SpaceFest! is gearing up for a new season. The sixth edition of this festival will take place on December 2-3. Gdansk will again become the intergalactic capital of Poland, presenting psychedelic music at its best with shoegaze, Krautrock and space-rock plus cosmic energy, intergalactic cats, forest goblins, psyched visuals, pagan disco and more.
Organized by Nasiono Records, this event is traditionally preceded by a week-long workshop for Pure Phase Ensemble, an ephemeral group created especially for the festival. While most festival events will take place at Zak Club, these musicians will rehearse at the Laznia 2 Centre for Contemporary Art in the city’s Nowy Port district, seeking inspiration amidst its post-industrial atmosphere.
This year, Pure Phase Ensemble will be fronted by a true legend: Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, espousing one rule – that there are no rules when making music. We can basically expect anything. Anton is teaming up with Emil Nikolaisen (producer, multi-instrumentalist and frontman of Serena Maneesh) for this project.
Anton Newcombe says, “It is my hope I can have a quick chat with everyone involved and get on the same page about how important silence can be. From there we can make everyone deaf… but I’m not interested in throwing everything at something then trying to remove everything in its own way. I would rather build wonderful beds of ideas, rythm, melody and work on Polish and English vocals when we can… I plan to switch between my keys and my guitars using one in open tunings if I can, and one standard… and get weirder… be heavy. and dreamy. but not pointless.”
Other Pure Phase Ensemble 6 members are from the following Polish alternative bands: Polpo Motel (Olga Myslowska), Jesien (Maciej Karminski), Oslo Kill City (Jakub Zwirello), Judy’s Funeral (Marcin Lewandowski) and Aiodine (Kacper Graczyk). The collective will also involve Nasiono Records’ very own Karol Schwarz (7faz, KSAS), who has been responsible for its musical cohesion from the very outset. Their output will be presented live on December 3, and will be recorded and released on CD in 2017.
The makeup of Pure Phase Ensemble is constantly changing, guided by the artistic vision of a new leader each year. Through workshop improvisation, the musicians produce a set of unique songs, Past participants include Mark Gardener (Ride), Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Ray Dickaty (ex Spiritualized), Steve Hewitt (ex Placebo), Jaime Harding (Marion), Chris Olley (Six By Seven), and Hugo Race (The Bad Seeds, The True Spirit).
This year’s concert delights include performances by Camera (Germany), Be Forest (Italy), The Third Sound (Iceland-Germany), DIV i DED (Czech Republic), MDME SPKR (Britain), and Polish artists Rosa Vertov, Wild Books, Lonker See, and The Fruitcakes.
Be Forest, a trio from the Italian city of Pesaro and a leading fixture in the modern shoegaze world, brings their hallmark sound to the festival. More shoegaze is on the menu from Czech shoegaze and dreampop outfit DIV I DED, building on the achievements of such groups as Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Slowdive, Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.
German trio Camera, who experiment with sound, composition, form and expression, are justifiably compared with 70s Krautrock icons like Neu! and La Düsseldorf, their music like a motor running at full throttle, where an explosion could occur any second.
The new psych scene is represented by The Third Sound, a band that has been dubbed “linchpins of the psychedelic underground”. Fronted by Icelandic singer Hakon Aðalsteinsson, formerly of Singapore Sling, this project was founded in Rome and has since relocated to Berlin.
London duo MDME SPKR transmit pure, raw energy on stage, while Lau Betti’s low, in-your-face voice emanates sincerity and freshness. Their sweaty, loud sound evokes L7’s grunge or the darkness of Black Sabbath. Polish band Wild Books also combine the raw sound of psychedelic punk with dreamy, fuzzy 1990s-style guitars, presenting material from their upcoming second album titled “2”.
The sound from Poland’s Lonker See oscillates around jazz, space rock and psych. It’s full of space, based on long forms, with ample room for improvisation. Through its annual competition for young bands, two other collectives will perform at SpaceFest! 2016 – Warsaw-based Rosa Vertov, an all-female band playing dirty, disturbing shoegaze, and The Fruitcakes, whose music is inspired by the late 60s San Francisco psych scene, the Canterbury scene, and the psychedelic aspects of the contemporary Australian scene.
SpaceFest! also presents DJ sets from UK-based DJ Ola’s Kool Kitchen and DJ Pomponette, who will deliver spaced out and psychedelic dance music sets, and Snowid – a mystical forest creature and the festival’s informal patron, presenting a wild mix of disco, psytrance, electro and dubstep.
SpaceFest! is organised by the Nasiono Association in cooperation with the Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art and Zak Club. The festival is co-financed by the City of Gdansk. Tickets are available from Soundrive Tickets and Zak Club(Grunwaldzka 195/197, Gdansk)
Day tickets are PLN 35 (preorder) and PLN 45 (on the door) / Weekend tickets are PLN 65 (preorder only).
For more information on the festival, visit www.spacefest.pl.
The program for this unique space expedition is as follows:
2 December 2016 | doors 7 p.m.
Rosa Vertov (PL)
Be Forest (IT)
Wild Books (PL)
The Third Sound (IS/DE)
Snowid DJ set (PL)
Ola’s Kool Kitchen DJ set (UK)
3 December 2016 | doors 7 p.m.
The Fruitcakes (PL)
Lonker See (PL)
DIV I DED (CZ)
MDME SPKR (UK/FR)
Pure Phase Ensemble ft. Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) & Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh) (US/PL/NOR)
Snowid DJ Set (PL)
DJ Pomponette (UK/FR)
Ola’s Cool Kitchen DJ set (UK)
SpaceFest! 2016 – Teaser: