Guest curator announced + new line up announcements

Today we announce a further dose of exemplar, eclectic and extraordinary musical delights to the 2017 Supersonic line-up, scheduled to take place across three venues in the cultural hub of Digbeth, Birmingham during 16th to 18th June. We are delighted to announce a very special NAWA RECORDINGS record label showcase, presenting four of their artists, curated by label owner and multi-instrumentalist Khyam Allami.  Supersonic are also pleased to announce additions of PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS, LANIAKEA, GREY HAIRS, BIG JOANIE, FLOWERS MUST DIE, CASUAL NUN and MOHAMMAD. Read on to find out more about all the featured artists in this latest announcement…

NAWA RECORDINGS are a limitless label with their output of innovative, alternative, shape-and-boundary shifting sonics, founded in 2011 by the visionary multi-instrumentalist KHYAM ALLAMI.  Having released critically acclaimed albums by Maurice Louca, Alif, The Dwarfs of East Agouza and Allami’s soundtrack to Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid’s award winning debut feature film As I Open My Eyes, the label brings its newest artists to the UK for the first time in an eclectic quadruple-bill.  Khyam shall curate a striking array of Nawa artists during the Sunday afternoon of the 2017 edition of Supersonic Festival, in celebration of the festival’s longstanding relationship with the musician and label owner. All of the handpicked artists hone in on their own musical influences–spanning rock, psychedelia, gritty percussion, avant-garde, jazz, electronica – all are united by their exploration of genre-defying, improvisation-based craftwork that hail from the Arab world.

KAMILYA JUBRAN / WASL
A contemporary trio led by renowned Palestinian vocalist and oud player Kamilya Jubran with Werner Hassler (Trumpet, Electronics) and Sarah Murcia (Double Bass, Roland SH-101).

Two or The Dragon
Lebanese electro-acoustic/noise duo Abed Kobbeisy (Buzuq/Effects) and Ali Hout (Percussions/Effects)

Nadah El Shazly
Egyptian vocalist and composer combining abstract quirky electronics and sultry Arabic vocals.

Khyam Allami
The Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician/composer presents his latest series of improvisations on processed Oud, electronics and percussion.

We have added a further seven bands….more below!

LANIAKEA is Daniel O Sullivan (Ulver, Æthenor and Mothlite), Massimo Pupillo (Zu), Jessica Moss (A Silver Mount Zion) they draw on a rich tapestry of influences ranging from the plainchant of Hildegard von Bingen to Alice Coltrane’s vedantic tapes to the monolithic bass frequencies of Godflesh. With visuals by artist, Mark Titchner.

PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS has been a world-of-mouth phenomenon amongst the DIY scene, bringing their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone and riff-driven salvation to the masses.

GREY HAIRS hail from the fertile Nottingham DIY scene. Every song is like a miniature world in itself, taking unexpected twists and turns that mean just when you think you’ve got them pinned, they wriggle free.

BIG JOANIE is a black feminist punk band. In their own words, “We’re like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and riot grrrl with a sprinkling of dashikis.”

FLOWERS MUST DIE is a six-piece Swedish outfit pursuing an improvisation-based approach removed from the codified realm of contemporary psych.

CASUAL NUN are a hotwire fuse of intoxicating buzz, heavy psychedelic krautrock ruptures and spellbinding distortion.

MOHAMMAD have been forging their deep monolithic sound for the past 6 years, bringing together low frequencies, inter-modulations, dark textures, and distant folk nuances through custom made instruments and software.

In the next announcement…day tickets go on sale, and the final musical line up is put in place. Also still to come, news on the talks, workshops and more across the weekend.

