There’s an alternative way to Fat Out Till You Pass Out this easter weekend…
Fat Out Till You Pass Out is an independent promotion based in Salford NW England. Founded in 2007 by Emma Thompson and Verity Gardner, Fat Out has grown from humble DIY punk roots into a force to be reckoned with in the Salford/Manchester independent music scene.
“It’s more important than ever to create space and support for the independent scene.” – Emma Thompson, FOF Founder/Director
And FOTYPO take their DIY experimentalist attitude down to Islington Mill, Manchester this weekend, assembling their third version of Fat Out Fest with the help of some choice curators
The international line-up works through a three-day course featuring heavy psychedelic riffs from Blown Out, The Bug vs Dylan Carson of Earth, JIBÓIA, avant garde synths from Group A, or if preferable, lounge metal from Lake of Snakes.
With other stages curated by The Quietus, The Wire and a collaboration with Le Guess Who plus workshops, delicious food, market place, record stalls and all the glitter one could ever desire, this is set to be a weekend not to be missed.
Capsule’s internationally renowned festival runs 16th-18th June 2017 and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved as a volunteer.
Supersonic has secured its experimental reputation with over 14 years of consistently innovative and explosive concoctions of visual installations, films, exhibitions and music. Guaranteed to open your eyes and ears to music and art outside the predictable genre labels and familiar performance spaces.
You will be part of an ever growing, friendly community of music and art lovers helping to maintain the values of bringing the extraordinary to curious audiences in an all inclusive way. This is will be an invaluable experience into how a festival runs but not only that, you’ll be contributing to something truly Superspecial whilst making friends along the way!
We need a dedicated team of volunteers to help deliver Supersonic over the festival weekend (16th -18th June ) and also in the run up to the festival (early June onwards).
We would like every volunteer to commit to 15 hours over the weekend
Volunteers must be over 18 years old
This year we are on the lookout for people for the following roles:
Artist Liason/Box Office
Hospitality/Site Set up
If you are interested in being involved – please fill out the application form [here]
Presented in collaboration with Supersonic Festival, this musical showcase by Nawa Recordings features some of the Arab world’s most creative, independent and forward thinking artists. Founded by multi-instrumentalist musician and composer Khyam Allami in 2011, Nawa is an independent label focused on releasing new music from the Arab world.
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 a genre-defying and 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.
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).
Kamilya Jubran, raised in Palestine, was introduced and initiated to classical arabic music by her music loving parents. From her early university explorations in the group Sabreen, Jubran has been raising awareness to the importance of music and music education in Palestine and spent a very rich and intensive 2 decades of constant work with the group which urged her to deepen her music research and consequently to shape and reshape her musical identity. Continuing on with various other collaborative projects in Europe she arrives here with two companions: Werner Hasler and Sarah Murcia – avid contributors to her work thus far – now forming the Wasl trio.
Werner ran his own band, Manufactur, from 1998 to 2008. His aim at this time was to find ways of using electronic music as a medium for interaction between musicians. Since 2002 he has been working intensively with the Palestinian singer and oud player Kamilya Jubran. First of all contributing to her project Mahattaat, then working in partnership combining Kamilya’s voice and oud with his electronica and trumpet.
For the last ten years Sarah Murcia has played with the Magic Malik Orchestra, and Las Ondas Marteles (Nicolas et Seb Martel). At the moment she is a member of the groups Beau Catcher, Sylvain Cathala trio and Pearls of Swines. As an arranger, she is involved in various projects, particularly Paul Ouazon’s music programs for television and the research atelier of Arte France.
Two or The Dragon
Two Or The Dragon was created by Beirut based musicians Abed Kobeissy (Buzuq/Effects) and Ali Hout (Percussion/Effects) as an expression of their common interest in urban sounds and Arabic music. This project tackles Arabic music’s capacity to express urban soundscapes, and its predisposition to express violence, as a local aesthetic in the region. This interest was sparked when Kobeissy and Hout began to compose music as a duo for contemporary dance and theater performances, as well as several film productions.
Nadah El Shazly
Egyptian vocalist and composer combining abstract quirky electronics and sultry Arabic vocals. Nadah El Shazly is an Egyptian singer and composer living and working in Cairo. She is currently preparing for the release of her debut album, continuing along her constantly evolving live set, which she has been performing solo on keys, electronics and vocals. Most recently, Nadah became resident composer at Stockholm’s Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) and co-founded the Shorba duo with Egyptian artist Mohamed Shafiq, produced a track for the collective Nassibian Orchestra and composed for film and visual art.
Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist and schizophrenic musician/composer presents his latest series of improvisations on processed Oud, electronics and percussion. Virtuoso Oud player, serial collaborator, musical explorer: Khyam is a musician and composer with a formidable – and continually growing – international reputation. Despite only taking up the oud – his principal instrument – in his twenties, Allami rapidly became a performer of international renown. His remarkably assured 2011 debut solo album Resonance/Dissonance was widely critically praised; he has performed at WOMAD, the BBC Proms and London 2012 Festival, the cultural festival that accompanied the Olympics; and he was the first artist to be awarded a BBC Radio 3 World Routes scholarship in 2010. An “exceptionally refined and graceful performer” whose “compositions are utterly bewitching”.
We can’t wait to be mesmerised by this Supersonic Sunday Showcase from the Arab world.
We are delighted to welcome back to Supersonic, Richard Dawson. The skewed troubadour, at once charming and abrasive. His music is a collision of opposites, his hoarsely cracking voice suddenly rising to a magical soar that’s been compared to Tim Buckley, John Martyn and Richard Youngs. His shambolically virtuosic guitar playing ranges from sublime intricacy to spidery swatches of noise-colour, swathed in amp static and veering from stumble to enveloping reverie in a way that can recall Sir Richard Bishop or Captain Beefheart. Add this to his snaring way with words and Dawson’s got you pinned.
A much-loved musical spectacle in his native Newcastle for many years now, Dawson sings and plays with a rare intensity and a very singular style.
His set at Supersonic 2017 will be a little different though – he has a new album out this year, one with a definite ‘band’ feel about it. So Richard will be playing with a band. The band includes long-time collaborators Angharad Davies and Rhodri Davies and also two members of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – also appearing at Supersonic!
New album Peasant, out June 2nd, is ‘a multi-panelled altarpiece depicting dark ages life in the north east’ and is now available for pre-order HERE on vinyl, cd and limited edition deluxe package.
“Peasant is a brilliant and captivating record, one that creates its own wholly imagined world with both music and words. Dawson writes melodies, just as he did before on Nothing Important, The Glass Trunk and The Magic Bridge. They aren’t melodies that he thrusts in your face, along with handfuls of sugar; they leap out of the murk of instrumentation, like some musical equivalent of watching a moor on a cloudy day, as lakes of golden sunlight appear and vanish on the hillside as the clouds open up and close over. But nor is this confrontational music, designed to ward off the unworthy. It’s music that rewards attention, to its detailing, to its textures, but it’s also beautiful and stirring and moving. It’s just, well, not pop music.”
In a recent INTERVIEW WITH THE QUIETUS Dawson describes the approach to the new album as wanting to create a ‘creaking wooden animal so you could hear all the sinews and all the stretching of the instruments.’ It is an album of intrepid exploration both sonically and historically. Dawson’s avid research into the time period laden the lyrical content with integrity whilst maintaining poetic and relevant remarks on contemporary society.
And here is our first glimpse…
Peasant takes inspiration from a painter of panoramas. “I was thinking of it like a tapestry or a painting that might go around a whole room, thinking about Pieter Breughel the Elder, particularly, who would cover the different stratas of a community from people out in the sticks who had nothing, to people more in a city or town with more possessions and more power. Rather than approach it as individual songs first, it was to see how the whole painting would fit together.”
We at Supersonic cannot wait to marvel at this vivid, enrapturing work of art Dawson and co. will paint before our very eyes this June!
Dorcha is a 5 piece Birmingham band of synths, strings, electronics and heavy beats, led by composer – Anna Palmer. Drawing from an eclectic array of influences and musical backgrounds, Dorcha is a continuing exploration through alternative songwriting. From classical to punk, trashy pop to psychedelic math-rock with some swooping electronica thrown in between; the band career through intensely dark synth-laden gristle to moments of gentile and delicately-stringed reverie.
Since launching their first full-length album ‘Black Streams‘ in 2015, the band’s genre-defying sound has been praised by BBC 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie on his Freak Zone and they’ve shared line-ups with the likes of Deerhoof, East India Youth and Dream Wife.
Through curating their own multidisciplinary events with artistic collaborators, the band has produced an enigmatic live show accompanied by visuals which continues to excite and bewilder diverse audiences.
