The 2022 Reviews!

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We just want to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing reviews, write-ups & feedback we’ve had of our 16th edition!

 

★★★★★

THE GUARDIAN

Supersonic is not just a music festival, but a site for resistance and community, a utopia made briefly real.

READ THE GUARDIAN REVIEW HERE.

“★★★★★ – Audiences were treated to feral drum and bass, doom metal, twisted folk music and some seriously experimental weirdness, amongst much else… a weekend of serious musical strangeness” 
READ THE ART DESK’S REVIEW HERE. 

 

“This is one of Supersonic’s core strengths: the way it tone-shifts between grinding sonic despair and expressions of positivity rooted in inclusivity and solidarity.”
THE WIRE MAGAZINE

 

“When artists offer humble acknowledgement of how well they’re being treated by the crew and how nice it is to play for such a welcoming audience it just underlines what a special festival this is.”
READ THE ECHOES & DUST REVIEW HERE. 

“A community exists around it, a music crowd seeking discovery rather than some predictable homogenous party… A little gem with a mighty message, Supersonic seeks to make you smile, think and extend – it was a genuine mission accomplished.”
READ BACKSEAT MAFIA’S REVIEW HERE.

 

When someone mentions Birmingham the first thing that springs to mind isn’t Black Sabbath. Nor is it Aston Villa F.C. Not even Godflesh. It’s Supersonic.”
READ THE SUN13 REVIEW HERE.

 

“In the bathroom after the performance, I can hear two women speak about how they’ve never felt safer at an event. It’s a serious compliment for Supersonic given the state of things.”
READ GODISINTHETV REVIEW HERE.

 

“In the bathroom after the performance, I can hear two women speak about how they’ve never felt safer at an event. It’s a serious compliment for Supersonic given the state of things.”
READ BIRMINGHAM REVIEW FOR FRIDAY + SATURDAY + SUNDAY 

“One of Supersonic’s true talents is finding heaviness and experimentation in the most unexpected of crevices, but that doesn’t mean the curators shy away from tapping into Birmingham’s storied metal heritage.”
READ ASTRAL NOIZE REVIEW HERE.

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Paul Purgas’ explorations in tape music

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Paul Purgas does not just produce music. His pieces are audio-visual exhibitions, stirring artistic performances.

Already as a part of The New Music Biennial Festival in Coventry and London’s Southbank Centre this year, Supersonic is proud to also have commissioned Purgas to create an exciting new project exploring the next generation of tape music.

With exhibitions in places like Tate Britain, South London Gallery, and Serpentine Gallery, a talk in Tate Modern, numerous magazine publications, and an Electronic India documentary on BBC Radio 3, Purgas has demonstrated his talent to the world over and over again. He is inspired by the development of modernism and technology in the 50s and 60s, and the history of electronic music, which heavily influenced his most recent installation – ‘We Found Our Own Reality’ in the Camden Art Centre.

Somerset House Studios, where Purgas is currently a resident, described his music as electroacoustic and computer, and his sound – broadcasting and spatialised. He redefines what we think of electronic music, adding new, previously unheard-of elements into his mix. We can certainly expect his Supersonic project to be as riveting.

Paul Purgas performs on the Sunday of Supersonic 2022 – tickets available here.

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No Home pushes the limits of noise-punk

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London-based solo musician Charlie Valentine, aka No Home, is the definition of experimental and truly one-of-a-kind.

Their most recent album, ‘Fucking Hell’, has been named one of the ‘The 35 Best Rock Albums of 2020’ by Pitchfork, and each song on it is a unique manifestation of their individuality. Their style pushes all boundaries of genre, their vocals are mystifying, and their sound is noisy and industrial.

The narrative of No Home is thought-provoking – it attacks capitalism and exploitation, with songs like ‘A B- in This Economy’ and ‘Who Cares, The State Wants Me Dead Anyway’. The vocals leave the listener haunted by the doom of our society, and this feeling is only pushed harder through the completely mind-bending soundscape. No Home confessed that writing and producing music for them is like therapy, partially because therapy is too expensive.

Their latest single ‘Warped Bow’, released just earlier this year, is a combination of ominous percussion, industrial uproar, and psychedelia. ‘Is it supposed to be so hard?’ they repeat twice, and the voice sounds more discontented than before. No Home’s next album is likely to reveal more of the world’s ugliness in a way we have never heard before and expand our minds beyond the limits.

No Home performs on the Saturday of Supersonic 2022 – tickets available here.

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Divide and Dissolve’s fusion of classical influences and crushing doom

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What do you get when you mix classical influences, the sound of crashing doom and the battle against systematic oppression? Divide and Dissolve are born.

The members Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill see it as the primary goal to use their music to challenge white supremacy and fight for black and indigenous liberation. Their sound is heavy – you can feel the rage and the power of their will in it, trying to push against everything that is wrong in the world.

NME writes that ‘Gas Lit’, their most recent album released in 2021, ‘is a marked evolution of their absorbing sound, which spans doom, drone, and classical across a nuanced spectrum’, and calls Nehill and Reed ‘purveyors of sonic extremity’. Divide & Dissolve’s music is largely instrumental, but it does not feel like the vocals are missing at all. They have the ability to say what they want to say using the instruments alone, with extra meaning added through not-so-subtly political song titles, such as ‘Black Resistance’ and ‘Cultural Extermination’. They are not afraid to cause controversy – there is no battle without havoc.

Divide and Dissolve perform on the Sunday of Supersonic 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Getting to the Festival

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Our evolution continues as we move to an exciting new home on the outer edges of Digbeth, Birmingham. The post-industrial landscape of our midlands home is forever changing, so here’s the most up-to-date methods of joining us for our 16th edition festival…

 

FESTIVAL ADDRESS

The Mill, 29 Lower Trinity St, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4AG

 

ON FOOT/PUBLIC TRANSPORT

We encourage folks to use public transport as much possible to get to the festival. If coming from a Train Station in the City Centre, the quickest route to the festival is down the main Digbeth High Street – but HEADS UP – it is currently swamped with roadworks!

 

 

Here’s a google map with some main landmarks to guide you to the festival!

 

 

DRIVING

For those who are driving, Birmingham’s City Centre is now a ‘Clean Air Zone’ this means only certain vehicles can enter without being charged. The festival takes place within this zone.

IMPORTANT if you are arriving in a vehicle please check if your registration plate is compliant here.

If your vehicle isn’t compliant, you will need to pay £8.00 each day your vehicle is within the clean air zone. A ‘day’ is classified as midnight to midnight, not 24 hours from when you enter the zone.