Line up so far:-
Anna Von Hausswolff . Anonymous Bash – Charles Hayward + Gnod . Arbouretum . Big Joanie . Casual Nun . Colin Stetson . Dorcha . Electronica Wizard . Ex Easter Island Head – Large Ensemble . Flowers Must Die . Grey Hairs . Haress . Jenny Hval . Jessica Moss . Kamilya Jubran/Wasl . Kuro Maga . Khyam Allami . Laura Cannell . Laniakea . Melt Banana . Mohammad . Nadah El Shazly . Oxbow . Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs . Princess Nokia . Raime . Richard Dawson . The Space Lady . Tomaga + Pierre Bastien . Two or The Dragon . Xylouris White . Zonal (Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin) . ZU

TICKET LINK: supersonicfestival.com/product-category/tickets/

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The Space Lady Continuum

“This music has transcended genre, style and fashion, opening up hearts and minds along the way”The Quietus

The “outsider musician” label was created with her: Susan Dietrich, better known as The Space Lady, possibly the best known synonymous and feminine to Moondog; Susan began her career in the late 70s, just when she began walking on the sidewalks of Boston dressed exuberantly, sending messages of love and pacifism, accompanied by an accordion and making versions of some contemporary pop hits or classics of that time.

10 years later she moved to one of the cradles of America’s idealistic without prejudice: San Francisco. There she purchased a Casio piano, some effects and a microphone with which she managed to raise to a new level the street musical proposal of the area, and give to her speech a unique personality.

Her legend began taking some awareness in the past decade, when in 2000 Irwin Chusid included her in the compilation “Songs In The Key Of Z” dedicated to such extravagant and unknown figures like the Space Lady.

Earning a steadily growing cult following ever since, The Space Lady could show her music to the world. Since 2013, when Night School reissued the first official album of this particular artist “The Best Of The Space Lady”, Susan has shared stages with artists such as Dean Blunt, Mika Vainio or Julianna Barwick. and playing several festivals like Flow Festival, Incubate or Le Guess Who.

“Heart-warming, eccentric, and unselfconscious that attends to the fact that you don’t need ego and fancy gear to make great pop music.” – Dazed Digital

The Space Lady released last year a split EP with Burnt Ones, the Greatest Hits LP out in Night School will now be repressed and there will be a new record out later this year.

For an insight in to Susan’s mind and her fascinating life story, this interview with The Quietus is a must read [here]

“After a circuitous route of hitchhiking, commune-living, and psychedelic experimentation, I ended up in Haight-Ashbury just as the Summer of Love burst into full bloom. Eventually I hooked up with a hippie named Joel who was dodging the draft, and we went underground together – quite literally, in fact, while living in a cave on Mt. Shasta, up near the Oregon border. It was there we saw a UFO at close range, just above the treetops… and from then on we were convinced we were being watched, if not guided and protected, by aliens.” (The Space Lady’s Greatest Hits, liner notes, 2013)

The Space Lady has most certainly landed. And now, in 2017 at the youthful age of 69 she begins another lifetime and embarks upon a new adventure with a European Tour including Supersonic Festival this June (of course).

Help her reach the furthest corners of the Universe by visiting her GoFundMe page. And watch brand new material and cyber busking videos via her Patreon page and support her voyage for as little as $1 a month!

Supersonic ground control are preparing for landing.

Make sure you don’t miss this intergalactic event! 

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Ex-Easter Island Head: ‘Salford Large Electric Ensemble’

“Precise and pulsing rhythmic minimalism…a three chord punk mission statement turned into a neo-classical manifesto.”THE WIRE

Ex-Easter Island Hear are a UK based musical collective, composing and performing music for solid-body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments.

Primarily performing as a trio, the group incorporate multiple prepared electric guitars struck with percussion mallets to create works that explore group interplay, repetition and melodic invention through purposefully limited means. 

Their records Mallet Guitars One –Three, Large Electric Ensemble and Twenty-Two Strings have been released to significant critical acclaim from the likes of The Wire, Pitchfork, the Quietus and the New York Times. The group’s live performances at the likes of ATP festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and throughout the UK, Europe and Japan have been praised by The Guardian, Independent, BBC and more for their hypnotic energy, compositional flair and unique spectacle.

Large Electric Ensemble is Ex-Easter Island Head’s first piece for massed electric instruments and drums.

Following on from ‘Mallet Guitars Three’ for four guitars and three performers, Large Electric Ensemble sees the group expand to include twelve prepared electric guitars and drums to create a maximalist wash of amplified strings and droning overtones.