The band have recently released a new EP entitled ‘ism’ which adventures further into the depths of left-field electronica whilst still maintaining refined pop sensibilities. Recorded with local Digbeth based producer Luke Morrish Thomas at Flood Studios.
Last week the band released a new interactive website, built by Phil Dawson and designed by Beth Bellis. You can explore it by clicking here!
In conjuncture with the new website release the band have launched a new collaborative experiment: ‘The Miniatures Project’. As the band explain:
“One day, Anna was wearing a different head and wrote some tiny guitar tunes that don’t really sound like any other Dorcha. We had a real laugh playing them but didn’t know where to place them, so we’ve put them in a house in our brand new website.
This is their home now. And we’re extending the family.
These tunes sparked a new idea to invite others to write for Dorcha. Different heads, same body. We’ve asked 9 other artists from varying musical backgrounds to create a set of miniatures for us to play and record in a day. Over the course of 2017 we’ll release a set of Mini’s a month – starting NOW with Anna’s Guitar miniatures. Get your chops round this!”
Welcome to the weird and ever changing landscape of Dorcha! Who knows what these local Brummies have in store for Supersonic 2017?
“The chemistry between Crete lutenist George Xylouris and former Dirty Three drummer Jim White makes for a thrilling musical foray into avant-garde folk.” The Guardian
If the talents of singer and lute player George Xylouris seem otherworldly, even god-given, it is hardly surprising. One of the best-loved artists on Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, Xylouris is a member of a clan long-regarded throughout Greece as musical royalty. A clan that hails from Anogeia, a mountain shepherding village down the hill from the Cave of Zeus, that hotspot of ancient mythology.
To hear Xylouris play his long-necked lauto and sing songs of love and liberty in his impassioned, distinctive voice, is to experience tradition at its finest; tradition that this bearded father-of-three grants respect, and crafts into something unique. It’s a sound that has taken him around the world.
His father is the Cretan singer and lyra player Psarantonis, a man beloved of everyone from ethnomusicologists to Nick Cave. His late uncle was the iconic Nikos Xylouris, a singer and lyra player who became a symbol of the protest movement that brought down the Greek military junta in 1973.
Cretan lute was usually played as a backing instrument. But with albums such as ‘Antipodes’, by Xylouris Ensemble , ‘Embolo’ with his uncle Psarogiannis and ‘Oso ki an Dernei o Anemos’ out with All Together Now, Xylouris showcased the lauto’s solo potential with a repertoire of traditional and self-penned material. His numerous projects are testament to his restless musical curiosity. His concerts at home have become legendary for their musicality and power; his onstage record is currently 18 hours straight.
And then there is Jim White. Having first commanded international attention in the mid-1990s with the acclaimed Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three, the New York-based virtuoso is now the go-to guy for alt-A-list vocalists with collaboration in mind. Those who’ve worked with him – and all those he’s mesmerised as he plays – testify to his deft way with a rhythm, a downbeat, a jazz-fuelled wig out.
His is a unique playing style forged in the then isolated Melbourne; a style that can sound like a full band one moment, and something stark and beautiful the next.
With a career this long and varied, credits are too numerous to list. There have been projects with filmmakers, collaborations with visual artists; and an album of duets with the singer Nina Nastasia. A founding member of the now-defunct Australian avante-rock outfit Venom P-Stinger, White has curated the leftfield UK music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties. In his spare moments, he’s drumming. White never rests on his laurels.
Xylouris White poetically describe their approach in this duo as “Like goats walking in the mountain. They may not know the place, but they can walk easily and take risks and feel comfortable.” The sound they create is tumultuous, tender and terrifically expressive and testifies their determination to stretch the scope of their instruments and forge something vigorously questing from more traditional roots.
PJ Harvey has likened White’s playing to dancing. Yet if dancers need partners, Xylouris is his, this being a friendship forged over 25-plus years. Xylouris was touring with his Ensemble when he met White in Melbourne in the early 1990s, when the drummer was in his pre-Dirty Three avant-rock outfit Venom P Stinger. And here they are nearly 3 decades later, on our Supersonic stage, to show us just how far their horizons can stretch.
We have a very exciting UK premiere at this year’s Supersonic Festival from Tomaga & Pierre Bastien!
The live collaboration between Pierre and Tomaga follows on from a residency they performed together in France in 2016.
Pierre Bastien is a french gentleman born 1953 who builds his own machineries, at the cross between music and visual art, that blends live trumpet sounds with screen projections of on-site, mechanical sound sculptures in a very poetic way. His work is described as “a timeless sounding orchestra, both futuristic and slightly dada, conjuring ancient traditions in its surprisingly sensuous music.”