During that midnight to midnight timeframe, you can enter and leave the zone numerous times and only incur a single charge.

You can pay:

• six days in advance of the day of your visit
• the day of your visit
• six days after the day of your visit

Payments can be paid online HERE or over the phone by calling 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm).

 

 

PARKING

The B4100 is the main Digbeth High Street and is currently swamped with roadworks! If you are looking for somewhere to park, we recommend you enter Digbeth from the Ring Road, via Lower Trinity Street or Adderley Street. Here’s a list of recommended carparks close to the festival site…

  • Trinity Street Car Park aka the ‘Crushed Car Park’ – B9 4AL [more expensive, but most convenient]

  • JustPark Liverpool Street – B9 4DS [cheaper, 3 mins walk]

  • Green Parking Ltd  – B5 6DY [cheapest, 10 mins walk]
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Timetable announced for Supersonic 2022!

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Here’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for… the Supersonic 2022 timetable! So grab a pen and get circling, cause you won’t want to miss any of the mind-blowing music, workshops, films and talks we have in store for you! 

 

Have a gander below or download a PDF copy here: SS22 FULL TIMETABLE

 

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Grove promises queer sovereignty, drum and bass beats

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Drum and bass beats, elements of jungle and dancehall, and robotic 90s rave synths – this is all Grove, and so much more.

Having started producing original music when they were just 14, Grove always knew that they wanted to create something unconventional. Inspired by the freedom of expression of Bristol, Grove creates a sound so modern it feels like it could not have been produced any time but now.

‘Music with intention is a thing that I fully subscribe to,’ says Grove. Their lyrics are a brave and unapologetic expression of queer sovereignty, leftist politics, and pride for their black heritage. It is not all politics though – they also recognise the value of simply getting absorbed into the music for the sake of it and are ‘excited to just be sweaty with everyone again’ at live shows.

The earned recognition comes with their tunes being championed by such platforms as Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music among many others and being named one of Mixmag’s ‘Best EPs of the Year’. The community is only growing bigger, and that is good news – voices like Grove’s deserve to be heard.

Grove is performing on the Friday of Supersonic 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Food and Drink at Supersonic 2022

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We’ve got a whole host of traders in our food court to keep you well fed over the festival weekend. The Supersonic Tea Room is back keeping you topped up with delicious cakes, and our very own bars can be found across the site providing an array of real ale, cider and spirits to aid your enjoyment. 

Purity Brewing are proud to be supplying Supersonic bars once again. Continuing a long standing partnership that builds upon shared values and principles. Purity Brewing beers are crafted with a conscience in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, each one of their award-winning beers embodies a love of great beer with real character – brewed responsibly to leave an even better taste in your mouth.

In the food court you’ll find…

BEET THE SYSTEM – Beet the System are a Vegan Worker Co-operative from Birmingham. They make the best Organic #FreshTempeh you’ve ever tasted and they are chuffed to be fuelling Supersonic Festival again with some amazing gastronomic delights!  

MASA – Bringing authentic Mexican street food to Supersonic for the weekend, with slow-roasted meat tacos and fresh vegetarian flavours being combined with local, seasonal, and unusual ingredients for something different and delicious.

BLOW WATER – A female-led enterprise based in Birmingham, Blow Water is passionate about introducing people to the spirit of Hong Kong through authentic East Asian cuisine. You can find Sabrina serving her take on healthy home cooked flavours from Hong Kong, including delicious Heavy Metal Dumplings, throughout the weekend at Supersonic Festival.  

REALLY AWESOME COFFEE VAN – Join our mobile barista, Phil Short who can offer a selection of bean-to-cup gourmet coffees, delicious hot chocolates and made-to-order smoothies, frappes and iced coffees.  

BONEHEAD – Treating us to a range of their delicious crispy fried chicken wings at Supersonic – be sure to try their sensational Cauliflower Wings too!

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Portland’s Abronia bring Map of Dawn to Europe

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‘No matter your taste, you have never heard anything exactly like Abronia’s The Whole of Each Eye, which is exactly why you should pick it up,’ claims Record Crates United, and rightly so.

The band simply does not fit into a single musical genre – one has to listen to them, and then agree on the uniqueness of the sound.

With a variety of drums and a saxophone in addition to the guitar and bass, the band is an orchestra of six people, all of which contribute a personal quality to the resulting melody.

The mystical sounds transport you into the deserts of Wild West, with the rhythm that Post-Trash identified as ‘prime and ritualistic’. The vocals are bewitching and the music entrancing.

Their third album ‘Map of Dawn’, released earlier this year, is a proud continuation of the distinctive beat of the marching band drum mixed with a synthesiser and spiritual-sounding aria.

The sound of Abronia will be spread further on their European tour this summer, and Supersonic is thrilled to be a part of it!

Abronia play the Friday of Supersonic Festival 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Welcome aboard, Alina!

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Joining our team for Supersonic Festival 2022 is Alina Kokina, an intern from the University of Birmingham.

 

Alongside being a lifelong gig-goer, Alina has spent time as a ballerina and circus performer. She has a passion for travelling and languages, and can speak Russian, Latvian, a bit of German and is currently learning Ancient Greek. We asked Alina to hand-pick some of her highlights from this year’s line-up…

 


JERUSALEM IN MY HEART “Picture this – you are in a venue, lights are flashing soft neon, and you lose yourself in the instrumental synthesis that makes the building and the crowd within it vibrate. The kind of music that is made to be listened as loudly as possible, that equally calms and disturbs you, Jerusalem In My Heart overpowers you with experimental, electronic sound. Their audio waves make me feel like I’m swimming in the ocean – not drowning but floating together with the current, giving into the power of the tide that submerges you and you can’t resist moving with the flow of the waves.”

 

BIG BRAVE “Big Brave feels like a massive release of energy into the atmosphere but in a form of sound, which goes all through you – you can feel it fill up your body, you want to become part of the sound. Each song is a journey which starts at lower volume levels and, with suspense that almost feels like physical pressure of the music, builds up to eventually explode in a catharsis of electric guitar riffs like I’ve never heard before.”

 

HOLY TONGUE “‘The kind of music that you can’t stand still to’ is my best attempt to describe the engaging rhythm of Holy Tongue. I’m not talking crazy breakdance, but swaying, nodding and oscillating, with your eyes closed and arms extended. The band name doesn’t lie – the experience feels holy, spiritual, otherworldly. I never thought that ‘psychedelic reggae’ would be a genre that I ever encounter, but somehow it just works so well!”