Commissioned by the first annual World Event Young Artist festival (WEYA) held in Nottingham 2012, the piece was developed alongside an ensemble of local musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds. Debuted at the festival and developed over further months, the piece was recorded completely live and with no overdubs across two days in March 2013.

“Skilfully balanced between methodical precision and emotional resonance, the result is a listen that is dynamic, rich and fluid despite the modesty of its parts.” THE QUIETUS

Following on from the critically acclaimed Mallet Guitars trilogy (2010-13) and Large Electric Ensemble (2014) and honed across high profile live appearances including the Stewart Lee curated ATP, Liverpool Psych Fest and the Edinburgh Fringe, ‘Twenty-Two Strings’ is the latest album from UK-based experimental trio Ex-Easter Island Head.

Utilising horizontally-laid electric guitars and bass, the group continue to develop their own distinctive musical language, eschewing digital processing and effects for a vocabulary of mechanical preparations and extended techniques, creating a sound drawing on minimalism, gamelan and process music.

Salford Large Electric Ensemble’

For Supersonic 2017, EEIH convene a gathering of their Large Electric Ensemble, comprising performers drawn from all corners of the thriving Manchester and Salford underground to present an ambitiously scaled work for sixteen prepared table-top electric guitars and percussion.

Utilising a self-developed language of extended techniques and mechanical preparations the piece sees the groups’ shimmering electrified minimalism expanded to a bold new scale, encompassing members of Gnod, ILL, Action Beat, Mother and tapping into the vast resources of talent at Salford’s Islington Mill and on the Manchester-based Tombed Visions label. 

It is imperative you DO NOT MISS this spectacle at Supersonic Festival 2017.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

http://www.exeasterislandhead.com/

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Kuro: Black Magic

Kuro feature the amplified talents of French violinist Agathe Max and bassist Gareth Turner, joined by Valentina Magaletti of Tomaga (drums) and Helen Papaioannou (baritone sax) for this Superspecial Supersonic performance.

Kuro take their name from the Japanese word for ‘black’, and their debut release for Rocket Recordings marks an experimental union between two diversely storied yet inherently like-minded musicians. Agathe Max, who hails from Lyon, is a classically-trained violinist with a varied back catalogue of studio and live work – running the gamut from spectral ambience to stately soundscapes and adept at summoning dream states and drama alike.

The Bristol-based Gareth Turner, meanwhile, maintains a busy schedule performing and recording with Rocket Recordings trio Anthroprophh (alongside The Heads guitarist Paul Allen) bass/drums duo Big Naturals, and his solo double-bass project Salope, as well as working as a touring tech for Melvins on their trips to Europe.

Yet despite both of these artists’ multi-faceted artistic lives, their partnership was both a natural progression and reflective of an intuitive chemistry. The result of their initial spark is perhaps both artists’ most coherent and captivating work to date.

The result is Kuro’s eponymous first outing, an elegantly sprawling and richly textured work of tumult and transcendence recorded by Joe Garcia (live sound wizard for OM and many others) in the duo’s home city. “An amazing sound engineer” enthuses Agathe of Garcia “He’s got a very good sense of space with sound. We used different sources of mics, with a room recording that would link all the others and give a warm and open touch.” 

A unique, richly atmospheric and largely improvisatory record that stands proud and defiant of pigeonholing, Kuro is neither elegant chamber music nor intense drone-noise, neither psychedelia nor spiritual jazz, yet with elements of all of the above- dwelling perhaps atop a psychic hinterland between the shamanic vortices of Ashtray Navigations, the wild extrapolations of Sun City Girls and the melancholic richness of The Dirty Three. Yet what comes across strongest of all is the original spark of the partnership, summoning altered states, meditative vibrations and internal narratives by the power of eight strings. 

“We wanted to create a journey for the listeners, to create an inner cinema with emotional landscapes, old time cults and stories of lost sailors” reckons Agathe. Indeed, though voyage appears to be only beginning, such is its momentum that any adventurous and self-respecting psychonaut would be well advised to hitch a ride. 

“At times her work approaches the supersonic escape velocity of Tony Conrad; elsewhere, she introduces delicate repeating threads, then  slowly weaves them into a fabric of vast, billowing sound more reminiscent of Steve Reich. With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max manages to create a remarkably accessible collection of tracks, one that bridges the gaps between minimalism, post-classicism, the avant garde, krautrock, and plain old-fashioned pop.” – Bookcat review.

Don’t miss this Superspecial performance from KURO at Supersonic this year!

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Anonymous Bash | Charles Hayward ZIG-ZAG + SWIRL

This year’s Supersonic sees some Superspecial performances. Two of which are Anonymous Bash and Charles Hayward Zig Zag + Swirl.

Anonymous Bash is a band born out of a recording which was conceived, recorded and produced at Islington Mill as part of the first Samarbeta music residency.

Directed and led by This Heat’s infamous drummer, Charles Hayward, this band has developed from reinventing a release produced by over 20 musicians into a workable live performance by 8.

The live line up includes; Charles Hayward (This Heat), Paddy Shine (Gnod), Sam Weaver (London Outfit Hungry Ghost), Chris Haslan (Gnod), David McLean (Tombed Visions), Jefferson Temple (Locean) and Marlene Ribeiro (Negra Branca), with special sporadic appearances from Louise Woodcock (2 Koi Karp) performing ‘Wrong Again’.

Here’s an interesting insight into the conception of Anonymous Bash:

Armed with a wealth of experience, Hayward conducts and orchestrates a whirling dervish of sound with the Anonymous Bash crew, shifting seamlessly between time signature and tempo in a devilish and electrifying fashion that consistently weaves a spellbinding effect on the audience. Saxophones wail, bass guitars throb and modular synthesizers whoosh and chirp a top a constantly shifting tapestry of breakneck rhythms and out-rock dub workouts, with each member of the group given their individual time to shine before returning to feed into a sprawling mass of sound led by a man at the height of his powers.

The band features members of Gnod. Since their inception, Gnod’s musical trajectory has been one of constant fluctuation borne out of an incessant need to discover new sonic worlds. Beginning life as a shamanic drone ensemble, at times fitting up to 15 members on stage, these early rituals informed the core ideals that have come to define the group in their years of activity; community and trance-inducing repetition.

Gnod offer a gateway to an aural black hole and along with firm guiding hand, the opportunity to dive head and body first into a powerfully new psychedelic maelstrom full of possibilities.

We can’t wait to venture through worlds of new possibilities with Anonymous Bash, led by the notorious Charles Hayward, who will also be opening another door for our Supersonic audience via another formation – Zig-Zag + Swirl.

Charles Hayward needs no introduction, his kinetic percussive talents and restless mercurial vision having blazed a trail across the British avant-garde for the last four decades, from Quiet Sun through This Heat to Camberwell Now and a plethora of solo material.

On 4th March, This Is Not This Heat performed at The Barbican. It was a night of This Heat music reimagined and sculpted by Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, Alexis Taylor, Chris Cutler, Jenny Moore, John Edwards, Luisa Gerstein, Daniel O’Sullivan, Thurston Moore, James Sedwards, Frank Byng, Alex Ward, Laura Groves & Merlin Nova, which was met with astounding reviews. [here]

Avid collaborator, Hayward has worked with numerous artists from our Supersonic hive including this year’s Laura Cannell. This Friday sees the launch of a night of new performances called Modern Ritual at Cafe Oto, exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes. Featuring solo sets from Charles Hayward, Laura Cannell and Hoofus, a new collaboration between Laura & Charles and a new performance/talk by Jennifer Lucy Allan and a reading from Luke Turner. You can find more info. [here]

Hayward’s Zig-Zag + Swirl formation comprises a performance in which technology is used to open uncertainty in songs that surf his muse’s trademark combination of a psychedelic continuum and the startling other.

