|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2012)|
The first Unsound festival took place in 2003. It currently occurs towards the end of October and lasts around one week. Starting out as an event focused on Polish audiences, in recent years it has rapidly developed to gain international attention. In 2010, the festival developed its program around the theme "Horror, the pleasure of fear and unease," followed up in 2011 with the theme "Future Shock," inspired by the 1970 book by futurist Alvin Toffler.
In February 2010, Unsound cooperated with local partners in New York such as the Wordless Music series, Bunker and Electronic Music Foundation to create a 10-day satellite event involving music, film, workshops and panel discussions. The second edition of Unsound Festival New York took place in April 2011, and a third is slated for April 2012.
Unsound has also worked on projects in other countries, especially in the region of Eastern Europe. In particular, Unsound has worked with partners in Minsk, Belarus, to create mini-festivals and collaborative projects. Unsound has also worked with Berlin organizations, such as Club Transmediale and ~scape records.
Unsound has produced many collaborative and commissioned projects. These include the Warhol Series, where live electronic and experimental music is played as a "soundtrack" to classic silent Warhol films. Artists involved in this project include: Carl Craig, nsi., Groupshow, Stefan Németh and the video artist Lillevan. According to the Unsound website, the "series refers to Warhol’s own extensive use of pre-existing material to create something new, as well as the 60s multimedia event The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which used Warhol’s film work as moving wallpaper projected onto a wall and musicians from The Velvet Underground."
Another commissioned work is "Solaris," by Ben Frost and Daniel Bjarnasson in cooperation with Kraków's Sinfonietta Cracovia. Accompanied with visuals by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson, this piece premiered at Unsound Kraków in 2010, and was performed at Unsound Festival New York 2011 at Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center.
Unsound is also known for its "Bass Mutations" nights, which have taken place in Kraków and New York as part of the festival, and focus on evolving and fractured forms of bass-heavy club music.
Unsound is a founding member of ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound).