This years edition of Unsafe+Sounds wants to investigate the interrelatedness of the fundamental changes in our enviroment and aesthetics, and look for apt noises for our disturbed existence.
At Wotruba Church (this week, August 18-19) and Das Werk (August 27-28), the relationship between touch, sound experience, and a sense of connection will be reflected on collectively.
As always, the festival gathers (still) undiscovered names, but also already known figures of the experimental music scene with transgressive and obscure approaches. We asked Shilla Strelka, the festival’s founder and curator, to introduce a few artists and pick out some standout sounds.
Anthony Linell is a Swedish musician and one of the founders of the influential label Northern Electronics, together with his colleague Varg. Formerly known as Abdullah Rashim, he is revealing the close but often overlooked relation of Techno and Ambient, as he is a producer and DJ in both genres.
Lucy Railton is a trained cellist who is working at the intersection of acoustic and electronic music, with releases out on Modern Love or GRM. Her sounds can be quite harsh, but also very subtle. I think she’s one of the up-and-coming artists in her field, known for her regular collaborations with Kali Malone, Stephen O’Malley, Beatrice Dillon and the likes.
KMRU is an artist from Nairobi, who is currently based in Berlin and one of the protagonists of the African experimental music scene, who has released on labels like Editions Mego. Joseph is focussing on Ambient music and has a very imaginative approach, using spectral coloured synths and infiltrating enigmatic field recordings in his soundscapes that are as deep as they are beautiful.
Caniche is known for her uncompromising rave sets. She is part of the female DJ initiative Push that focusses specifically on harder and faster aspects of techno music, building an international network for exchange and support. For her open air set at Wotrubakirche, she has prepared a special ambient set.
I discovered the Finnish producer and DJ Sansibar this year and was instantly thrilled. His sound carries the heritage of early Detroit Electro, referring to acts like Drexciya and Cybotron, combined with elements from IDM and breakbeat. I could listen to his tracks on repeat.
Gischt is Ventil records labelhead Ursula Winterauer. Ursula is realizing Unsafe + Sounds with me – I couldn’t do this festival without her. Her sounds are settled somewhere between Industrial, Dark Ambient and Slow Techno. She is working with bass guitar which enables her to dive deep into the sub-bass spectrum and her sounds have a certain cinematic quality to them.
PLF is the new trio of extreme vocalist Freya Edmondes, also known as Elvin Brandhi, electronic musician Peter Kutin and drummer Lukas König. It’s three masters at work here. Last time I’ve seen them they sounded a bit like Melt Banana, harsh and powerful, on the other hand they are working very conceptually. They will have a light show prepared, so it is going to get really confrontational and it is their pre-release show, as their debut album is going to be release via Opal Tapes this autumn.
I know Markus since a long time and have followed his very diverse musical output over the years. He is busy working at the theatre, performing with Mermaid & Seafruit, as well as he is playing this very expressive solo-sets where he is combining elements of various genres, like Metal, Grime, and Broken Beats. Markus will present material from his upcoming EP, that will be released via Oxyorange in the next months.
I love Schirin’s style. Eventhough she recently moved to Berlin, she’s the real hardcore queen of Vienna, fusing Hardstyle, Trance, and Gabber. Her sets are explosive and highly energetic, leaving a sweaty and euphoric crowd.
Full line-up and time table is already online on the website of Unsafe+Sounds.