“Who knows what sort of music he’ll be able to create as his machines continue to evolve.” – Pitchfork
TOMAGA channel various forms of multi-instrumentalism into music that moves by turns through industrial, jazz, psychedelia and minimalism, on it’s way to somewhere wholly other. Devoted to musical exploration, this London based duo obsessively deconstruct familiar tropes, looking for the tension that lies between improvisation and form.
“This is improv music that rocks, rather than swings; improv that borrows more from krautrock and psych than classical and jazz.” – The Quietus
Those of you with a keen eye will notice that Valentina, drummer/percussionist of Tomaga, is one of our cross-over artists. Not only is she part of this exciting new premiere, she will also be performing with Raime AND Kuro at this year’s festival.
Come join this artistic, collaborative community here at Supersonic and bear witness to some of the most exciting new music and art exploding out of the experimental & underground scene today.
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.
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
“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!
“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.
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 hailsfrom 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!
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.
‘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 ofMike 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, andsubsequently 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?
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.
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
‘Raime are past masters of sombre carnage, and this here is their moment.’ – THE QUIETUS
Raime are Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead, a London-based duo seeking to re-establish electronic composition as a physical and emotionally inquisitive force. Since the turn of the decade, via a stunning debut album, three sold-out EPs and a string of imperious live outings, Raime have honed an aesthetic all of their own.
According to Pitchfork, the music this London based duo creates is ‘the soundtrack to a lonely night out’. Since their debut with Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead have become avid contributors to the growing popularity of bleak, minimalist electronic music.
Raime’s musical grounding lay in Detroit techno, jungle, and bass music but drawing from an eclectic array of influences, they leave the interpretation of their own concoctions to the rumination of the listeners. Why settle for EDM when you can channel 80s industrial and goth techno?
“When you first listen to techno and you come across Detroit, the whole universe opens up”
Amid the dark, industrial post-rock influenced textures, unsettling beats pulsate like a throbbing headache in your temple. Conjuring up imagery of a barren dystopia, piercing dissonances interject the anxious layers of electronica and moody guitar lines.
“It was great to find this area of music that was even more bonkers [than techno], but that came from people like us – from some dude in Norwich banging something.”
Read about Raime’s quest for RAWNESS with The Guardian [here]
Raime’s second album, Tooth, arrived in June 2016. The widescreen melancholia of their 2012 debut, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, has given way to an urgent and focussed futurism, in the shape of eight fiercely uptempo, minimal, meticulously crafted electro-acoustic rhythm tracks. The DNA of dub-techno, garage/grime and post-hardcore rock music spliced into sleek and predatory new forms.
‘It’s a spare, near-monochromatic palette, well fit for its immediate purpose. The result is an album that takes its lead from bands like This Heat and Ike Yard but boils their urgency down to a throbbing core of contemporary dread, all the propulsive rhythms tied up in knots.’ – RESIDENT ADVISOR
If Quarter Turns was an album that confronted total loss and self-destruction, even longed for it, then Tooth is the sound of resistance and counter-attack: cunning, quick, resolute; calling upon stealth as much as brute-force. It is bold and original new music: staunch, rude, and way out in front.
Raime recently returned with a new 12″ single for Blackest Ever Black in the last week of February this year, featuring two new tracks, recorded after last year’s Tooth album…and it sold out fast. But a new batch is ready which you can purchase [here]
Sneak peak here:
“Dance music has always been the backbone of our influences so propulsion comes pretty naturally, but we really started getting into bands a lot more over the last seven years or so and experienced what they can offer dynamically. We thought it might create more immediacy and ultimately move our sound on. We realised that we wanted to change the way we were saying things, lay a few old tropes to rest and try something new, ultimately learning how to make records according to different rules.”
With this in mind, we can’t wait to see what Raime will do for their live set. What physical force will they assemble to express their punishing rumble of gothic dub to our Supersonic audience? You’ll just have to wait and see!
From the New York underground, Princess Nokia bursts out with a vibrant, fiercely independent blend of hip hop. Infusing african drumming, obscure jazz melodies, pop driven electro synths and sub drops that vibrate you to your core, this ambitious artist creates a universal language that will talk to all kinds of people. Her vocal support of queer, transgender, womanhood and fem sexuality have gained her critical acclaim and support in the music world from other QTPOC rappers such as Mykki Blanco and Le1f. Nuanced by 90s style New York rap but free to roam into whatever fields she deems fit to express her subject matter, this progressive alter-ego of Destiny Frasqueri will no doubt entice our Supersonic audience.
