Abstract Possible: The Birmingham Beat



Curated by Maria Lind and amended by Eastside Projects

6 October to 1 December 2012

José Léon Cerrillo, Zachary Formwalt, Goldin+Senneby, Wade Guyton, Yelena Popova, Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman

Why abstraction today? While no prominent neoabstract movement has been heralded since the 1960s, abstraction has remained present but ‘out of sight’ and could be seen as redundant as an artistic tool. Since the late 1990s there has been a palpable interest in abstraction, particularly among younger artists and other cultural producers who both reinterpret the legacy of formal abstraction and shape performative, social versions of abstraction with regard to its meaning — to withdraw.

‘Abstract Possible: The Birmingham Beat’ is the latest iteration in a research project exploring notions of abstraction, taking contemporary art as its starting point. The artworks in this exhibition involve and complicate the three strands of abstraction: formal abstraction, economic abstraction and social abstraction, with an emphasis on economic abstraction. This is the first main gallery exhibition at Eastside Projects to be curated by an external curator, Stockholm based Maria Lind, who has invited an array of international artists to exhibit.

‘Abstract Possible: The Birmingham Beat’ suggests that we pay attention to and reconsider certain crucial aspects of the phenomenon of abstraction as it pertains to its intriguing resurgence in contemporary art.

Eastside Projects
86 Heath Mill Lane
Birmingham B9 4AR



MortonUnderwood’s Noise Boxes


Noise Box designed by Simon Fowler

To celebrate 10 years of Supersonic Festival, musical instrument designers MortonUnderwood have created ten unique noise box synths as a gift for Capsule. Each one is hand-painted by a talented designer in the Supersonic 2012 colours. The result is a beautiful set of bespoke synthesisers which capture both the visual and sonic aesthetic of the festival.

Contributing artists:

An Endless Supply

Ben Javens

Ben Sadler

Conny Prantera

David Hand

Richard Sayer

Sarah Coleman

Simon Fowler

Stephen O’Malley

Tom Hughes

MortonUnderwood will be bringing  more boxes and merchandise along to the Supersonic stand in the Market Place. Come and try them out or just pop along to meet Sam and David.



Clash Magazine Interview Capsule’s Lisa Meyer


Supersonic’s 10th anniversary celebrations are drawing ever nearer, with only a week and a half remaining until the all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza of avant-garde art that is Supersonic 2012! To mark the occasion, UK music and fashion magazine Clash recently caught up with Capsule co-founder and Supersonic organiser Lisa Meyer to discuss the inner workings of the festival, the inspiration behind Supersonic and what the future has in store for Capsule over the next decade! When discussing the ethos of the festival, Lisa had these wise words to impart –

It’s really important that we make everyone feel welcome. It’s very much at the core of what we do. Ultimately, people are giving up a weekend to come to this, so it shouldn’t feel like a hard slog. They should leave elated that they had a good time and listened to some interesting music.

Given the absolutely stunning lineup that Capsule have prepared for us this year, it’s hard to imagine that the audience will leave feeling anything other than ecstatic! You can read the full interview here, and if you still haven’t secured your Supersonic ticket yet, you can purchase one here.


A Colourful Introduction To Animation With The Juneau Projects


By now you’ve probably heard all about our Kids Gigs, a series of concerts designed to introduce your young ones to the power and beauty of live music in a safe, child friendly environment (if not, where have you been?). This year we’re proud to present the Flower-Corsano Duo on Saturday 20th, and Islaja on Sunday 21st, but it’s not just art of the musical variety that we’re offering to your kids this year. The fantastic visual arts collective Juneau Projects will be offering a 20 minute animation workshop at both gigs, with the aim of gently introducing your child to the art of creating moving pictures. Using coloured lights and a series of basic images, your children will be encouraged to bring these pictures to life before letting their hair down for the following musical treat.

This combination of visual arts and experimental music is the perfect gift for a precocious child (ideally under the age of 7), and this is a great opportunity to share an artistic experience with your young ones. There are barely any tickets left for Flower-Corsano Duo, but we still have plenty for Islaja; spaces are limited however, so book now to avoid dissapointment!

Tickets cost £10 (parent and child) or £12.50 (parent and two children), and this includes both the gig and the workshop.

Buy Tickets – Saturday with Flower/Corsano
Buy Tickets – Sunday with Islaja


The Wide And Wonderful Sound World Of Tim Hecker


Tim Hecker is a master of sound, crafting beautiful waves of feedback and allowing them to gently wash over you whilst anchoring them to a rich, melodic core. Hecker has established himself as one of the world’s premier ambient musicians, but just in case his charms have somehow passed you by, here’s a brief taster of some of his impressive discography to prepare you for his set at Supersonic this year…

2001 – Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again

Hecker’s debut album was a startling mixture of glitchy electronica and post rock melodies, ammounting to a stunning ambient soundscape that signalled the sound of jaws hitting the floor worldwide. Hecker summoned all of this using only guitar, piano and a laptop, an early indication of how much sonic depth Hecker is capable of wringing out of basic instrumentation.