 

FÖLLAKZOID “The music of Föllakzoid makes me feel like I am being put into a trance, which virtually resembles electronic, New Age-infused meditation. It’s psychedelic and experimental, and yet serene and mystifying at the same time. With the right atmosphere, listening to Föllakzoid is nothing short of a spiritual journey – I can only imagine what a mind-bending experience listening to it live must be!”

 

BUÑUEL “Buñuel managed to capture the exact sound of oh so familiar old school metal, which puts you right in the middle of a rock concert mosh pit. The drums and the guitars and the vocals all blend into a perfectly fitted chaos that just makes me want to jump and scream with my fists up, covered by the vibrations from the amps that pass through the crowd like an earthquake. It feels powerful.”

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MARKET PLACE STALLS ANNOUNCED!

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With the Supersonic 2022 site opening just a couple of weeks away, we’re proud to share with you our Market Place traders!

 

The Market Place has been a vibrant part of Supersonic Festival for many years now. It’s a space for independent distributors, record labels, poster artists and pedlars of all kinds of curiosities to sell their wares, network and meet audiences & likeminded folks face to face.  

 

This year, the Market Place will be situated in a new home as part of our 16th edition festival, taking place on the weekend of 8 – 10 July 2022. We’re bringing our global community back together with an ambitious programme of mind bending music, sense shifting art and life altering experiences.  

 

Here’s who you’ll find peddling their wares…

 

Boswellian Artifacts will be returning with an array of of weirdo wares for infernal freaks. Original screen printed t shirts, zines, limited edition books and prints. Brelliott Amps will be bringing some exclusive editions of the TODP Tube Overdrive Distortion Plus pedal with hand drawn artwork, a collaboration forged in a Supersonic Marketplaces of yesteryear.

 

Alongside his sold out workshop at Centrala, Farmer Glitch will be bringing a range of sonic devices, electronics project kits and audio releases from Yeovil’s Eastville Project Space, along with one-off artworks and vintage vinyl.

 

 

For all you crate diggers we’ll have offerings from Edgeworld Records, Alt.vinyl, Thrill Jockey and Viral Age selling new and second hand records and tapes for curious ears. Thrill Jockey are celebrating their thirtieth birthday, so expect some limited edition merch and releases!

Anti-profit publisher Dog Section Press will be stocked with anarchist books, pamphlets and zines, as well as their quarterly newspaper DOPE Magazine. They’ll also be selling publications on behalf of Exitstencil Press, including Dial House, a new work by Lucy McLauchlan.

Independent publishing house Re_tale Distro recently moved from Glasgow to Birmingham, and we’re pleased to welcome them to our marketplace. Bringing experimental writing, photography and art under the guise of fact and fiction, with some exclusive launches for the festival.

Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective (supported by Craftspace) – Shelanu, a collective of migrant and refugee women working with Craftspace, will be offering high quality jewellery and objects for sale inspired by the city, cross cultures and shared experiences of migration.

Finally, Another Realm promises a curiosity cabinet of handmade trinkets, art and adornments, from lasercut jewellery to giclée prints, cards, zines, mugs and coasters.

 

 

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June of 44 to play first UK shows in 23 years

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It has been 23 years since the collective of punk rock pirates June of 44 have performed on the UK soil, and they chose Supersonic as a perfect way to reintroduce themselves.

“We’d been asked a few times throughout this very long period to reconvene for a short tour or special event in England,” Jeff Mueller told us, “at no moment did it ever seem quite possible until Supersonic expressed interest in us for their 2020 edition. At the time, we had little knowledge of the festival – upon scratching the surface, it felt like the ideal place for us to re-emerge in the UK. There is an honest, gritty, hard-working, direct carefulness with the way it seems Supersonic has been built and continues to develop – in both its curation as well as its organization. The approach resonates with us, it’s attractive and runs adjacent to the way June of 44 digs to construct itself.”

“Additionally, we’d be remiss to not at the very least mention what an honour it will be to perform in the birthplace of such incomparable, deep inspirations as Black Sabbath, John Bonham… from Broadcast to Steel Pulse, so much extraordinary music has bloomed out of beautiful Birmingham.”

The band has not been active for two decades since they released 6 albums in the 90s, but 2021 saw their return with a brand-new record under a chunky title ‘Revisionist: Adaptations and Future Histories In The Time Of Love And Survival’. The songs are a cauldron of electronic, post punk and soft metal influences, and the styles change even within a single song. Listening to them is interacting with the unexpected – you have no idea what sound will follow, but it never disappoints.

Supporting them will be an extraordinary drum duo Rattle. That’s right – with an occasional vocal harmony, Rattle only use drums in their songs, some of which are as long as 12 minutes and take you on a trance-inducing journey. Rattle have been praised for their ‘hypnotic minimalism and ecstatic regard for the dance floor’. Using just two drum sets, they never run out of new sounds – each song is bizarre and certainly unprecedented.

On Friday 8th July, whilst our festival is kicking off in Birmingham, June of 44 + Rattle will be bringing the Supersonic spirit to the good folks of London with a show at 229. Then June of 44 are travelling up to sunny Birmingham to perform on the Sunday of Supersonic Festival 2022 – tickets available here.
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Matters on making electronic music in the Home of Metal

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Birmingham-based duo Matters prioritise live performances over studio recordings and work hard to create immersive audience experiences, assembling their own lights and visuals whilst creating a live soundscape of synth patches, drums and guitar. They spoke to us about the ways in which Birmingham as a city shaped these shows.

“There’s obviously a really interesting history of heavy music in the city – electronic stuff too – and I’m sure that’s gotten in. I think part of the influence has been in what wasn’t here as well though, in our live form, trying to create our own version of experiences had elsewhere.”

This comes as no surprise, with their wide-ranging influences impacted by their various touring locations. Matters have been on tour with Flat Worms for the first couple of weeks in June, and now they’re off to play a festival in Uzbekistan before Supersonic.

This set will follow their memorable 2019 performance . New to their roster will be songs such as 2020’s Hannah, a song which was recorded pre-pandemic but released within it. “Hannah was recorded a year before the pandemic hit,” said guitarist Stuart-lee Tovey, “so for us it was the actual release of the vinyl that was impacted. We were in Brid’s print studio working as fast as we could to get the packaging made as we knew it was inevitable we were going to be locked down. Geoff from Static Caravan also worked really hard to get the orders out in case going to the post office was no longer an option. So for us that release evokes many bleak memories, but the music itself exists in a different place.”

