The House of Love
There’s no mistaking the sound of British indie rock from the turn of the 80s and 90s: catchy tunes sprinkled here and there with a touch of noise and psychedelia. The House of Love whetted their fans’ appetites with two years’ worth of excellent EPs before finally coming out with their debut album in the spring of 1988, a release that won them critical acclaim and a cult status among audiences. The group broke up just three records later, but luckily went back on stage and into the studio in 2005, giving us the album Days Run Away. It’s about time we saw this British legend live. King Creosote and Jon Hopkins
What could a folk bard possibly have in common with a musician steeped in experimental electronic music? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Kenny Anderson, a Scottish singer/songwriter who performs under the name King Creosote, and Jon Hopkins, the London-based producer who’s worked with such artists as Imogen Heap, Brian Eno, and Coldplay, came out with a collaborative album titled Diamond Mine on Domino Records in the spring of 2011. The LP is a breathtaking combination of King Creosote’s subtle hymns and Hopkin’s field recordings and minimal beats. Their prestigious Mercury Award nomination and appearances on many of last year’s Top 10 British album lists thus comes as no surprise.
Founded in 2007 by Jacek Szabra?ski (of The Car is on Fire) and Micha? Szturomski (Afro Kolektyw), Nerwowe Wakacje take inspiration from Polish classics such as Skaldowie and Czerwone Gitary, but it’s clear that the artists grew up on British alternative rock. There’s something retro about them, and yet they’re 100% fresh. The debut release by Nerwowe Wakacje, subversively titled Polish Rock, was one of the best albums to come out of the local music scene in 2011. Yet it wasn’t as much about giving us a some new choruses to hum as it was about provoking a debate about the identity of Polish popular music.
Viennese visionary Fennesz will also be curating one day at the Experimental Stage. He’s invited Kim Gordon & Ikue Mori, Henry Rollins, Papa M, Lillevan (performing in a duo with Fennesz himself), Forest Swords, Jacaszek, Mordy, and Pietnastka to perform.
Fennesz and Lillevan
Christian Fennesz: an Austrian musician, composer, and improviser. A guitarist who has pushed the boundaries of guitar rock and broadened the scope of modern electronic music. Critically acclaimed for his 2001 album Endless Summer, Fennesz has been constantly seeking new challenges, performing alongside such artists as Sparklehorse, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Mike Patton. Lillevan is a visual artist who specializes in animation and video art. He first gained recognition as the founder of the music and visual ensemble Rechenzentrum as well has his collaborations with several big names, including Luomo, Tarwater, and Fennesz.
Kim Gordon & Ikue Mori
Kim Gordon needs no introduction: aren’t we all secretly in love with her? Best known for her work as singer and bassist of Sonic Youth, Gordon will be performing at the OFF Festival with the amazing improvising drummer Ikue Mori, who records for Tzadik Records and has collaborated with Ensemble Modern and John Zorn.
An American musician, comedian, writer, and actor, Rollins is also active in charity work, which he claims helps him keep a lid on his anger. That anger first erupted in the early 80s, when Rollins took over the mike for the now legendary group Black Flag. He went on start his own act, Rollins Band, which made it onto the charts with the bitter hit “Liar”. Rollins isn’t coming to the OFF Festival to sing. Instead, he’ll have some important things to tell us. His appearances can be as brutally painful as they are hilarious: if you’re sure you can handle the truth, don’t miss this show.
The multi-instrumentalist David Pajo, a musician mostly known for his recognizable guitar style and worshiped for the albums he recorded with the legendary group Slint, is among the most active artists on the independent music scene. He basically plays everything: from hardcore to post-rock and folk and everything in between. He racked up over a dozen releases under the Papa M moniker, and twice as many in a variety of other configurations, most notably Millions Now Living Will Never Die and TNT with Tortoise, and It’s Blitz! with Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Created by Matthew Barnes of Liverpool, Forest Swords is a musical project that blends ambient sounds with echoes of alternative guitar rock. Rave reviews of his EP Rattling Cage and the mini-album Dagger Paths are a clue that we might just be dealing with a phenomenon that is on the brink of breaking out of the British underground. For now, Matthew’s remixing skills are in high demand (he’s released his own versions of tracks by These New Puritans, The Big Pink, and Burial) as are his DJing talents, which he recently debuted on the BBC.
The Gda?sk-based artist Micha? Jacaszek has managed to grab the attention of the entire world: suffice it to say that his latest album, Glimmer was released with a Ghostly International sticker on the case. We also appreciate him for his melancholy, poetic Treny as well as the church- and echo-steeped Pentral.
The band started playing in Sopot in the mid-90s, and their every note resonates with the proud musical legacy of the Tri-City alternative scene. Mordy’s music has a bit of everything: from jazz to rock and electronic sounds, putting all of them on an equal footing. The band’s latest demonstration of this approach was released in 2011 under the title Nobody.
An instrumental project by Piotr Kurek, who debuted last year with a cassette tape on Sangoplasmo Records, a tiny indie label based in Wroc?aw. The critically-acclaimed album Dalia explores minimalism and psychodelia, but the project’s live incarnation – which features Hubert Zemler on drums, S?awomir Ksi??niak on guitar, and Piotr Kurek on the organ and electronic instruments – could be even less predictable.
Line up so far
Alva Noto, Atari Teenage Riot, Battles, Baxter Dury, Black Face, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Colin Stetson, Connan Mockasin, Container, Converge, Death in Vegas, Fennesz & Lillevan, Forest Swords, Henry Rollins, Iceage, Iggy and The Stooges, Jacaszek, Kim Gordon & Ikue Mori, King Creosote I Jon Hopkins, kIRk, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Matthew Herbert, Mordy, Nerwowe Wakacje, Nils Frahm, Other Lives, Papa M, Pietnastka, Retro Stefson, Shabazz Palaces, Sleep Party People, Spectrum, Suicide, Swans, Swietliki graja Ogród Koncentracyjny, The House of Love, Ty Segall.