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An experimental music/art/discussion workshop project in New York by Unsound. Read more

New York, NY Music
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An experimental music/art/discussion workshop project in New York by Unsound.

New York, NY Music
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Unsound New York
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Unsound New York

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Welcome to the future

UNSOUND FESTIVAL NEW YORK began with the aim of exposing new and adventurous music to different kinds of audiences, and to draw connections between styles, scenes and parts of the world that don't interact as much or as meaningfully as they should. The impetus came from Poland, when the founder of Unsound Festival in Krakow ventured to New York to find partners to produce a satellite event or two. After meeting people in New York and asking what might be worth trying in a city that does not lack for action on its own, a loose group of friends and organizers (some local, some from far away) started throwing out ideas—and that small event or two turned into a 10-day festival.

The reaction to the inaugural edition in 2010 was inspiring, with a diverse cross-section of the city responding to music that was unique, challenging, and purposefully mixed in terms of style and approach. Our hope was that followers of techno, art rock, classical "new music," experimental music and sound-art would meet and find something to like and learn from in each other's interests. They did, in ways even more rewarding than we had hoped.

The second UNSOUND FESTIVAL NEW YORK took place last year, again with events at venues including Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, BAMcinematek, Walter Reade Theater, Public Assembly, ISSUE Project Room, and others. The reaction was even stronger, the results even more inspiring.

As we gear up for the third full festival to come this April 18-22, a part of the project that we want to develop further, during the festival and throughout the rest of the year, is Unsound LABS. Like all the other components of Unsound in New York, the LABS idea revolves around a desire to expand the discussion and exposure usually afforded the kinds of art and artists we all like, admire, and respect. We've seen it happen in New York—from people showing up to talks about arcane subjects they didn't know about beforehand, to musicians coming together to perform in contexts outside their norm. We will continue to work to create scenarios that make happenings of the sort possible.

Thanks to all who have shown us support here. It means a lot. We ask you to help us one last time to get the word out—about the last remaining hours of our campaign here and about Unsound happenings yet to come.

Thanks again. —Unsound New York

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Prowl the East Village with a post-punk legend

We have a new backer reward offer for fans of secret New York history: Stuart Argabright, a downtown legend who has done pioneering work in the realms of post-punk, no-wave, new-wave, electro, and hip-hop (among others) with his groups Ike Yard, Death Comet Crew, Dominatrix, and Black Rain will lead a few special personalized walking tours around the East Village. His stories are legion, from hanging out in Tompkins Square Park with Jean-Michel Basquiat to Ike Yard playing with New Order in '81 at a legendary show at the Ukrainian National Home to Death Comet Crew hooking up with Rammellzee. You won't see the East Village the same way again!

Argabright will be performing a special collaborative concert as part of Unsound LABS under the guise of Black Rain. Check out two good bits of the rest of Stuart's prolific handiwork here...

This one is fun—behold the Bambino!

From Unsound headquarters in Krakow, a dispatch on the late, great Bambino (on offer for one lucky backer and, on the whole, a worthy embodiment of the Unsound ideal)...

THE BAMBINO
During the '60s and '70s in Poland, it was hard to get a stereo system. People used portable record players to play records and, even more often, "sound postcards"—a kind of flexi-disc with a picture on front and room for postage that was sent around by mail throughout the Communist Bloc. The most legendary of portable records players in Poland was the BAMBINO, produced by Fornica. Over the years, the BAMBINO changed its look, moving from a basic BAMBINO 1 to BAMBINO 2, 3, and 4, but the basic idea was always the same: a record player inside a suitcase, where the lid contained the speaker. These players were often the focal point of vodka-fueled apartment parties in the '60s and '70s—and more recently have been used by BAMBINO SOUND SYSTEM to create wild parties at Unsound Festival Krakow.

Check out the spirit they can summon still...

Three live recordings from which to choose...

Thanks to all for coming here in mind of supporting for Unsound LABS. We have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goal (help spread the word by telling your friends, foes, and fellow aficionados!), but we're very excited by the LABS program to come as well as how it all stands to expand if we can drum up the right kind of support. 

We wanted to present a few notes on one of the backer-rewards we have on offer: three exclusive Unsound live recordings from which backers for $45-and-more can choose. 

The three live recordings... 

THE WHALE WATCHING TOUR - live from Unsound Krakow 2010 and featuring Ben Frost, Valgeir Sigurdson, Nico Muhly & Sam Amidon - recorded at the Krakow Engineering Museum

SEX WORKER (aka ITAL) - live from Unsound Krakow 2012, recorded at the first ever Not Not Fun festival showcase in Manggha Museum of Japanese Art & Technology

JACASZEK - live from Unsound Krakow 2012, recorded in the Tempel Synagogue

All three were fantastic shows and will be available as recordings only to those who support Unsound LABS on Kickstarter. 

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Check out an interview on the Kickstarter blog about LABS

Check out a "Featured Creator" interview up on the Kickstarter homepage blog about Unsound LABS present and past. Thanks tons to the fine folks at Kickstarter for asking us to take part, and thanks in all abundance to those who have pledged support to us so far. Please help us spread the the word as we head into the final week of our campaign. Every little bit helps, and every little bit can go a long way toward making Unsound LABS work!

Here's a bonus outtake photo from last year's tour (mentioned in the interview) of the old site of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in Harlem. 

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