2002 – My Love Is Rotten To The Core

Hecker’s third release revolves around a somewhat bizarre concept; the dissolution and break up of the band Van Halen. Taking snippets of interview footage and using Van Halen songs as sound sources, Hecker constructs a narrative chronicling the rise and fall of the band, set to a melancholy precession of electric drones and soothing, crackling ambience.

2006 – Harmony In Ultraviolet

‘Harmony In Ultraviolet’ is perhaps Hecker’s masterpiece, a monolith of sensual ambient waves that caress and envelop the very core of your being. The album’s lucid flow and incredibly affecting tones create the perfect sonic caccoon in which to wrap yourself in and forget the world. Few ambient records are as immersive and emotive as ‘Harmony In Ultraviolent’, the record in which Hecker truly came into his own. Essential listening!

2008 – Fantasma Parastasie

This album found Hecker in collaboration with Nadja’s Aidan Baker, a combination that makes perfect sense given both individual’s penchant for deep, warm soundscapes. Songs like ‘Hymn To the Idea Of Night’ and ‘Auditory Spirits’ perfectly illustrate how nuanced Hecker and Baker’s sonic craftsmanship has become, whilst the extraordinary ‘Skeleton Dance’ pits Baker’s droning guitar wails against Hecker’s keen ear and intricate feel for sound manipulation. The results are astonishing, and will surely captivate anyone with an interest in ambient music.

2011 – Dropped Pianos

Following his stunning new record ‘Ravedeath, 1972’, Hecker released this EP consisting of his untreated source material for the album, a revealing glimpse into his working process. A very different beast to ‘Ravedeath’s expansive, widescreen scope, ‘Dropped Pianos’ is a sparse yet incredibly intimate collection, showcasing the kind of stark, elegant beauty that some artists spend their entire lives trying to attain; if ever more evidence were needed that Hecker is a master of his craft, just allow these delicate sketches to caress your ears and you’ll see what we mean!

Tim Hecker will be performing at Supersonic Festival on Sunday 21st October.


Get a Grip Screen Printing Workshop



 GET A GRIP specialise in screenprinting merchandise, and are back for Supersonic’s tenth anniversary to hold a workshop that is available for all festival ticket holders. Get a Grip came into being from a combination of DIY ethics, ecological thinking and a mutual love of Punk Rock, therefore they are the perfect candidates to bring you this unique workshop. The two-hour workshop, run from their poolside studio and shop front, gives you an informal introduction to their manual water-based screen printing techniques and gives you the opportunity to create a one of a kind t-shirt that will serve as a lasting memento of Supersonic 2012.

The workshop is open to weekend ticket holders for £25 which includes guidance, materials and a 100% organic t-shirt to take home. Using elements developed by an independent illustrator, taking inspiration from the festival design, you’ll put together a multi-coloured design to print onto a t-shirt. No experience required – you’ll enjoy this workshop whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced printer.

Time and places are running out! So to make sure you don’t miss out email [email protected] with ‘SCREENPRINT’ in the subject line – please also include your T-shirt size (Male or Female S/M/L/XL/XXL).


The Quietus Interview Sir Richard Bishop


The Quietus recently spoke with Sir Richard Bishop about the new Rangda album, his decision to stream all his solo albums for free and of course, his upcoming Supersonic experience. Richard’s live performances are never less than incredible, and it sounds as though this is a musician who is truly firing on all cylinders at the moment –

[Rangda has] certainly become more confident working together since the first record came out. That only happens over time. You have to remember, the first time the three of us actually played music together was two days before the recording of False Flag, so we didn’t have much of a chance to get to know each other musically on a direct experiential level. That came later when we began touring, working things out on the battlefield, in the trenches, so to speak. But now, I know we’re capable of doing anything we want in a musical sense. It’s just up to us to determine what that will be.

You can read the entire interview here, and you can watch both Sir Richard Bishop and rangda perform at this year’s Supersonic festival on Saturday 20th October.


Vinyl Rally – record amnesty!



Capsule need your unloved / unwanted records to be reused to create Vinyl Rally at Supersonic Festival.

Vinyl Rally,created by Australian artist Lucas Abela is a large-scale installation combining sound art, video art and kinetic sculpture and every kidult’s dream-hybrid; an immersive work playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports in a video game played within a real world setting!

The track is made up old vinyl records and we’re having a vinyl amnesty so that you can get rid of any unloved and unwanted records, and know they’re going to a good home; Records can be donated to the Vinyl Rally on

Saturday 13th October at
Birmingham Zine Festival’s Independent Publishing Fair
125 – 127 Hurst Street,
Birmingham, B5 6SE
12noon till 6pm.

