Sofasonic Playlist: Dorcha

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the five members of dorcha stand in a field with abstract costumes
Throughout the year, as part of our extended Sofasonic Festival celebrations, we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure!

 

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp | Matters | Bunny Bissoux | impaTV | Bryn Perrott |

 

Our Sofasonic Playlist of the week comes from Birmingham’s very own band of rogues, Dorcha – these left-field luminaars are a genre-fluid, dynamic, versatile group with a refusenik attitude. We asked them to pull together selections that sonically inspired their new album ‘Honey Badger’.

 

Dorcha have been praised by BBC Radio 6’s Stuart Maconie on the Freak Zone, have performed for BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and have had festival appearances at Flatpack Film Festival, Supernormal and with us at Supersonic back in 2017. Earlier this month they released brand new album ‘Honey Badger’, recorded at Geoff Barrow’s Invada Studios – where they seem to have had a great time in the toy chest of analogue synths. The album is layered in gorgeous glowing tones and sweet cinematic strings, we highly recommend you give it a listen.

 

 

“Honey Badger is about capturing the chaos and introverted mayhem that transpires from being a weird insular person in social situations, but also how these circumstances might help you go on to develop and grow. It’s the creeping presence within our psyches that unleashes the weird, socially unacceptable side. We don’t want anyone thinking we’re taking this too seriously. Some of the lyrics are total fucking nonsense. It’s more about embracing the joyful, chaotic side of things.”

Take a listen here…

 

“At the minute we would love to visualize us playing that album launch party we had planned for May 2020, in a multi-sensorial space that supports and enhances the musical experience. We’re thinking big, man! But in reality, we would just love to get in a room together and play the music. Making music in the company of others is something that has been a huge part of our lives since we were kids, and we’re missing it like hell! As for when, we would imagine it will be as soon as we can play live in public, hopefully generating cyclical audience energy to boost us off into the 5th dimension.” 

Grab your copy of Honey Badger here on Bandcamp.
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HEN OGLEDD – AN ONLINE BROADCAST & KIDS GIG

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Join us Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th December as Hen Ogledd grace our screens with their playfully unyielding, wonky-pop sounds. First for a trail-blazing Supersonic Kids Gig and again for a full set, broadcast from The Star & Shadow in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

 

Hen Ogledd: live from the Star & Shadow
Sunday 20th December, 20:00 GMT
Live-stream concert
Tickets £10 or £25 including Hen Ogledd limited edition A3 poster

 

Following their invigorating warehouse performance at Supersonic 2019, we just knew we needed another dose of Hen Ogledd’s soul-nourishing sonics before the end of 2020. After this turbulent year, we’re sure you’re in need of it too! It’s our final show of the year, so get cosy on your sofa and soak in the sounds of four curious minds, knowing you’re sharing a moment with our fellow Supersonic dwellers across the universe.

 

 

For this special online broadcast, we’re excited to hear (for the first time!) live incarnations from their latest album Free Humans; a psychedelic voyage, that ebbs & flows between outer-space, lochs, toxic gas-emitting bogs and celestial plains – broadcast from Newcastle’s Star & Shadow.

 

“Hen Ogledd are so excited at the thought of beaming into your living rooms for a couplet of special streamed shows, from the Star & Shadow in Newcastle – one gig especially for the kids, the other for the fully-growns. It’ll be our first chance to share in person (sort of) the music of Free Humans, and we are so happy to be doing this in collaboration with our friends at Supersonic Festival – that most crucial and brilliant hub of music and cultural light.”

– Richard Dawson

 

Hen Ogledd Limited Edition Print

This stunning limited edition run of 50 – Hen Ogledd A3 Risograph poster designed by Rachael Macarthur is available to add to your ticket order – brighten up your walls with this vibrant three colour print!

 

Supersonic Kids Gigs are designed for families as a way of introducing children to experimental music – BIG sounds for little people! This show takes place as a Live Stream on Zoom, so you can join us for the usual Kids Gig fun from the comfort of home.

 

Supersonic Kids Gig with Hen Ogledd
hosted by Anna Palmer
Saturday 19 December 2020, 11:00 GMT 
LIVE STREAM via Zoom
Tickets (pay as you feel)

 

With Dawn Bothwell on glockenspiel, synth and drum machine, Rhodri Davies playing the electric harp, Sally Pilkington at the synth and our beloved Richard Dawson on the bass – the whole family will be in for a treat! For this virtual Kids Gig, they’ll be singing songs from their new album Free Humans – which explores themes of love, friendship, sewers, the nature of time, human stench, and the thrills of wild swimming! Expect swirls of ravishing melodies, hallucinatory textures and bonkers rhythms.

 

And to top it off… we are delighted that this final Kids Gig of 2020 will be hosted once more by everyone’s favourite alt-rocker and pyscho-storyteller, Anna Palmer from Dorcha. Grab a copy of her Supersonic Kids album here.

 

[Hen Ogledd live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Mark Rhodes]

 

So get your ticket and join Hen Ogledd & Anna for a virtual boogie and another healthy dose experimental disco fun. There’s limited capacity, so book early to avoid disappointment. Celestial space fancy dress is optional but always encouraged!

Recommended for children under 10.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is generously supported by The John Feeney Charitable Trust.

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Sofasonic Playlist: Haress

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Throughout the year, as part of our extended Sofasonic Festival celebrations, we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure!

 

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp | Matters | Bunny Bissoux | impaTV | Bryn Perrott |

 

From deep in the Shropshire Hills, we asked the hypnotic guitar-duo Haress to form this week’s playlist. Whether it’s on the Supersonic stage, or designing Supersonic artwork – David Hand and Elizabeth Still are no strangers to Capsule collaborations. 

 

Haress consists of the core guitar duo of David Hand and Elizabeth Still, based in Bishops Castle in the Shropshire Hills where they also organise the amazing Sineater Festival and run the DIY record label Lancashire & Somerset. Intertwining dark and repetitive guitar figures in order to create a hypnotic, mantra-like state, their intuitive playing works on a kind of telepathy until it’s impossible for the onlooker to work out which player is responsible for which sound. They are frequently joined by collaborators David Smyth (Kling Klang, Mind Mountain), guitar and Echoplex from Chris Summerlin (Kogumaza, Grey Hairs, Hey Colossus), vocals from Thomas House (Sweet Williams, Charlottefield)

 

“fave Supersonic memories?

Daniel Higgs at the last two Supersonics – his solos shows were amazing! Rambling stories with musical interludes. We also love the perpetual experimental output of Woven Skull, inspiring and sustaining – this band is great, they played a few blinding sets at Supersonic.
Also happy memories of Liz playing Banjo with Nathan on a track when he opened Supersonic 10 years ago. He’s collaborated with Chris as well in Kogumaza. He plays trumpet on the latest Haress LP – watch this space!
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Take a listen here…

 

 

“In January 2020, DaveLiz and Chris recorded the 2nd Haress LP in a haunted water mill in Wales.
In February our van got flooded up to its roof in a car park in Shrewsbury and made the front cover of the tabloids.
Then the Covid hit, cancelling some great shows and festivals we were meant to play.
During lockdown we have been working on the record, Tom has been adding vocals from Spain.
We recorded a new track ‘Dancers Green’ for a Weirdshire benefit comp.
We also had the joy of working out and butchering a Black sabbath classic for Sofasonic filmed from home”
– a 2020 update from Haress

 

 

We are delighted to announce that we’ve commissioned jeweller Alan Cheeseman to cast in pewter the beautiful flying dachshund design of Haress’s David Hand – the mascot of our We Will Rise Again merch range, that encapsulates our Supersonic stance on this turbulent year in history.