So, Supersonic audience, make sure you get to Anonymous Bash and Charles Hayward’s Zig-Zag + Swirl at this year’s festival.

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Zuism

 

‘One of the most progressive no-wave metal bands ever to come out of Italy…Zu often sounds like a hundred bands in one, although the way they piece together their wild sonic jigsaw is unique to them alone.’PITCHFORK

For over fifteen years, ZU’s modus operandi of straddling and abusing musical genres has resulted in over fifteen unique album releases across labels such as Ipecac, Atavistic and Headz (Japan).
Their experimental amalgam of metal, math, no-wave, noise and electronics, led acclaimed composer John Zorn to describe their sound as “a powerful and expressive music that totally blows away what most bands do these days”.

 

 

Luca T. Mai, Massimo Pupillo and Tomas Järmyr began as composers and players for theatre performances then formed this atypical trio of drums, electric bass and baritone saxophone to begin their voyage of musical mayhem.

In the running for the title of ‘the world’s hardest working band’, ZU have performed over 2000 shows throughout Europe, US, Canada, Asia, Russia, Mexico and even Africa, touring with the likes of  Mike Patton (as the Zu/Patton quartet), sharing the stage with Faith No More, Fantomas, The Melvins, Lightning Bolt, Sonic Youth, The Ex, etc.

They have also collaborated with a vast number of musicians including Mike Patton, The Melvins, Dälek, Jim O’ Rourke, FM Einheit (Einsturzende Neubauten), Peter Brötzmann, Steve MacKay (The Stooges), The Ex, Thurston Moore,  Stephen O Malley, Damo Suzuki (Can), Mats Gustafsson, NoMeansNo, Joe Lally (Fugazi) and our very own Supersonic fave, Eugene S. Robinson (Oxbow) also performing at the festival this year.

 

‘Zu are still on top form when blasting arse-loosening sax cries over grinding math-metal structures…unassumingly loud, and intensely physical, wrestling with the listener in a swarm of noisy sax blasts, gnarly riffs, and often surprisingly catchy math themes.’ DROWNED IN SOUND

Five years since their last full length on Ipecac, the critically acclaimed Carboniferous, and following a three year hiatus, ZU returned in May 2014 with the release of a brand new EP, Goodnight Civilization (Trost Records) featuring Gabe Serbian of The Locust on drums, and subsequently with an album with Eugene Robinson of Oxbow on vocals called “The Left Hand Path”, also on Trost, and the 2015 full length “Cortar Todo” on Ipecac.

Recorded in the countryside near Bologna, Italy, in the summer of 2014, the album features very special guests including keyboard player Joey Karam (The Locust), Italian guitar maverick Stefano Pilia (who plays with the likes of Mike Watt, David Grubbs and Rokia Traore) and perhaps most unexpectedly a field recording of an indigenous Shipibo medicine man recorded by Massimo during his travels around the Amazon forest.

For a review of Cortar Todo from Line of Best Fit click [here]

And for an interesting article on the intrinsic and fascinating link between indigenous maestros and album, Cortar Todo, click [here]

 

Cortar Todo revealed new dynamics from the band, the album is more direct, sharp, focussed, more intense and musical than previous Zu releases. And now they’re back with a brand new album. ‘Jhator’ shall arrive on the label in March 2017 followed by an extensive European tour – just in time for Supersonic!

A statement from the band reads: “In making this album we have tried to affirm life, beauty and mystery. We refocus the vision in another direction far from the Western point of view.” The result is an album that “could be the beginning of a new musical direction for Zu, or perhaps an isolated album capturing a particular essence.”

Jhator follows Zu’s brilliantly primordial Cortar Todo, and it’s available for pre-order on CD and coloured vinyl over at the House of Mythology store right now. A new promo video for the album features a short clip of new music. What a tease!

 

“Wonder is the beginning of philosophy”Wittgenstein

What wonders will Zu bring to our Supersonic audience this year?

