Summer music season, like summer movie season, can feel, well, repetitive. It’s blockbusters and popcorn fare, both ways. But there are some diversions from that narrative. And one is the award-winning festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka, in Katowice. That town is building on its industrial past, literally – the festival takes place on the site of a coal mine. But it also suggests a new direction both for electronic music and Poland itself.
Now in its eleventh edition, Tauron Nowa Muzyka is reaching beyond its normal premises. And this makes a perfect excuse to talk about raw source of fresh energy on the artist side, too.
Tonight, Tauron Nowa Muzyka is for the first time reaching beyond Poland to get some attention, starting tonight in Berghain.
Warning: animated GIF ahead. (though if “Venetian Snares” didn’t put you off this headline, I expect you can take it)
Headlining is none other than Venetian Snares. And now that Winnipeg-born artist, turning 40 this year, has new sounds for us, yet again. Let’s drop all the dumb names for what Aaron Funk does and just say he is a force of dynamic power befitting a former power plant as a stage. There’s a new record out from him on Bandcamp, last bastion of weird music for consumption, and it’s best described I believe as “frenetic hyperactive odd-meter sequenced synthesizer dancing.”
It seems worth getting in on the next vinyl pressing; the first one sold out. You could use it, for instance, in place of anti-depressants or caffeine.
But part of why it’s worth mentioning this artist in the context of the festival in Katowice is the collision with unique music coming from Poland. And whereas countries like Poland can sometimes fall back on looking to their western neighbors for models to copy, here are artists forging their own path.
Take RSS B0YS – who have delighted Berlin before by way of Unsound programming transposed to CTM Festival.
Disguised in top-to-bottom lace burkas, the mysterious RSS B0YS deconstruct club and folk music alike. The results are dirty, surprising, and impossible to categorize.
Joining them tonight in Berlin is a similarly genre-smashing good time, NERVY, who combine unruly, angry electronic blasts with live horns. It sounds like what happens after the singularity, when the AI machines decide to take over your college marching band and come after you to kill you, or at least to throw a really amazing party and then kill you.
Amidst the madness, it’s all beautifully composed stuff.
Sensing a pattern here?
And all of this insanity works on dance floors and on club PAs. It’s a reminder that we can escape four-on-the-floor “my washing machine just added a metronome now dance until you hurt” monotonous torture and, you know, get a bit crazy and actually have a good time.
In other words, it’s perhaps time to come out of those mines and have fun.
Just as a thought.
And it makes me especially happy that this revolution might bridge Silesia and Poland with Manitoba. Thank you, Internet – we hate you some days, but you still just might make the world a better place for music.
Hope to see you tonight and stay tuned for what they’re cooking up in Katowice.