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Different Sounds 2018 – what was on

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Atari Teenage Riot, Saul Williams, Lech Janerka, Glitterbeat Records, the most interesting artists from Eastern Europe, a panel on the contemporary significance and condition of protest songs, debut concerts and international collaborations and on top of all that literary meetings, exhibitions, cinema and music workshops. This is how in one sentence we might announce this year’s edition of East of Culture – Different Sounds, which is going to take place between 28 June – 1 July 2018 in Lublin.

Among the stars of this year’s edition, we will hear one of the most acclaimed pioneers of funk – George Clinton who will perform together with an over twenty-piece band, Parliament Funkadelic. In the music world, the term “living legend” is often overused, especially nowadays when every other young performer aspires to this title as early as after releasing the first album. The list of genuine music legends and icons is very short but George Clinton is definitely on this list. Member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, keyboardist, vocalist, lyricist, music producer will perform in Lublin on Friday 29 June.

At the turn of June and July at East of Culture – Different Sounds we will also see digital hardcore pioneers, the iconic Atari Teenage Riot. Their concerts offer  powerful electronic sound, punk themes and spectacular visualizations. They have fused guitar punk and hard core with heavy electronics, thus creating the foundations of a new genre. Additionally,  they weave in elements of hip hop, breakbeat, noise and even disco as well as powerful anarchic and anti-Nazi content.  Just like George Clinton, the Berlin-based group will come to Lublin to give the only concert in Poland.

Another incredible experience will undoubtedly be the performance of Saul Williams – the leading artist of the contemporary New York scene, poet, musician, rapper, writer and actor all in one. Saul Williams is one of the most important and influential voices of contemporary America. His art has reached, among others, the White House, the Sydney Opera, Louvre and Lincoln Centre. In Lublin we will see his solo act and it will certainly be one of the defining moments of this year’s East of Culture – Different Sounds.

Every year, an important part of East of Culture – Different sounds is the presentation of a record label that stands out in the worldwide music market. This year, we have picked Glitterbeat Records, one of the most important and dynamic labels specializing in vibrant African and Arabian sounds and contemporary music. This music will be presented by four bands. We will hear powerful messages by Chirs Eckman, Murat Ertel and Hugo Race of Dirtmusic, the lively band Baba Zula, desert trance performed by Ifriqiyya Électrique and electronic beat combined with North African folk performed by Ammar 808. The concerts will be accompanied by an exhibition, a stall with the label’s unique items and a panel discussion with its founders -  Peter Weber and Chris Eckman which will be moderated by the music journalist Rafał Księżyk and the music manager, the director of JazzArt festival in Katowice – Martyna Markowska.

After many years of absence, Lublin will once again welcome Lech Janerka, one of the icons and one of the most mysterious and original personalities of the Polish music scene. An important event at East of Culture – Different Sounds will also be the debut performance of the Danish-Polish collective Afenginn & Bastarda, a musical encounter between the Copenhagen-based Afenginn and the Warsaw-based trio Bastarda  signed with the label Lado ABC. The latter will perform twice because on the last day of the festival they will perform live their original soundtrack to the movie “Earth” directed by Aleksandr Dovzhenko.

The list of Polish artists closes with a new project of the titans of alternative music from the Polish Tricity, that is the trance band Rito largely based on rhythm, primordial energy and vital forces and Wczasy featuring wild electronics.

An interesting offer for the seekers of different sounds will definitely be the crazy band led by Igor Krutogolov, performing under the telling name – Igor Krutogolov’s Toy Orchestra. In the opinion of many experts, they are the best band to play using toy instruments. We will see miniguitars, toy drums, clarinets and accordions, toy pianos and rattles which Toy Orchestra uses to make real magic happen.

We will also see representatives of the young generation of artists from Eastern Europe. This year, Eastern European performances will open with two Ukrainian based – Sinoptik, playing hard, expressive stone rock and OY Sound System  fusing hip hop, electronic and club music. Ukrainian representation is completed by Alinda, combining post rock, elements of metal, prog rock and even ambient and electronics. At this year’s Different Sounds Belarus will be represented by Super Besse who are taking western music markets by storm. These Minsk-based artists refer strongly to cold wave and new wave, while also making trips to post punk and electro.

