OFF Festival announce first lineup of artists

This years Poland's Off Festival will host another lineup of top musical acts, in 2014 the first lineup announcement consists of Neutral Milk Hotel, Glenn Branca, Holden, Oranssi Pazuzu, Fuck Buttons and Perfume Genius.  Keep an eye on the Summer Festival Guide for further news to come!

Neutral Milk Hotel
One of the most important scenes in American indie rock was the collective known as Elephant 6. And the most important record born of the imaginations of those musicians was In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. The now-legendary album is still guaranteed to evoke tons of emotions with its combination of folk melodies and lo-fi sounds. Jeff Mangum's trebling voice sings stories that explore such themes as the tragic fate of Anne Frank. It wasn't just the reviewers at Pitchfork who were impressed with the unique release (ranking it the fourth best album of the nineties), but also Arcade Fire and the Decembrists, whose music clearly echoes this wonderful band's ideas.

Glenn Branca
In New York mythology, Glenn Branca is the god of noise and the patron saint of crippling distortion. He's also one of the leading figures of the no wave scene. When his band Theoretical Girls failed to garner the response it deserved, he set out on a solo career. Since then he's been recording deafening yet carefully composed guitar symphonies influenced as much by Steve Reich as they are by The Velvet Underground. Branca's group was where the guitarists of Swans and Helmet began their adventures in music. Playing under his tutelage was considered such an honor that one friend of his followed Branca around for months, begging for him to let her boyfriend into the band. He agreed, and it's a good thing he did, because her name was Kim Gordon, and his was Thurston Moore. The rest is history. Important announcement: Glenn Branca will be curating one whole day at the Experimental Stage! More details will be announced shortly.

Holden (live)
He's been gone for so long that everyone has pretty much stopped waiting for him to come back. But return he did, and he put everyone else back in their place. The Inheritors, his first album in seven years, has garnered excellent reviews and was hailed the best album of 2013 by the electronic music website Resident Advisor. And with the erudition this British artist demonstrates on his 70 minute release, it's no wonder. Holden resurrects the memory of analog KLF synths, Cluster's interstellar voyages, and esoteric 1960s British psychedelia. He doesn't shy away from more dance-worthy forms, either, as proven by the ecstatic, house rhythms of"Renata." This somewhat-forgotten decathlete won every possible event last year.

Oranssi Pazuzu
There's a theory that states that all the best rock bands have a color in their names. You know: Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple… It's time to add Oranssi Pazuzu to the list (the first word means"orange," while Pazuzu is the name of a terrible demon in Babylonian mythology), even though this band will never achieve the same status as the others. Not with this music, anyway. Sometimes referred to as the blackmetal Hawkwind, and at other times called the inventors of kraut-death metal, these Finns have figured out how to combine the trance and freedom of 70s psychedelic rock with the sounds of contemporary black metal. Oranssi Pazuzu's third album, Velonielu, is one of last year's best extreme music records. And you might want to check out some of the other acts on their label, Svart Records. This isn't the Finland you thought you knew…

Fuck Buttons
If there's a place that needs another comeback of Massive Attack or Portishead, Bristol definitely isn't it. The cradle of trip-hop has a new star that's shining like a supernova. Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power started off by borrowing from Aphex Twin and Mogwai, and within a few years, their music was featured at the greatest mass event of the year. This was no music festival: it was the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, where viewers across the globe heard the massive track titled"Olympians." By no means have Fuck Buttons gone soft since that success. Their latest album, Slow Focus, conjures up apocalyptic visions accompanied by massive beats and an army of synths. This is the kind of music Giorgio Moroder would have recorded if he had been born in post-industrial Detroit.

Perfume Genius 
Mike Hadreas' intimate compositions reveal him to be the talented heir of Xiu Xiu and Antony & The Johnsons. Not only does he share their sensitivity, but the portraits he sketches out in his songs also seem to come from a similar lineup. Perfume Genius' subjects are victims of violence, emotionally broken, future suicides nurturing their trauma. The music that accompanies these difficult stories is charmingly sparse and unsettlingly friendly. Lyrical piano phrases, delicate drum taps, subtle harmonies, and that voice: candid, fragile, and overflowing with emotion. Yet there is a certain boldness dormant in it, a bravery that compels him to take on difficult themes and surprising perspectives. YouTube removed one of his music videos, causing an uproar in the art world. He can be himself at the OFF Festival. To be honest, that's exactly what we're counting on.


Solange, Fucked Up and more added to Off Festival lineup

Dreamlike singers, hardcore emissions, electronic trances, psychedelic wipeouts, and… the one and only Zbigniew Wodecki. Everything is possible at OFF. Here's the next batch of artists that will perform at this year's festival – hold on tight!

It's no wonder that she's often compared to her older sister, some even call her – without a hint of malice ? the "Beyoncé of indie music", but you just need to open your eyes and ears to understand the Solange is a mature and independent artist. After two good LPs released by Interscope, she dazzled both critics and audiences with her EP called True, produced by Dev Hynes (who co-authored multiple songs with the likes of Florence and the Machine and The Chemical Brothers) and released under Terrible Records, a record label established by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. It's pop music, with clear references to the sounds of the 80s, but with its own distinct personality and quality. Join us in dancing to the beat!