GET YOURS HERE

Gorgeous and very limited-edition run of 50, this brooch will be posted out in early December – so get yours while you can!

In the lead up to, dare we say it… Christmas… they’ll make a perfect festive gift or a beautiful treat to yourself! By purchasing, you’ll also be supporting all things Supersonic, so we can continue our work of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences, supporting artists and our freelance workers.

In addition we will donate 25% of each purchase to our local foodbank. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. Our foodbank is supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

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WATCH NOW – Lone Taxidermist & Gazelle Twin

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Supersonic x Swamp present… Performance as Catharsis

In Conversation: Natalie Sharp & Gazelle Twin
Friday 13 November 2020, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube

 

FREE (donations welcomed*)

*Whilst these conversations are free to watch, we ask if you’re in a position to, you please contribute what you can afford. Your donations will help to secure the future work of Supersonic, enabling us to support the artists we host and our freelance team. You can donate by buying our merch or making a donation.

[Natalie Sharp’s BodyVice live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Joe Singh]

Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.

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So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agency, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.

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Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.

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With this in mind, together with Swamp, we kick off our first talk of this wider series on Friday 13 November (we’re not superstitious here) and turn up the mics of producer, composer and artist Elizabeth Bernholz – the genius behind Gazelle Twin and cosmic-creator Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist. This panel entitled Performance as Catharsis will be hosted by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.

 

Gazelle Twin in Red Jester-style costume performing live at Supersonic 2018

[Gazelle Twin live at Supersonic 2018 – image by Joe Singh]

So, what is performance as catharsis? From the most primitive relics we find examples of the link made by humans between music and the body. Since ancient times, music has served many ceremonial functions, ranging from tribal circumcision to marriage and death. The ancient Egyptians depicted scenes of instrumental performance, illustrating their belief that music accompanied the body to its final meeting with the gods. They recognised not only that music was created and performed by humans, but that it would assist them to transcend their bodily confines after death.

 

During this talk we’ll hear how two boundlessly creative artists use the physicality of their bodies as a tool for musical self-expression and how they incorporate costume in live performances. Let’s get you aquatinted with them both…

 

Through avant-garde electronica, Gazelle Twin’s repertoire draws from sci-fi film scores, choral music, underwater life and the paranormal. This certainly shone through in her 2015 Supersonic performance where she performed from her second album UNFLESH, a depiction of puberty, phobia, gender identity backed by unrelenting industrial-pop production. In 2018 she returned to the Supersonic stage for a UK premier of an electrifying, brand new performance surrounding her album ‘Pastoral’.

 

Supersonic veteran, Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist is known in equal measure for her cosmic synth creations and otherworldly costume designs. Her performances have been known to turn audiences members into exhibitionists – tales transpiring of sensorial acts of gender-bending, food porn and squelchy mass ritual. Sharp effortlessly blends stagecraft with costumes, graphic art, video making, face paint, vocal technique, remixing and DJing.

 

 

 

Swamp Booking is a booking agency representing bands from across the globe in Europe, UK and Latin America.
Swamp Booking was founded by Riccardo Biondetti in Berlin in 2012. Since its foundation, Swamp has grown to become one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, promoting some of the most cutting edge artists in rock and experimental music and paving the way for new and compelling acts. Nowadays, Swamp Booking is well known in the music community for the consistency and diversity of its roster, and for having a finger on the pulse of the underground.
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Our second In Conversation announced! Moor Mother & Valentina Magaletti

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Supersonic x Swamp present… The Art of Collaboration

In Conversation: Moor Mother & Valentina Magaletti
Friday 11 December 2020, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube

 

FREE (donations welcomed*)

*Whilst these conversations are free to watch, we ask if you’re in a position to, you please contribute what you can afford. Your donations will help to secure the future work of Supersonic, enabling us to support the artists we host and our freelance team. You can donate by buying our merch or making a donation.

[Moor Mother live at Supersonic 2018 – image by Joe Singh]

Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.

.

.

So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.

.

.

Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.

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With this in mind, together with Swamp, we present our second talk of the series on Friday 11 December where we open the stage to multi-disciplinary artist Moor Mother and percussion powerhouse Valentina Magaletti. This conversation entitled The Art of Collaboration will be hosted by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.

 

 

Collaboration is an essential part of music creation – whether with a sound engineer, producer, creative director or other musicians – working with others is inevitable in this field. However, there is undoubtedly a certain “art” to collaborating. It’s an often sensitive process that requires both compromise and confidence to navigate, where the destination is all the more rewarding and you don’t arrive alone.

During this talk we’ll hear about the ever expansive practices of these two artists, and how collaboration plays an important role in their musical output. Let’s get you acquainted with them both…

 

Moor Mother is the viscerally charged output of Philadelphia based interdisciplinary artist, Camae Ayewa. A musician, poet, visual artist, workshop facilitator, and activist, Camae is no stranger to collaboration. She currently performs in a number of collaborative groups: Irreversible Entanglements, Moor Jewelry, 700bliss, ZONAL and is one half of the collective Black Quantum Futurism along with Rasheedah Phillips. Her music, harsh and strange, projects both the cathartic anger of punk and the expansive improvisatory spirit of Sun Ra. Using a variety of machines, field recordings, and analog noisemakers, she constructs fractured, cacophonous waves for her words of punishing pertinence to ride.

 

Valentina Magaletti is a drummer, percussionist and composer whose goal is to strategically enrich a folkloristic and eclectic palette through endless listening and experimentation with new materials and sounds. She has performed and co-written with many artists including Nicolas Jaar, Lafawndah, Jandek, Helm, Raime, Malcom Catto, Charles Hayward, Graham Lewis (Wire, Dome), Tightpaul Sandra (Coil, Spiritualized, Julian Cope), Thurston Moore, Bat for Lashes, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), and many more. In her current project, Vanishing Twin (Fire Records) she has a more conventional jazz approach that finds its escape in the drone/field recordings of the percussive approach in her other main experimental/avant-garde duo Tomaga. Valentina was born in Bari, Italy, and is based in London.

 

 

Swamp Booking is a booking agency representing bands from across the globe in Europe, UK and Latin America.
Swamp Booking was founded by Riccardo Biondetti in Berlin in 2012. Since its foundation, Swamp has grown to become one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, promoting some of the most cutting edge artists in rock and experimental music and paving the way for new and compelling acts. Nowadays, Swamp Booking is well known in the music community for the consistency and diversity of its roster, and for having a finger on the pulse of the underground.
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Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo returns!