Not that you need any more, but here are some more reason’s to absolutely love her:
SHE’S A MASSIVE BITCH
EDUCATED AND PROUD OF HER CULTURE
SHE PROMOTES SELF ACCEPTANCE VIA HER ART
SHE HAS FACED MANY HARDSHIPS. SHE DEMONSTRATES HOW WE CAN ALL BE VULNERABLE. WE CAN ALL BE RESILIENT. THE TWO GO HAND-IN-HAND THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES. IT IS WHAT MAKES HER AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE.
MANY LABELS WANT HER. BUT HER STYLE IS DIY. SHE IS FORGING A CAREER WHICH WILL UNDOUBTEDLY REACH GREAT HEIGHTS. ON HER OWN. NOT ‘ON THE ARM OF NO MAN.’ THIS IS HER ROLE. THIS IS HER TRIP.
JUST LOOK AND LISTEN TO HER LATEST RELEASE
We love you Princess Nokia!
We can’t wait to have you here with us at Supersonic 2017
‘A primal jam, fuelled by pure carnal libido, so get together with some inclined bodies and slap skin together.’ – PITCHFORK
Once again, heading for us like a freight train – the almighty avant-rock giants Oxbow.
***AND HERE IS THEIR BRAND NEW VIDEO FOR TRACK ‘COLD & WELL-LIT PLACE’ FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM ‘THIN BLACK DUKE’ OUT MAY 5TH***
‘The quiet kill off the country road, the time before the time when everything went wrong and the last 16 hours of that great love affair are the seminal beginnings of OXBOW.
Designed to be the last aural will and testament of failed humanity, OXBOW actually garnered listeners from among the ranks of the fucked, with their 1989 release FUCKFEST. Followed by KING OF THE JEWS (1991), THE BALLS IN THE GREAT MEAT GRINDER COLLECTION (1991), LET ME BE A WOMAN (1995), SERENADE IN RED (1996), AN EVIL HEAT (2002) LOVE THAT’S LAST (CD+DVD) (2006), THE NARCOTIC STORY (2007) as well as various singles and dance remixes, OXBOW has met with increasing critical acclaim and popular support.’
The OXBOW core membership — DAN ADAMS/bass, GREG DAVIS/drums, EUGENE ROBINSON/voice, and NIKO WENNER/guitars+keyboards — has been supplemented by the subtle stylings of LYDIA LUNCH, KLAUS FLOURIDE, JARBOE, MARIANNE FAITHFULL, RICHARD KERN (SONIC YOUTH et al), JON RASKIN from the ROVA SAX QUARTET, and a string section that would make Barry White wince.
Though claiming San Francisco as their hometown, OXBOW performed first in London, England in 1990 and have toured Europe and the U.S and almost every other place people will pay them to hear them play extensively for nearly 3 decades. With their unstoppable DIY brute force they have carved new paths in the global underground of alternative noise rock, across which their fans follow loyally.
The experimental outfit is music for the damned, drudging onwards in their quest of carnage.Their notoriety comes firstly via the arresting music they churn out and secondly via their tempestuous live shows, led by carnal pit-fighting gentleman – Eugene S Robinson, with his heavy handed heckler response tactics and striking fearsome onstage presence.
Champions of the scene they hailed from, with a fierce aversion to label politics and demanding their own artistic freedom, the band run their own independent record label, CFY Records.
Oxbow’s 2007 album The Narcotic Story was named the number one album in the “Best of 2007” by Rock-A-Rolla magazine, and was listed with three other bands’ albums in the nomination of Joe Chiccarelli as ‘Producer of the Year’ at the 50th Grammy Awards. Regular collaborators with Steve Albini, Eugene and Nikko Wenner bring us their well-oiled monstrous machine of sound, built from a plethora of knowledge from nearly 3 decades of expedition through the alternative underground of music.
But not ones to rest on their laurels, they continually experiment with new ways to express the Oxbow story. Their multi-dimensional music has seen various set-ups, collaborations and even an Oxbow Orchestra – which we were graced with at Supersonic 2012.
‘Oxbow‘s trademark elements…the jagged-edged noise rock foundation, the bluesy/Led Zeppelin-ish overtones, and Eugene Robinson‘s squirming vocals (somewhere between a Baptist preacher and an unhappy two-year-old).’ – ALLMUSIC
And now, they add a new dimension.