And anybody who has a whole hoard of records to donate can get in contact in advance to arrange an alternative drop off, via [email protected]


A Quick Introduction To Bohren & der Club of Gore


It’s an honour and a total privilege to be able to witness the breath taking Bohren & der Club of Gore at this year’s Supersonic. The self-styled “doom jazz” masters haven’t graced these shores since 2008 and there’s no guarantee they’ll be returning anytime soon, so fans of their elegant, captivating sound are understandably freaking out right now. If you’ve yet to become acquainted with this stunning four piece, then allow us to introduce you to your new favourite band…

1994 – Gore Motel

On ‘Gore Motel’, the band’s debut, the Club of Gore adhered to a more traditional rock structure of guitar, bass and drums (oh, and mellotron, naturally), and this startling album comes across like a jazzy Earth, juxtaposing ominous downtuned dirges with subtle jazz flourishes. The band would mine similar territory with their 1995 double album, ‘Midnight Radio’, before embarking on an even darker, jazzier direction…

2000 – Sunset Mission

Losing a guitarist can be a crippling blow for many lesser bands, but after six-stringer Reiner Henseleit had bowed out, the Club of Gore recruited the inimitable talents of saxophonist Christoph Clöser and delivered one of their greatest records, the stunningly beautiful ‘Sunset Mission’. A richly atmospheric journey through dark city streets, this was film noir jazz at it’s most gripping, slowly enveloping the listener in it’s sumptuous soundscapes and smoky, late night ambience. The word ‘masterpiece’ is oft abused in this day and age but this is one record that truly deserves such an accolade; mandatory listening for both jazz and ambient fans!

2002 – Black Earth

After the stunning ‘Sunset Mission’, the Club of Gore were clearly on a roll, and delivered their break-through album ‘Black Earth’ just two years later. After catching the attention of musical maverick Mike Patton, ‘Black Earth’ was reissued on his Ipecac record label, bringing the beautiful sounds of Bohren & der Club of Gore to a much wider audience. Musically, ‘Black Earth’ shares many similarities with ‘Sunset Mission’, but pushes the material in an even darker direction; this is a progression, rather than a sequel.

2008 – Dolores

If 2005’s ‘Geisterfaust’ had hinted at a more ambient manifestation of the Club of Gore, ‘Dolores’ was where the band wholeheartedly embraced the minimalist ideals they had toyed with all along. Evidently this move paid off, with the quartet managing to evoke a vibrant cornucopia of emotions with some of their starkest music to date. This was Bohren’s sound reduced down to it’s bare skeleton, allowing the sombre and beautiful core of their music to ring out between the sparse, isolated notes, and it was no less gripping for it!

2011 – Beileid

Never a band to conform to expectations, their last album ‘Beileid’ saw the Club of Gore recruiting the vocal talents of Mike Patton for an utterly bizarre yet strangely beautiful cover of the German hair metal band Warlock’s ‘Catch My Heart’, mutating the song into a melancholy jazz ballad and stretching the notes out to dwell in the spaces inbetween. ‘Beileid’ may be Bohren’s shortest record, but it packs no less of a punch, as the band continue to expand their sound and subtly branch out into new territory. Where they progress from here is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to be a pleasure finding out!

Bohren & der Club of Gore will perform at Supersonic Festival on Saturday 20th October.


An Interview With Black Mass Rising Creator Shazzula


We have a real audio-visual treat in store for you this year; a screening of Belgian artist Shazzula Nebula‘s experimental film ‘Black Mass Rising’, a mystical lo-fi experience examining occult and apocalyptic themes through a dark procession of creepy, faintly psychedelic visuals. As you would expect from an ex-member of bands like Aqua Nebula Oscillator and White Hills, Shazzula has put just as much time and effort into the film’s soundtrack as she has its visual aesthetic, with a soundtrack consisting of exclusive tracks from the likes of Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Sylvester Anfang II, Burial Hex, Kinit Her, Cultus Sabbati, Aluk Todolo, Menace Ruine and many, many more. We got in touch with Shazzula to find out more about this extraordinary film, and why she’s just as excited to bring it to Supersonic as we are to screen it!

BLACK MASS RISING movie (Official Trailer) from shazzula on Vimeo.

Supersonic: What inspired you to create ‘Black Mass Rising’?
Shazzula: In terms of cinema…

*    “Visa De Censure X” by Pierre Clementi.

*    “Invasion Of Thunderbolt Pagoda” by Ira Cohen.

*    “Le Frisson Des Vampires” by Jean Rollin.

*     “Lucifer Rising” by Kenneth Anger.

*     “Nosferatu” by F.W. Murnau.

*     “Begoten” by E. Elias Merhige.

Other things that inspired me:

The ‘Pre-Raphaelism’ Art movement, the dark side of things and of course MUSIC.

Why should Supersonic attendees check out the film?
Well… if they like those movies… and if they like the bands on the soundtrack… They really should get into it… It would be an opportunity to hear in one project all those great bands, all finally united. Like a Sound & Visual Communion!

The list of contributing artists reads like a fairly comprehensive list of contemporary avant-garde/ esoteric musicians. How did you get all these bands involved in the project?
I love them all, they all are unique and they are indirectly related! For some of them, I was in contact or they are friends or we met…

When the idea of the movie first came to my mind, I did not want to do the whole soundtrack myself (I’m not really into “me myself and I”…). I thought it would be great to get all these music lovers in one crazy D.I.Y project!

