OFF Festival 2015: First Acts
Growing in prominence year on year, OFF Festival is renowned for it's forward-thinking, eclectic music policy. From the greatest alternative music stars to showcasing artists from the increasingly strong Polish scene, it has inspiring music in abundance.
Run the Jewels, the greatest sensation on the hip-hop scene in recent years, and Sunn O))), the band that gave new meaning to the term “extreme metal,” The Julie Ruin, Girl Band, Jacek Sienkiewicz, and Kristen: come see them all August 7–9 in Katowice.
Run the Jewels
The best rap debut of 2013? That would be Run the Jewels. The best hip-hop record of 2014? Run the Jewels, again. And this duo’s power reaches far beyond the world of hip-hop: RtJ2 made it to number one on Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2014. New York’s El-P and Killer Mike from Atlanta are an odd couple: they differ wildly when it comes to temperament, style, and language, but that also means they complement each other perfectly as they provoke, inspire, and broaden the limits of their genre. If you don’t see Run the Jewels in the top spots of all the hit lists, that’s only because their flavor of hip-hop is way ahead of its time.
Stephen O’Malley has been here before: he appeared at the OFF Festival two years ago with his project KTL and took charge of the Experimental Stage for a day. We’re thrilled to have him back again, especially since he’s returning to Katowice with his loudest band (literally and figuratively). Sunn O))) blurs the boundaries between aesthetic and physical experiences in music: their take on drone metal is a fulfillment of the apocalypse, the most extreme musical sensation that today’s humans (and their technology) can handle. And if that weren’t enough, these Americans record excellent albums, like their most recent opus Monoliths & Dimensions, or last year’s collaborative sensation, Soused, a joint effort between the band and the singer Scott Walker.
The Julie Ruin
The claim that the history of punk rock was written by men simply isn’t true. And if you don’t believe us, just watch The Punk Singer, the award-winning 2013 documentary about Kathleen Hanna, leader of the legendary band Bikini Kill. Or come see her new act The Julie Ruin, who were supposed to appear at the OFF Festival last year, but couldn’t make it due to the artist’s health problems. But they’re sure to be here this time! The Julie Ruin features a Kathleen Hanna that isn’t as raw and furious as she was in the 90s, but their record Run Fast (Dischord) is a great post-script to the story of the Riot Grrrl scene and bands like Sleater-Kinney, Heavens to Betsy, and Bratmobile.
As the name suggests, Girl Band are four guys that will give you hearing loss along with renewed faith in the future of noise rock. These Irishmen will enchant you with their frenetic, hypnotizing numbers that sound like Sub Pop’s golden age mixed with krautrock and the gloomy flippancy of The Birthday Party. They’ve got three enthusiastically received (and sold out) singles and a full-length debut in the works. And a show at the OFF Festival.
One of the biggest names on the Polish electronic scene and its ambassador in clubs all around the world. Taking inspiration from the Detroit and Chicago scenes, Sienkiewicz gave new form to techno in Warsaw and Berlin clubs. Now he’s in the big leagues, releasing records on Cocoon – the label owned by German electronic legend Sven Väth – but he still hasn’t forgotten his roots, and supports young, promising artists through his own label, Recognition. He’s performed his intelligent dance music at the world’s leading events, and now we’re happy to welcome him to the OFF Festival.
We once again have the pleasure of inviting you to a performance by these criminally underrated veterans of Poland’s independent music scene. Kristen has spent nearly two decades drifting on the stormy waters between garage rock, psychedelic rock, and improvised music, to the delight of connoisseurs and to the envy of fellow musicians. Their seventh album, The Secret Map, is impressive in its maturity and versatility – the kind few artists in Poland or abroad could boast of.
OFF Festival 2015 Tickets
Tickets are now available for 200 PLN at the OFF Shop.
The price of a camping spot is 60 PLN, with an additional night (August 6/7) for 20 PLN.