Can’t wait for the next OFF Festival? Neither can we. And the worst part is just before the event, when you’re not counting the days and weeks anymore, but the hours… We know that some of you will be coming a day early to get your musical fix, and that’s why we’re having a “before party” with an all-new format, curated by the legendary All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, on Thursday, July 31.
The festival gets its name from the song by The Velvet Underground. Barry Hogan, the man who came up with idea for ATP, says he wanted it to be an antidote to huge corporate musical events. ATP wasn’t meant to attract crowds; instead the point was to focus on top-notch alternative music and offer audiences an experience that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Anyone who’s ever sampled the unique vibe of ATP – be it in the winter, at England’s seaside resorts, or at guest performances in London, New York, and Reykjavik – had to expect that its paths would one day cross those of the OFF Festival.
Says Barry Hogan from ATP: “We are thrilled to be hosting ATP@OFF this year. It’s an event we have admired for many years and it’s clear that Artur is cut from the same cloth as us at ATP. We look forward to more collaborations in the future.”
Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever in this part of Europe, the legendary ATP will be collaborating with the OFF Festival. Come down to Katowice a day early and join us at the ATP@OFF before party – you’ll remember this one for years to come!
Hipnoza Club: Dean Wareham + Amen Dunes + Adam Repucha
Kinoteatr RIALTO: Loop + Dirty Beaches + Normal Echo Evangelical Protestant Church: Earth + Eugeniusz Rudnik
KATO.Bar: DJ sets by Barry Hogan (ATP), Fra Soler (PrimaveraSound) + Artur Rojek (OFF Festival).
Tickets available at our webstore www.offshop.pl as well as at Seeticket and Festicket. The KATO.Bar party is free.
Watch some of the best bits from 2013…
In the beginning there was drone. A sustained, distorted sound that wouldn’t quit. It all sounded like Black Sabbath on whatever drugs The Velvet Underground were taking. It sounded like Godflesh covering La Monte Young. In a word, it sounded awesome. And very garage-y. And loud. Hailing from Seattle, Earth quickly earned a faithful following and soon sparked a drone trend. They inspired the likes of Sunn O))), Boris, and even Jim Jarmusch in The Limits of Control. As their popularity grew, Dylan Carlson and his band changed their style, tilting towards 1970s British folk. For the past year Earth has been working on material for the new album. Carlson jokes that it’s going to be his mid-life crisis record. Whatever the repertoire he brings to the Evangelical Protestant Church, it’s bound to be hypnotic.
Balancing somewhere between space rock, shoegaze, and psychedelic rock, this band truly knows no boundaries. Their music echoes sounds of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Faust, and The Stooges, but Loop never earned the popularity they deserved. They recorded album after album in the shadow of the exploding shoegaze scene and their kin in Spaceman 3. Now, their hard work has paid off, and the south London band is making a glorious comeback. Suffice it to say that Loop curated last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, and this year’s Roadburn in Holland. Their task in Katowice will be simpler: we just want them to launch us into outer space.
Rudnik is among the pioneers of electronic and electro-acoustic music in Poland. As a sound engineer and director at the world-renowned Experimental Studio at Polish Radio, the artist has worked with the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Arne Nordheim. He appears to learned much from these encounters, as his own achievements as a composer are no less outstanding. Recorded in Europe’s leading electronic studios – including Cologne, Paris, and Stockholm – Rudnik’s pieces have been featured at numerous international festivals. The Polish composer saw his popularity rise again in 2009, with the release of a special box set of his pioneering work. The album flew off the shelves. If you want to get a chance to hear an icon of the Experimental Studio, don’t miss this event.
Four years ago at the OFF Festival we hosted the duo Damon and Naomi, two musicians from the legendary act Galaxie 500. This year the famous slow-core trio’s singer and guitarist, Dean Wareham, is coming to Katowice. The New Zealand-born musician has had a few other projects in the meantime, but his Silesian performance is going to feature also songs from the Galaxie 500 repertoire. His warm, reverb-heavy songs were the perfect combination of the dreamy sounds of Slowdive and the US-born melancholy of Low and Codeine. Galaxie 500’s songs are perfect proof of the fact that you don’t have to complicate things to pass the test of time.
Born in Taipei, currently living in Montreal: it’s no wonder that the songs Alex Zhang writes deal with refugees, travelers, and characters who rarely get to enjoy the warmth of the family hearth. What’s more surprising, though, is how Dirty Beaches spins his tales. Using both loops and live instruments, Zhang builds compositions that take you on a tour of rockabilly, lo-fi, and no-wave. Sound familiar? Yes, it looks like the successor to Suicide was born in Taiwan.
Damon McMahon’s somewhat introverted and claustrophobic sounds have earned him comparisons to such outcasts as Jandek, Skip Spence, and Alastair Galbraith. But the figure whose music resonates best with the work of Amen Dunes is undoubtedly Syd Barrett, who shares McMahon’s lo-fi production style, hypnotic voice, and psychedelic guitar style that takes you on a trip through the work of electric folk. For Amen Dunes, music has frozen in time. Or, perhaps more precisely, it’s escaped time altogether.
Dawid Szczęsny is back two years after the last release by the band Niwea. With over a dozen years on the intelligent electronic music, the artist is making quite a surprising reappearance. Normal Echo, his new incarnation, borrows heavily from cold wave esthetics. Raw, mechanical beats mesh perfectly with the direct, shouted lyrics. At his Katowice performance Szczęsny will be promoting the album Private Behaviour, released earlier this year on the label Latarnia.
To fans of the Polish independent music scene, Adam Repucha’s debut record amounts to what Chinese Democracy was to fans of Guns’n’Roses. The songwriter from Białystok is in no hurry to release his album, preferring instead to test our patience. You’re unlikely to hear him anywhere outside a concert setting, as Repucha avoids the media and doesn’t promote his work online. So far only Vincent Moon has had any luck getting him to open up. The French director famous for his “Take Away Shows” was awed by the honest simplicity of Repucha’s work. We don’t know when the artist plans on making another appearance, so we recommend you come to see him at his show in Katowice.
DJ sets by Barry Hogan (ATP) + Fra Soler (PrimaveraSound) + Artur Rojek (OFF Festival)
Along with the bands listed above, the ‘before party’ will also feature performances by DJs. And these aren’t some random disk jockeys. Joining forces in Katowice will be the creators of Europe’s strong alternative brands. Come to KATO.Bar to hear original sets by Barry Hogan (ATP), Fra Soler (PrimaveraSound), and of course Artur Rojek, artistic director of the OFF Festival.
A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place annually in August in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia. OFF Festival is a way of life, one that flies in the face of current trends and stays true to itself, and the ethos of organiser Artur Rojek is firmly aimed at supporting art and music with the festival bringing many acts to Poland for the first time.
Growing in prominence year on year with this years event promising one of the strongest line-ups to date in line with Rojek’s forward-thinking, eclectic music policy. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to showcasing artists form the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF has inspiring music in abundance.
Over the years, OFF has amassed its own demanding yet appreciative audience who come to witness Artur Rojek’s musical vision come to fruition. Having gained and a well deserved reputation in Poland and abroad, it’s not without reason that it has been said and written that OFF is the best alternative festival in this part of Europe and the only place east of Berlin where one can catch a glimpse of the boldest and eclectic acts on stages worldwide.
As well as music, OFF features a number of accompanying events: film, art, performance and poetry. It’s also an event which keeps the environment in mind – all food and drinks come in environmentally-friendly packaging and there is a big emphasis on recycling. It’s a completely safe place, an event where diverse tastes and appearances are welcomed and where everyone is the same because everyone is different