Zbigniew Wodecki with Mitch & Mitch Orchestra and Choir 
At this year's OFF Festival, the one, the only, the legendary Zbigniew Wodecki himself will perform his iconic 1976 debut album – called Zbigniew Wodecki, of course. The titan of local venues scattered along the Vistula will be joined on stage by Mitch&Mitch, the most foreign band to ever form in Poland, whose members are hard at work making the music sound exactly as it did on the album, but better. For this special occasion an organist, a string quartet, and a two-person choir will be added to the Mitch&Mitch roster which already boasts nine members. That already tells you that they will be performing at the festival's biggest stage, as no other venue would accommodate that kind of ensemble.

Fucked Up
Whoever saw the band at the 2009 festival must surely remember the limitless energy, the bear-like posture, and the falling pants of Damien Abraham, the lead vocalist of the Canadian band Fucked Up. The hardcore fete of unfettered expression was one of the best shows of the 2009 festivals. This year's performance might even surpass the last one, as Fucked Up have been touring extensively for the past four years and will bring with them a host of new songs coming from their recent album, David Comes to Life. Don't come too close, unless you're willing to get down and dirty. 

Julia Holter
Recording her material primarily in her bedroom and drawing inspiration from ancient Greek tragedies, this Nite Jewel collaborator has been compared by both fans and critics to Laurie Anderson, Joanna Newsom, and Kate Bush. Gigi, the third album of the LA-based artist, will be released probably before the festival and will feature a plethora of surprises.

Guardian Alien
Guardian Alien is headed by drummer Greg Fox, known for his exploits with Zs, Liturgy, and his collaboration with Dan Deacon, but this polyrhythmic mixture of psychedelia, African music, and extreme metal was probably cooked up with a little help from alien forces. The band sounds like turbocharged Hawkwind – well, we can't say that it sounds like Hawkwind on speed, now can we? Listen to See the World Given to a One Love Entity, the 40-minute-long album released by Thrill Jockey and containing just a single song and you'll quickly be convinced that Guardian Alien's performance just might be one of the festival's most amazing shows.

Buke And Gase
"Absolutely thrilling" – this Pitchfork claim is dead-on correct. The Brooklyn-based duo behind Buke and Gase serve an original mixture of folk sensitivity and avant-garde bravado. It's deliberate, but with more than just a touch of improvisation. Amazing, is what it is. They play unique, one-of-a-kind instruments, including a modified baritone ukulele, a gase, and foot-powered percussion instruments – and they sing beautifully, too. Get ready for their show by listening to their most recent offering, called General Dome. 

John Talabot – Live 
Media-shy producer and DJ from Barcelona – he's not keen on interviews and in most photographs, his face is hidden under a tinfoil mask. His debut album was released by the small German record label, Permanent Vacation. As it turned out, the material on fin was so good that the hippest clubs in London and New York tried to book his appearance, while The xx invited him to tour with them. His live performances seem to completely justify the hype surrounding the secretive musician.

One of the most original and intriguing figures of the British drum and bass scene, co-founder of the legendary, now-defunct Skull Disco label. Recorded the groundbreaking album Music of the Quiet Hour, which explored the no-man's land between minimal techno and dubstep. It's kind of hard to believe that dance music could be this dark? But we should expect nothing less from a musician who counts Can and Throbbing Gristle among his inspirations and who started his musical journey by playing in a punk band.

The most powerful and surprising debut since Niwei. The strangest mixture of uncomfortable, dark electronics and sing-song catchiness typical of the Land of Gentleness series. The LP released last year by the duo from Gorzów was widely – and deservedly ? considered to be one of the most important releases of 2012, while the band's most recent effort – Ament – is also garnering praise from critics and fans alike. We're happy to welcome UL/KR to OFF Festival: we're sure that they're going to feel right at home.

The band was founded by clarinetist and composer Waclaw Zampel, who is known for his collaborations with pre-eminent musical improvisers, including Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee, and Miko?aj Trzaska. Although they're putting out records – like the incredible Where My Complete Beloved Is for example – live performances are their greatest strength. As the band itself stated, their "primary goal is to enter a sort of musical trance that would break down barriers between the stage and the audience and would enable spontaneous exchange."

Please, don't be discouraged by the band's name (which translates into "Shit"). Gowno is not in the nicely smelling flower business, it's in the angry, insolent punk business. The band was founded in 2009 and has since released two official LPs – To nie jest kurwa Pink Floyd (This Ain't Fucking Pink Floyd) and Black Rodeo (2012).

The band's roots can be traced to both Warsaw and Bydgoszcz. It comprises musicians from groups such as Ed Wood, Stara Rzeka, Alameda Trio, and Pictorial Candi. Hokei pays homage to kraut – and post-rock but it's also looking for its own place in the borderlands of guitar-percussion experiments. Their performance at OFF will coincide with the official release of their debut album, Zodiak.

Frozen Bird
Terry's Tale, the debut album of Warsaw-based Frozen Bird quartet released last year, was a very surprising mixture filled with dreamlike electronica, infused with subtle acoustics, and wrapped in fable-like lyrics performed in three

The Smashing Pumpkins set for Poland’s Off Festival

OFF are proud to announce that the legendary American band Smashing Pumpkins will be one of the headlining acts at this year's OFF Festival. But they're not the only reason to come to Katowice this summer: get a taste of Brutal Truth's merciless deathgrind, Austra's captivating electro sounds, the raw rock power of Japandroids, and revisit the 90s with a performance of Molesta Ewenement's debut album. All this and more, only at the OFF Festival!