I never thought the movie will have success or anything, I just wanted to do it and believe in it 100%, and I was so glad they all accepted to follow the Dark Path To The Light !

If time, money and space were no object, what would you have done differently with the film?
Well… I never wanted to have money for this project… it was from A to Z all improvised on my travels with friends & yes: The baby was born after 9 months…

The next movie project is heavier, it will be filmed in Mongolia.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
1- Dylan Carlson project with Teta Colamonaco on Vocals !
2- Six Organs Of Admittance
3- Sir Richard Bishop
4- Goat
5- Lichens /Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
6- Gnod
7- Merzbow

If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
So many!!

– Master Musicians Of Bukkake
– Om
– Sayona

Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
Unfortunately : Earplugs!

A Camera & bunch of  filters.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Shazzula?
Limited 300 Copies LP reissue of RUTH WHITE “Flowers Of Evil” on Our label, BLACK MASS RISING.

A tape of SAYONA on Brave Mysteries.

MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE will make the whole soundtrack of the next BMR Movie…


For more information about Shazzula Nebula, you can visit her official website and the Black Mass Rising Society page.


Bring The Noise! – A Celebration Of This Year’s Noise Performers


Noise fans are in for a treat this year, with several extremely prominent noise artists gearing up for a full-on audio assault that will shake the very foundations of Birmingham’s Custard Factory and push the limits of what you quaintly consider to be ‘music’. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the individuals who’ll be doing their utmost to blow your mind and perforate your eardrums this year…


Masami Akita, the undisputed king of squealing feedback and the most recognisable name in noise, will be gracing us with his infamously abrasive and intricately layered sounds. This isn’t the first time Akita has played at the festival (veterans will recall his threateningly loud collaborative set with Keiji Haino back in 2008), but this time round he has the entire stage to himself. We’re not entirely sure what Masami is planning, but given his vast back catalogue of skull shatteringly brutal noise, it’s probably best to pack your earplugs if you want to stand a chance of hearing the rest of the festival afterwards…

KK Null

KK Null’s highly distinctive and dynamic brand of noise has made him a firm favourite amongst fans of the genre, and his enthusiasm for furthering his own musical output through collaboration has seen him progress through a variety of different sounds. Following on from the sensory bombardment of his set with Lash Frenzy back in 2010, KK Null will be performing with inventive tuba-drone pioneers ORE; if you’ve ever wondered how the deep tones of a tuba would sound resonating across acres of white noise, now’s your time to find out!

Kevin Drumm

Kevin Drumm is the great unsung hero of modern noise. After mastering his own style of sparse, prepared guitar tweaking minimalism, Drumm began to experiment with dense, abrasive soundscapes and rose up to become heralded as one of noise’s most prodigious sons. His 2002 album ‘Sheer Hellish Miasma’ is considered a classic of the genre, a bold and devastating collage of powerful sounds and terrifying aural outbursts that certainly lives up to its name. Drumm hasn’t played in the UK since his European tour with Prurient back in 2008, and his Supersonic set will be the only British show of his current tour, making this an unmissable chance for noise fans to watch a true master at work.

Lash Frenzy

Supersonic isn’t the only entity to be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year – noise provocateur Lash Frenzy (AKA Andrew Moscardo-Parker) will be celebrating a decade of existence with ‘Ver Heroicus Sublimis’, an unscripted performance that represents the culmination of all his previous works. Andrew has been quite secretive about what exactly ‘Ver Heroicus Sublimis’ is going to entail, but backed by an all-star noise ensemble that includes members of Anaal Nathrakh, Beestung Lips, Benediction, Sally and Einstellung, this performance promises to be an all-out sonic massacre that will leave you crippled and broken. Bring it on!

Clifford Torus

Anders Hana (Moha!, Ultralyd & Noxagt), Leon Barnett (Horacio Pollard, Neigh%Music) and Kjetil Bransdal are Clifford Torus, a power trio as reimagined by the warped mind of a distraught acid casualty in a psychiatric ward. Their confrontational, highly textural and utterly deranged noise chews up elements of free jazz, power electronics, drone and sludge, before spitting them out and sculpting the subsequent mess into an imposing and unsettling kaleidoscope of noise. Despite being relative newcomers, Clifford Torus are definitely a force to be reckoned with, and fans of loud, harsh and unpredictable music should make these guys a major priority on their festival schedule!

Merzbow and Kevin Drumm will play Supersonic on Saturday 20th October, whilst KK Null, Lash Frenzy and Clifford Torus will perform on Sunday 21st October.


Kids Gigs – Islaja


The response to our Kids Gigs this year has been truly humbling; it seems many of you are eager to share the beauty of experimental music with your young ones! The Flower-Corsano duo gig on Saturday is close to selling out, but fear not! On Sunday 21st October, we’re proud to present the unique acid-folk stylings of Islaja, an enchanting prospect for listeners of all ages.

Merja Kokkonen (AKA Islaja) has been at the forefront of the Finnish folk scene for almost 10 years now, with her distinctive and daring style often drawing comparisons to Bjork, Syd Barret and Nico. However, Islaja’s music is very unique, bringing in more Eastern sounding influences to weave a truly fascinating musical palette. Her soulful yet icy voice soars over her own compositions, that manage to attain a certain level of majesty without losing sight of their innate sense of playfulness, a combination that’s certain to charm you as much as it will your children!

In addition to sharing the power of live music with your kids, this event also presents the opportunity to engage them with other forms of art too. The fantastic Juneau Projects will be offering a 20 minute animation workshop at both gigs, with the aim of gently introducing your child to the art of creating moving pictures. Using coloured lights and a series of basic images, your children will be encouraged to bring these pictures to life before letting their hair down for the following musical treat. If you think your child would enjoy an artistically stimulating experience in a safe, child friendly environment, then this is the perfect gift. Spaces are limited, so book now to avoid dissapointment!

Islaja will perform on Sunday 21st October. Tickets cost £10 (parent and child) or £12.50 (parent and two children), and this includes both the gig and the workshop.

Buy Tickets – Saturday with Flower/Corsano
Buy Tickets – Sunday with Islaja


A Fireside Chat With Hey Colossus


British mavericks Hey Colossus are one of the country’s most overlooked musical exports, with a fearlessly experimental and thrillingly visceral sound that occasionally sounds like Fudge Tunnel and Faust having a full-on fist fight whilst the Butthole Surfers jeer them on and hurl vintage loop pedals into the ensuing fracas. They’ve previously released splits with Nottingham’s riff worshippers Lords and Tokyo’s sludge lunatics dot(.), and their new 12″ (the awesomely titled ‘Witchfinder General Hospital’), is a bleary eyed kraut-noise odyssey deep into the heart of the sun, culminating in a gigantic sonic fireball as the group burns into a million tiny cinders upon impact. Put quite simply, this is a band you need in your life right now! Hey Colossus are currently preparing to ransack your grey matter with their performance at Supersonic on Friday 19th October, so we caught up with guitarist Joe Thompson to ask him a few questions about what you can expect…

Supersonic: Your new record (‘Witchfinder General Hospital’) is fantastic – is the title a loving tribute to the 1968 British horror film or the early 80’s NWOBHM band from Stourbridge (or neither?)
Joe Thompson: It’s where we all work aside from Dunc’, who is a butcher.

Why should Supersonic attendees check out your set?
We’re quite the party band, get yer glad rags on.

If time, money and space were no object, what would you do with your performance?
Get Mark E Smith to do our onstage sound.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
Drunk In Hell + Grey Hairs.

Who would be the ideal artist for you to collaborate with at Supersonic 2012?
Walter Hill needs to let us re-record, note for note, The Warriors Soundtrack. We’ll be back next year to perform it.

If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
Brainbombs, Carly Simon, Tusson.

Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
Blankety Blank chequebook + pen.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Hey Colossus?
New album in March, shows in March and April. Book us, especially if you do shows in hot countries.

Hey Colossus will perform at Supersonic Festival on Friday 19th October 2012, and their new 12″ ‘Witchfinder General’ is available now from One C Records.


Get a Grip Screen Printing Workshop



 GET A GRIP specialise in screenprinting merchandise, and are back for Supersonic’s tenth anniversary to hold a workshop that is available for all festival ticket holders. Get a Grip came into being from a combination of DIY ethics, ecological thinking and a mutual love of Punk Rock, therefore they are the perfect candidates to bring you this unique workshop. The two-hour workshop, run from their poolside studio and shop front, gives you an informal introduction to their manual water-based screen printing techniques and gives you the opportunity to create a one of a kind t-shirt that will serve as a lasting memento of Supersonic 2012.

The workshop is open to weekend ticket holders for £25 which includes guidance, materials and a 100% organic t-shirt to take home. Using elements developed by an independent illustrator, taking inspiration from the festival design, you’ll put together a multi-coloured design to print onto a t-shirt. No experience required – you’ll enjoy this workshop whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced printer.

To book a place, email [email protected] with ‘SCREENPRINT’ in the subject line – please also include your T-shirt size (Male or Female S/M/L/XL/XXL).


Preparations For Your Gnod-tastic Voyage…


As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…

The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)

This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!

Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)

After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.

Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)

Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!

In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)

‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.

Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)

Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!

You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!


New Music Plus…


Friday 19 October

Birmingham City University, Margaret Street Fine Art Building, Birmingham, B3 3BX

1.30pm – 6.00pm As part of the Art Of Listening extended panel

Hosted by Birmingham Institute of Art & Design
This event is supported by Birmingham City University.


