If you’re in Krakow, Poland in October, you’re in luck; DJ Lag – the self-proclaimed and supremely qualified Gqom King from Durban – will be gracing the stage(s) of Unsound Festival this year, as part of their globe-crossing ‘Dislocation’ project. The music-focused festival in Krakow takes on the format of a myriad different shows, installations and discussions, in a myriad different venues, including museums, warehouses, a former tram hall, churches, a synagogue and even a salt mine in previous years.
Leading-edge South African artists had a strong showing at last year’s events, including soundscape artist Angel-Ho (and NON label-mate Nkisi) and Shangaan Electro pioneer Nozinja. They performed amongst a variety of the world’s leading left-field music palette, including Rabit, Richie Hawtin and so many more. Although the focus of the festival seems to be electronic music, the programme manages to be decidedly multi-genre and includes the possibility of seeing interesting combinations of almost any instrumentation and artforms on any of the stages.
The Dislocation project seeks to explore “the collapsed relationship between periphery and centre, the shifting idea of borders, and the specificity of place.” They do this by exploring a variety of different localised subcultures around the world by showcasing some of the best examples or pioneers of those scenes. They have also stretched their influence by throwing iterations of the festival in other parts of the globe, as disparate as NYC, Batumi in Georgia and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, and as part of other festivals such as Toronto’s Luminato Festival and Australia’s Adelaide Festival of Arts.
This year they have included the much-talked-about gqom wave into the Krakow Special Dislocations project, which has been sweeping the country and certain forward-looking scenes globally.
Nan Kolè, Italian founder of the Gqom Oh! imprint that released a hugely critically-acclaimed compilation in January this year, will be performing along with the golden boy of gqom, DJ Lag.
Check out the announcement of the other first wave of acts, which also includes Chicago’s Traxman and GAIKA from the UK and so many more, and start saving up your Rands and sense to get to Poland in the second week of October.