1–8 October), launched the performance schedule on the festival website and our app, and put individual tickets on sale. Final names – including in(ter)ventions prepared as part of this year’s Dada theme, a closing party, and the full discourse program schedule will arrive mid-September. Note that although individual tickets are on sale, as well as a limited number of three-night club passes, full festival passes and long weekend passes are sold out, and tickets to the Friday night event with Autechre are also sold out.

Returning to Unsound after a long absence, Ben Frost will premiere his first new music since 2017, a live collaboration with progressive metal guitarist Greg Kubacki of US band Carbomb, with synaesthetic video and light design from Tarik Barri. Lanark Artefax will also present the premiere of new music in the form of an A/V show. South Korean cellist Okkyung Lee plays for the first time in Poland, creating live scores for Dada films from the 1920s. Gabber Modus Operandi’s Kasimyn will debut his startling new Hulubalang project Bunyi-Bunyi Tumbal, addressing the trauma of Dutch colonisation with fractured, ritualistic dances.

As for Polish artists, 1988 will premiere a new project and A/V liveshow as 2K88, with music based on ’90s and ’00s Polish rap nostalgia, yet steeped in references to UK club music. Julek Płoski performs a new A/V show presenting his Orange Milk-release Hotel *****, as well as pieces made for Unsound drawing inspiration from the corecore Internet aesthetic. Damian Kowalski premieres his solo project SKI, reinterpreting footwork and global club rhythms using an amplified drum kit. 

Bill Orcutt might be an elder statesman of American guitar according to Pitchfork, but he also embodies the spirit of Unsound Dada in his eccentric, unpredictable approach to the instrument. Likewise, EYE – founder of the legendary Japanese band Boredoms – tears up the DJ rulebook, his sets propelled by a freeform, noisy, percussive thrust. Mun Sing, one half of Giant Swan embraces absurdity and playfulness in his music, while grappling with the death of his father. Dadabots will perform a tongue-in-cheek, cacophonic set of extreme AI music. 

Moving further into the late-night club program, Nyege Nyege presents Nigerian rapper and cross-genre innovator Aunty Rayzor alongside fellow Nigerian DJ Tobzy, at the forefront of cruise beat, a cut-n-paste of Afrobeats, amapiano, Brazilian funk and rave. Meanwhile, Toccororo is a Cuban-Spanish DJ colliding the darker side of Latinx club music with techno and hardstyle, Jersey club and ballroom. We already announced a b2b between VTSS and Sherelle. Now prepare yourself for Spain’s JASSS b2b with Paris–based Finn Emma dj and Philadelphia’s edit queen estoc b2b with versatile Egyptian-Palestinian DJ Oldyungmayn. Further additions from the Polish club scene include Berlin-based artist Jśa, KEM’s androgienia and Krzysztof, one of the curators of Warsaw sunrise series W Brzask with whom Unsound partners through Ephemera Festival. And Unsound wouldn’t be the same without our residents Olivia and Hermeneia. We’ll also once again present ambient brunch sets at Puro, this time with selections from claire rousay and Antonina Nowacka.

Additions to the daytime discourse program include Lyra Pramuk, who joins Ignota’s Susanna Davies-Crook and Sarah Shin to participate in a panel discussion and series of meditative journeys titled A Body in the Form of a Planet, celebrating the work of Lynn Margulis. Poland’s Przemysław Witkowski will delve into the origins of contemporary fascism in light of his new book Faszyzm, który nadchodzi (Fascism Yet To Come). Resident Advisor is returning to Unsound with an array of events, including workshops on broadcast journalism in a podcast studio and a panel discussion on the economic dynamics within dance music culture. Additionally, they will collaborate with journalism workshops run by Ukrainian Mariana Berezovska, of Borshch Magazine, for which registration is now open through the workshop subpage on our website.

The full daytime discourse program schedule will be launched in the middle of September, along with the final names for the music program. In the meantime, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Discord and check our very easy to use app with all the necessary info, presented with TMSQR.

Unsound is made possible thanks to the financing from the City of Kraków as well as many partners. 2023 Unsound’s performances of Heinali, Ojoo, Candela Capitán, Oldyungmayn and Martyna Basta are supported by SHAPE+, a platform for innovative music and interdisciplinary art, co-funded by the European Union.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.


Second announcement

While full Unsound passes are sold out, we’re now selling a limited number of Unsound Club Passes, which cover late-night events from October 5 – 7. We’re pleased to announce that included in the club pass is the Unsound debut of Tirzah, whose idiosyncratic yet moving experimental pop is rooted in UK garage, grime and R&B.

Also already on sale are tickets to Autechre on Friday October 6. Joining the bill that night is Guatemala’s Mabe Fratti, who we can now reveal will rearrange and revisit her discography and perform new works for a special presentation accompanied by I. La Católica on heavy guitars, Warsaw's Hubert Zemler on percussion, and winds from Kraków's Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble. Opening is the live premiere of Robert Piotrowicz’s Afterlife, where uncanny fictional organ pieces create a bold and shimmering mass. Fired up by the spirit of dada and data, composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe will draw on material from her album A Late Anthology to give a brief, unique performance.