Make sure you’re there to find out.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

http://www.zuism.net

 

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For your listening pleasure

For your listening pleasure here’s a little taster of some of the artists who will be performing at Supersonic Festival 2017. Tickets are available HERE

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New Supersonic 2017 additions

Joining the previously announced line up are; ANONYMOUS BASH, DORCHA, ELECTRONICA WIZARD, EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, HARESS, JESSICA MOSS, KURO MAGA, RICHARD DAWSON, THE SPACE LADY, TOMAGA + PIERRE BASTIEN, XYLOURIS WHITE, ZONAL.

TICKETS – supersonicfestival.com/product-category/tickets/

Premiering at Supersonic Festival are Zonal, the name of a brand new project by heavyweights Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin (The Bug), born from the ashes of Techno Animal.

Supersonic welcomes back Richard Dawson performing material from his forthcoming new album and for the first time, with a full band which includes long-time collaborators Angharad Davies and Rhodri Davies and also members of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

Anonymous Bash, directed/led by This Heat’s infamous drummer, Charles Hayward and featuring members of Gnod.

Ex Easter Island Head convene a gathering of their Large Electric Ensemble, an ambitiously scaled work for sixteen prepared table-top electric guitars and percussion. Utilising a self-developed language of extended techniques and mechanical preparations the piece sees the groups’ shimmering electrified minimalism expanded to a bold new scale, encompassing members of Gnod, ILL, Action Beat and Mother.

 Kuro, the duo of Agathe Max and Gareth Turner, performed at the Supersonic warm up event last year, however for the main festival they take on a special new form as Kuro Maga joined by Valentina Magaletti (drums/percussion) and Helen Papaioannou (baritone sax).

Supersonic Festival are also very excited to present the UK premiere of Pierre Bastien and Tomaga which follows on from a residency they performed together in France in 2016. The performance at Supersonic sees Pierre presenting his timeless, futuristic, and slightly dada mechanical sound sculptures in collaboration with the utterly infectious multi-instrumental music of Tomaga that moves by turns through industrial, jazz, psychedelia and minimalism, on its way to somewhere wholly other.

Speaking of special performances, we are certain that Electronica Wizard is going to be every bit as enjoyable as the concept implies.

The Space Lady is who the “outsider music” genre was created for. This unique artist began her career in the late 70s, walking on the sidewalks of Boston dressed exuberantly, sending messages of love and pacifism, accompanied by an accordion and making versions of some contemporary pop hits or classics of that time.

Violinist and composer Jessica Moss of cult post-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, her brand new solo project. Jessica Moss plays elegiac durational music at the intersection of neo-classicism, soundtrack, electronic, art-punk and avant-folk. This promises to be a highly compelling performance.

Dorcha, a 5 piece Birmingham band of synths, strings, electronics and heavy beats, led by composer – Anna Palmer. Dorcha is a continuing exploration through alternative songwriting. The band produces an enigmatic live show accompanied by visuals.

Haress intertwine dark and repetitive guitar figures in order to create a hypnotic, mantra-like state. Their intuitive playing works on a kind of telepathy until it’s impossible for the onlooker to work out which player is responsible for which sound and they must choose to absorb it as a whole. The resulting music is reminiscent of Ry Cooder’s “Paris, Texas” soundtrack, Earth, Human Bell and Papa M.

And finally for now, Xylouris White, their live shows, much like their recorded output, is a startling mixture of Cretan traditional music, punk rock and fiery – improvisation created by The Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Greek lute player George Xylouris, a testament to both of their remarkable histories. Explosive performance of pirouetting melodies, soaring vocals, and seamless transitions between tradition and invention.

Line up so far:-
Anna Von Hausswolff/ Anonymous Bash – Charles Hayward + Gnod/ Arbouretum / Colin Stetson / Dorcha / Electronica Wizard / Ex Easter Island Head – Large Ensemble / Haress / Jenny Hval / Jessica Moss / Kuro Maga / Laura Cannell / Melt Banana / Oxbow / Princess Nokia / Raime / Richard Dawson / The Space Lady / Tomaga + Pierre Bastien / Xylouris White / Zonal (Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin) / ZU

TICKETS – supersonicfestival.com/product-category/tickets/

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