It’s the only festival in Adelaide – Australia, even – where you’ll hear “militant space music” alongside glitch-y electronica and industrial noise alongside pop covers filtered through an “electrolatino” lens.
Unsound Adelaide is back – in its first year outside the umbrella of Adelaide Festival – running over three nights at Thebarton Theatre. The only Australian leg of Poland’s cult music festival will include two world premieres, 15 Australian premieres and 13 Australian exclusive performances.
Curators David Sefton and Mat Schulz have handpicked a hectic line-up of underground and experimental artists such as Australian AV king Robin Fox; New York’s one-woman noise project Pharmakon; the collaborative project of PAN Records head Bill Kouligas and Finland’s Amnesia Scanner; and experimental rock group Wolf Eyes, in their first Australian show in more than a decade.
There’s been criticism of Unsound’s male-heavy line-ups in the past. This year Sefton and Schulz are redressing the gender imbalance with a strong female presence including Berlin-based Holly Herndon, maker of futuristic, boundary-pushing pop; New York producer, promoter and visual artist Aurora Halal; Melbourne-based producer Corin; and Canadian electronic artist and ex-church organist Kara-Lis Coverdale.
One of festival’s more accessible entry points will be the Australian debut of Senor Coconut, an eight-person band reinterpreting classics of the ‘70s and ‘80s with Latin flair. Expect covers of Kraftwerk, Sade, Prince and Michael Jackson.
As always, the sets will be backed by a strong line-up of audio visual and performance art, from dazzling laser displays to drum acrobatics.
Following the concerts at Thebarton Theatre, Unsound will host a series of club nights at Fowler’s Live. The late-night sets will bridge different styles and genres of dance music, from the experimental edges of club culture to pulsing techno.
“When it was within the Adelaide Festival there were certain things we couldn’t do,” Sefton told Broadsheet in August. “Now that we’re a standalone festival we can do all of the things they do in Poland.”
The festival will open with a sound installation in the Botanic Gardens glasshouse. An inaugural talks program will be announced in the coming weeks.
Unsound 2017 is on November 16–19. Tickets are available now.