Another highlight is sure to be 2021’s Plastik, a trance-inducing electronic song featuring vocals by fellow Supersonic performer Blue Ruth. It is clear that audiences will need to watch closely as well as listen when this group takes to the stage.

When asked about their personal favourites from this year’s line-up they told us they’re excited to see Follakzoid, Divide & Dissolve, Grove and also really looking forward to making some new discoveries.
“HHY and the Macumbas, who played after us in 2019, were a revelation!”

Matters are performing on the Friday of Supersonic 2022 – tickets are available here.

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Films, talks and DJs at Supersonic 2022

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With just three weeks to go until Supersonic 2022 we’re proud to announce the following additions to our programme:
TALKS

Freak Zone in Conversation with Richard Dawson and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh

BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Stuart Maconie talks to cult icon Richard Dawson, about his life, his lyrics and his recent collaboration with Finnish legends, Circle. Then on Sunday Stuart speaks to ground breaking producer, musician and Supersonic Guest Curator Radwan Ghazi Moumneh aka Jerusalem In My Heart, an artist whose music has been on repeat in The Freak Zone home for the whole of 2022.

The Art of Collaboration

Jessika Khazrik, Sian O’Gorman (NYX), Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin) will be talking to Sophie Morrison (SAM) about the art of collaboration and the launch of Digital Bridge, a new project led by Sound and Music and the Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS) in partnership with Supersonic.

Electric Wizards JR Moores in Conversation with Rosie Solomon

Being in the Home of Metal we couldn’t resist an opportunity to talk to author JR Moores about his new book Electric Wizards which explores the rich tapestry of Heavy Music from 1968 right through to the vibrant modern underground, epitomised by Supersonic darlings Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley in Conversation with Decolonise Fest and Divide and Dissolve

Our guest curators Decolonise Fest will be in conversation with Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley on Saturday. Decolonise Fest is a non-profit DIY punk festival collectively organised by and for punx of colour, made up of activists, militant community organisers, musicians, and artists.

On Sunday Jasmine will be speaking to multidimensional heavy duo Divide & Dissolve. Both from indigenous backgrounds, Divide and Dissolve aim to secure Black futures, liberation, and freedom; demand Indigenous Sovereignty; uplift people of colour’s experiences; and destroy white supremacy.

Paul Purgas In Conversation

Sound artist Paul Purgas will share his research into the history of India’s first electronic music studio founded in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 196, and in turn how this research informed his recent commission ‘Tape Music’ for Supersonic Festival as part of the New Music Biennial.

FILMS

“Here Is a Gift for You: A Film about Old Man Gloom” directed by Kenneth Thomas

Kenneth Thomas’ will be presenting “Here Is a Gift for You: A Film about Old Man Gloom“. The official Old Man Gloom documentary will take audiences along with the band on the West Coast leg of the tour for their album, NO, in 2012.

Shorts by John Bradburn

Director John Bradburn will take us through his Birmingham-made music videos for Royal Thunder, Deafheaven, Emma Ruth Rundle, and Uniform among others, channelling the sinister, strange landscape where the ruins of industrial England meet a timeless pagan wilderness.

Shorts by Erin Weisgerber

Erin Weisgerber, a Tiohtia:ke/Montreal-based filmmaker and member of Jerusalem In My Heart shall be screening a series of short films as part of Radwan’s guest curation. All of the films were created on 16mm film using in-camera effects, optical printing, hand-processing, and other forms of image generation and manipulation unique to the material qualities of film.

DJS

Freaky Disco

On Saturday night, BBC Radio 6 Music are throwing their very own Freaky Disco featuring DJ sets from Stuart, Divide and Dissolve and Jerusalem In My Heart. They’ll also be broadcasting a Supersonic Special on 6 Music on Sunday the 17th of July, featuring live music and highlights from the festival. The Freak Zone broadcasts on BBC Radio 6 Music at 8PM every Sunday, and if you miss it, you can listen again on BBC Sounds.

The Quietus Takeover

The rooftop bar is being taken over all day Saturday and Sunday by our pals at countercultural magazine, The Quietus. Expect DJ sets from UKAEA spinning tropical disco; international punk rock fire from Noel Gardner; Alannah Chance and Jennifer Lucy Allan from BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction; and the hopefully not self-explanatory John Doran and J.R. Moores’ Naked Brunch; plus expect special performances and guest DJ spots from across the bill.

FAT OUT One Stop Transformation Shop

Returning to Supersonic again laden with all the (biodegradable) glitter & googley eyes they can carry is Fat Out’s One Stop Transformation Shop and bringing with them their hoards of rowdy glitter witches. Give yourself to Fat Out and let them transform you into your most fabulous self, ready to tear up the Supersonic pit and pull all the shapes on the dance floor.

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Welcoming Sadie to the Supersonic Team!

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Joining our team for Supersonic Festival 2022 is Sadie Barnett, an intern from the University of Birmingham.

 

Sadie Barnett is a South Londoner (who will remind you of this very often) and multidisciplinary creative. They are currently an undergraduate in their final year of English and Creative Writing. They co-host a weekly radio show called ‘Femme.FM’ which highlights female and nonbinary artists, as well as DJing as ‘Sadie.HD’.
We asked Sadie to hand-pick some of their highlights from this year’s line-up…

 

THE BUG feat FLOWDAN “The Bug is one of those projects I would describe as ‘your favourite alternative artist’s favourite alternative artist’. Fronted by Kevin Martin, The Bug is one of his longest-standing musical projects, with his own eclectic production style – which ranges from electronic to hip hop to dub – often being used to highlight other vocalists. The songs I’ve chosen for my playlist highlight different periods of this project; Skeng featuring Flowdan (who will be performing alongside him at Supersonic) comes from his 2008 album London Zoo, Fuck a Bitch featuring Death Grips comes from his 2014 follow up Angels and his hypnotically dark remix of On Man’s Squares and Triangles was released as single only this year. So many people I’ve spoken to about this year’s line-up have told me how excited they are for The Bug, and with decades worth of songs and plethora of genres and styles to choose from, it is clear that this performance is one that will live up to its hype.”

