The Wire


New festival of experimental electronic music launching in Europe

A new experimental electronic music and digital arts festival dedicated to advanced sonic practices in experimental, electronic music and expanded sensations is launching in Europe. UnScene's inaugural theme is Sinister Emissions and it will take place in the city of Niedzdrow in Autumn this year.

Peter Brötzmann will be playing with his newly formed improvising group Horn 'O' Plenty, created after he disbanded the Chicago Tentet earlier this year. The new group includes Joe McPhee, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, Michael Zerang, Fredrick Lonberg-Holm, Hamid Drake, Jeb Bishop, Johannes Bauer, Kent Kessler and Mars Williams.

Also confirmed is a collaboration between national treasure Chris Watson and Icelander Ben Frost, who will present a cinematic sonification of the lifecycle of a psychedelic lichen unique to Iceland. Tim Hecker will be playing a version of Athanasius Kircher's Katzenklavier instrument, generated via custom Max For Live patches. Thurston Moore will be playing in a series of improvised sets where he will collaborate with every artist on the bill separately.

Demdike Stare and every member of the Modern Love roster will be collaborating on a live rework of the entire Radiophonic Workshop output, utilising an early answerphone voice synthesiser developed by Bell Labs. A recording of the set will be released immediately after the show on a limited run of hand-dubbed Betamax tapes with screenprinted artwork.

Matthew Herbert has been specially commissioned by the festival to develop a site specific performance investigating George Formby's forgotten years, where Herbert will be working with Rhys Chatham conducting an orchestra of 100 volunteer banjo players sourced from the local area, exploring the legacy of Formby's work via the discrete tonal differences in each of his instruments. Herbert has been granted special access to the Formby archive and will start work on the project next month.

The world premiere of James Ferraro's new crowdsourced durational opera will be performed, Snake, a tribute to the Nokia 3310, with a contemporary NY dance troupe playing the parts of the snake. The piece will be simulcast online using NetScape Navigator.

Occultic dark ambient electronic music producers who nobody has quite been able to tag, and whose names are largely interchangeable, will be soundtracking rediscovered classics of the oft-forgotten Czech Gothic-nasty genre.

Also on the schedule is a PAN label showcase.