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The boys are back in town! Following their class-act ball skills at Sofasonic Festival, we’ve invited Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs back for a new *festive edition* of Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo Bingo – all in aid of The Trussell Trust, who support a nationwide network of food banks.

 

What more could you possibly want to do with a cosy, winter’s night?!

 

Saturday 19 December 2020, 20:30 GMT
Live Stream via Zoom
Tickets (Pay As You Feel*)
YOU MUST BE OVER 18 TO PLAY

*The suggested donation for this event is £10.00 per household. If you’re in a position to, we ask you to please contribute what you can afford. All proceeds will be donated to The Trussell Trust, who support a nationwide network of food banks. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. The Trussell Trust, are working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

 

 

The Newcastle-based maximalists whose heavy riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across many a Supersonic line-up, will be hosting this classic game to bring a bit of a joy to the rather turbulent year we’ve had.

Join the boys via a live stream on Zoom and play from the comfort of your home. Expect more hilarious facts from Matt Baty and number-calling chaos from Adam Sykes. There will of course be some crackin’, lip-smackin’ prizes to be won from Purity Brewery, a Supersonic goody bag AND a surprise treat from the PIGS!

 

“If this is the entertainment in the Supersonic care home, I’ll be okay with it.”

– Echoes and Dust review

 

  • Bingo x7 will be hosted live on ZOOM (a free video chat service you’ll need to download to your computer).
  • After purchasing you will be emailed a sign-up form to complete your order.
  • Tickets go off sale at 18:00 GMT on Saturday 18 December 2020.
  • Instructions & bingo cards will be emailed at 19:00 GMT on the day, if you’ve not heard anything by 19:15 GMT – check your junk or get in touch.
  • Please be on time. The session duration is 90 minutes – in order that the session runs to time, Supersonic staff will lock the meeting following a short welcome.
  • So that everyone gets to enjoy the game as much as possible, all attendees will be muted.
  • Supersonic will remove anyone from the session whose behaviour is deemed inappropriate.

 

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New! WE WILL RISE AGAIN BROOCH

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We are delighted to announce that we’ve commissioned jeweller Alan Cheeseman to cast in pewter the beautiful flying dachshund design of David Hand – the mascot of our We Will Rise Again merch range, that encapsulates our Supersonic stance on this turbulent year in history.

 

PRE-ORDER HERE

 

Gorgeous and very limited-edition run of 50, this brooch will be posted out in early December – so get yours while you can!

In the lead up to, dare we say it… Christmas… they’ll make a perfect festive gift or a beautiful treat to yourself! By purchasing, you’ll also be supporting all things Supersonic, so we can continue our work of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences, supporting artists and our freelance workers.

In addition we will donate 25% of each purchase to our local foodbank. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. Our foodbank is supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

 

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Brand new merch from Bryn Perrott

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We are delighted to announce that we’ve commissioned Bryn Perrott, an intricate wood-carving artist from West Virginia in the US, to create a brand-new, zingy Supersonic design!

 

Available on three different T’s and a tote, this new merch range will only be available as a pre-order until Wednesday 9 December – so get them while you can!

In the lead up to, dare we say it… Christmas… they’ll make a perfect festive gift or a beautiful treat to yourself! By purchasing, you’ll also be supporting all things Supersonic, so we can continue our work of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences, supporting artists and our freelance workers.

 

PRE-ORDER HERE

 

Bryn Perrott aka Deer Jerk, is an artist living and working in Morgantown, West Virginia in the US. Bryn can be found working from home where she drinks 8 shots of espresso a day and hangs out with her cats while carving, printing, painting or drawing.

“I started getting tattooed seven years ago and started working in a tattoo shop four years ago. I have since become increasingly interested in the aesthetic and history of tattoo images because of the simplicity and directness those images convey to even the briefest of glances. Which is why I reference heavily from tattoo history; I’m trying to present these images in an equally strong but new context. Essentially I want to pay homage to those references and influences, to the history of an industry built on real work.”

 

 

In addition we will donate 25% of income per T purchased and £2.50 of every tote to our local foodbank. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. Our foodbank is supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

We are confident with your help and loyalty that we will be back next year to present our best festival yet.


PRE-ORDER HERE

 

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Sofasonic Playlist: Bryn Perrott

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Throughout the year, as part of our extended Sofasonic Festival celebrations, we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure!

 

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp | Matters | Bunny Bissoux | impaTV |

 

This week we bring you selections from Bryn Perrott aka Deer Jerk, an artist living and working in Morgantown, West Virginia in the US. Bryn can be found working from home where she drinks 8 shots of espresso a day and hangs out with her cats while carving, printing, painting or drawing.

“My mind does not wander when I carve; I make for purpose, not from artistic representation. I have focus when I work, which is a relief from my otherwise scattered thoughts. Carving feels like real work: something is being physically accomplished. Each cut made gets me closer to the next image within the larger scene. I simply like making a good image, a strong image.”

Take a listen here…

 

“I started getting tattooed seven years ago and started working in a tattoo shop four years ago. I have since become increasingly interested in the aesthetic and history of tattoo images because of the simplicity and directness those images convey to even the briefest of glances. Which is why I reference heavily from tattoo history; I’m trying to present these images in an equally strong but new context. Essentially I want to pay homage to those references and influences, to the history of an industry built on real work.

That, and to always revamp these icons without tiring them out.” 

 

We are delighted to announce that we’ve commissioned Bryn Perrott, an intricate wood-carving artist from West Virginia in the US, to create a brand-new, zingy Supersonic design!

Available on three different T’s, this new merch range will only be available as a pre-order until Wednesday 9 December – so get them while you can!

In the lead up to, dare we say it… Christmas… they’ll make a perfect festive gift or a beautiful treat to yourself! By purchasing, you’ll also be supporting all things Supersonic, so we can continue our work of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences, supporting artists and our freelance workers.

PRE-ORDER HERE

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Shop Local this Bandcamp Friday

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[Dorcha live at SS17, photo by Joe Singh]

 

Once more, Bandcamp waivers its fees today in support of musicians during the Covid-19 Pandemic. This means 100% of profits go to straight to Bandcamp artists for 24hrs, many of which have recently had tours, festivals and shows cancelled. 

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With a second national lockdown just begun, we want to use this opportunity to champion once more artists a little closer to home – the Midlands born/bred/based, and those on the peripherals, we are proud of our local music scene! Now more than ever, it’s important that we keep it local and nurture our communities.
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What better way to show your solidarity and support by purchasing some music? Check out these brilliant midlands-based artists we think you should hear…

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DORCHA – new album Honey Badger OUT TODAY!
The fusing of Dorcha’s own unique concoction of experimental pop-noise with the offerings of the infamous Invada (owned by Geoff Barrow of Portishead/Beak) and its delicious collection of old school synths and analogue effects has born a beast of sound in the shape of their new album – Honey Badger.

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MATTERS
Birmingham three-piece utilising synths, guitars and drums to create expansive music, blending Krautrock, psychedelic, post-rock and techno into a rich and powerful sound.

