John Foxx was arguably the most important figure in the synthesizer revolution of the late 70s and early 80s. He was the frontman for the early, more experimental Ultravox, whose mix of electronic noise, punk and art rock directly influenced the likes of Gary Numan and many others. Foxx then went on to record the now-classic solo album "Metamatic", its robotic sci-fi vision famously inspired by UK sci-fi writer J.G.Ballard, exhausted urban landscapes and automobiles.
In 2011 he released his new album "Interplay" with the Maths, east London synth archivist Ben "Benge" Edwards. As BBC wrote, "this album is the perfect synthesis of warm retro and cold futurism; of what the future used to sound like, what it turned out to be and what it still could be."
Perhaps John's lasting influence is felt now more than ever - the reason we've given John Foxx & The Maths their rightful place at the heart of Unsound's 2011 "Future Shock" program. They will perform material from their new album "Interplay", as well as classic songs from early Ultravox and John's "Metamatic" album. Already announced, Chris & Cosey are on the same bill.
Sun Araw's nocturnal sound fuses psychedelia, dub, drones and trippy blues in slow-burning tunes that have reviewers reaching for freaked-out dictionaries to find the right dank adjectives. The main man behind the project is the prolific Cameron Stallones, who was also a former member of Pocahaunted and Magic Lantern. Sun Araw will be strutting their stuff on an amazing bill with the previously announced Hype Williams and New Yorker Laurel Halo.
Just as Foxx was inspired by Ballard, so Laurel's work is as influenced by U.S. sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick as much as Steve Reich or Detroit techno. Working with synths, Laurel has managed to stand out from the pack with a unique, sensuous sound. Fact Magazine recently wrote of "Hour Logic" that it "sounds distinctly familiar, yet totally individual, and in this sense it really is a triumph."
Sex Worker and Ital are two projects from Brooklyn-based Daniel Martin-McCormick, who holds the rare honor of having performed at Unsound Krakow's first ever concert in 2002, as part of the legendary band Black Eyes. Sex Worker releases his screeching, contorted synth-pop jams on the wonderful LA label Not Not Fun - which we can now reveal is presenting a showcase at this year's festival. The Not Not Fun showcase so far also includes Dylan Ettinger. As for Ital, this project is put out by Not Not Fun's sister label 100% Silk - which gives a thrillingly weird take on "dance" music. (Daniel is also part of Mi Ami - a busy man!)
Fans of the more ambient side of contemporary music don't worry: Unsound will not neglect you. We have quite a few names coming up and for now can confirm Norwegian duo Deaf Center will be performing, after a superb show at Unsound Festival New York 2011 presenting their evocative music. Boomkat said of their 2011 release "Owl Splinters" that it is "like returning to a dream you once had, only this time you're awake and the dream is hauntingly vivid. Essential."
Cut Hands has also been added to the bill, a stunning meeting of noise and African percussion created by William Bennett, the man behind the legendary power electronics group Whitehouse. The debut Cut Hands album "Afro Noise I" was eight years in the making, and has garnered praise from around the world for its abrasive and atmospheric mix of machine and acoustic rhythm. It really sounds like nothing else around.
There is a lot more to come - so stay tuned! Next announcement coming very soon!