Focusing on new material from their album Please Touch, Rrose will present a special live set incorporating imagery from Dada films from the 1920s – a fitting choice, considering their artist name derives from Marcel Duchamp's alter ego. Following their Ephemera Festival concert in Warsaw, Teoniki Rożynek and Aleksandra Słyż will further develop the Ephemera-commissioned piece And the Sun Stood Still, inspired by the primal mysticism of the sun and involving electronics, a brass section and voice. Also further developing a commission at Ephemera, Ukraine’s Heinali will present a live version of Kyiv Eternal, collagaging pre-war field recordings from Kyiv with contemporaneous footage of the city collected from the public via an open call.

A/V shows in the Unsound Club Pass include Taiwan's Meuko! Meuko! & NONEYE presenting the premiere of 無形將軍 Invisible General : e2, investigating mythology, tech-animalism and gaming culture. Italy’s Shapednoise teams up with Sevi Iko Dømochevsky to present the A/V show Absurd Matter, spiralling around the two poles of extreme noise and hip-hop. Ziúr brings to life the restless, radical sound of her new album Eyeroll, joined by Iceboy Violet, Elvin Brandhi and visual artist Sander Houtkruijer. Polish producer Zaumne appears in the wake of his album Parfum, filled with dub-pop, ASMR whispers, and dreamlike ambient.

Following the release of PANICO NO SUBMUNDO, Nyege Nyege presents the European premiere of DJ K’s Brazilian funk mutations, encapsulating São Paulo's Bruxaria sound. Following his brilliant Hessle Audio and Nervous Horizon releases, Jordan’s Toumba will present a premiere live set. Detroit trio HiTech bring their energetic blend of street rap, jit and full-throttle techno with a live show that’s taking the world by storm. Following a legendary pre-pandemic Unsound show, dreamcrusher returns to play a special set alongside fellow New Yorkers Kill Alters traversing noise, digital hardcore, electronics, punk and beyond. Polish producer duo IFS and Japanese rapper MA team up for the live premiere of REIFSMA, a collective ritual at 160bpm. DJ sets include Colombia's Rosa Pistola, who triumphantly returns to Unsound, Egypt's Rama, and Kraków’s own Semprey who goes b2b with Wrocław’s Kitty Sarcasm.

Note: the venue for club events is Kamienna 12, which we’ll especially prepare for Unsound in appearance and practical terms. As much as we wish it could be otherwise, Hotel Forum remains unavailable. We are always looking for alternatives, but finding unique venues in a city in the throes of gentrification is no easy task.

But if you would like a little taste of Hotel Forum, then come along to the Unsound opening party on Wednesday October 4 at 89, the former strip club that lies beneath, about the only part of the building’s interior that remains wonderfully intact. Headlining is Blawan, who will play a live set following the release his brilliant new EP Dismantled Into Juice. Note: this event is not included in either the Unsound Pass or Club Pass, and tickets will go on sale on August 22, along with the full lineup.

Finally, tickets are now also on sale to a performance by Japanese ensemble Marginal Consort. We’re delighted that this rare three-hour show will take place in the glorious 19th-century tram hall at The Museum of Engineering and Technology, the first Unsound event there in 5 years, taking place in the afternoon on Saturday October 7th. Remember, this event is not included in the Unsound Pass.

The free Unsound daytime discourse program will embrace the spirit of Dada as well as its shadow theme Data. Jennifer Walshe – who performs in the music program – will give a new presentation called 13 Ways of Looking at AI. Unsound will also collaborate with leading independent publishers in contemporary thought, with Urbanomic’s Amy Ireland and Maya B. Kronic premiering their Cute Accelerationism manifesto, while Ignota’s Susanna Davies-Crook with Sarah Shin will curate a series of meditative journeys titled Body in the Form of a Planet. Polish digital artist and curator Kat Zavada will team up with Dazed’s Günseli Yalcinkaya for an AI-fueled workshop, generating new ideologies and alternative concepts of statehood, appropriating alt-right discourse. Günseli will also host a panel discussion exploring the possibilities of AI and spiritual practices within music creation.

Dutch media theorist Geert Lovink will unveil his latest research into Dreamful Computing and join the performance of the UKRAiNATV crew – one of the winners of the Unsound 2023 open call. Another winner of the open call is legal scholar and researcher Zachary Cooper, who will share his ongoing study into state dependency on techno-architectures, investigating nonsense and incoherence as emancipatory practices.