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LADY SANITY
She’s at the forefront of the next generation of female rap, hip-hop and soul stars to come out of Birmingham. Brum born & bred, she draws from  various 90s reggae, hip-hop & garage influences.

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HOOPLA BLUE
Birmingham outfit HOOPLA BLUE unleashed their debut album ‘Pl(^)nted’ – pronounced ‘planted’ earlier this year. It’s an exhilarating 11-track record that confronts themes of identity and settlement – both generationally and geographically.

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ODMANSBOX

Describing themselves as a ‘musical knick-knack drawer’, Odmansbox present the listener with a bevy of sounds and musical touch-points. However, like any good draw of useful stuff, it’s full of surprises and delights.

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MICHAEL VALENTINE WEST

A composer/decomposer utilising lessons learnt from various musical disciplines such as minimalambient, glitch, hip hop, jazz and sound design.

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ZYGGURAT

Forged in the post industrial terrains of the UK’s second city, Zyggurat – aka Pete Grimshaw – navigates the expanse between electronic and jazz grains in deep layers of sonic exploration.

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STINKY WIZZLETEAT

Wizzleteat carve out a sound informed by groove from across the musical spectrum, whilst staying fully committed to heaviness, good times and volume.

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MOTHER TRUCKER

Mothertrucker have shared the stage with the likes of Boris, Mono, Baroness, Jesu, Grails, Red Sparowes, Aereogramme and Truckfighters and kicked off their 10th year with a devastating performance at our 2012 Supersonic.

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KHYAM ALLAMI
Currently completing a PHD at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, this virtuoso Oud player, serial collaborator & musical explorer is a musician and composer with a formidable – and continually growing – international reputation.

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PRAM
Birmingham’s Pram craft fairytales from concrete reality. Pram’s restless groove, an endearing and gently refusenik mix encircles early Rough Trade innovators The Raincoats, astro jazz, sci-fi soundtracks, creepy Victoriana, tropical analogue and tumbledown funk.

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MODIFIED TOY ORCHESTRA
By exploring the hidden potential inside redundant technology; MTO create sophisticated new electronic instruments from abandoned children’s toys.

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RAINBOW GRAVE
Featuring Nicholas Bullen (founder member of Napalm Death and Scorn) and John Pickering (founder member of Doom and Sore Throat), Birmingham based Rainbow Grave channel the blank despair of negative punk through layers of distorted psychedelic damage

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ROSIE TEE
Birmingham composer/performer weaving dream-like vocals with sporadic movements of scattered harmony and abstract refrains. Her Chambers EP presents a perfect synthesis of diverse and skittish electronics with her lush vocal talent.

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THE NATURE CENTRE
Breakfast Time, the most recent single by The Nature Centre, is utterly bewildering in the best possible way. Densely packed staccato vocals, guitars, synth and drums battle for your attention, none of them sounding exactly as they should.

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SOFA KING
Birmingham based experimentalist Sofa King, is the musical output of pop-obsessed transgender individual Dianne Burdon. She treats reverb and feedback like a chemical formula.

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GLATZE
Musician, sound artist and musical instrument designer with an almost unhealthy fascination with sound, often being distracted by a squeaky shoe or the sound of the ventilation system.

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SURGEON
Surgeon (DJ), real name Anthony Child, has been at the forefront of UK techno since 1994. The Birmingham resident has perfected a unique techno sound with an industrial murk.

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GREY HAIRS
Emerging from the fertile Nottingham DIY scene, Grey Hairs recall a time when it was harder to pigeon hole bands and people cared less about doing so anyway

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RATTLE 
Minimal in approach, Nottingham drumming duo Rattle, create a cyclical and whirling swirl of percussive sound.

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BLOODY HEAD
Dirgey yet groove-heavy hardcore punk from Nottingham whose live shows feel like being run over by a bulldozer of noise and discordant energy.


We also recommend you check out the music on these brilliant local labels…

Die Das Der http://diedasder.bandcamp.com/  (We recommend their stonking-good compilation album series ‘Without Venues, We’re Nothing’ supporting independent Brum venues)

Gringo Records https://gringorecords.bandcamp.com/

 

There’s also a full list of Birmingham Independents – eateries, shops and more offering deliveries in lockdown here via Independent Birmingham.

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Sofasonic Playlist: ImpaTV

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[front: Isadora & Jamie of impaTV pictured with Qujaku, image by George Lane]

 

Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp | Matters | Bunny Bissoux |

 

This Friday’s Sofasonic Playlist, is brought to you courtesy of Isadora Darke and Jamie Robinson aka IMPATV – a collaborative video and stage production project based at Islington Mill, Salford.

 

They use new digital technologies and live mixing methods combined with costumes and stage design they produce immersive installations, music videos, live streaming, and art and music productions across the realms of DIY, experimental and underground culture. Some key artists they’ve collaborated with include Gnod, Giant Swan, Working Men’s Club, Thurston Moore.

 

[impaTV workshop at Artefact for Outlands Tour 6, 2019]

 

Supersonic have had the pleasure of hosting a wide-range of impaTV’s visual production projects, including WORLDZERO a premiere performance from The Seer & UKAEA at our 2019 festival and ‘Enso-Sone’ a cross-collision with Japanese pysch-noise band Qujaku at the 6th Outlands Tour back in November last year. Most recently, the pair contributed to our online Sofasonic line-up by making three videos for the new relentlessly driving ‘Faca de Fogo‘ album by Gnod & João Pais Philipe, out on Rocket Recordings.

 

“This playlist is a selection from artists that we’ve seen at Supersonic before, or would love to see in the future
and music that’s given us moments of clarity, helping to stave off the neurosis over the last few months.”
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Take a listen here…

 

We’ve been really busy with IMPATV as events turn digital, which has been great for us but we’re really missing gigs! 

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There has been SOOOO many amazing memories at Supersonic for us… Performing WORLDZERO in 2019 and being roped in at the last minute to be part of the Dennis Mcnett parade. Over the years there’s been an absolutely mind-blowing roster of performances; Lash Frenzy, Hype Williams, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, Secret Chiefs 3, Zombi, Master Musicians of Bukakke, Goblin, Drunk in Hell, Thorr’s Hammer, Corrupted, the list goes on…..
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The one that went down in history for us, was way back in 2009, when Sunn O))) played in the Custard Factory ‘swimming pool’ (now filled in) and Scorn played in the warehouse behind, and if you got in the sweet spot under the arches between the two, you got the best collaboration at Supersonic that never actually happened – SCORN O))) in 2021?
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Supersonic x Swamp a launch series of talks

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Supersonic x Swamp present… Performance as Catharsis

In Conversation: Natalie Sharp & Gazelle Twin
Friday 13 November 2020, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube

 

FREE (with donations*)

*Whilst these conversations are free to watch, we ask if you’re in a position to, you please contribute what you can afford. Your donations will help to secure the future work of Supersonic, enabling us to support the artists we host and our freelance team. You can donate by buying our merch or making a donation.

[Natalie Sharp’s BodyVice live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Joe Singh]

Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.

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So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agency, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.

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Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.