 

DJ AWKWARD BLACK GIRL “one of those artists for whom I think I may be the exact perfect demographic. On Instagram she describes herself succinctly, saying ‘Loves Chips. Dyspraxic. Queer. Awkward. Black.’ The first time I read this I did a double take – I had never seen a more accurate description of myself! As someone who is just starting up as DJ it is so inspiring to see someone so similar to me make a name for themselves. In an industry that is so often overrun by straight white men it is so refreshing to see black queer womxn take up space – not to mention the added difficulties that arise when DJ-ing with dyspraxia! She is also a founder of ‘Sister Shack’, a feminist Black and Queer CIC which works to promote women and nonbinary creatives. Their set for Sister Shack’s ‘Sister Sounds International Womxn’s Day 2022’ event – which seamlessly blends a mix of old school funk classics such as Chaka Khan with rock acts like Big Joanie and high-energy rap such as London’s Little Simz – can be found here.”

 

GROVE “With influences ranging from drum and bass, jungle, dancehall and even hyperpop, the most concise way to describe Grove’s music is as music that you simply cannot help but dance to. This philosophy is important to Grove, who places the dance community at the centre of their music, often playing unreleased versions of new songs to crowds in Bristol to gauge reaction. Proudly black and queer, Grove aims to make music that champions their identity within these contexts. Sticky, for example, the first track on their 2022 EP Queer+Black, was written as an ode to popular black queer club night Pxssy Palace. An addictive blend of electronic, hyperpop-infused dancehall production the bouncing bass and fast-paced drums set the stage for seductive lyrics about dancing with a girl at the club. With new singles coming out in rapid succession, Grove’s Supersonic performance is sure to be an exciting one, I know I, for one, will be trying my best not to get lost in the crowd.”

 

NEKRA “I am incredibly excited to see Nekra this year. The all-female hardcore punk band have been making waves in the London underground scene since their 2017 Demo, conveniently titled Demo 2017. Nekra is the kind of band that immediately draws you in with their perfect-to-mosh-to energetic style but keeps you listening with their thought-provoking lyrics. On their most recent project, 2020’s EP Royal Disruptor, singer Spooky Runo’s uniquely raspy voice goes from angrily calling out predators in Groomer to heartbroken screaming on closing track Amang. It is clear that, in each of their songs, Nekra has a point to make, whether it concerns their own experiences or wider political issues. Their live performances are energy filled spaces designed to be a safe outlet for uniquely female anger, and I’m sure I’m one of the many people excited to be absolutely furious with them at Supersonic this summer.”

 

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NEW PODCAST! Supersonic 2022 edition – part one

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We’re back with a new episode of the Supersonic Podcast celebrating the momentous return of the festival and it’s 2022 line-up!

 

Want to get to know the artists performing at this year’s festival?! Join Rosie & Emily from Team Supersonic as they take you on a wild journey through the sounds of Supersonic Festival 2022 -our big return to live! With so much stellar line-up to get through, we’re splitting up this edition into two parts, so welcome to part one!!

 

It’s an absolute stonker of a programme with music and conversation from Jerusalem In My Heart, Big Brave, Richard Dawson & Circle, The Bug, Buñuel, Föllakzoid and more. Tune on in!

 

LISTEN HERE

 

| BUY SUPERSONIC TICKETS

 

If you’re in a position to support the artists in this podcast too, we’ve put all their Bandcamp links below for your convenience…

Tracklist

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Supersonic 2022 Workshops are now live!

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With Supersonic 2022 fast approaching, we are proud to announce the workshops taking place over the festival weekend. There’s something for everyone and LOTS to get involved with!

 

Our audiences are at the heart of what we do. That’s why we strive to give them experiences which get them closest to the things they love. So if you fancy having a hands-on start to your day, or taking a breather between our stonking live acts – we have some exceptional workshops planned for you to get involved with!

 

Information for how you can register your interest and book a place can be found below…

 

DO.OMYOGA: SELF AWARENESS THROUGH SOUND [SATURDAY]

MORE INFO | TICKETS £8.00

Do.omyoga is the bringing together of music and movement with stillness to create an immersive meditation. A journey and exploration of the self through sound. Join Do.omyoga (Kamellia Sara) on a sonic spiral inward to the centre of your being using the Nāda yoga system.

 

DO.OMYOGA + NYX : NADA SOUND CEREMONY [SUNDAY]

MORE INFO | TICKETS £10.00 

DO.OMYOGA and NYX: Electronic Drone Choir are coming together for an unmissable event at Supersonic 2022. This is a Sound Ceremony, where we invite our audience to practice Yoga, accompanied by the immersive vocal sounds of NYX & their Supersonic Choir.

 

NYX: VOCAL EMBODIMENT WORKSHOP OF TONES, BONES & DRONES [SATURDAY]

MORE INFO | SIGN UP

This vocal workshop will focus on connection with breath, body, natural vocal frequencies and shared deep listening spaces. Together we will prepare a short piece to be performed during the Do.omYoga + NYX Sound Ceremony on Sunday.

 

SYNTH BUILDING WORKSHOP – PUNKSEQ10 [SATURDAY]

MORE INFO | SIGN UP

Farmer Glitch (a.k.a. Stephen Ives) is renowned for customising the discarded – transforming rusted buckets and old cameras into potent noise-machines. He specialises in his own line of compact and affordable noise-makers to suit a range of tastes.

 

CUT THAT OUT! – POSTERS OF PROTEST [SUNDAY]

MORE INFO | DROP IN

Using coloured paper and collage materials to create cut-out letterforms and making stencils to print their own compositions, participants will make their own extraordinary typographic experiments to shout their own message to the world in the spirit of these dissidents, radicals and rebels using simple everyday materials which will be risograph printed into a poster to take away at the end of the workshop.

 

CLAYDATES WITH ARTI

MORE INFO | DROP IN

Designed to get people connecting, creating and collaborating, ClayDates with Arti is an eco-friendly workshop centred around the joys of clay sculpting.

 

Places are limited, so don’t delay – sign up right now to secure your place.

Please note, entry to these workshops is included in the Supersonic Festival ticket – a festival ticket for the relevant day (or the full weekend) is required! Do.omYoga events are ticketed and are also open to the general public.

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Decolonise Festival on making spaces for punks of colour

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Decolonise fest is an annual London-based, volunteer-run, non-profit DIY punk festival collectively organised by and for punx of colour.
We’re incredibly excited to bring the Decolonise Fest crew up to Birmingham to guest curate part of our 2022 programme. Their collective is made up of activists, militant community organisers, musicians, and artists who will be making room for DIY punx of colour to take centre stage and make some noise. Ahead of the festival, we caught up with the team for a chat about their work.