At this year’s East of Culture – Different Sounds which is taking place in the year of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence, celebrated in Lublin as “Lublin 1918-2018. Freedom inspires us”, we will present a special music programme consisting of protest songs, that is rebel songs characteristic for various eras and moments in the history of the world.  At the concert “Songs of Protest”, together with all artists invited to the project, we will try to answer the question which has been asked in the music world for the past several years – what has happened to contemporary protest songs and do contemporary artists still rebel? If so, what do they rebel against, what language do they use and how do their content and message reach the listeners?This project is taken up by Follow the Rabbit Orchestra formed especially for Different Sounds. The orchestra is led by Ola Rzepka (Drekoty) and consists of musicians from such bands as 100nka, Graal and features Gaba Kulka, Natalia Pikuła and Marsija Loco.

This year’s festival is brimming with debut projects and events, and the next one of these is the dance and music mystery play “And we are opening the gates”. This production is led by the outstanding guitarist and composer, Raphael Rogiński. For this international project, the artist has invited two dancers – Helena Ganjalyan from Armenia and Talya Balikcioglu from Turkey along with Adam Witkowski, known, among others, from the band Nagrobki. In this concert – play they will explore the topics of equality among people, the problem of exile and migration as well as social, ethnic and cultural belonging.

Like in the past, an important element of East of Culture – Different Sounds is Music IN cycle, a presentation of artists from Lublin’s music scene. This year, we will feature two well-known bands with a following in Lublin – Naczynia as well as Plug&Play –significantly, both will present new material. On top of that, we will see the avant-garde duet Pasożyty and We are Polarized – a new band on Lublin’s scene, representing black art wave. We will also see the nearly 10-piece band Mikroelementy, consisting of famous Lublin musicians, including Jerzy “Słoma” Słomiński, Karol “Kolor” Gadzało” and members of the band Sekta Denta.

 Aside from music, which other than on stages will be also available at Indie Labels’ Fair, the festival also consists of movie screenings, discussion panels and exhibitions. Within this year’s Move East Movie cycle, we will hold screenings of Ukrainian animated films for children and adults which were produced in Ukrainian studios over the years, contributing to the formation of a rich and interesting history of Ukrainian animation.

We will also have panels and debates with writers, artists and intellectuals from Eastern Partnership countries. This year within Eastern Express we have published six new books in Polish:  Kateryna Babkina’s “Sonia”, “Andrij Lubka’s “Pokój do Smutku”, Hałyna Kruk’s “Wakacje nad Letą”, Julia Cimafiejewa’s “Cyrk i inne wiersze”, Oleksandr Bojczenko’s “Wasi, nasi oraz inni” and Mykola Riabczuk’s “Poprzednie życie”. The series of literary panels will open with Mykola Riabczuk’s voice on difficult love, literature, Eastern Europe and “Real Europe”. The programme also  includes debates about Ukraine, the most recent literature from Eastern Europe and the dilemmas of translators.

At Different Sounds, we will also see the exhibition “Street life – 19th century Georgia in Dmitri Yermakov’s photography”. Yermakov is considered the pioneer of ethnographic and social photography in the Tsarist empire. We will also present the effects of a documentary project by Yevgen Nikiforov who since 2013 has been visiting all regions of Ukraine to photograph local works of monumental art and determine their history (exhibition: “Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet mosaics”). It is also worthwhile to see “Yellow & Blue – the portrait of contemporary Ukraine”, an exhibition of posters created by Ukrainian illustrators which uses visuals to show traditions, locations and features of our Eastern neighbour that are not easy to find in guidebooks.

The youngest audiences will have a chance to take part in “Little Different Sounds”, a series of workshops prepared especially for them to allow then uninhibited fun with sounds.

During the festival, we will also hold the training series “Music IN”, addressed to the music industry. It is a kind of an incubator for artists, managers, promoters as well as producers and animators of music events. “Music In” offers them an opportunity to take part in a series of inspiring workshops which will provide them with tools to develop their careers in the music industry.