Passes for Unsound 2015 sold out in ten minutes. Quite a feat for a festival and even more so considering that the line-up was kept entirely secret prior to the sale.
Since then some of the line-up has been announced, but keeping with this year’s theme of surprise, many acts will remain secret until they are up on stage.
As it stands, the programming is one of the most diverse we’ve seen with screenings, installations and panel discussions interspersed alongside eclectic music performances. This includes a field recording workshop with a surprise guest, Laraaji’s Celestial Sound Immersion and “Peace Garden” yoga sessions and Ephemera – a multisensory project linking sound, scent and vision. Panel discussions include Club Culture(s) featuring Aurora Halal and Zara Wladawsky from New York’s Sustain-Release and Rupinder Pahar from verymalelineups amongst others.
There is also an element of surprise in the format of the festival, with many artists performing in unexpected places or in unusual combinations. The ‘Revelations’ event perhaps the most unconventional, taking place deep inside Wieliczka, a salt mine dating back to the 13th century. The only artist announced for the event is Dj Richard who will provide ambient soundscapes as people descend down into the mine. Keeping with the original venues, German electronic musician Max Loderbauer will perform in an aesthetically suited 19th century water supply building at the pre-Unsound concert alongside Poland’s Jacek Sienkiewicz.
Hotel forum will house the larger club nights with Thursday’s ‘Invisibility Cloak’ including performances from Holly Herndon, Surgeon and a closing set by Dj Nobu. Friday’s ‘Convergence’ will see the pace ramping up with Low Jack, Nina, Levon Vincent, Zenker Brothers and Optimo all hitting the decks, whilst Helena Hauff will be united with a surprise collaborator.
Saturday’s ‘Night Vision’ will feature three world premieres from Jlin, Visionist and Rabit & Kuedo, all accompanied with specially commissioned visuals. Andy Stott and Untold will both perform live shows and Dj Bone is set to close. Room 2 includes a DJ set from Galcher Lustwerk, and live sets from Aurora Halal as well as Tin Man & Gunnar Haslam. Warsaw-based club night Brutaż will host room 3 which opens earlier in the night for a speed dating session and Sunday’s closing party remains mostly secret apart from The Black Madonna, who will perform a 3 hour set.
According to Unsound, the aim behind their theme of surprise this year is to “play with preconceptions about festival formats, live performance, and the very idea of going out to see music.” The surprise will be refreshingly welcomed.