The Smashing Pumpkins
Rarely can a 90s band still surprise audiences and offer something more than just a rehash of their former glory. Led by the charismatic Billy Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins continue to explore their art, most recently with the epic, dark Oceania, released in 2012. But this American band's OFF Festival set is sure to feature trips down memory lane to songs off of Siamese Dream and Adore, to the bittersweet melancholy known only to those who have tasted Chicago's very own Pumpkins. We just can't wait.

Smashing Pumpkins

There's a magical moment at every Austra concert when Katie Stelmanis, the Canadian group's lead vocalist, reveals the true might of her classically-trained voice, and the visualizations behind the musicians depict falling stars, as if it were her knocking them down with her singing… Austra is an exceptional act, one that combines just the right proportions of gothic coldness and dance potential. The group's second album, Olympia, the follow-up to Austra's universally acclaimed Feel It Break, is slated for release before their summer appearance at the OFF Festival.

Molesta Ewenement performs Skandal
Produced by DJ 600V under Molesta Ewenement's early name, Mistic Molesta, the 1998 album Skandal is one of the cornerstones of Polish hip-hop. "Wiedzialem, ze tak bedzie," "Sie zyje," "Osiedlowe akcje" – every track on the album has since become a classic. We're proud to announce that Vienio, Wlodi, and Pelson will be going back in time to perform Skandal in its entirety at the OFF Festival.

Mikal Cronin
Mikal Cronin first appeared at the OFF Festival as a member of Ty Segall's band. Now it's time for a solo performance by a guy who's growing up to be one of the most influential Californian songwriters of the younger generation. His sophomore album, MCII, set for release in late May, proves that while Cronin hasn't forgotten how to distort his guitar, he has come a long from the dirty psychedelic sounds of his earlier days; the record is a collection of excellent, captivating tracks that are just perfect for live performances.

Brutal Truth
Extreme conditions demand extreme responses: Brutal Truth's artistic motto also happens to be the title of their 1992 debut album. Founded by bass player Dan Lilker (known for his work with the first incarnation of Anthrax as well as such acts as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D.), the band has achieved the impossible by shifting the boundaries of extreme music beyond even the most radical forms of death metal and grindcore towards the avant-garde. They recently even collaborated with Robert Piotrowicz, a leading figure in the world of Polish contemporary music. Brutal Truth's last album to date is 2011's End Time, but it's clear that the band has not yet had the last word.

A Canadian duo – guitar, drums, and two screaming mouths – who make enough noise for five people. Brian King and David Prowse have been putting their whole hearts into restoring the credibility of pure-blooded rock with a massive sound and catchy riffs since 2006. Last year they came out with Celebration Rock, one of those rare albums that gets appreciated at the offices of Rolling Stone as well as Pitchfork. And just wait till you see Japandroids live!

Woods may be from Brooklyn, but their folk-rocky, slightly psychedelic and often catchy songs sound like they have more in common with the Californian music scene. The band has been astoundingly prolific since they started in 2006, releasing no less than five albums (2012 Bend Beyond being the last to date) and a stack of EPs, and performing innumerable energetic live shows that captivate audiences with a flower-power rock vibe for our times.

Nite Jewel and Peanut Butter Wolf perform Kraftwerk's Computer World Computer
World is the eighth album by the German act Kraftwerk, released in May 1981 and now considered to be the peak achievement of this remarkable group. Nite Jewel, a.k.a. Ramona Gonzalez, is an artist from Los Angeles with a penchant for pop and funk who keeps her ear to the ground in the world of lo-fi. Peanut Butter Wolf, or Chris Manak, is a DJ, hip-hop producer, and founder of the cult label Stones Throw Records. How does all of this fit together? We can't wait to find out ourselves.

Fatima Al Qadiri
Born in Senegal, raised in Kuwait, and currently residing in Brooklyn, Fatima Al Qadiri is an artist whose unclassifiable work combines Middle Eastern melodies with sounds sampled from first-person shooters. Her latest EP, titled Desert Strike, caused quite a stir in the avant-garde fringes of the electronic music world, but Fatima, a.k.a. Ayshay, also shocks and inspires audiences in other media. She is also a visual artist (with shows at the MoMA and the Tate Modern), a performer, curator, and journalist: an exceptional individual whose performance is sure to leave an indelible impression.

One of the most original debuts on the Polish music scene in recent years. The band was founded by drummer and pianist Ola Rzepka, known for her work with Alte Zachen, Pogodno, The Complainer, and Pictorial Candy, with Magda Turtaj (vocals, keyboards) and Zosz Chabiera (vocals). They recently released their debut record Persentyna, which has won widespread praise and yet defies all attempts to find an apt description. We're not even going to try – just come and see the show. It's going to be as hysterical as it is lyrical, in a way that only Drekoty can pull off.

Magnificent Muttley
Krzysztof Pozarowski (vocals, bass), Jakub Jusinski (guitar, vocals), and Aleksander Ortowski (drums, vocals) make up a classic power trio that runs its old-school rock sounds on the fuel of youth and enthusiasm. Jaw-crushing riffs may be their strong side, but they can also write, and their eponymous debut – a regular on most of Poland's 2012 year end lists – is full of excellent tracks. Winners of the Jarocin Festival competition and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute's "Border Breaker" prize for the band with the best shot at an international career.