“As a Black punk who had been playing on the scene for a few years the idea of a punk festival for people of colour was something that I always wanted and hoped someone else would put on.” said founder Stephanie Phillips. “I talked about it with my band sometimes but eventually I posted on social media and asked people if there was going to be a punks of colour festival who would they want to play. The response was immediate and showed there was a huge interest in the idea of a space to celebrate artists of colour. In summer 2016 I organised a meeting with other punks of colour and about 20 people showed up. We talked about everything we experienced in the scene from the racism, our similarities, experiences of being othered. From then we started planning the festival and held our first annual event in June 2017 featuring three days of music, art, and culture with bands such as Sacred Paws, Big Joanie, Screaming Toenail, Skinny Girl Diet and more.”

“The alternative music scene has changed over the last ten years. When I first got involved in the DIY punk scene around 2010 there were very few people of colour on the scene in bands or at shows in the audience. That environment made me at the time feel isolated and like i was living a double life, going to my Black feminist meetings one day and punk shows the next. The two spaces never mixed. Whereas now, it feels like there are more bands with people of colour in them forming. I think people of colour are starting their own nights and scenes and are more open to talk about the problems that we face in what is still a white majority music scene.”

“Supersonic asked us to collaborate with them to help curate a line up for their festival and to assist them in finding ways to make the festival more inclusive and representative for audiences and artists. We held a roundtable event and invited people of colour from Birmingham and local areas to talk about their feelings around the alternative music scene in the Midlands and their thoughts on Supersonic. We found that many people really needed a space where they could talk as people of colour and share their experiences. It was a moving event and all of the attendees have kept in touch with one another.”

“We wanted to make sure we hosted artists that could benefit from the platform that Supersonic offers and would equally challenge and enthuse Supersonic’s audience. We worked with all of the artists previously in some capacity. PRNCSS performed at the 2020 virtual edition of Decolonise, Rachel Aggs has performed with her band Sacred Paws before but is now doing a solo set, and Nekra opened the first Decolonise Fest back in 2017. It is our first time working with DJ Awkward Black Girl but we know of her through her work with Sister Shack CIC in Newcastle.”

“The acts we’ve chosen are really varied and will cover every genre you would expect from the festival. Rachel Aggs will be performing her lo-fi solo set that takes equal inspiration from pop and it does indie. PRNCSS is an explosive performer and mixes trap beats with an electronic punk attitude. Nekra are an all female hardcore punk act that write fast and furious songs about the theories of bell hooks and the trauma of immigrations. Finally, DJ Awkward Black Girl will spin a selection of rock, r&b, garage, soul and more.”

For a flavour of their selections for the festival, you can listen back to the Decolonise Freak Zone Playlist on BBC Radio 6 Music. Rachel Aggs, PRNCSS, Nekra and DJ Awkward Black Girl are all performing at Supersonic 2022 from the 8-10 July – get your tickets here.

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Win a pair of tickets to Supersonic 2022 and a weekend’s stay at Staying Cool at the Rotunda

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We have partnered with Staying Cool at the Rotunda to run a very special competition for two lucky people who will win 2 x Supersonic Festival Weekend Tickets and accommodation for the weekend at Staying Cool Rotunda.

To enter this free competition, head over to our facebook or instagram and tag the person you will bring with you if you’re our lucky winner, tell us why you love Supersonic Festival and what you’re looking forward to the most. Not sure who you’re most excited for? Find the full line up here!

Competition closes midday Friday 10 June 2022 – the winning entry will be drawn randomly and announced ahead of the festival.

Staying Cool is a design-led boutique serviced apartment operator in Birmingham.

Staying Cool opened atop the Rotunda (a Grade II listed building) in Birmingham in 2008. The 35 apartments are stylishly designed and range from studios to 2-bed penthouses. The collections larger apartments represent the only 5* (Visit England assessed) accommodation in the city a decade after opening.

Since launch Staying Cool’s mission has been to offer guests chic serviced apartments that combine all the style of a boutique hotel with the space

The business has a strong ethical streak with a focus on working with other local independent companies.

Our studio apartment is named after the famous British car built at Longbridge in its sixties heyday. The Mini gives you 370 square feet of city-centre living to enjoy. Floor-to-ceiling windows that open to deliver the perfect city vista while bespoke interiors bring the wow factor inside. All of our studio apartments are on levels 16-19 so great views are guaranteed. If you have a preferred view then let us know when you check-in and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Each apartment has a fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and lounge area as well as the bedroom which is separated from the living areas by a low divider. The bathroom has a rainfall shower. Fluffy towels and bathrobes come as standard. You’ll find complimentary oranges for the juicer and Fairtrade teas as well as locally ground coffee.

We have a special code “SS22” giving 10% off for bookings from Thursday 7th to Monday 11th July, so you can guarantee a luxury experience for Supersonic 2022! 

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Poster design by David Hand

Print Matters Exhibition
Centrala, 1 – 22 July

Print Matters is a showcase of the political and social power of DIY publishing.  

Since the mid twentieth century, radical printshops have been seizing the means of production to spread ideas to the masses. While some of this material would previously have been a challenge to get past censors and editors, the photocopier + print press has made it nearly impossible to destroy all copies of a “dangerous” idea; affordable, accessible printing allowed every reader to become author and publisher.

For Print Matters we’ve selected a group of artists who share essential political ideas using the accessibility of print media. We’re delighted to showcase work by… 

BLACK LODGE PRESS

Black Lodge Press is an ongoing print project inspired by queer anti-fascist culture and anarchy. Created by CJ, it comprises posters, graphics and zines espousing radical, direct action. There’s no gentle subtlety here.

“The DIY nature of this art makes it accessible, which is what art should be. “ CJ firmly believes that art shouldn’t just be for the rich: “If it’s not cheap it’s not punk mate!

FOKA WOLF 

Birmingham-based artist Foka Wolf hates adverts, so they make their own. The anonymous artist’s work began as a serious of handwritten stickers serving as classified ads for organisations like “ILLUMINATI DEATH CULT”, “ROAD MAN CHAT” and “VOODOO FOR BEGINNERS”, and when they discovered that you could get enough large format prints made to cover a billboard for £25, they moved into full on subvertising. Occupying ad space with huge works that force conversation and poke fun at a host of brands, political parties, and individuals, Foka Wolf makes their prints at home in the post-truth apocalypse.

“People will believe anything if it’s packaged and polished in a certain way. That really worries me.”

GEE VAUCHER

Gee Vaucher is an internationally renowned political artist living outside Epping, Essex. She is best known for her radical creativity, montages, and iconic artwork for the infamous anarcho-pacifist band Crass. Employing an eclectic range of styles and techniques, coupled with an essentially DIY aesthetic, she creates powerful images exploring political, cultural, and personal issues. She sees her work as a tool for social change.