New Music Plus… – making the case for cross artform collaboration


Check out the programme for most galleries, museums, film or art festivals, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a musical vein running across their programmes. As Supersonic celebrates its 10th anniversary, we’ve joined forces with New Music Plus… to put together a panel featuring: Jo Beggs, Head of Development for the Manchester Partnership Museums, Will Dutta, Chimera Productions, Andrew Ellis of Samizdat and Lisa Meyer, Co-director of Capsule/Supersonic Festival and chaired by Julia Payne. As the people behind some of the most exciting music-led inter-disciplinary work in the country, our panellists will talk about why this work is important to them, and about how they make it work – artistically and financially.

Will Dutta is a producer, composer and pianist, and director of Chimera Productions, whose work connects the dots between modern dance music and contemporary and experimental art music. Will has worked as a producer with a range of organisations, including Tate Britain, the British Film Institute, De La Warr Pavilion and the National Portrait Gallery.

Jo Beggs is Head of Development for the Manchester Partnership Museums (Manchester Arts Gallery, the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and the Gallery of Costume). Jo led on the Whitworth Art Gallery’s involvement as a production partner in new Music Plus… North West, and will be talking about the Partnership’s commitment to including music in its programmes.

Andrew Ellis, a.k.a. Samizdat, has acted as a conduit for new and interesting music in Liverpool for the past five years. Andrews most recent project was working in collaboration with Liverpool Biennial to produce A Crimson Grail for 100 guitars and 8 basses at Liverpool Cathedral

Lisa Meyer is the creative director of Capsule, crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences, identifying some of the otherwise indescribable connections between contemporary music, performance and art. Capsule has gained a reputation as a dynamic arts producer with a unique vision and strong track record for delivering highly ambitious projects, which include Supersonic Festival, this year celebrating it’s 10th birthday. Home of Metal, a groundbreaking heritage project, which celebrates Birmingham and the Black Country as the birthplace of Heavy Metal through a series of large-scale exhibitions, events and archive. Capsule has just been appointed as the festival producer for the new Library of Birmingham, due to open in September 2013, it will be the biggest public library in Europe.

 Julia Payne is director of the hub, a music development organisation that produces its own work and also provides consultancy, research and training services (www.thehubuk.com). She produced her first music events in 1993, and has project managed New Music Plus… since 2009.

New Music Plus…is a creative and professional development programme created by PRS for Music Foundation and run in partnership with the hub to enable non-music and cross-art form organisations to co-produce dynamic live music events with hand-picked music events producers.

Tickets are FREE to weekend ticket holders (places are limited and booking in advance is essential via [email protected] with ‘LISTENING’ in the title) or £10 https://www.theticketsellers.co.uk



Six Organs Of Admittance To Be Joined By Comets On Fire Members At Supersonic!


Six Organs Of Admittance‘s Ben Chasny is an artist as prolific as he is chameleonic, with his recorded output ranging from sunny, free flowing folk to shimmering dronescapes and scorching elongated jams. You can never be completely sure what Chasny has in store for you when it comes to the band’s live performances, but the news that he will be accompanied for his Supersonc set by his former Comets On Fire band mates, Ben Flashman and Utrillo Kushner, may indicate that this could be one of his more intensive, psych-rock oriented sets. A recent review of this lineup in the LA Times described their set as thus:

Throughout the night, bassist Ben Flashman and drummer Utrillo Kushner laid down syrupy Post-Black Sabbath structures over which Chasny and rhythm guitarist Noel Von Harmonson roamed, locking into a groove for chunks of songs before loosely and gracefully turning themselves over to instrumental exploration, usually focused on Chasny’s solos.

Speaking to the Quietus, Chasny explained the reasoning for reunited with Flashman and Kushner:

I think the key energy was just getting back together with a group of friends that hadn’t all played music together in quite some time. The fact that we were all in Comets is sort of secondary to the fact that we have all played music for a long time and toured hard and knew each other pretty well sonically. It’s definitely not a Comets reunion. I mean, I don’t really think we’ve ever broken up. There has never been a point where Comets said, “We are done.” We’ve just been concentrating on other things for a while.

Chasny fans are spoilt for choice this year, as the guitarist will also be performing as part of experimental supergroup Rangda alongside Sir Richard Bishop and Chris Corsano. In the same interview, Chasny mentioned the different musical chemistries between each different group:

After playing together in Rangda I think we have a closer musical relationship now. It’s not so much a something that can be exactly pinned down as it is a more subconscious way of acting and reacting with each other. The same goes for the guys in Comets. I think as any group of people play music with each other they start to understand the space that they operate in more and more in relationship to each other.

You can read the full interview with Ben Chasny here. Six Organs Of Admittance will be performing on Sunday 21st October, whilst Rangda will perform on Saturday 20th.


A Brief History Of Justin Broadrick


Justin Broadrick will be making his fourth appearance at the Supersonic Festival this year, unveiling his new solo project JK Flesh – a dense, atmospheric endeavour that feels like the culmination of all his previous projects combined. This seems like a fine time to glance back over Broadrick’s long and eclectic career, and celebrate one of Birmingham’s finest musicians in the process…


In 1982, a young Justin would take his first musical steps with his friend Andy Swan under the name Final. The endlessly prolific Broadrick would release no less than 50 Final cassettes within the next year and a half, and would later resurrect the project in order to continue his soundscape experiments.