Nathalie And The Loners
Natalia Fiedorczuk is a woman of many talents. She sings in Happy Pills, writes a column for T-Mobile Music, and composes music for plays at the Powszechny Theater in Warsaw – and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Her permanent place is at the helm of the project known as Nathalie And The Loners, whose second album, On Being Sane (In Insane Places), was released in November 2012. This hypnotic, beautiful, and complex record features performances by Maciej Cieslak (Scianka, Lenny Valentino), Jerzy Rogiewicz (Levity), and Karolina Rec (Scianka, Cieslak i Ksi?zniczki). We're very curious to see how Natalia's intimate songs come across on the OFF Festival stage.

You have to be pretty bold to title your debut single "Fail," but this Poznan-based duo has nothing to worry about: their tracks are dancefloor bombshells, and their upcoming album on Brennnessel Records is one of the most anticipated releases on the local alternative dance music scene. If the name of the label sounds familiar, it's because Rebeka's production wing – Bartosz Szczesny – also mans the bass guitar in Kamp!. The face, founder, and voice of the project, however, is Iwona Skwarek. Oh, and one more thing: "Stars" is their better-known single, and the one with the more appropriate title.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor and more added to Off Festival

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of the most important guitar-based groups of the past two decades, and yet we know so little about them. Founded in 1994, this nonet (yes, there are nine musicians in the band) surfaces and disappears as they please without a word of explanation. Even in the world of alternative music, this Montreal act really sticks to the sidelines. After a prolonged hiatus, they returned two years ago to curate All Tomorrow's Parties and surprised everyone in 2012 with a new and excellent album, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!. This post rock collective's live shows are an amazing experience: the anti-rock stars stick to the shadows while suggestive visuals flicker above them in perfect harmony with the mystical sounds. One thing we can promise is that this Canadian band's set will be a life-changing event.

Igor Pud?o and Marcin Cichy, a producer and DJ duo from Wroc?aw, publish their records through the legendary Ninja Tune label, proving that being a Polish artist doesn't mean you can't be international, and that you can make modern electronic music out of stylish, old-school Polish jazz. They both manage quite well on their own, but we're glad to see them back together and playing at the OFF Festival. Apparently the feeling is mutual, and they're said to be preparing an exceptional audiovisual performance. "We and our fans all have very fond memories of our first OFF Festival show in Mys?owice, and we're glad that our comeback as a duo is going to happen at this festival. The concert's going to be a review of our work. We'll be playing material off of both albums, some of the music from Sacrum Profanum, as well as some new compositions," the artists wrote in a press release.

Girls Against Boys
Veterans of the US noise rock scene with roots in the DC hardcore world (they even shared a drummer with Fugazi at one point), Girls Against Boys are now based in New York. There's less of that hardcore drive in their music and more space and power, all generated by two blaring bass guitars. They haven't recorded an album in quite a while ? You Can't Fight What You Can't See came out over a decade ago ? and they don't play live much either, so that's all the more reason to take advantage of this chance to see a legend in action.

Goat are a group of masked Swedes from a village north of the Arctic Circle, authors of the record World Music, which came out of nowhere to make an unexpected appearance on many of 2012's year-end best album lists. The LP feature a seeming chaotic ? but ultimately original and well though out ? combination of kraut rock, afrobeat, and electronically-infused psychedelics taken right out of the golden age of rave. One journalist from the British site The Quietus, on the other hand, simply describes Goat as "Voodoo magic. Fucking voodoo magic." And he might be right: don't get anywhere near their OFF Festival performance without an exorcist. 

Mykki Blanco
Her real name is Michael David Quattlebaum Jr.; Mykki Blanco is his female alter-ego and stage name. Mykki Blanco is a leading representative of New York's queer-rap scene, a phenomenon that is as new as it is extraordinary in the macho world of hip-hop. But gender issues are one thing, and music is another: this American is truly excellent. Her mixtape Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss is the perfect soundtrack to a crazy night out on the town and has garnered rave reviews from critics who see in her the next A$AP Rocky and Das Racist.

The Haxan Cloak
Graveyard dirges and church choirs, just the thing for fans of horror flicks: The Haxan Cloak is Britain's hope for dark ambient and thereabouts. 26 year old Londoner Bobby Krlic has a few self-released EPs to his name, along with a debut album for Aurora Borealis and last year's single-track album titled ?The Men Parted the Sea to Devour the Water. A true feast for any masochist who's into Shackleton, Lustmord, or Demdike Stare. Line Up so far AlunaGeorge, Bisz/B.O.K Band, Blondes, Deerhunter, Girls Against Boys, Goat, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jens Lekman, Laurel Halo, Merchandise, Metz, Mykki Blanco My Bloody Valentine, Skalpel, Super Girl & Romantic Boys, The Haxan Cloak, The Pop Group, The Walkmen, Thee Oh Sees, Tres B with many more to be announced?

Line Up so far
AlunaGeorge, Bisz/B.O.K Band, Blondes, Deerhunter, Girls Against Boys, Goat, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jens Lekman, Laurel Halo, Merchandise, Metz, Mykki Blanco, My Bloody Valentine, Skalpel, Super Girl & Romantic Boys, The Haxan Cloak, The Pop Group, The Walkmen, Thee Oh Sees, Tres B with many more to be announced?

