Sacrum Profanum / 9-17.09
Where: Across Krakow
Tagged: contemporary classical, post-rock, electronica
When the Sacrum Profanum festival rolls around every September, it never fails to impress with its programming – particularly with its final night at the industrial warehouses of Nowa Huta’s communist-era ArcelorMittal plant. Previous headliners have included some real heavyweights like Aphex Twin and Kraftwerk. The rest of the Sacrum Profanum week is typically made up of exploratory sound clashes between contemporary classical composers and avant-pop electronica acts. All a wonderful concept in theory, but things do seem to be getting a little repetitive these days. Contemporary groups Alarm Will Sound, Bang on a Can Allstars, Klangforum Wien, are all undoubtedly top talents with some stunning musical tricks up their sleeves – but we’ve seen them all before at Sacrum Profanum. Similarly, Poland is no stranger to Ninja Tune’s roster – since the 90s the label has gained a cult following here. This means that we’ve seen plenty of visits from the likes of DJ Food, DJ Vadim, and even more recently King Cannibal – all of whom will be playing at Sacrum Profanum. However, it’s always welcome to see Ninja Tune’s Polish representatives Skalpel make an appearance. Their recordings are required listening for anyone interested in digging deeper into Poland’s modern music history. Finally, let’s not forget about the stars of the final two nights in Nowa Huta – Icelandic post-rock superstars Sigur Rós, and one of the most recognizable names in contemporary classical music – the Kronos Quartet.
Pol_On / 11.08
Where: Rozrywki 3, Mikołajska 3
Tagged: tech house, deep house, minimal
It’s impossible to follow the development of Polish club music without coming across the name Pol_On, who along with the likes of Catz n Dogz and SLG have cemented the tech house sound that Poland has become best known for lately. Pol_On is Kacper Bogacz and Michal Piotrowski, a duo who have managed to release an impressive discography of glitchy, yet soulful club tunes on respected labels such as Get Physical, Systematic, Freerange, as well as Polish labels such as Pets Recordings. Taking a break from their busy international DJ schedule, Pol_On are doing it local tonight in Krakow’s Rozrywki 3.
The Best of KSM / 12.09
Where: Lizard King, Św. Tomasza 11
Since June 2011, Krakowska Scena Muziczna has been bringing together local bands and proving to the world that here in Kraków we know how to create and play good music. They have recently released their first CD compilation of Kraków bands, and now Krakowska Scena Muzyczna presents the ‘best of the best’ on stage at Lizard King. The cycle begins in September with Straight Jack Cat, a group of musical perfectionists who define their music as noisy stoner garage rock, and Rusty Cage, whose music has many faces, but mostly oscillates around hard rock guitar noises. Doors open at 8:30pm.
ZOMBOOM / 14.09
Where: Kombinat Club, ul. Dajwór 16
Tagged: electronica, neurofunk, darkstep
The legendary Kitsch, Łubu Dubu and Caryca have survived Armageddon! They have all moved to the newly opened Kombinat Club, where a new era begins. The event ZOMBOOM vol. 4 promotes the heavy electronic sounds that have always filled Caryca’s dance floor. A great place to be for all lovers of peculiar rhythms and sonic trance. You will hear all kinds of neurofunk and electronica, with a dash of trash. Doors open at 10pm.
Cezik / 14.09
Where: Klub Zaraz Wracam Tu, ul. Miodowa 51a
Tagged: YouTube sensational pop-rock
With nearly 90,000 followers on Facebook, millions of hits on YouTube, and yet not a single released album to his name, Cezik is one of Poland’s best examples of an internet-age musician. His home-made videos show not only Cezik’s musical talent but his impressive creativity, performing on household items, singing songs in reverse, or crooning along with multiple versions of himself across the screen. There’s no doubt his solo show will certainly be an amusing adventure into both music and technology.
The Ills / 15.09
Where: Kawiarnia Naukowa, Jakuba 29-31
Tagged: post-rock, instrumental, shoe-gaze
A visit from a band like The Ills to a venue like Kawiarnia Naukowa can mean only one thing – the summertime live music draught is officially over, my friends! I love to see the return of fresh-faced, young European bands like the Ills to the diminutive dive that is Naukowa – a venue which doesn’t seem to give a single damn about what’s hip, booking obscure punk and noise or whatever else suits their fancy. Don’t miss the club’s latest pick, the Slovakian post-rockers The Ills. As you can hear at ills.bandcamp.com – their influences range from The Cure, to This Will Destroy You.
Dirty Beaches / 23.09
Where: Rozrywki 3, Mikołajska 3
Tagged: lo-fi, bedroom rock
Referencing the sampling of hip-hop and the ambiance of filmmakers such as Wong Kar-Wai, Dirty Beaches makes lo-fi music which has been described as “Elvis Presley relics recorded through the wall of a skeezy motel”. Dark and moody, it’s visceral stuff, recalling the emotional sounds of American bands like Xiu Xiu. The Taiwain-born Canadian typically performs as a one-man band, but will be joined by a guitarist and percussionist for his autumn tour. Check out his latest, critically acclaimed album Badlands, released last year, for a taste.
Loose Wire Presents: Fortified Vol. 3 / 27.09
Where: Forty Kleparz, ul. Kamienna 2-4
Tagged: rock, post-punk, blues
The Fortified concert series, hosted by Krakow’s Loose Wire music label, returns this month with yet another fine selection from Poland’s rock music rainbow. Local blues-folk four-piece Smingus (formerly known as Don’t Ask Smingus) are the night’s Loose Wire-reppin’ hosts. Up and coming post-punk band, The Pleasure Is Mine, will show what Krakow’s cool kids are up to. They claim to have sprouted up from indie nights at the legendary and now-defunct B-Side club, which earns instant points from this writer. Finally, alt-country rockers St. James Hotel, hailing from Katowice, close the bill. Tickets 15 PLN.