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With this in mind, together with Swamp, we kick off our first talk of this wider series on Friday 13 November (we’re not superstitious here) and turn up the mics of producer, composer and artist Elizabeth Bernholz – the genius behind Gazelle Twin and cosmic-creator Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist. This panel entitled Performance as Catharsis will be hosted by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.

 

Gazelle Twin in Red Jester-style costume performing live at Supersonic 2018

[Gazelle Twin live at Supersonic 2018 – image by Joe Singh]

So, what is performance as catharsis? From the most primitive relics we find examples of the link made by humans between music and the body. Since ancient times, music has served many ceremonial functions, ranging from tribal circumcision to marriage and death. The ancient Egyptians depicted scenes of instrumental performance, illustrating their belief that music accompanied the body to its final meeting with the gods. They recognised not only that music was created and performed by humans, but that it would assist them to transcend their bodily confines after death.

 

During this talk we’ll hear how two boundlessly creative artists use the physicality of their bodies as a tool for musical self-expression and how they incorporate costume in live performances. Let’s get you aquatinted with them both…

 

Through avant-garde electronica, Gazelle Twin’s repertoire draws from sci-fi film scores, choral music, underwater life and the paranormal. This certainly shone through in her 2015 Supersonic performance where she performed from her second album UNFLESH, a depiction of puberty, phobia, gender identity backed by unrelenting industrial-pop production. In 2018 she returned to the Supersonic stage for a UK premier of an electrifying, brand new performance surrounding her album ‘Pastoral’.

 

Supersonic veteran, Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist is known in equal measure for her cosmic synth creations and otherworldly costume designs. Her performances have been known to turn audiences members into exhibitionists – tales transpiring of sensorial acts of gender-bending, food porn and squelchy mass ritual. Sharp effortlessly blends stagecraft with costumes, graphic art, video making, face paint, vocal technique, remixing and DJing.

 

 

 

Swamp Booking is a booking agency representing bands from across the globe in Europe, UK and Latin America.
Swamp Booking was founded by Riccardo Biondetti in Berlin in 2012. Since its foundation, Swamp has grown to become one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, promoting some of the most cutting edge artists in rock and experimental music and paving the way for new and compelling acts. Nowadays, Swamp Booking is well known in the music community for the consistency and diversity of its roster, and for having a finger on the pulse of the underground.
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NEW PODCAST! Sofasonic Festival – “the highlights” Part 1/2

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We’re back! For this episode, we’re going to re-visit our online Sofasonic Festival programme, that launched through cyber-space and beamed into your living rooms back in July this year. So if you want a pit-stop tour of the line-up, or just want re-experience the weekend we went virtual, this podcast is a cracking way of rounding up the festival highlights.

 

 

Plus a special feature on our Supersonic Vinyl archive, including some pummelling live recordings from past festivals.

 

Treat your ears, and enjoy your podcast journey with us…

 

 

LISTEN HERE

 

This podcast is part one of two, so keep your eye out for more Sofasonic highlights in the near future…

For now, a massive thank you goes to everyone that has reached out to us and supported us so far this year. Donating or purchasing some merch helps us continue our work of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences. Please help us continue by donating here.

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

Tracklist

  • Electric Funeral (Black Sabbath Cover) – Blue Ruth
  • Autojector (live at Supersonic 2009) – Iron Lung

 

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Sofasonic Playlist: Bunny Bissoux

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[Illustration by Bunny, Celebrating 10 Years of Supersonic Festival]

Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp | Matters |

 

This week’s playlist is courtesy of Birmingham-raised artist & illustrator, Bunny Bissoux. From many a pop-up stall at Supersonic’s Market Place to designing our popular Home of Metal tea-towels – Bunny is well versed in Capsule collaborations. Their distinctive and enticing designs are truly a sight to behold. 

 

Currently based in Tokyo, Japan, Bunny’s work is heavily inspired by popular culture and fanaticism, with recurring themes including music, teen angst, pro wrestling, animals and idols. They have made many collaborations with Capsule over the years – you may have spotted them at Supersonic 2009, 2010 or 2012 where they graced the festival Market Place with their prints, zines, badges and stickers in addition to vintage trading cards, cult memorabilia and treasures from Japan.

 

 

“My playlist is a somewhat demented mix of genres, languages and eras but with the uniting threads of romance, frustrated desire and rhythms that are just enough to keep me moving forward, step by step.”
Take a listen here…

 

“It’s been an honour to have been involved in Supersonic in so many ways over the years from t-shirt designs to workshops and exhibitions.
The memories are all somewhat blurred but for whatever reason 2012 comes to mind, a vivid memory of racing from my marketplace shackles just in time to catch Justice Yeldham go wild on a pane of glass in the Old Library, having been sat at a table with him for the magnificent Sonic Feast a few days before.
When a pandemic isn’t keeping me from getting back across an ocean i’ll be looking forward to many more Supersonic memories to come!”

 

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A halloween Kids Gig with BEN SADLER!

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Supersonic Kids Gig with Ben Sadler

hosted by Anna Palmer

Sunday 1 November 2020, 2pm

LIVE STREAM

via Zoom

 

TICKETS (Pay As You Feel)*

We kindly suggest a £5 minimum donation – we rely on ticket sales to fund our work, so if you’re watching with others at home, please consider donating the cost of their tickets if you’re in a position to.
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Supersonic Kids Gigs are designed for families as a way of introducing children to experimental music – BIG sounds for little people! This show takes place as a Live Stream on Zoom, so you can join us for the usual Kids Gig fun from the comfort of home.

 

We hope you’re feeling suitably spooky, cause this special *Halloween Kids Gig* is taking place with the spooktacular Ben Sadler!

 

 

Ben is a Birmingham-based artist who makes art as part of Juneau Projects, formed in 2001 alongside friend Phil. From Lionel Ritchie to Kraftwerk, many of you will remember Ben’s hilariously inventive song covers at our Sofasonic Festival in July.

 

For this virtual Kids Gig, Ben raids his daughter’s dressing-up box once more (we can’t keep him away!) and he returns to the wigs, tin foil and tracksuit tops with some new covers – including some requested by you, our Kids Gig audience!

 

And to top it off… we are delighted that this spooky Kids Gig special will be hosted once more by everyone’s favourite alt-rocker and pyscho-storyteller, Anna Palmer from Dorcha. Grab a copy of her Supersonic Kids album here.

 

So get your ticket and join Ben & Anna for a virtual boogie and another healthy dose experimental disco fun. There’s limited capacity, so book early to avoid disappointment. Halloween fancy dress is optional but always encouraged!

 

Recommended for children under 10.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

 

This event is generously supported by The John Feeney Charitable Trust.

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Sofasonic Playlist: Matters

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[Matters live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Joe Singh]

Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon | Natalie Sharp

 

This week’s playlist has been pulled together by Brummie locals MATTERS. They first won over the hearts & ears of Supersonic revellers at 2018’s end of year party with their storming set of pulsating synths and heavy beats. So much so, we invited them to perform at our Supersonic Saturday in 2019 last year.