My Bloody Valentine set for Polands Off Festival

To call My Blood Valentine's new album one of the most eagerly awaited records in the history of rock would be an understatement. The long wait for the follow-up to Loveless can only be compared to that of Guns N' Roses' infamous Chinese Democracy, with the difference that Axl's fans, who had grown up in the meantime, simply ignored his new album, while the followers of My Bloody Valentine, though furious at Kevin Shields for repeatedly postponing the release date of m b v, waited faithfully for the promised record. So loyal were they that when the band announced the immediate release of their new material one February night a few weeks ago, the band's website promptly crashed under the deluge of fans eager to buy the digital LP.

My Bloody Valentine

But there's another fundamental difference between the two: m b v was actually worth the wait! The album is, by all standards, outstanding; a worthy successor to Loveless, one that builds on the themes sketched out 22 years ago while at once broadening the band's musical horizons to encompass new and intriguing artistic dimensions. The record became an instant classic, winning critical acclaim from both reviewers and fans, who immediately forgave Shields his sins of omission.

We're proud to announce that My Bloody Valentine will be performing at the 2013 OFF Festival!
The band resumed playing live shows five years ago. And while the performances aren't too frequent, the group makes up for the lack of quantity with superior quality: My Bloody Valentine's live act is as legendary as the volume of sounds produced by the artists. We've hosted many of Shield's excellent and talented students at the OFF Festival, but it's about time we saw the original: don't miss My Bloody Valentine this August in Katowice!

Off Festival announce first acts and earlybird tickets

Just like you did last year and the years before that, mark your calendars for the first weekend of August. We?ll kick things off on Thursday 1st August, with a Before Party (more details to come), with three days of madness at Three Ponds Valley starting the following day, 2nd August.

Tickets go on sale at the OFF Shop on our official website starting on Tuesday 15th January. The first 300 people to order their tickets will get a free designer OFF Notes notepad (the final batch of last year's limited edition of 1,000, designed by Marta Ignerska).

Passes will be available at the OFF Shop at these promotional prices:

Three Day Pass: 140 zloty / 35 Euro (180 zloty / 45 Euro with campsite access)
Four Day Pass: 150 zloty / 37 Euro  (190 zloty / 47 Euro with campsite access)

Prices are valid until 5th March, after which passes will be available at other outlets at slightly higher prices.  

Buy tickets here

We know how long you've been waiting for this one, so we?re glad to announce that Deerhunter will be performing at this year's OFF Festival! New psychedelic rock, ambient punk, garage pop? it?s hard to find a label that?ll stick to this Atlanta quartet, but there?s one thing everyone can agree on: they're one of this century?s best American guitar bands. It?s been a while since the release of Halcyon Digest (2010), so it's safe to assume that Deerhunter will be bringing some new material along to Katowice. Bradford Cox recently revealed that the songs he?s been writing are very weird? well, why don't we let that be a secret.

Laurel Halo
This American artist is said to have taken up the piano at the age of six, and soon moved on the violin and the guitar, so it?s no wonder she?s grown sick of them after all those years. Lauren Halo translates her classical music education into broken, futuristic electronic sounds and bold, intriguing vocal melodies. It comes as no surprise that her full-length debut, Quarantine, came out on Hyperdub, one of the most respected labels in the industry. Laurel Halo?s music is dense and multi-layered, but at once subtle and elusive. Unlike many of her fellow Hyperdub artists, who like to crush, terrify, and deafen their audiences with heavy basslines, her output is much more positive, yet no less demanding. One Guardian critic likened these sounds to 'Oxygene? for Brooklyn hipsters.'  No offense to hipsters ? it really is that good!

Polish audiences might expect this to be a stand-up comedy performance by the popular local music journalist Piotr Metz, but we?re going to have to burst their bubbles: the Metz we're talking about here is a Canadian trio whose eponymous 2012 debut album proved that Sub Pop still has a knack for no-nonsense guitar noise, continuing in the American rock vein of the Pixies and Shellac. They say that before Metz went in to lay down the tracks for this record, a few sharp minds got together to figure out how to capture the trio's live energy in the studio. Whatever they did, it was a success: the album ended up on most year-end lists of guitar music. But none of that matters to us now: we?re going to see them live at the OFF Festival. Hold on tight!

Next up in the category of three-man noise machines: Merchandise. This Florida band?s post-punk wall of noise has slammed down on reviewers at Pitchfork and the New Musical Express, both of whom gave them rave reviews for their mid-2012 album Children of Desire. This year the band is planning a new mini-album as well as more live performances, including a first-time appearance in Poland.

Jens Lekman
You know what I Know What Love Isn?t is? It's a heart-rending and unbelievably beautiful work of consolation. Here?s what Jens Lekman had to say about his third album, released last fall: "I just want people to get some kind of comfort from it. Especially the people who have gone through some kind of break-up. When I went through the break-up, I really looked for some kind of music, or art or literature that could say, 'I've been in the same situation.' I couldn?t find anything the moment, and that made me really sad."

Naturally, we hope that none of us will be going through a breakup at the OFF Festival, but don't we all like to shed a tear while reminiscing about past relationships both failed and happy to the sounds of charmingly delicate melodies?

Travel and Accommodation
There are regular cheap flights to from the UK and Europe to Katowice with Wizz Air, Ryan Air, Lufthansa and KLM.

Katowice has a broad range of accommodation, from cheap hostels to luxury hotels, but you can also live the festival life 24 hours a day at the OFF Festival Village, providing you with a place to stay, take care of sanitary needs, and grab a bite to eat.

Metronomy, The Antlers and more for Off Festival

And if that’s still not enough, the American electropop duo High Places, the British producer/visionary Andy Stott, and Beneficjenci Splendoru (who are not robots, despite rumors) invite you to the Radio 3 Stage.