The OXBOW CHOIR INTRANSIGENT
The tendency in the face of the unbelievable is to not believe it, and is if our perpetual faves Oxbow didn’t tend this way enough, they return to SUPERSONIC 2017 with an ensemble of two parts — the band accompanied by a chamber choir and volunteer vocalists — who will perform notated Oxbow music, carrying the crucial elements of what constitutes the Oxbow experience into terra unknown. Absolutely and totally exactly what a religious observance should look and sound like.
In the coming weeks we will be telling you more about this one-off SUPERspecial performance and doing a call out for volunteer vocalists!
If you fancy having your face peeled off by some speed-of-light grind core – Melt Banana will be firing up our stage with their inferno of noise rock at Supersonic this year.
The band, thoughtfully, have an FAQ section on their website…which we’ll dip in and out of on this blog to give you in the ins/outs straight from the horse’s mouth.
Q: Who is MELT-BANANA?
Answer: Main factors of MELT-BANANA are YAKO, who is singer of the band and writes all lyrics and some of the songs, and AGATA who plays the guitar and writes most of the backtracks of the songs. So far, MELT-BANANA has been helped by many musicians, such as:
Since forming in 1993 the band has released 13 Albums, 28 EPs, appear on numerous compi’s/collabs and have toured worldwide extensively, winning high profile fans such as Steve Albini, Kurt Cobain and Lou Reed. Their first Peel Session in 1999 was described by the man himself as ‘Simply one of the most extraordinary performances I have ever seen and ever heard…just mesmerising, absolutely astonishing.’ and still they continue to stun live audiences around the world today with their raucous energy.
Q: What type of music?
Answer: Some people say they are noise band, some people say they are so-called no wave band, some people say they are hardcore band, some people say their music is like roller coaster in an amusement park… It is hard to categorise their music, but basically they are rock band with a spice of punk taste. The easiest way to find out is to listen to their music.
Hurtling their way through thrashing cymbals, sirens, lasers, firework guitar riffs, with Yaka’s vocals biting chunks into the frenzied texture, this band is not for the faint hearted. No strangers to greatness, having toured with Melvins and Napalm Death, Melt Banana rose from Tokyo’s ferocious underground with their unorthodox, unclassifiable and undeniable brilliance and continue to jack-hammer the brains of punks, metal heads and beard scratchers a-like with their relentless aversion to sitting still.
‘Melt-Banana have remained like an eye of a hurricane that’s 10 times crazier than the hurricane itself.’ – PITCHFORK.
Q: Is Yako singing in Japanese?
Answer: I am singing in English, and you can find all of the lyrics inside of CD booklets if you are interested. When I first started singing in a band, I was singing in Japanese, but I changed to English. I thought that English would fit more to my style of singing.
Q: Which album makes you frothy?
Answer: Human beings can live because they can forget things that they don’t like.
Q: What is your motto/philosophy?
Answer: For today, jump before you look.
Jumping, nay, diving-head-first-straight-for-the-jugular is something Melt Banana are particularly well versed in. A common feature in their live set is a succession of seriously short songs which get straight to the point.
Perhaps this is an influence of musical pals Napalm Death – who on album Scum recorded the shortest ever punk song coming in at just 4 seconds long. A longstanding kinship between the two bands has most recently seen a split 7inch released on Record Store Day in 2016 featuring 2 tracks on each side. Available [here]
Since releasing their debut 7’EP Hedgehog in 1994, Melt Banana have played with varying line-ups but it’s Yako and Agata’s unique compositional flair which has lead them through the years and given them the notoriety they so deserve. The duo have cemented themselves as pioneers of noise-rock.
The studio album Fetch, released September 2013, saw the band transition to a duo which they now tour as live and somehow still sound and perform as if equipped with army of noise makers behind them…
‘Japanese noise assassins Melt-Banana may well have been thrashing out blistering rockets of screeching, avant garde, hardcore for well over twenty years now, but my gawd do they still feel like a pulverising assault on the senses.’ – THE LINE OF BEST FIT.
Don’t you even THINK about missing Melt Banana at this year’s Supersonic.
Saturday night saw…well, there aren’t really any words.
So instead here’s a 50 second video roundup of the bat-shit-crazy-alternative-grownup-discotheque we put on at The Hare and Hounds the other night…
So that’s that!