 

Matters formed in 2015 in the old factory spaces of Digbeth. They utilise synths, guitars and drums to create expansive music – blending Krautrock, psychedelic, post-rock and techno into a rich and powerful sound. Their debut was released on Static Caravan Records in 2018. If you’re into dark and eerie instrumentals, give Matters a listen. Not only this, their live presence is a stunning spectacle.

 

This is something quite epic..another winner from Static Caravan Records – Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music

 

 

“Our playlist is made up of tracks that are permanently on our radar and others that we’ve heard over the summer.” 

 

“At the start of lockdown we thought it’d be fun to put all our audio files up for people to download and remix, some attempt at alleviating boredom. The results can be found on our Bandcamp – a remix album titled Self Oscillate. We also totally reworked a track ourselves, Hannah and created a video to go with it.

Going forward, we’re working on a new release which features another Birmingham musician. For the video we’re collaborating with a visual artist in Uzbekistan that we met at Supersonic last year. Obviously we’re really looking forward to playing live again.

One of our favourite Supersonic memories is watching HHY & the Macumbas play right after us on the Saturday last year, we were unfamiliar and there was this wonderful combined high from coming off stage and stumbling into something we loved.” 
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Both driving & visceral – Matters delivered a stonking good performance indeed…

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Sofasonic Playlist: Natalie Sharp

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Natalie sharp aka. Lone Taxidermist performing at Supersonic Festival 2017 in a yellow costume

Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee | Elle Donlon |

 

What an audible treat in store! Known in equal measure for her cosmic synth creations and otherworldly costume designs, this week’s selections come courtesy of Supersonic veteran, Natalie Sharp aka. Lone Taxidermist. 

 

Lone Taxidermist is the utterly bizarre and otherworldly, ruptured activity generated by Cumbrian musician, costume maker, skin decorator, performer and natural provocateur Natalie Sharp. We’ve been lucky to have Natalie perform at many a Supersonic in various incarnations over the years, including Trifle – a yellow rubber-gloved entity that intertwined with the depths of sexual food fetishes, BodyVice – a biological and calculated approach to sound art that explored her own experiences of chronic pain and most recently for our online Sofasonic Festival, Rainbow Face – a guided ASMR-tinged make-up tutorial à la Bob Ross.

 

“LONE Taxidermist is actually a really old name. I’ve been making music under this name for nearly ten years now. I used to collect taxidermy and I was in a band with lots of other people, but we broke up. I went solo and LONE Taxidermist stemmed from that. The name isn’t really that relevant anymore, but it’s a pain to change it. It’s like when you get stuck with an old email address and everyone messages you on that, so you end up keeping it.”

– an interview with The Culture Vulture

Take a listen to Natalie’s selections here…

 

Her performances have been known to turn audiences members into exhibitionists – tales transpiring of sensorial acts of gender-bending, food porn and squelchy mass ritual. Sharp effortlessly blends ‘instruments’ which come to hand – whether that be songwriting, multi-instrumentalism or mastery of non-standard instruments like musical saw and theremin, stagecraft, costumes, graphic art, video making, face paint, vocal technique, remixing and DJing.

 

Once ranked as Google’s no.1 surreal makeup artist, Natalie has previously created glorious and gory stage, costume and body concepts for Jenny Hval’s European tour and worked live with Gazelle Twin as a performance artist and vocalist.

 

From our Sofasonic programme, be guided through a self-soothing series of rainbow makeup instructions. During this restorative and educational session, expect to be gently steered by Natalie’s calming ASMR-esque voice. Underpinned by warming delta-wave frequencies, emerge with a beautiful rainbow face of your own creation.

 

Natalie was recently an artist-in-residence for Aerial – a new festival of contemporary music, literature & performance. For the festival, she returned home to Cumbria, to explore her upbringing through a series of three short films, the result is Marra! A deeply personal reflection on growing up as a first generation immigrant in small town Cumbria, a lucid dream set against the arcane, esoteric rituals and traditions that bubble under the surface of everyday life. The three episodes are available to watch here.

 

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Bandcamp Friday: the ‘hidden gem’ ten

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[Mario Batkovic at Supersonic 2018 – image by Katja Orgin]

It’s a big win for artists and labels as Bandcamp continue to waive their fees on the first Friday of the month for the rest of the year in support of musicians during the Covid-19 Pandemic. This means 100% of profits go to straight to Bandcamp artists for 24hrs, many of which have recently had tours, festivals and shows cancelled. 

 

Supersonic Festival is a voyage of discovery for many. We pride ourselves on our risk-taking programme, supporting emergent talent and championing envelope-pushing artists, no matter size or stature. So this month, we look back over the last decade of Supersonic, to the ‘hidden gems’ we have had the honour of introducing to you, our audience, between the 2010 – 2020 line-ups. These names might not have been so well-known at first, but their mesmerising and unforgettable performances have left a lasting memory on any of us lucky enough to bear witness. Any of these artists would bring only joy to your prized music collections.

 

So, without further ado, here are our recommendations – the ‘hidden gem’ ten…

[Faten Kanaan at Supersonic 2019 – image by Mark Rhodes]

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1.Faten Kanaan
Brooklyn’s Faten Kanaan is a gifted musical story-teller. Her performance at Supersonic 2019 was mesmerising, inspired by cinematic forms: from sweeping landscapes and quiet character studies, to the patterned tension of horror film soundtracks. She builds songs by live-looping them into a narrative, without the use of samplers, sequencers, or arpeggiators. You can listen to the Sofasonic Playlist she curated for us here. 
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2. Nisennenmondai
Their performance at Supersonic 2009 was so popular, we just had to get them back for another show in 2010. After meeting at university in Tokyo, these three friends formed the band Nisennenmondai and forged their signature driving rhythms and metallic guitar sound. They emulate something like an ungodly and hypnotic amalgamation of Boredoms, Neu!, Can, and Ruins circa 1986-7.
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3. Group Doueh 
Group Doueh are led by the enigmatic guitar hero Bamaar Salmou, who is known simply as ‘Doueh’ (pronounced: ‘Doo-way’). They are from Dakhla, in the Western Sahara. The group’s sound is unlike anything that you’ve ever heard before. It is a sound that is rooted in the traditional foundations of Sahrawi/Hassania music, but one that is also entirely its own.
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4. Mario Batkovic 
At Supersonic 2018, Mario Batkovic, a Swiss, Bosnian-born accordion player captivated the audience with his minimal yet virtuosic sound. Through the accordion he’s been able to channel an unbound desire to explore and express, a freedom that he has been denied through the various physical, social, cultural, and political borders that have existed in his life.
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5. Mohammad 
MMMD are constantly forging their deep monolithic sound, bringing together low frequencies, inter-modulations, dark textures, and distant folk nuances through custom made instruments. Their music is heavy and concentrated, majestic and dark, ethereal and subtle.
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6. Nadah El Shazly 
Egyptian vocalist and composer combining abstract quirky electronics and sultry Arabic vocals, living and working in Cairo. We were introduced to Nadah when long time friend of Supersonic, Khyam Allami, guest curated part of the line-up for our 2017 edition with a showcase of artists from his Nawa Recordings label.
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7. Afework Nigussie 
Afework Nigussie is a musician and singer from Gondar in northern Ethiopia. He has a background in Azmari, the voices of freedom of expression in Ethiopia, improvising constantly, commenting on politics, religion and everyday life. Nigusse has also trained at the National Theatre in Addis Ababa and, more recently, collaborated with The Ex. We were introduced to this incredible artist when Richard Dawson was our guest curator for our 2015 edition, producing The Delight is Right, Afeworks’ performance was so incredibly joyful and uplifting, perfect for a Sunday afternoon of the festival.
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SELVHENTER
[Selvhenter at Supersonic 2015 – image by Joe Singh]
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8. Selvhenter
A noise-free rock band based in Copenhagen. Selvhenter’s music consists of strong polyrhythmic patterns from the two drummers while the horns intertwine in heavy riffs, pop-like melodies and textures of sound manipulated by the use of effect pedals. Their energy was absolutely infectious when performing live, combining uncompromising, boundless sounds that blended experimental rock, improvised free jazz and punk, noise and metal.  
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9. Islaja
Islaja is a singer-songwriter and musician from Helsinki, Finland. With a unique acid-folk styling, her soulful yet icy voice soars over DIY compositions, attaining a certain level of majesty without losing sight of their innate sense of playfulness. She wowed adults and tiny tots alike with her Kids Gig performance.
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10. Woven Skull
Woven Skull began playing together in 2008 in the empty, sparse Irish countryside. These surroundings helped to forge their music, which has been described as ‘minimal, repetitive, distorted, ugly and beautiful in one’. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting the band at many of our events of the years, but by far the most memorable performance was when they hosted one of our Supersonic Kids Gigs which ended with a rapturous cacophony of percussion sourced from twigs and old bins and many small feral children!
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SUPERSONIC VINYL RE-LAUNCH