An electropop machine designed to get you on your feet. Patented in the English town of Devon in 1999 and led by mulitinstrumentalist and showman Joseph Mount. Their third and latest album, The English Riviera, serves up a handful of club hits that no proper party can do without, and has also garnered critical acclaim, culminating in a nomination to the prestigious Mercury Prize. But their live performances are where Metronomy truly shine. The group has become a hot item for remixes as well, collaborating with such artists as Gorillaz, Franz Ferdinand, Goldfrapp, and Lady Gaga.

The Antlers

“Our goal was to bring people with us as we navigate different waters of sound. To invite people into this world that we were working on as a group of three people enjoying what we were discovering about music and about songwriting and about making a record,” said The Antlers leader Peter Silberman about the premiere of last year’s album Burst Apart. This Brooklyn-based indie rock outfit has managed to win over festival audiences at Primavera and Lollapalooza, as well as the critics at Pitchfork, who awarded Burst Apart the “Best New Music Label,” and Drowned in Sound, who proclaimed it 2011’s best record (“albums are rarely as unashamedly, gut-wrenchingly, genuinely emotional as this”.)

Bardo Pond

Founded in 1989 by the guitar-wielding Gibbons brothers, the American group Bardo Pond is one of those bands that has cultivated and developed its own form of psychedelic, exploratory rock. Rightly considered the leading representatives of a space rock movement known as Psychedelphia, Bardo Pond have released eight official albums along with countless EPs and limited-edition jam session recordings. Reviewers have pointed out echoes of early Pinky Floyd in their music, as well as the influence of cold krautrock and noise rock. It’s hard not to give in to the hypnotic qualities of this music at live performances.

Shangaan Electro

Dog, whose real name is Richard “Nozinja” Mthethwa, was a cell phone repairman up until recently. Now he’s a publisher, producer, and the shining star behind a new style of music whose popularity has spread across Africa and the entire world. What launched Shangaan Electro from Limpopo in South Africa to trendy Western clubs was its explosive combination of ethnic elements and dance music played at breakneck tempos. If the prospect of dancing to a marimba at 180 bpm sounds enticing, then this concert just might be the highlight of your OFF Festival experience!

Mikołaj Trzaska plays Rose

Mikołaj Trzaska, co-founder and sax player for the band Miłosc, and later the leader of Łoskot, is one of the most significant figures on the yass scene, responsible for the last important revolution in Polish independent music. He has worked with such artists as Tymon Tymański, Marcin Swietlicki and Andrzej Stasiuk, Yuri Andrukhovych and Ken Vandermark, and has boldly crossed boundaries in genre and culture. His performance at the OFF Festival will feature the beautiful soundtrack to Wojciech Smarzowski’s stirring film Rose, live for the first time ever. The concert will be a continuation and development of a project that starts off with the OFF Club (Katowice, May 11-13), where Barn Owl, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, and Tim Hecker will perform the music to movies by Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal, Sergei Parajanov, and Werner Herzog.


Apteka may be Polish for "pharmacy", but this is one drugstore that isn’t going to leave you feeling any better. Despite his 30 years on the rock scene, Jędrzej “Kodym” Kodymowski – the frontman of this Tri-City band – has lost none of his former radicalism. The band’s excellent new album, Od pacyfizmu do ludobójstwa, is not only Apteka’s most furious release since their cult album Menda, but also their most artistically accomplished record since. Supporting Kodym in the studio were Agim Dzeljilji of Oszibarack (production) and James Morton, who performs with Portishead. But there will be no room for nuance on stage: Apteka live is a consistently psychedelic and punk rock punch in the jaw.

High Places

Mix a handful of intelligent 80s electronic music with a dash of contemporary indie-psychedelica: that’s the recipe for artistic success used by the NYC-founded but California-based duo High Places. The tracks served up by Mary Pearson and Rob Barber might bear faint echoes of the The Knife and Xiu Xiu (with whom they even shared a split record), but these original sounds are much brighter, more open, and fun. Just check out their latest album, Original Colors, released last fall on the legendary Thrill Jockey label, and see for yourself.

Andy Stott

Though small, the Manchester label Modern Love has already earned a following among fans of new electronic music. No wonder they decided to open their doors to Andy Stott — a producer with quite a reputation already — who breathed new life into dub techno with his 2011 release Passed Me By. We’ve already featured Actress at the OFF Festival, and now it’s time to meet the guy who threw the gauntlet down before him.

Beneficjenci Splendoru

Until recently, it seemed that Beneficjenci Splendoru would never step outside the home fortress of musician and journalist Marcin Staniszewski, remaining an exclusively studio-based project, albeit one praised universally for their debut Trendywaty chłopiec and their sophomore release Tęczy wybielacz, both of which garnered enthusiastic reviews. Luckily, it turns out that Beneficjenci Splendoru’s hermetic avant-pop will have a live incarnation, reinforced by vocalist and multiinstrumentalist Iza Lamik, drummer Robert Alabrudziński (Daktari, Strange Brew), and guitarist Wojtek Bubak (Lachowicz, Sensorry). This is one concert you just can’t miss.

Due to circumstances beyond the events control, the band Swietliki will not be performing at the OFF Festival.

