ADEL FESTIVAL OF ARTS 2014 – Unsound Adelaide – 7-8 March

Fest imageUnsound Adelaide returns with a mind-blowing line-up of electronic and experimental music pioneers alongside new faces on the international scene. In 2013 the inaugural Unsound Adelaide sold-out to a captivated audience.

The Adelaide Festival provided a showcase of cutting edge artists that, creatively, was a brave and progressive step for Australia’s arts and cultural festivals. The bar has now been raised.” – Resident Advisor 2013

Over two separate nights at the Queen’s Theatre and one unique evening at Adelaide Town Hall, festival goers will have the chance to experience emerging and established electronic music performances from Africa, Australia, Europe and the USA in another exclusive Adelaide Festival event.

The program includes the world premiere of Snowtown: Live with the Australian debut performance from Stars of the Lid (USA) and an exclusive line-up of new and legendary names in electronic music including: Morton Subotnick (USA), Nurse With Wound (UK), The Haxan Cloak (UK), Cut Hands (UK), Moritz von Oswald Trio featuring Tony Allen (GER/NGA), Emptyset (UK), Gardland (AUS) and James Ferraro (USA).

Adelaide Festival’s Artistic Director David Sefton said: “The First Unsound Adelaide in 2013 was a risky undertaking but people from all over Australia turned out in droves making it a sell-out success. It really tapped into Australia’s underground electronic music community. I never repeat anything when programming festivals but doing Unsound Adelaide again was a no-brainer”

Thursday, March 6 – Adelaide Town Hall

Snowtown: Live and Stars of the Lid (USA) with Zephyr Quartet and Friends

South Australian Jed Kurzel’s award-winning score for the controversial Australian film Snowtown was integral in creating the dark, claustrophobic mood. Now, the incredible composition and a selection of imagery from the film become a new work, performed live with a full band and string section in a world premiere event set to a backdrop of previously unreleased footage from his brother Justin Kurzel’s film.

Then in a rare live performance from one of the world’s most influential drone/ambient bands, Stars of the Lid make their Australian debut. Soundscapes composed from effect-treated guitars and hypnotic strings combine with video artist Luke Savisky’s mesmerising projections in this absorbing concert, performed with Zephyr Quartet and Friends.

Friday, March 7 – Queen’s Theatre

Morton Subotnick (USA), Nurse With Wound (UK), The Haxan Cloak (UK), Cut Hands (UK)

In his first ever Australian performance, pioneer of electronic music Morton Subotnick plays his iconic 1967 album Silver Apples of the Moon, the first electronic work ever commissioned by a record label. The ground-breaking music used oscillators, filters and early sequencers, and here Subotnick, at age 80, revisits the album on his classic Buchla synthesizer.

This enormous evening also unleashes Steven Stapleton’s legendary Nurse With Wound project which has been conjuring otherworldly atmospherics for more than 30 years.

Following the celebrated release of sophomore album Excavation, The Haxan Cloak (Bobby Krlic) brings his dark, hallucinatory sound to Adelaide, navigating the line between dread, silence and sonic onslaught.

Founder of cult sound-experiment outfit Whitehouse, William Bennett showcases his new weapon of choice, afro noise project Cut Hands.

Saturday, March 8 – Queen’s Theatre

Moritz von Oswald Trio featuring Tony Allen (GER/NGA), Emptyset (UK), Gardland (AUS), James Ferraro (USA)

Dance music and experimentation rise from the atmospheric depths of Unsound’s Friday line-up, featuring Moritz von Oswald, one of the most influential figures in modern electronic music, known as well as for helping define minimal and dub techno. His trio belongs just as much to jazz and contemporary classical and includes musicians Max Loderbaur (Sun Electric) and Tony Allen (the legendary drummer for Fela Kuti’s band Africa 70).

Bristol’s Emptyset make abstract techno, a meeting of noise, bass and silence that culminates in a pulsating storm of distorted frequencies. Their recent release Medium was recorded in an abandoned Victorian mansion and translates architecture into sound. Here they perform their intense and unsettling live show.

Meanwhile, Australians Alex Murray and Mark Smith, aka Gardland, are stars on the rise as they present their hardware-based projects – a kind of warped dance music that feels both mechanical and organic. Soak in the bass as Unsound Adelaide maps the electronic spectrum from dub to disorder and beyond.

On the same night, prolific artist James Ferraro plays his hypnagogic pop, a strain of lo-fi, 1980s-centric psychedelia.

Artist Biographies: 

Morton Subotnick (USA)
Electronic music and multi-media performance pioneer Subotnick worked throughout the 1960s with Don Buchla on what may have been (along with Robert Moog’s Moog Synthesizer) the first analogue synthesizer the Buchla 100 series Modular Electronic Music System. Subotnick also co-founded the San Fransisco Tape Music Centre and in 1967 Subotnick completed his first major electronic work, Silver Apples Of The Moon.

Nurse With Wound (UK)
Originally formed in 1979 as a band; the experimental, dark surrealist drone project Nurse With Wound became a solo work by founder Steven Stapleton in 1981. The earlier work with the band was heavily influenced by improvisation and 1970s experimental krautrock. By the early 80s, Stapleton’s work started focusing less on industrialism and noise, becoming more and more focused on creating works of abstract sound.