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The Supersonic vinyl shop, is having its grand re-launch Saturday 26th September – in celebration of Record Store Day UK.

 

Expect pummelling live recordings from past festivals, alongside super limited edition gems from the Capsule Recordings archive. PLUS for a whole month, we’re offering a FREE mystery tote bag with your vinyl purchases. Time to fill in those gaps in your collections, folks!

 

 

So, let us tell you a bit about what’s in store…

HARVEY MILK – £15.00 – BUY HERE

Limited edition clear, heavy weight vinyl recording of Harvey Milk, live at Supersonic 2008.

After much discussion Capsule managed to coax Harvey Milk out of America to play in the UK for the first time. Saturday night on the outside stage at Supersonic 2008 became a memorable occasion, with this long awaited performance providing a suitably raucous climax to the festival’s proceedings.

For their first UK performance, Harvey Milk certainly didn’t disappoint! To make it even more special, this live performance featured the legendary guitarist Joe Preston — a former band member of Earth, Melvins, Men’s Recovery Project, The Need and High on Fire (he has also played with Sunn O))) and has a solo project called Thrones).

We were equally excited to record this momentous live set and package it up as some Supersonic memorabilia. This is a special souvenir, so whether you’re reliving the experience or wishing you’d been there – we’re sure you’ll cherish it.

HARVEY MILK is an experimental rock band formed in Athens, Georgia featuring members Creston Spiers, Kyle Spence & Stephen Tanner.

 

“Harvey Milk’s riff-heavy bombast was the surprise package of the weekend, and Saturday night belonged to them.”

– The Guardian

 

EINSTELLUNG ‘Wings of Desire’ – £15.00 – BUY HERE

Limited Edition heavyweight double vinyl with gatefold sleeve designed by Lucy McLauchlan

From the deepest depths of the industrial heartlands of Middle England, Einstellung blend glorious monotonous Krautrock with melodic tones and heavy slabs of Sabbath riffage. Since late 2003, their warm glow has steadily grown into what can only be described as a fireball, declaring sonic warfare on those tinnitus victims who have passed the point of no return.

This rare Capsule Recordings release is from 2009 and is a must-have for any vinyl collection.

EINSTELLUNG feature ex-members of Godflesh, Sally, Katastrophy Wife, Cable Regime and Grover. Not attempting to reinvent the wheel, Einstellung’s manifesto is to enjoy each other’s company, produce music that makes them laugh/cry and through the use of dynamics and texture, create an all-engulfing sense of now. 

 

“If Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother had undergone their musical educations in 1990s Birmingham instead of 1960s Berlin, the music they would have made together under the Neu! banner probably would have sounded a lot like Einstellung’s debut, Wings Of Desire.”

– Drum Media, Sydney

 

IRON LUNG – £15.00 – BUY HERE

Limited edition heavy weight vinyl recording of Iron Lung, live at Supersonic 2009.

IRON LUNG are a two piece hardcore punk act from Seattle, Washington heavily influenced by power violence and grindcore. The band formed in 1999 and have since developed their own brand of audio violence. Bearing marks of grind, thrash, and even old-school hardcore, they are one of the handful of bands that have applied new and innovative approaches (arrangements, chords structures, thematic unities, etc) to their underground musical machinations.

Re-capture the spirit of Supersonic in these times of no-festival blues with some crushing hardcore paired with hilarious on-stage banter. This is an absolutely professional grade recording, even horror soundtrack legends Goblin used the same set-up!

 

“With the precision of a surgeon and the devastation of an unchecked disease, IRON LUNG wreak havoc on any listener smart enough to tune them in and turn them up. It blows my mind that a band can sound both so primitive and so precise at the same time.”

– Jeb Branin

 

TWEAK BIRD – £15.00 – BUY HERE

Limited edition heavy weight vinyl recording of Tweak Bird, live at Supersonic 2010.

Ten years ago, we had the honour to invite the brothers Tweak for their debut Supersonic Festival performance. Heavy rock never felt so fun or so sugar-soaked! That year, they joined a line-up we were immensely proud of. Alongside Swans, Godflesh & Napalm Death, these fellas performed a swirling set of catchy and raw stoner-pop.

So here, on vinyl, we’ve captured one of our favourite performances of the 2010 weekend. Whether you’re reminiscing or hearing it for the first time, we hope you’ll add it to your record collection and enjoy this little piece of Supersonic history.

 

 

CAPSULE 10 YEARS 7″ – £7.00 – BUY HERE

Package containing *super limited-edition* vinyl, photo-book and badge.

To celebrate a decade of Capsule, the producers behind Supersonic Festival, we produced this super limited edition 7″ Vinyl. With tracks by two of Birmingham’s most talented acts, Modified Toy Orchestra & Einstellung – this is a little piece of our history.

Included, is a beautifully designed 18-page booklet that commemorates our first ten years of crafting extraordinary events for curious audiences. From SUNN O))) shows in drained pools to the Giant exhibition way back in 2000, many memories are available to sift through and treasure. The package also comes with a Capsule badge!

Another ten years later and we’re still going strong.

 

 

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Sofasonic Playlist: Elle Donlon

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Elle Donlon, a tattoo artists tattooing a client

Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler | Rosie Tee |

 

We asked Birmingham tattoo artist, Elle Donlon, to compile her fave tracks for this week’s Sofasonic Playlist. In case you missed it, Elle recently designed a whole new range of Tee’s & Tote’s for our Merch shop.