Line up so far

Africa HiTech, AfroKolektyw, Akron/Family, Alva Noto, annb: alva noto & blixa bargeld, Andy Scott, Apteka, Atari Teenage Riot, Bardo Pond, Baroness, Battles, Baxter Dury, Beneficjenci Splendoru, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Colin Stetson, Connan Mockasin, Container, Converge, Das Racist, Death in Vegas, Dominique Young Unique, Fennesz & Lillevan, Forest Swords, Henry Rollins, Iceage, Iggy and The Stooges, Jacaszek, Josh T. Pearson, Kanal Audytywny, Kim Gordon & Ikue Mori, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, kIRk, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Matthew Herbert, Megafaun, Metronomy, Mikolaj Trzaska gra ‘Roze’, Mordy, Nerwowe Wakacje, Nils Frahm, Nosowska, Other Lives, Papa M, Pietnastka, Retro Stefson, Shabazz Palaces, Shangaan Electro, Sleep Party People, Spectrum, Suicide, Swans, The Antlers, The House of Love, Thurston Moore, Ty Segall.

New acts announced for Off Festival

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.

Nerwowe Wakacje
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.

Henry Rollins
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.

Papa M
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.

Forest Swords
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.

Swans, Battles and more for Off Festival 2012

Swans’ 2010 return to the studio and stage was inevitable. Few bands in rock history have had as much influence on guitar-driven music from the mid–90s onward: from My Bloody Valentine, Godflesh, Neurosis, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor to Sunn O))); from shoegaze and post-rock to industrial metal and drone — the Big Bang that took place in New York in the mid–80s left its mark on innumerable projects. Many years have passed since Swans’ full-length debut Filth, and the term No Wave is now familiar mostly to avid readers of popular music history textbooks, but one thing hasn’t changed: the inspired determination and divine insanity with which noise prophet Michael Gira and his bandmates perform their onstage ritual. It’s likely that OFF Festival audiences will hear tracks off the group’s upcoming album, currently in the works, titled The Seer. If you do decide to venture up close to the stage — Swans’ magnetic pull is hard to resist — take our advice: don’t forget your earplugs.

Rare is that band that can worthily be called a leader and a true innovator on the alternative scene after the release of just two albums. This New York group, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, has succeeded in this difficult art. On the one hand, the musicians in Battles have brought in their virtuosity and the experience gained in previous projects (such as Helmet and Don Caballero), and on the other hand, they’ve assumed an attitude of complete openness to new challenges, as made evident by Battles’ second release Gloss Drop (2011) and the concerts that followed, including the latest edition of the legendary festival All Tomorrow’s Parties, curated by Battles.

Kurt Vile and The Violators
No, “Kurt Vile” isn’t a cheap pseudonym. Hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, this long-haired bard owes his perfect combination of first and last names to his music-loving dad, who also gave him his first instrument: a banjo, so that Kurt could play bluegrass and country. But while the influence of these genres is still evident in his music, Kurt’s latest work is more reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen. Not literally — the similarity lies in their eclectic approach to music. On the one hand, Kurt has remained faithful to folk traditions, but on the other, his arrangements and styles reveal sounds more rooted in the world of alternative guitar music. No wonder his latest album, Smoke Ring For My Halo (2011, Matador Records), won universal acclaim from fans and critics.

Baxter Dury
Perhaps things would have been easier if he had just followed in the footsteps of his famous father, Ian Dury, but Baxter isn’t one to take the easy way out. His latest and third album, the critically-lauded Happy Soup, is an intimate confession by a mature and sensitive guy. Maximum results with a minimum of means. “With each listen you’re more and more absorbed by and into his own world,” warns one BBC reviewer.

After the disbanding of the cult group Spacemen 3, one of the most important projects in the history of psychedelic rock, Jason Pierce went his own way under the name Spiritualized, while Peter Kember began recording and performing under such names as Sonic Boom, Experimental Audio Research, and Spectrum. The OFF Festival will host that last incarnation. The group’s noisy yet colorful sound and astonishing formal range — from catchy pop tunes to improvised drones — led My Bloody Valentine to choose Spectrum as the perfect support band for their 2009 comeback tour.

Ren Schofield has been sparking the interest of astute experts on American underground music since he launched his own label, I Just Live Here, to self-release cassette tapes filled with original, lo-fi electronic music, but it wasn’t until until he came out with an album, simply titled LP (Spectrum Spools), that the whole world took notice. Ren hails from Nashville, but he sounds like a native of Detroit. If Burial’s far-out sounds were a distant echo of rave, then Container offers a similarly detached reminiscence of Detroit techno. It’s hard music to dance to, but it’s easy to forget where and whom you danced with.

Pre Party
Unfortunately Diamond Rings will not be performing at the August 2 before party and taking their place will be Nils Frahm, the Berlin-based composer and producer known for his melancholy, meditative music based on austere piano sounds. True nighttime listening for fans of ambient and contemporary music.
Pre Party Line Up: Matthew Herbert (One Pig) + Alva Noto (Katowice Centre of Culture), Nils Frahm + Sleep Party People (Hipnoza Club). Please note that the capacity of the Hipnoza Club is limited and entry is on a first come first served basic.

Four Day OFF Pass – 32 EUROS
Pass for all concerts (2nd-5th August 2012 – no camping)

Four Day OFF Pass + Camping – 41 EUROS
Pass for all concerts (2nd-5th August 2012 – including camping)

Pre Party – 18 EUROS

Pass for all concerts on 2nd August only. Matthew Herbert (One Pig) + Alva Noto (Katowice Centre of Culture), Nils Frahm + Sleep Party People (Hipnoza Club). Please note that the capacity of the Hipnoza Club is limited and entry is on a first come first served basic.

Buy tickets here

OFF Festival announce Iggy and the Stooges, Death in Vegas

Taking place in the beautiful green oasis of the 'Three Lake Valley' in Katowice from 3rd to 5th August, OFF is a boutique music festival with an ethos of supporting art and music.

Says festival artistic director Artur Rojek “We didn’t expect to win at the Festival Awards Europe, but it means so much to us.  We are really excited about this years festival and we hope to make it extra special as a thank you to all the fans, artists, friends and sponsors who have supported us during the last 6 years.

This years event will also include pre parties on 2nd August giving festival goers the Chance to enjoy some of the cool party venues around the city. Matthew Herbert will perform at One Pig, Alva Noto  at Katowice Centre of Culture, Diamond Rings  and Sleep Party People  at the Hipnoza Club.

Tickets for the 2012 OFF Festival are available now from only 32 EUROS!


Iggy And The Stooges
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to announce that Iggy and The Stooges will perform at the OFF Festival! Pleas of their loyal fans have not gone unheard. They’re coming so that we can try to outscream Iggy during “Raw Power,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “Search and Destroy.” They’re coming to show the youngsters playing the OFF Festival stages how it’s done. Iggy and The Stooges – pioneers and punk-rock legends, synonymous with on-stage antics and the sheer vital force of rock and roll. Oh, how we want to be dogs right now – announcements like these truly deserve a howl of joy!

Iggy and the Stooges

Ministry and Nine Inch Nails are good bands. Depeche Mode – same thing. But only at a Suicide concert will you see and hear the wellspring of inspiration for these bands. Punk aggression mixed with the inhuman coldness of the synths and the haunted, terrifying vocals of Alan Vega – Suicide’s visionary output is mandatory listening for any punk rock fan, and seeing them live might be a scary experience. In Vega’s own words: “Someone once said that Suicide was the most punk band in history, because even the punk hated our guts.” Are you sure you’re up for it?

Death In Vegas
Heirs and continuators of bold experiments of bands such as Neu! or Throbbing Gristle, only that their volatile mixture of techno, rock, and psychedelia has conquered the hearts of critics and connoisseurs of underground noise but also took dancefloors by storm. They went on hiatus in 2004 after releasing “Satan’s Circus” because Richard Fearless felt he needed to play some rock and roll in New York. Now he’s in London, heading Death in Vegas again. In 2011, the band released their new album, “Trans Love Energies.” Which basically means that during their show you’ll feel that energy, fall into a trance, and love it…

Black Face
Chuck Dukowski, one of the founding members of hardcore pioneers Black Flag, plus Eugene Robinson, the singer from Oxbow, the flagship of Californian noise avant-garde. Can we really create a better recommendation than that for the new band created by both these gentlemen? Well, they surely created one – their debut single, “I Want to Kill You.” The title speaks volumes about the band – they really sound like they’re trying to kill us.

This crew from Copenhagen debuted only a year ago with they wickedly intense album “New Brigade” – a hardcore punch thrown from the dense, smoky abyss of noir rock. They’re often compared to Fucked Up, who invited Iceage to join them on tour. During their shows, the band is a real live wire. That was made clear last fall when they played a few clubs in Poland and will be on full display for all the fans to see during their performance at the OFF Festival.

Colin Stetson
Colin Stetson is a Canadian jazzman who plays a huge bass saxophone. That’s not enough for you. The list of artists he collaborated with includes Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, LCD Soundsystem, and The National. Still not enough?! He’s latest album, “New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges” was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and was included in Pitchfork’s “The Top 50 Albums of 2011” list. The magazine’s reviewer admitted that the album “sounds like nothing else I've heard.” 

Four Day OFF Pass – 32 EUROS
Pass for all concerts (2nd-5th August 2012 – no camping)

Four Day OFF Pass + Camping – 41 EUROS
Pass for all concerts (2nd-5th August 2012 – including camping)

Pre Party – 18 EUROS

Pass for all concerts on 2nd August only. Matthew Herbert (One Pig) + Alva Noto (Katowice Centre of Culture), Diamond Rings _ Sleep Party People (Hipnoza Club). Please note that the capacity of the Hipnoza Club is limited and entry is on a first come first served basic.

Buy tickets here

Travel and accommodation
There are regular cheap flights to from the UK and Europe to Katowice with Wizz Air, Ryan Air, Lufthansa and KLM.

Arriving at Katowice/Pyrzowice airport  – take the bus marked "Lotnisko" to the Katowice train station (Dworzec PKP) and then  transfer to one of the below lines.

Buses from Katowice train station (Dworzec PKP):
– to the Muchowiec airport (OFF Festival grounds) – lines 0 and 50.
– to the Trzy Stawy bus stop (shopping center, 500 meters from the festival grounds) – lines 10, 110, 672, 674, and 910.

Katowice has a broad range of accommodation, from cheap hostels to luxury hotels, but you can also live the festival life 24 hours a day at the OFF Festival Village, providing you with a place to stay, take care of sanitary needs, and grab a bite to eat.  The Festival Village at OFF Festival Katowice 2010 will open August 5 at noon, and close on August 9 at 3:00 pm. A stay at the Festival Village costs 4 € (16 PLN) per person, per day.

Check out this documentary about Off Festival below: