Cloud Nothings, Glass Animals, Fire!, Dope Body, Rudy Zygadlo… Friends of the festival know that the OFF lineup isn’t all big stars and filler bands; it’s a unique opportunity to discover excellent new music. From hipster r’n’b to gloomy hippie metal to chaotic noisepunk: OFF has it all!
Released last year on Carpark Records, Attack on Memory catapulted Dylan Baldi’s Cloud Nothings from his parents’ Cleveland basement onto the major league indie rock scene. In a rare example of unanimity, both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone put the Steve Albini-produced album on their 2012 end-of-year lists. It’s hard not to be swayed by their furious yet melancholy – and simply good – songs. Their new material is said to be more aggressive, but we’ll have to wait until the festival to find out for sure.
The Skull Defekts feat. Daniel Higgs
Although founded not so long ago, in 2005, The Skull Defekts from Sweden have already earned a cult following and are being called Scandinavia’s The Ex or even Sonic Youth. And while the band may share its punk roots with the latter, they recognize no stylistic boundaries. They’re coming to the OFF Festival with new material off of their 2011 record Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey), and will be playing with underground prophet Daniel Higgs on the microphone. Their joint performance will be followed by a solo show by Higgs.
A Baltimore-based quartet launched in 2008 during a series of noisy jam sessions that gave birth to an original music style that melds hardcore, punk, noise rock, and extreme metal. Their second release, Natural History, was met with rave reviews, but the band is best known for its crazy, out-of-control concerts.
A Swedish supergroup that bravely navigates the margins of contemporary jazz and alternative music. Matsa Gustafsson (saxophone, Fender Rhodes, electronica) is best known for his work with Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, and Merzbow. Johan Berthling (bass) is a key figure on the Swedish improvised music scene and has played with such acts as Tape. Andreas Werliin (percussions) is the backbone of Wildbirds & Peacedrums. Together, they create music that could never have a better name than Fire!
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
“Imagine the original Alice Cooper band jamming in a cell with early Black Sabbath and the Stooges, whilst sitting on murder charge,” raves the band’s music label, and we think they’re onto something. The newly-released record Mind Control by Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats takes inspiration from the music, words, and imagery of the times when we discovered that drugs weren’t as safe and hippies weren’t as nice and innocent as we thought they were.
Autre Ne Veut
Arthur Ashin, performing under the pseudonym Autre Ne Veut, writes pop music where David Byrne walks hand-in-hand with Rihanna. Autre Ne Veut’s latest record, Anxiety, will charm you with Ashin’s vocal range and unique compositions. The Weekend need to start watching their backs.
An Oxford quartet that cut its teeth on the same concert circuit followed by Radiohead years earlier. Last year’s EP, Leaflings, intrigued listeners with its original sounds and extraordinary atmosphere, while their latest single, Black Mambo / Exxus, Glass Animals’ debut on the Wolf Tone roster, is another step forward for this excellent band.
He may have Polish roots, and he may have grown up in Glasgow, but he lives in Berlin, still the perfect place to make the kind of music that takes inspiration from numerous periods and genres. Last autumn he released his second album for Planet Mu Records, titled Tragicomedies, thus proving himself to be one of the most original representatives of a generation that has the soul and sensibility of singers-songwriters, but favours electronic modes of expression over acoustic guitars.
In the spooky space between witch house and ambient lie the scare drones and enticingly melancholy melodies of Holy Other, a mysterious traveling producer – both literally and metaphorically, through his music – who splits his time between Berlin and Manchester. If he bases his live show off of last year’s Held, this will be the most atmospheric concert of the festival.
Kuba Ziołek (Ed Wood, Tin Pan Alley, Alameda Trio, Innercity Ensemble) go against the grain, passing by enormous fields of folk, distant krautrock swamps and dark black metal forest before arriving in a land that few have heard of in Poland, and even fewer have played in. The album Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem has rightfully garnered the best possible reviews, and not just in the Polish media: The Quietus recently listed it among the best albums of 2013 so far.
Founded in 2010 by Ola Bilińska (known for her work in Muzyka Końca Lata and Płyny) alongside Szymon Tarkowski (Płyny, Pustki), Hubert Zemler (Piętnastka) and Maciej Cieślak (Ścianka). Borrowed from the title of a novel by Andrzej Stasiuk, the travel-themed name is suggestive of what Babadag really has to offer: the influence of different cultures and the sound of exotic instruments writing the new musical fairy tales and legends we heard on their Lado ABC debut.
They recently rocked crowds at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, so we think they’ll manage at the OFF Festival. Fuka Lata is a Warsaw duo featuring Lee and Mito. Their psychedelic, unreal synth-pop will hypnotize you and get you in the mood to dance even if you’re not the sort of person who misses the 80s. The band’s latest EP, Electric Princess, only proves our point.
We Draw A
Yet another interesting project on the Brennnessel label, after Kamp! and Rebeka. The Wrocław electropop duo debuted in April with the EP Glimps, a twenty-minute portion of hypnotizing dance music. The album may have been recorded in their bedroom, but it’s a perfect match of dance floors around the world.