DOG SECTION PRESS

Dog Section Press is a not-for-profit publisher and distributor of seditious literature, and a worker-owned cooperative. They aim to keep their own publications affordable and distribute books and pamphlets that are inexpensive. Their books and pamphlets are printed with Calverts, a worker-owned co-operative based in east London.  They produce DOPE Magazine, a quarterly newspaper which is distributed to anyone who could use a little solidarity, to sell on the street. Working with a network of radical bookshops, social centres, homeless organisations, and independent volunteers, they currently distribute 30,000 copies each issue. This is worth around £90,000 to their street-vendors – or almost £400,000 annually. DOPE is also free to prisoners, who can request copies via Haven Distribution.

LA LINTERNA

La Linterna (The Lantern) is a letterpress printing workshop based in Cali, Colombia, which was established in 1934. It is dedicated to artisan printing of posters using linoleum engraving and the use of movable types. Each poster is an authentic work of art that represents the craft of printing and handcrafter engraving. La Linterna printed the works on display in collaboration with Dog Section Press. They are produced in the tradition of radical street propaganda, to be displayed in public spaces; their messages are as important today as ever.

LUCY MCLAUCHLAN

Lucy McLauchlan paints walls, water towers, lighthouses, car parks, multi-stories, abandoned subway stations…

She will be launching her book of prints created while doing a residency in 2019 at  Dial House, a space run by Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud that will be published by Exitstencil Press.

“I was invited to spend couple weeks at Dial House – to look over the edge.
But I couldn’t step close, I was transfixed with where I was right then. Right there. This cottage holds a strength and voice, powered by its guardians. A fortitude solidified by the relations and creations built there and set out into the world.
Time & space is a rare gift. To simply be. Sheltered under the trees, a heavy duvet and tin pan. Only chores to hose yourself down once in a while, remember to eat, turn in when the light starts to fade. A chance to take a step closer.”

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Holy Tongue shows a new side to Valentina Magaletti

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Holy Tongue, the newest project from percussion powerhouse Valentina Magaletti, fuses dub rhythms with an avante-garde attitude.

Supersonic audiences will recognise Magaletti from her work with Tomaga, Vanishing Twin, uuuu, her collaboration with percussionist and sculptor Joao Pais Filipe to create CZN, or her “Avante-Sabbath” piece with Pierpaolo Martino for Sofasonic in 2020. Holy Tongue are poised to take those listeners by the hand and lead them into new sonic territory.

“I have no idea whether Holy Tongue, the inspired new collaboration between London drummer Valentina Magaletti and Al Wootton (FKA Deadboy) plan to play live, but god, I hope they do.” – Resident Advisor

Holy Tongue’s self-titled first EP is a product of an improvised session in East London. Heavily influenced by dub reggae, the two bring a mutual appreciation for the experimental dub of On-U-Sound, Muslimgauze, and post-punk bands such as Liquid Liquid and 23 Skidoo to the forefront of the sound. The result is a record of psychedelic, free-form, high energy, spiritual dub-dance music.

It’s mind-warping, hypnotic and punctuated with Magaletti’s trademark rhythms. Wootton’s spacious textures and grooving basslines make for pieces that are both wandering and danceable.

Holy Tongue play the Friday of Supersonic Festival 2022 – get your tickets here.

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Buñuel, Thou, and Old Man Gloom’s transatlantic heft at Supersonic

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Birmingham may be the birthplace of metal, but here at Supersonic we love our heavy brethren from further afield too. Enter Buñuel, Thou, and Old Man Gloom.

Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson fronts Buñuel, alongside the Italian trio of guitarist Xabier Iriondo (Afterhours), the bass of Andrea Lombardini (The Framers), and the drums of Francesco Valente (Snare Drum Exorcism). Buñuel’s newest release Killers Like Us is out now via Profound Lore. The third part of a trilogy that started with A Resting Place for Strangers, and then The Easy Way Out, it’s an amalgam of angular rhythms, drum salvos, blitzkrieging guitars and vocals that sound more like threats than promises. Named after the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, the first filmmaker to make good on what happens when straight razors meet eyeballs.

“The easiest categorizations, noise rock and post-punk, fail to capture the full experience. Instead, Killers Like Us is a blitz of untamed, unchecked testosterone.”
Boolin Tunes

Winging in from Baton Rouge, Lousiana are Thou. Though oftentimes misread as “post rock” or “hipster doom”, they share a more spiritual kinship with 90s proto grunge bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, or Soundgarden. Collaborations with Emma Ruth Rundel and The Body have bolstered their extensive release catalogue, which comprises five full length albums, seven EPs and enough material spread out over splits to make up another four or five full lengths.

“Thou are a very good metal band…the weight and heft of powerful sludge, the atmospheres of post-metal and the scratchy, atonal undercurrent of noise rock”
The Quietus

Old Man Gloom are also joining the party from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The experimental super-group of Aaron Turner (Sumac/Isis), Nate Newton (Converge), drummer Santos Montano are now joined by Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Converge) taking the place of late former bandmate Caleb Scofield. Through monolithic sonic tapestries sewn throughout, both of the latest releases Seminar VIII: Light of Meaning and Seminar IX: Darkness of Being (both out now on Profound Lore) serve as a moving tribute to Scofield. Old Man Gloom have incorporated material that Scofield had laid down previously to their earth crumbling riffs, post-hardcore brutality, sprawling noise transmissions, experimental ambient sonic-subdivisions and epic impenetrable melancholy. 

Buñuel, Thou and Old Man Gloom play the Saturday of Supersonic 2022. Get your tickets for our 16th edition here.

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Shovel Dance Collective on place and politics in folk music

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Shovel Dance Collective are a nine-piece exploring the folk music of the British Isles through a lens of proto-feminism, queer narrative and working class history. They rework tunes drawing inspiration from their backgrounds in drone, free improvisation, and metal to create arrangements that The Times has called, “invigorating folk revival”. We caught up with Nick Granata, Jacken Elswyth and Mataio Austin Dean…

“We often work in medleys so how tunes speak to each other is a big factor,” explains Granata.
“Sometimes tunes have traditionally been paired, sometimes they sound very similar but a slight variation adds something rich, or they contrast enough that one tune lifts the other. A tune can also have a great story (like the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance), or just a great name (like A Fisherman’s Song for Attracting Seals).