First announcement

This year's program includes a contrasting array of trailblazing artists, from the aforementioned Autechre to absurdist experimental rock outfit Negativland. Formed in the late 1970s, Negativland are best known for their tongue-in-cheek pastiches of mass cultural phenomena (like when they brilliantly trolled U2 in the early '90s), and for coining the apt phrase "culture jamming". They perform with visual artist SUE-C. Japanese free improv collective Marginal Consort will add dadaist seasoning with a rare show. Established in 1997, they rarely perform and discuss nothing in advance; the only fixed elements are the start and end times, currently lasting for three hours. (This concert takes place in the afternoon on Saturday, October 7th, and is not included in the pass.)

As always, the festival will feature a slew of exclusive commissioned works and premieres. After its first manifestation at Ephemera Festival in Warsaw, Lee Gamble will present the next development of Models, matching his uncanny AI-assisted pop earworms with body movement from Spanish action artist Candela Capitán, and light design by Jacqueline Sobiszewski. Kraków's own Martyna Basta, who recently released the acclaimed Slowly Forgetting, Barely Remembering, will join forces with LA's claire rousay to merge their diaristic, emotionally direct approaches to sound and composition, while Warsaw-based guitarist and composer Raphael Rogiński draws on Lithuanian snake mythology and music to inform a new project titled Žaltys, featuring Lithuanian singer Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė. Beijing's 33EMYBW will assemble a show with visual artist Joey Holder, commissioned by Unsound and Illuminate Adelaide, and the festival will showcase the European premiere of Miami vanguard Nick León's long-awaited first live performance. NYC's DJ Python and Ana Roxanne meanwhile come together as Natural Wonder Beauty Concept, bringing a brand new A/V show to support their refreshingly sunny upcoming album.

Beloved American artist and blues singer Lonnie Holley will perform in the wake of his brilliant new album Oh Me Oh My. Known for twisting experimental music with folk and pop sounds, Guatemalan cellist, composer, and singer Mabe Fratti will present a special project with local artists – details in the next announcement. Peruvian musicians Ale Hop and Laura Robles deconstruct Afro-Peruvian music on their startling collaboration, matching cajón rhythms with electronics and guitar, and Elvin Brandhi teams up with drummer Lukas Koenig and artist Peter Kutin as PLF, a boundary-pushing band-project that fuses noise, post-punk and pop-everything. The performance of Japanese duo KAKUHAN – the new project of Koshiro Hino (YPY, goat) with cellist, and Yuki Nakajima – will feature Polish percussionist Adam Gołębiewski, who will augment their bizarre amalgam of drum machine, cello and electronics with even knottier beats.

Additionally, Dawuna will introduce his cloudy vision of R&B alongside a three-piece band, Voice Actor will present their intoxicating, genre-defying vignettes, and UK rapper Iceboy Violet will put their own spin on grime, drill, ambient and gqom. The Unsound Morning Glory series – taking place early in the day at a disused medical facility – will include guitarist and composer Julia Reidy, the spare but emotionally charged music of 7038634357, and Hubert Zemler and Piotr Bukowski as OPLA, reinterpreting traditional Polish folk music in wondrous ways.

But that’s not all! DJ sets will be provided by Venezuelan raptor house vanguard DJ Babatr, Unsound regulars Sherelle and VTSS, who will go B2B for the first time, Japan’s versatile ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U, Atlanta bass hybridist Nikki Nair, and the noise-inflected dancehall mutations of Moroccan-Belgian Ojoo Gyal. In terms of live shows, Cairo's 3Phaz will shuttle dancers into the future with his post-Shaabi reconstructions, and LustSickPuppy is set to alchemize feral punk, brain-bleeding beats and rap into liberating queer fantasies.

This is just the first round of artist names – there’s a whole lot more to come over the next two announcements.

As always, the Unsound discourse program will be wide ranging, intersecting with both Dada and its shadow theme Data. Alongside a discussion, Negativland will screen the new documentary Stand By For Failure, which tells their story dating back 40+ years. DADABOTS, the American duo creating extreme AI music, will traverse the music and discourse program. Following online Unsound contributions since the pandemic, Machine Listening (Sean Dockray, James Parker, and Joel Stern) will finally join the festival program IRL to present an installation, experimental workshop and sonic performance reflecting their research and experimentation into the politics and aesthetics of the computation of sound and speech. Italian collective Gruppo di Nun will descend into the depths of Revolutionary Demonology, where philosophy, politics, and occultism intertwine. Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective will curate an immersive listening session navigating the contemporary political landscape of sound and music.

In our continued commitment to the displaced Ukrainian art community, we welcome Mariana Berezovska’s journalism school designed to amplify voices from Eastern Europe, with participants gaining the opportunity to publish their works. Finally, Kraków-based UKRAiNATV, an experimental collective comprising refugee artists and their Polish allies, will invite us to their Kraków steam art studio for a freaky audiovisual show embracing hope-core aesthetics.

UKRAiNATV was among the open call submissions. Thanks to everyone who submitted entries – we’ll be in touch soon, with those selected in the next announcement.

Source: press release

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