After lots of planning and prepping behind the scenes, we are delighted to reveal more artists and the day lineups for our latest edition. We’ll be returning to Digbeth, Birmingham from 1-3 September with a lineup championing boundary-pushing acts, exclusive performances and special collaborations.
★★★★★ – The Guardian
“Supersonic is ahead of the curve again.” – The Wire
“My mission is to create a line up that champions the most significant artists from the underground, artists that challenge us to think about injustices of the world we are currently living in and those that are pushing the boundaries of adventurous music. These indescribable links bind the programme together to make a festival which makes a space for those with open ears and hearts. Over the last 20 years our aim has been to provide a means for unity, for escapism, camaraderie; for belonging and most importantly for unrestrained joy.”
– Lisa Meyer, Artistic Director/co-founder, Supersonic Festival
GET TO KNOW THE ARTISTS PERFORMING AT SUPERSONIC THIS YEAR…
[Backxwash Photo Credit: Méchant Vaporwave]
We are celebrating twenty years with headliners Godflesh whose origins are deeply entrenched in the backdrop of post industrial Birmingham, and who have had a huge impact on heavy music, and the Irish quartet Lankum who have been selling out shows since the release of their critically acclaimed new album in March. Joining them is Zambian-Canadian rapper & producer Backxwash, performing the first and only UK performance as a Supersonic Festival exclusive. Backxwash makes cathartic and expressive music rooted in horrorcore, hip-hop and industrial metal, exploring themes around faith, identity and queerness. Also performing are one of indie music’s most influential bands, the ecstatic quartet Deerhoof who will bring the joy with their unruly avant pop music.
[Lankum Photo Credit: Sorcha Frances Ryder]
We’re also proud to be hosting the debut live performance of Silver Moth, an atmospheric noise-rock collective comprising of Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Elisabeth Elektra, Steven Hill and members of Abrasive Trees, Burning House, Prosthetic Head, and Evi Vine. Alongside Ondata Rossa, a brand-new project from an experimental supergroup of epic proportions, comprising four renowned and wildly experienced musicians and improvisors Valentina Magaletti (Vanishing Twin, Moin, Holy Tongue), Agathe Max, Dali De Saint Paul (HARRGA) and Yoshino Shigihara (Yama Warashi) with 16mm film footage as part of the performance.
We pride ourselves on curating a line-up of forward-thinking musicians with unique approaches to composition, and are proud to announce Matana Roberts, an internationally celebrated composer, performer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner.
[Infinity Knives x Brian Ennals]
Baltimore hip-hop/neoclassical experimentalists Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals craft a mighty, omnivorous set, masterfully executed with both ferocity and vibrant joy. DJ Bus Replacement Service provides a head-spinning rush of anything-goes bangers, using techno to form the base layer of her sets, wasting no time criss-crossing Asian hip-hop, yodelling, donk, gqom, spoken word, and more. Elvin Brandhi (Yeah You) is an improvising lyricist, producer and sound artist, who builds aberrant beats from field recordings, tape, vinyl, instrument and voice.
Born of Slovenia’s rural DIY free festival scene, Širom a trio who create vividly textured and mostly imagined folk music, a revelatory mix of improvisatory acoustics, post-jazz and drone, fusing handmade and global instruments with fearless sound exploration, the results are unbound by tradition or geography. Dynamic Birmingham based trio Total Luck who have quickly found their identity in Birmingham’s music scene with their robust sound and forceful audaciousness to create an intense live show.
A Supersonic line-up would not be complete without old friends, Oxbow, who have graced the Supersonic stages numerous times before, and last performed in 2012 with the jaw-dropping Oxbow Orchestra. Now in our 20th milestone year, and with their first new album in six years on the horizon, Oxbow will shake things up with their electrifying and visceral embrace of distortion, volume, foreboding emotional timbres, meticulous execution, and tension-baiting restraint.
“[Supersonic] have been the sisters in arms everyone should be lucky enough to have. To say I love them is an understatement. To be able to play Supersonic again this year, both a treat AND an honour.” – Eugene S Robinson/OXBOW
Returning to the festival following stand-out performances at the 2022 edition are Divide And Dissolve promoting their new album, Systemic, and BIG|BRAVE, who shall perform a special collaboration with fellow Montreal-based violinist Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt Zion, Black Ox Orkestar), a collaboration exclusive to Supersonic which we cannot wait to witness.
Supersonic champions creative subversion from all walks of the underground, celebrates artists who are portents of hope and solidarity like Shovel Dance Collective, who’s modern folk music reclaims the narratives of the working class, people of colour and the queer community, alongside playful storyteller Josephine Foster and Ashenspire who’s music demands attention and argues for change. The queer and antifascist idiosyncratic black metal of Ragana join the bill, as well as the absolutely vital Taqbir, who are working against a culture that deems their music an insult, and instead they create a space for people like themselves to freely express their anger.
This year’s edition promises to bring the stamina of krautrock and math-rock, fused with aspects of jazz in a variety of joyous performances, with the elemental rhythms from 75 Dollar Bill, the airtight grooves of Horse Lords and the frenetic sound world of Avalanche Kaito, both traditional and experimental in nature. Blacks’ Myths will meditate on the history of blackness via their frantic collisions of free jazz, post-rock and dissonant noise. Local to Birmingham, Un.Procedure creates a post-apocalyptic sound through an avant-jazz filter, with 70s rock influenced grooves and heady, sci–fi tinged soundscapes. MC Yallah and Debmaster will bring their high energy performance with rapid flow and rugged beats.
Supersonic is also welcoming back two distinct acts; Ex Easter Island Head, whose live performances have been praised for their hypnotic energy and unique spectacle, and Hey Colossus – who are celebrating their 20 year anniversary and promise to put on a special performance.
Alongside all these formidable acts on our line-up, we hope you’ll join us for a weekend of pure escapism. Further programme announcements including workshops, talks and more will be revealed in the coming months.
Deerhoof | Ex Easter Island Head | Hey Colossus | Infinity Knives x Brian Ennals | MC Yallah + Debmaster | Ondata Rossa | Total Luck | un. procedure
Godflesh | Backxwash | Ashenspire | Divide & Dissolve | Elvin Brandhi | Horse Lords | Oxbow | Ragana | Taqbir | DJ Bus Replacement Service + more TBA
Lankum | 75 Dollar Bill | Avalanche Kaito | Blacks’ Myths | Big Brave with Jessica Moss | Josephine Foster | Matana Roberts | Shovel Dance Collective |Silver Moth | Širom