Great words can come with not so great melodies, or great melodies can come with not so great words. But since it’s all up for grabs variations can be made, words changed and tunes amended. It’s great to find a gem that’s not been sung much, and we have a couple of those, but it’s also great taking on a much loved song that some of the audience will know immediately.”

“I think folk music lends itself to a consideration of place. One of the things that makes the music powerful is its passage through an unknown number of anonymous hands, transformed and re-created as it moves from place to place. There’s a simultaneously particular and universal quality to it. Since the 20th century folk revival it’s been the done thing to cite the person and place from whom any particular version of a song was ‘collected’ – by now that has a whole lot of baggage attached, and is often a claim to authority and authenticity on the part of the performer as much as a genuine recognition of debt. But it also serves to gesture towards the longer history of the music, so we’re always keen to include those kinds of details in the interpretations we include with recordings and provide at performances.

In that context we’ve also tended to note the location of recordings we’ve made as well – for example, ‘Fidelma’s living room’ – almost without considering where that impulse comes from. But it feels right to underline that this is one instance in the longer life of a song or tune, specific to one particular time and place but connected to all the others.”

Shovel Dance Collective aren’t long back from a trip to SXSW to perform at the British Underground Happening.

“We spent the first part of the week going to see weird bands in near empty venues and saw loads of amazing stuff, then it got to be our turn and we were the weird band in a near empty venue. It was an unusual thing for us to do, and we’re very thankful to British Underground for supporting our trip there. We learnt a lot and met some great people.”

With everyone from Robert Eggers to Taylor Swift turning their hand to the folk aesthetic of late, Granata is reflective on the genre’s perennial resurgence.

“It could perhaps be related to a growing shared sense that systems long accepted as stable and unending are actually absurd, illogical, and fragile. This dawning understanding of our present suggests that our past isn’t quite as clean cut as we may have been taught, and folk (contrary to history) offers itself as a method of reimagining that past. It opens an opportunity to grasp a fluid past – contradictions and all – and provides an archive of realities long obscured or forgotten. Folk offers a form of communal historiography, authored collectively by different generations across time. Maybe it also has something to do with a mistrust of or betrayal by the idea of progress (what with disaster constantly looming in a few likely forms). Instead folklore offers insights into ways of being, previously dismissed, that might be worth revisiting, renewing, or reinventing.

In terms of folk music and the response we tend to get, people seem to connect to the music quite readily and with real gusto. I think this is because we reassure them that this is their music to cry to, laugh to, sing along with, learn and take ownership of. Having permission to share in the performance can be contrasted starkly with watching a performer who is perceived to be the individual genius. Maybe it’s refreshing to listen to music that says ‘listen to what we made together’ rather than ‘listen to what I made’.

We come from a long line of leftwing folk musicians from Britain and Ireland. People like A L Lloyd, Luke Kelly, Shirley Collins were all unashamedly socialists and we would like to be as brazen as they were with our politics. There’s a real precedent for it. Though we’re not under any illusions that folk music, especially in England, retains its political importance among most people. It’s fair to say that the few people you’re finding in the folk clubs and folk bands generally aren’t the working class radicals they might have been when folk clubs all over the place were packed out every week. Folk music has become pretty middle class, seldom enjoyed by most, and in some cases been de-politicised completely to be softer and more palatable. I think possibly our engagement with queer history and black and brown histories as well as radical working class history separates us a bit from other folk acts and their politics. I think the challenge in playing good folk music today is rejoining that link between people and this amazing music, whilst keeping it real, political and fiery where it needs to be. Musicians like Lankum do this really well at the moment. The main thing is that we think there’s still a strong place for folk among other politically motivated forms of music and we hope the people that would benefit from hearing it get to.”

For Supersonic 2022 Shovel Dance Collective are excited to share their practice with a new, curious audience.
“I think we’ll try and lean into the doom and gloom. We always do a bit, but we’re often careful to temper it with some hope and joy. For Supersonic it might be nice for us to let our hair down. So you can expect some epic drone-y trad folk: exposed and unaccompanied solo voices through to slow-build reworkings of old folk tunes and full-band group singing.

We’re incredibly keen to see Divide and Dissolve, a band whose music and politics we really respect. We’re also all big Richard Dawson fans, so would love to catch his set. And we want to get our fill of slow, heavy, fun things: Bismuth, Thou, Bloody Head.”

Shovel Dance Collective are performing on the Sunday of Supersonic 2022. Tickets are on sale here, and in the meantime you can whet your appetite with their 2020 release Offcuts and Oddities.

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The Bug & Grove bring the BASS to Friday night at Supersonic.

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Two artists we insist will absolutely floor you with their massive bass-heavy music are The Bug (feat. Flowdan) and Grove. Both performing on Friday night we expect high energy sets laced with Dancehall productions, full of Grime, Hip-Hop & Dub.

 

A whole decade after they last shared the Supersonic stage in 2012, The Bug (shape-shifting producer Kevin Martin) joins with Flowdan (East London MC) to deliver crushing music in response to our world on fire.

With divisions ever cementing, The Bug’s detonation of barriers between genres, scenes and cultures, could not be better timed and could not be more needed. His signature apocalyptic dancehall production style remains a force to be reckoned with, whether calling on an arsenal of MCs or with his increasingly deep instrumental club sets. 

Mutating sound through collaboration, Kevin explores his obsession with the MC cultures of Jamaican dancehall, acid-ragga, grime and hip hop through revolutionary methods. We expect a punishing live show from him to be paired with the booming voice of Flowdan, whose career has spanned the entire lifetime of the Grime genre.

 

For me a live show should be unforgettable, should alter your DNA, or scar you for life in a good way – that’s always been my goal, to set up shows that are unforgettable” Kevin Martin, The Bug

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p-3fzdBHaQ

 

Meddling together elements of punk-infused dancehall, jungle, bass and pop, Grove is an autodidactic Bristol-based producer and vocalist with a constantly morphing sound.

 

Grove’s noise concoctions come from the ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ energies that reside within, filtering them through a sensuous & rave-a-licious lens, with lyrics inspired by political angst, queer euphoria, & the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in the city of Bristol. Delving deeper into mutated forms of dancehall, dub and hip-hop, electronics and dense, distorted bass, Grove provides a perfectly frazzled marriage of future-facing dancehall and ragged noise experimentation.

 
“Going hard with the drum and bass beats and the blunt aggression of the icy end of hyperpop, Grove’s music is unforgiving and confrontational”– Gal-Dem 

 

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