The Haxan Cloak (UK)
Bobby Krlic’s ultra-black project The Haxan Cloak involves music that is beguiling, unsettling and deeply mysterious.  His lightless and intimate soundscapes are indebted to dark, filmic motifs. His mysterious processes produce ethereal drones and often shocking sounds, from the nerve-jangling, near-infrasonic sub-bass fluctuations to shrieking strings.

Cut Hands (UK)
A project heavily inspired by William Bennett’s fascination for Haitian vaudou, deploying Central African percussion in radical new ways, generating an intense sound unrivalled in its physical and emotional intensity. The name was derived from the song Cut Hands Has The Solution by his original Whitehouse project. 2011 marked the Cut Hands debut release, the critically acclaimed and best-selling Afro Noise album, since followed by Black Mamba on Blackest Ever Black in 2012, and 2013’s incredible Madwoman on Downwards. The distinctive Cut Hands art aesthetic and design is provided by vévé artist Mimsy DeBlois, whose amazing paintings feature on several Cut Hands covers and live posters. Cut Hands music has also featured in many films including Siberia: Krokodil Tears (2011), Inside Syria (2011), Kings Of Cannabis (2013), Snoop Dogg’s movie Reincarnated (2012), and Julien Temple’s Glastonbury (2012).

Moritz von Oswald Trio feat. Tony Allen (GER/NGA)
A member of pioneering minimal/dub/techno outfits Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound, Moritz Von Oswald has assembled an all-star collection of musicians to form the Moritz von Oswald Trio. A unique concept in the world of electronic music, a live band that performs minimalist dance music, MVOT consists of Moritz von Oswald conducting Max Loderbauer and the legendary Tony Allen, who perform synthesizer and percussion duties respectively. The improvised music is steeped in von Oswald’s Basic Channel brand of minimal techno, paired with Allen’s skilful and hypnotic afrobeat rhythms and Loderbauer’s expert knob-twiddling textures.

As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Tony Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. He has also been described by Brian Eno as “…perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived.”

Gardland (AUS)
Gardland is the improvised techno project of Sydney sound-artists and founders of the label Hunter Gatherer: Alex Murray and Mark Smith. Recorded in the desert over an intensive ten day period, Gardland’s debut EP refines their elegantly wasted brand of live analogue techno. Their first full-length album, Syndrome Syndrome, which was released at the tail end of their first year together,  is full of off-kilter electronic music, deep sonic atmospheres and driving techno bass.

Emptyset (UK)
Emptyset is a bristol based project formed in 2005 by James Ginzburg, director of the Multiverse Studios and the curator and electronic artist Paul Purgas. The project explores the legacy of analogue media, integrating aspects of rhythm, signal processing and spatial recording within the framework of minimalist composition. Their work interrogates the perceptual boundaries between noise and music and the potential for both technology and architecture to embed and codify themselves within sound.

James Ferraro 
James Ferraro is an experimental musician, composer and electronic music producer born in Bronx, NY whose album Far Side Virtual was released by the label Hippos in Tanks in 2011. The album was chosen as Album of the Year by the UK’s Wire Magazine. Ferraro has released material under a wide array of aliases, and was a member of the Californian two-piece avant-garde project The Skaters.

Stars of the Lid (USA)
Formed in 1993, Texan cinematic drone duo Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride – Stars of the Lid – compose ambient soundscapes using effect-treated guitars, along with strings and horns. The result is highly introspective, and intimate soundtrack-to-a-fictional-world music which is difficult to pin down what it projects; the music could be crushingly sad, lightly melancholic, or even uplifting, depending on the state of mind of the hearer. Their music taps into the oceanic quality of shoegaze, dissolving boundaries between the listener and the listened-to.

Zephyr Quartet
Zephyr Quartet is a bold and adventurous Adelaide-based string quartet, delighting in the exploration of diverse music and forging dynamic collaborations. Since its inception in 1999 the quartet has shown a continued determination to expand the boundaries of art music and how it is received by audiences. A firm believer in the power of the string quartet as a medium to communicate and explore complex relationships between society and art, Zephyr has achieved an enviable reputation for artistic excellence, innovation and audience development.

About Unsound 
Since it began back in 2003 in Krakow, Unsound has become one of the world’s most praised avant-garde festivals, drawing together a wide range of international artists for a week of left-field and advanced music, often incorporating visual elements. Unsound New York began in 2009 missing only one year in that time: 2013, which is when Adelaide Festival exclusively presented the inaugural Unsound Adelaide. 2013 also marked the first year Unsound Festival headed to London.

With its HQ in Krakow, the festival has its origins in both Poland and Australia. Unsound was part of the Wagga Space Program from 2001 until 2006. Unsound is focused on international collaboration, using the festival as a tool for commissioning and fostering new work.

Presenting partner Adelaide City Council


Booking Details: 

Unsound Adelaide

Queen’s Theatre, Playhouse Lane

Fri 7 Mar 7:30pm
Sat 8 Mar 7:30pm

$30 – $59
Unsound Adelaide season ticket to Queen’s Theatre shows only $100

BOOKINGS: or BASS 131 246

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