OFF Festival Katowice 2017: Visionaries and Visions

PJ Harvey, Talib Kweli, Kwadrofonik i Artur Rojek, Helado Negro, Group A: the artists in this year’s OFF Festival lineup have almost nothing in common besides their courage and tenacity in pursuing their wildest visions.

PJ Harvey
She’s an outstanding composer, poet, multi-instrumentalist, and singer with a charismatic stage persona. She’s the one-of-kind Polly Jean, an artist whom we’ve admired for years in all her incarnations, from her early rough post-punk days to the more refined and intimate work on White Chalk and the inspired political folk-rock anthems on Let English Shake and The Hope Six Demolition Project. We’re impressed by PJ Harvey’s ambition to change this world by singing, and we’re sure she’ll convince many of us to join the cause in Katowice.

Talib Kweli
This Brooklyn-based rapper/activist first appeared on our musical radars as one half of the duo Black Star, which also featured Mos Def. Fifteen years ago Talib Kweli debuted as a solo artist with the album Quality, an apt title considering that the artist’s technical finesse and musical awareness are equalled by his social and political involvement. He has worked alongside the likes of Kanye West, The Roots, and Madlib, and contributed to the success of the young Kendrick Lamar. The ever-exploring Talib Kweli is among the most important and original names on the American hip-hop scene. This approach doesn’t always guarantee you a smooth ride to the top of Billboard charts, but we’re certain he and his band are going to feel right at home at the OFF Festival.

Kwadrofonik i Artur Rojek
Whatever it was that brought together Kwadrofonik, one of the most original and visionary bands on the Polish music scene, and Artur Rojek, the artistic director of our festival and a singer who draws inspiration from a range of alternative music traditions — it must have been extraordinary. Indeed: Industrial Symphony No. 1, composed by Angelo Badalamenti in cooperation with David Lynch (and featuring references to his films), is truly remarkable. This melancholy story of love, loneliness, and darkness is told through a dark musical transcribed by Kwadrofonik into the sounds of their own trademark instruments (piano, drums, marimba, synths). Artur Rojek lends his voice, replacing the original vocal parts by Julee Cruise. You’ll hear Industrial Symphony No. 1 at the OFF Festival, but be prepared for it to haunt you in your dreams…

Helado Negro
“Nobody sounds like him, in any genre.“ If sentences like these crop up in reviews of your album, then you know you’re getting somewhere. And true enough, Roberto Carlos Lange, the Florida-born son of Ecuadorian immigrants, proves on his last album Private Energy that he’s much more than a fleeting novelty: he’s one of the most original voices on the music scene in America today. His eclectic blend of the rich musical tradition of Latin America, dreamy electronic pop, and political activism produces captivating results. “It almost feels like he’s casting a spell on you” writes one Pitchfork reviewer. Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like.

Group A
This Berlin-based Japanese duo combines avant-garde music with poetry, performative art, and painting. Since 2012 the indomitable Tommi Tokyo (synthesizers, voice, percussion) and Sayaka Botanic (violin, tapes) have been exploring the borderlands of industrial, contemporary improvised music, techno, and noise, transforming every show into a musical and visual experiment.

Line up
Anna Von Hausswolff | BEAK> | Carla Bozulich | Daniel Johnston | Circuit des Yeux | Helado Negro | Group A | Jessy Lanza | Kikagaku | Kwadrofonik i Artur Rojek | Moor Mother | PJ Harvey | Silver Apples | SIKSA | Swans | Talib Kweli | The Black Madonna | Wolves in the Throne Room with more to be announced

About OFF
OFF is a festival for the discerning music fan and the place to discover the best alternative acts from around the world. A truly unique boutique music festival, OFF Festival takes place in ‘Three Lake Valley’, Katowice – a beautiful green oasis in the heart of industrial Silesia. OFF 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. OFF Festival’s reputation is growing year on year driven by the festivals forward–thinking, eclectic music policy and it’s bold and eclectic lineups. From the greatest alternative music stars from around the world to the increasingly strong Polish scene, OFF festival has inspiring music in abundance and the organisers and crowd have one serious finger on the pulse when it comes to music.

OFF Festival takes place from 4-6 August 2017. 3-day tickets from £52 available at off-festival.pl.

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