Fall Of Because

Two years later, Broadrick would sew the seeds that Godflesh would eventually grow out of with Fall Of Because, alongside future Godflesh cohorts G. Christian Green and Paul Neville. The trio, taking their name from a Killing Joke song, recorded several songs that would go on to become known as Godflesh classics (including ‘Life is Easy’, ‘Devastator, and ‘Merciless’) before calling it a day a few years later, around the same time that Broadrick met fellow Brummie and sonic visionary, Nicholas Bullen

Napalm Death

After a chance meeting at a local flea market, Broadrick would join Bullen and wild eyed drummer Mick Harris in a fledgling anarcho-punk band by the name of Napalm Death. The three-piece refined their sound over the course of three demo tapes, before recording the A-side of seminal grindcore classic ‘Scum’ in 1987 and changing the face of extreme metal forever. Evidently life in the fast lane was not Broadrick’s cup of tea, and he and Bullen left the band before their debut album was completed, feeling that they had pushed this extreme sound as far as it could possibly go (‘You Suffer’ is still credited as being the shortest song in the world by the Guiness Book of Records!).

This lineup would reconvene in 1992 for Scorn’s debut album ‘Vae Solis’, an oft overlooked industrial classic that pits crushing Swans worship against tribal electronic beats – it’s sometimes hard to believe this was the work of the same three musicians responsible for blistering grind outbursts like ‘The Kill’ and ‘Siege of Power’!


Following his departure from Napalm Death (and after a brief stint drumming for industrial pioneers Head Of David), Broadrick reconvened with G.C. Green to form Godflesh. Using their old Fall of Because songs as a starting point, the pair would fuse the hard hitting gut punch of metal with the harsh, mechanical qualities of industrial music, creating another legendary band and redefining a genre in the process. Over the course of 7 full-lengths and numerous EPs, singles and remixes, Godflesh drastically reshaped what many people thought a metal band could sound like, and influenced a plethora of other artists from across the musical spectrum. At the height of their infamy, Broadrick politely turned down offers to join Faith No More and Danzig – one can’t help but wonder how different the musical landscape of the 90’s would have been if he’d accepted…

Techno Animal

London based producer Kevin Martin had promoted Godflesh’s first show in the capital city, sparking a long lasting friendship between the pair. Justin eventually contributed to Kevin’s band God, and in 1991, they released their first record under the moniker Techno Animal, a startling concoction of industrial, hip-hop, dub and noise that still sounds fresh to this day. Broadrick and Martin would go on to collaborate many more times over the next few years, and even invited Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire to help them out with the manic breakcore of their Curse of the Golden Vampire project.


Godflesh eventually imploded shortly after releasing their 2000 swansong ‘Hymns’ (featuring ex-Swans sticksman Ted Parsons in place of the drum machine that had provided the bleak, mechanical pulse for previous records), but out of their ashes rose Broadrick’s new project, Jesu. Over the course of four full-lengths and numerous EPs and splits, Justin would forge a more ethereal, optimistic sound that has more in common with the shoegaze movement than it does the harsh industrial feel of his earlier works.


Broadrick crossed paths with Aaron Turner when Jesu toured with Isis, and the two joined forces with occasional Jesu cohort Diarmuid Dalton and ex-Head of David bassist David Cochrane to create Greymachine, a stark, rhythmic juggernaut amidst wastelands of barren noise that almost sounded like Godflesh being re-imagined by Whitehouse. Greymachine would only release a single eponymous album, but the record still stands as one of the heaviest and most uncompromising monoliths in both Broadrick and Turner’s back catalogues.

JK Flesh

‘Posthuman’ is Justin’s first official solo album, and it feels like a comprehensive combination of all the different sounds and styles he’s previously worked with, fusing together to form one imposing industrial behemoth that doesn’t really sound like anything else being produced in 2012. The cathartic blend of dubstep, industrial, metal and noise could be seen in some ways as a spiritual successor to the Greymachine album, but the project casts quite a distinct shadow over Broadrick’s extensive back catalogue.Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess…

Of course, this is only the most basic overview of Justin’s long and storied career; there are many of his projects we’ve left out here, such as the harsh power electronics of White Static Demon, the twisted breakcore of Krackhead and the vast, Throbbing Gristle-meets-King Tubby soundscapes of Council Estate Electronics. And this is all before we’ve even mentioned his recent venture into the great unknown as Valley Of Fear (alongside Skullflower’s Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies), and of course, the feverishly rumoured and much anticipated Godflesh comeback record…

With all these projects on the go simultaneously, it’s a wonder Justin finds the time to play live at all, making it all the more special when he does. It’s a real pleasure to have this visionary artist bringing his latest project to Supersonic this year, and promises to be an experience that no self-respecting Broadrick fan is going to want to miss.