Huge thanks to the fascinating Graham Dunning and his Mechanical Techno set, Antonio Roberts (aka HelloCatFood) for providing the mind-bending visuals, Rocky Steps for his incredible warm-up set for the main event – Steve Davis – what an unbelievable 3 hours of experimental party music he gave us!
And a huge thanks to The Hare and Hounds for hosting the event and including us in their 10th Anniversary Series!
We’re just about recovered.
Steve Davis: https://www.mixcloud.com/interestingalternative
Graham Dunning: https://grahamdunning.com
Rocky Steps: https://rockysteps.uk
Hare & Hounds: http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk
“Laura Cannell conjures a sonic portal between the past and present.” – The Wire
Critically acclaimed instrumentalist Laura Cannell deconstructs her bow to produce haunting melodies from her violin and deconstructs our stuffy view on the recorder by blowing through two simultaneously and harmoniously with gusto. In doing so, she constructs a flourishing fragmental sonority heralding the ancient, traditional music of the instruments into the present through experimental improvisation.
Her sensitivity, emotiveness and wild flare will transport you into a new realm of tranquil solitude. 2016 saw the release of Laura’s third solo album Simultaneous Flight Movement to critical acclaim, appearing in numerous end of year lists.
Where did she come from? Based in rural East Anglia, Laura Cannell’s work draws on the emotional influences of the landscape whilst simultaneously breathing new life into lost and forgotten melodies from the 5th – 14th centuries.
Long self-taught sessions alongside dedicated training gave Laura a foundation to build upon, but it is her fearless strive to break away from rules and tradition and her thirst for collaboration and experimentation that elevates her body of work to courageous peaks.
“At school, I used to play for medieval banquets in a haunted pub in Bungay. But I just get bored of there being rules, I don’t like being told what to do. And I’m really anti-twee. People think: ‘Recorders, how lovely!’ But they’ve got balls and energy – they can really bite.”
For more on the Woman blowing Recorder prejudice away click [here]
With longstanding time spent in the highly regarded Horses Brawl duo as well as her Early Music missions, Laura then went on to pastures new. She has since collaborated with electronic musician Hoofus, plays in new trio Oscilanz with Ralph Cumbers (aka Bass Clef) and has worked with renowned drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat) to name but a few. She even founded her own record label Brawl Records in 2005.
“She is uniquely able to fuse inspiration with interpretation, delivering scintillating, programmatic works in miniature based on everything from Homerically florid psalms to the pioneering music of the 12th century apothecary, scientist and theologist Hildegard von Bingen. Obscurity is no boundary here.” – The Quietus
For an interview with Laura from The Quietus click [here]
Laura’s dexterity, determination and devotion to seeking the new is culminated in her all encompassing 3 solo albums. Beginning with Quick Sparrows Over the Black Earth released in July 2014 where haunting chords move the heavy air of the church as fiddle drones drift across the flatlands of East Anglia in single-take atmospheric improvisations, she has continued this stylistic approach to recording.
Her latest release Simultaneous Flight Movement was recorded on the day of the EU referendum in single takes inside Southwold lighthouse.
“I went to the Methodist chapel round the corner to do my vote, and then stood in this enormous tower that looks out over the sea, playing fragments of music from all over Europe. Thinking about it going up through the tower, going out past the prism in the top, I just thought about all these ridiculous borders we’re putting up between each other. I was standing there, firmly planted, thinking, ‘Please don’t go!’”
“As soon as something begins to sound like a genre, I begin to lose interest.”
This March sees the launch of a new performance series at Cafe Oto [Modern Ritual] exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes. Featuring solo sets from Charles Hayward, Laura Cannell and Hoofus and a new collaboration between Laura & Charles. More info [here]
Then this June, Laura Cannell graces us with her glorious sound at Supersonic Festival – a performance not to be missed!
“NOT SAFE IS HOW ART EXISTS. NOT SAFE FOR WORK IS THE WORK.” – Jenny Hval
Returning to our stage once again with her rapturous sound, Jenny Hval. She is an artist who’s extensive archive projects a stunning mass of expression; music, literature, visual & performance art, all coalesced into one body.
The New York Times defines her writing as “taking a scalpel to the subjects of gender politics and sexuality.” and with her most recent album ‘Blood Bitch’ co-produced by noise artist Lasse Marhaug, she boldly continues on with her incisions with delicate precision.
Gender fluid, Art-form fluid and Physical fluid. Fluidity itself is an ideology which flows through Jenny’s artistry.