JK Flesh will perform at Supersonic Festival on Friday 19th October.


Zeni Geva Strike Back!


It’s an honour to have one of Japan’s most uncompromising and original noise rock bands appearing at Supersonic’s 10th anniversary bash – we are of course talking about the mighty Zeni Geva! Seeing as guitarist and vocalist KK Null has graced the Supersonic stage numerous times over the past decade (including an absolutely incredible performance with Zeni Geva themselves back in 2010 that melted the brains of everyone within a 10 mile radius), this seems like the perfect band to invite along for this year’s celebrations.

Zeni Geva’s sound doesn’t lend itself to easy categorisation, taking the primordial soup of death metal and blending it until it assumes the complex characteristics of prog rock, then lathering it in thick, turbulent layers of dissonance and serving the whole mixture up with a generous side portion of paranoia, anger and fear. Whilst KK Null has remained the core leader of the group, over the years the band’s personnel has read like a who’s-who of the early Japanese noise scene, featuring the talents of Acid Mother’s Temple guitarist Mitsuru Tabata and Boredoms/Hanatarashi drummer Ikuo Taketani, who has since been replaced by hyper talented Ruins sticksman Tatsuya Hoshida. Zeni Geva’s incendiary sound was too exciting to go unnoticed by the Western world however, and eventually caught the attention of such luminaries as Steve Albini and Jello Biafra, who signed the band to his Alternative Tentacles label in 1993 to release their classic ‘Desire For Agony’ record. As anyone who has witnessed them in the flesh before will attest, the Zeni Geva live experience is truly a force of nature. A whirlwind of distraught riffs, rapidly shifting time signatures and an almost unbearable tension threaten to overwhelm the listener, before the band’s abstract pummelling eventually ushers in a state of bizarre, transcendental euphoria. The band’s UK shows haven’t exactly been plentiful over the years, so grab this chance to see this incredible band while you can!

But of course, artists as prolific as Null and Hoshida aren’t just satisfied with treating us to just one mindblowing performance, and both artists will be taking to the stage under different guises this year too. KK Null will be teaming up for a one-off set with local tuba drone pioneers ORE, a two-piece dedicated to broadening the pallette of drone/doom with the vast, resonant sounds of the tuba. ORE’s Sam Underwood joined Null for his gut shatteringly intense performance with Lash Frenzy at Supersonic two years ago, which was evidently the start of a very fruitful partnership indeed. This unlikely combo will be playing a piece of music they’ve written specially for the festival, and will even have a few copies of an ultra-limited CD-R for sale. These are sure to sell like hot cakes, so act quickly if you want to snap one up! How ORE’s deep brass drones will play off against KK Null’s retina searingly powerful waves of noise is anyone’s guess, but this promises to be a fantastically esoteric journey into the furthest reaches of experimental music. Don’t miss out!

Tatsuya Hoshida will also be performing as Ruins Alone, the solo incarnation of his incredibly complex but endlessly groovy band Ruins. Sharing a similar style of frantic hyperactivity with bands like Naked City, Fantômas and Melt Banana but walking a path that is all their own, Ruins feed music through their own personalised meat grinder and string together the resulting strands into intricate patterns that make the Fibonacci sequence look like the 2x time table. Taking influence from French prog rock madmen Magma, Ruins songs are sung in their own language, a fitting trait for a band that so steadfastly refuses to adhere to conventional norms and structures. After being lucky enough to find 4 different virtuoso bassists to accompany him over the past 18 years, recently Hoshida has decided to go it alone, wowing audiences across the globe with his technical precision and flawless ability to leap between wildly different time signatures with the utmost grace. Ruins have always emphasised the power of immediacy and spontaneity in addition to their impeccable musicianship, making this a set that will be as gratifying to free wheeling hedonists as it is to beard stroking percussion experts.

Zeni Geva will play Supersonic Festival on Saturday 20th October, whilst Ruins Alone and KK Null & ORE will play on Sunday 21st October.


Supersonic Festival Podcast No. 3


Here’s the third and final edition of our festival podcasts, an awesome selection of Supersonic related artists loving chosen by Chris Downing. If you missed out on them beforehand, the first and second editions are still available for streaming!


1. Jarboe – Ascend

2. Mothertrucker – Festival Strength

3. Lau Nau – Painovoimaa, Valoa

4. Hype Williams – Businessline

5. Hey Colossus – Almeria, Spain

6. Doomsday Student – Ape In Love

7. Napalm Death – The Crucifixion Of Possessions

8. Stian Westerhus – Trailer Trash Ballad

9. Nicholas Bullen – Proximity

10. Merzbow – Slave New Desart

11. My Disco – A Turreted Berg

12. Oxbow – S Bar X

13. Modified Toy Orchestra – Monkey Hands

14. Moonn – Night Of The Vampire

15. Gnod – Why Don’t You Smile Like The Other Children

16. Body/Head – Live

Weekend tickets are just £80 and available from HERE