With early beginnings as vocalist in a gothic metal band called Shellyz Raven, to studying creative writing and performance in Australia, Jenny arrived back in Norway in 2006 and released her debut EP Cigars which was nominated for a Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of Grammy awards).
Adopting the name Rockettothesky, she then went on to release two studio albums – To Sing You Apple Trees in 2006, and Medea in 2008. This is where we could try and define the earlier albums and their genres and outline the progression into the mix of genres Hval has arrived at now…but this would be counterintuitive to the representation of Jenny as an artist, as her interdisciplinary art cannot simply be pigeon-holed into music genres, or even ‘experimental’.
“…it’s a disease to call everything experimental because everything is experimental…I mean, it’s experimental to live! So that’s why I keep returning to ‘I make pop music’. It’s also because I’m not so interested in being put anywhere, and that’s not because I think it’s wrong to be put in boxes when an individual writer says something about my work. That I don’t think about so much. The fact that I’m asked so much and people seem to be so in need of placing music on a map….you can ask me but I think it’s maybe more fruitful to turn around and ask why do we need to? And why do we need to say ‘Jenny Hval is not pop music?’ Why is that so important to us?”
Rather than genre, there are coherent themes in Jenny’s work, spanning the audio and visual. Her artistic voice is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time. Much like in her interviews, she turns and questions the audience.
Her live show has gradually progressed from a more traditional live band set up to an avant-garde performance with costumes, dancers, speeches and live DJ. This seems to be a return to the art forms she originally studied and a more organic vehicle to deliver the messages within Hval’s complex art; as a performer, she seems totally free.
Under her own name, the prolific artist has released 4 more albums, Viscera (2011), Innocence Is Kinky (2013), Apocalypse girl (2015) and in 2016 most recent album, Blood Bitch. The latest release seemingly encapsulates many of her previously visited themes; artistic ritual, failure, capitalism, blood – but this time through a different, more positive, playful gaze.
“where Apocalypse dealt with, ‘you look at yourself in the mirror and you fail’, this one is like ‘oh, but I can walk through the mirror’ and there’s a crazy, creative realist world there I can partake in instead.”
With the release of numerous captivating online video’s to accompany the tracks and a newly curated show, Hval has innately created an alluring atmosphere around this album with her collaborators.
Jenny Hval and co. brought the new show to UK audiences last night in London and collaborated with the incredible make-up artist Lone Taxidermist. Check out the Instagram [here] for a sneak peak into what’s to come at Supersonic Festival this year.
We anticipate that after her performance this June we will all be in awe and questioning, in the words of Jenny herself taken from her last tune on the Blood Bitch album, ‘Lorna’:
“Does anyone have any language for it? Can we find it?”
Do not miss her set at Supersonic. Tickets on sale now. With group ticket offer available: 5 for the price of 4. [here]
Over the weekend of 23-26th Feb – the Capsule team took a trip to Amsterdam to explore Sonic Acts Festival. Since the first edition in 1994, over the years it has established itself as a thematic festival with a strong focus on contemporary and historical developments at the intersections of art, science, music and technology.
Each festival edition explores the chosen theme by means of an international conference, a wide range of concerts and performances, exhibitions and screenings, and embraces a broad spectrum of fields, practices and disciplines.
This year’s theme was ‘The Noise of Being’.
Arriving a day late to the party on Friday (due to Doris day) we wondered through an abstract dystopian world of exhibits and sound art installations in the stunning setting of the Stedelijk Museum. From glitchy Electronica, to a Microtonal Tuba ensemble with an incredible performance from Jennifer Walshe and the Arditti Quartet in between (a particular highlight), our senses were not just tingled but tossed, turned and tangled in the most invigorating way.
Our evening ended with some VR, AV, DJ madness in the beautiful converted church building, Paradiso – concert hall, cultural centre and club.
Across the rest of the weekend we visited Flemish Arts Centre De Brakke Grond for seminars combining modern scientific research and contemporary art forms and admired the work of emerging new artists at Arti et Amicitiae.
Other photography exhibits we saw outside of the festival was the evocative collection of Ed van der Elsken and the alluring ‘An ode to slowness’ by Tom Callemin. We also got lost in the vast Rijksmuseum for a few hours.
We had a blast in Amsterdam and think you should definitely check out Sonic Acts Festival if you get the chance next year. Now, our brains need a quick cat nap before we continue on with Supersonic Festival proceedings…