 

Elle studied Fine Art at University of the Arts in London before completing her tattoo apprenticeship in September 2015. Since then her style has developed hugely, from purely turning illustrations into tattoos, her designs have evolved into a stylised version of Western Traditional.

In an interview with Things & Ink, Elle describes how “I’m drawn to beautiful oddities […] I see no point drawing things how they are in real life, the world can be very monochrome, so it’s up to artists to mix that up”. Her artwork is inspired by religious imagery particularly from Asia, south western tribal art, alchemy and witchcraft and, of course, the 70’s! One of her favourite tattoo artists is Daniel Higgs – the very cosmic space-poet that graced our Supersonic line-up last year!

You can now find her inking up at House of Thieves in Digbeth, Birmingham.

 

 

“I wanted my playlist to be upbeat, I specifically chose tracks that’s I listened to during lockdown that pulled me up and helped me get a grip. But a couple of them are the concrete tracks that I’ve religiously listened to for over a decade.

 I hope you like it!”

 

Take a listen here…

 

“People have been super supportive and have showed a lot of positivity towards my work this year. I kept busy with numerous projects during lockdown that helped financially and kept me sane. I felt like I spent lockdown focusing on where I wanted my work to go and I reaped improvements in my paintings because of it which have now advanced to my tattoos since being able to work again. I count my blessings that 2020 hasn’t been too rough on me just yet, I feel super fortunate that it has brought some positivity to my work and home life.”

 

We’ve made a handful of Elle’s T’s & Totes available at our Supersonic Merch Shop, so go pick yourself something up here!  There’s not many left, so don’t miss out…

Elle Donlon designed T's & Totes

 

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Sofasonic Playlist: Rosie Tee

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Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King | Ben Sadler |

 

This week’s playlist comes from in-house! As these blog posts are written by our Programme Assistant, Rosie Tee, it makes more sense that Rosie doesn’t refer to herself in third person for this one… *switches it up*

 

Hello folks! I’m Rosie, Programme Assistant and proud member of the Capsule/Supersonic supergroup. I work behind the scenes as artist liaison, on all things marketing, and general daily do’s! You may have heard my brummie-twanged voice on recent Supersonic Podcasts or as the live commentator for our online Sofasonic Festival back in July. 

 

Whilst in lockdown my role at Supersonic has adapted a lot, but it’s been a cracking good learning curve. Re-shaping and re-imagining our programme online has resulted in many new skills learned, but that being said, I can’t wait to return to the heavy rumbles and tired festival feet (all with samosa in hand!)

 

This Sofasonic Playlist has been lovingly crafted by myself, and oh lady, it was hard to whittle it down to 20 tracks. It’s a healthy mix of some of my favourite artists from Supersonic line-ups (Hen Ogledd, Klein, Lankum, Gazelle Twin), some offerings from Birmingham (Dorcha, Broadcast), alongside some new (old) discoveries of mine whilst in lockdown (Stereolab, Sun Ra, Arthur Russell) and artists I’ve seen live that have left a deep old imprint somewhere on my musical soul (Dirty Projectors, Simian Mobile Disco & Deep Throat Choir, Anna Meredith, Tunng).

 

I hope you enjoy my selections – take a listen…

 

As a musician myself, this eclectic mix of tracks all inspire my own writing for my band, Rosie Tee – a four-piece making jazz-tinged, synth-pop where I whack a glockenspiel (as per image above). My ear always tends to lean towards more minimal song structures, so this is definitely a common link between each track in the playlist and my own songwriting. But of course, in true Supersonic-ethos, I’m a big fan of the unclassifiable and you’ll sure find that here!

 

It’s been a strange mix of seeing some incredible creativity sprout out of this year (despite everything) and seeing others retreat and rest a while from music-making. I’ve been the latter, but now starting to get into rehearsing, writing and I hope in the near future – gigging.

 

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TWO LIVE IMPROV SETS FROM UNDERGROUND BRAZIL

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From Brazil’s São Paulo experimental underground, we have live sets from two duos – Acavernus & Yantra and M. Takara & Carla Boregas. Both recorded improvised performances as part of our Sofasonic Festival (on)line-up back in July – sublime listening in equal measure.

 

We know you’re all itching for some live music, so for now, treat yourself to these live sets and let us tell you a bit about the people behind the psych-sounds…

 

 

Acavernus & Yantra are a musical duo who create music that is both dense and introspective, intuitive and exploratory, minimalist and challenging. Together, they fuse dark ambient, noise, ritualistic percussion & electronica – this is visceral ghostly music that evokes an ancient past.

ACAVERNUS is the constantly evolving solo project of Paula Rebellato (RAKTA). She treats sound as an experiment, both the intuitive and the rational walk together in a process free of resistance to the tragic exercise of freedom – what could be an error becomes a new path. If you missed it, make sure to listen to her perspectives on Brazil’s current political situation in our Sofasonic panel talk ‘Looking for today‘ where we explore how musicians respond to social and political unrest.

YANTRA is the solo work by Douglas Leal, founding member of the Brazilian psychedelic punk trio DEAFKIDS. Inspired by modal music and the sounds of the roots of the world, this project emerged in mid-2015 as a psychedelic and meditative audio-visual outlet for experimental/home-recordings, but has since evolved into live collaborations and improvisation sets with many different artists from São Paulo, Brazil.

Acavernus and Yantra are about to release “Gnose”, their first album via Buh Records from Peru.

 

 

M. Takara & Carla Boregas are a experimental, psychedelic duo made up of Brazil’s underground finest. Together they create a truly collaborative sound, filled with more abstract improvisations as well as more grounding moments, where often Mauricio´s drums are triggering Carla´s synths, and she is sculpting the rhythmic melodies that he’s playing, adding layers of density and soundscapes.

Mauricio Takara from São Paulo, connects drums and percussion with synthesizers and electronic effects, exploring the more abstract as well as melodic side of rhythms and percussive sounds.

Carla Boregas, is known as the bass player of the ritualistic pysch-band Rakta, who were due to perform at Supersonic Festival this year.

The two have been playing together for over 2 years now and have just recently released their first record as a duo called “Linha D’Água” (Desmonta Disco – BR / Bokeh Versions – UK).

 

 

 

“Over here in Brasil the scenario is really bad… Well, it has always been but now it’s worse. As artists we also lost all of our programmed shows and works, and we are getting very little support from the government, like 100 pounds per month (and this only if you get applied). It’s terrible. We have no minister of health, our president is an assassin, the wave of fascism is growing… and not to talk about the racism… It’s a deep hole!”
STATEMENT FROM PAULA, RAKTA
We ask you consider supporting these two immensely forward-thinking acts from Brazil’s underground where possible and if you want to learn more about Brazil’s current crisis, we recommend the following reading…

 

SOURCES

> Brazil legends rebuke Jair Bolsonaro for ‘irresponsible’ Covid-19 policy

> ‘The government is strangling cinema’: Brazil film industry fights for survival

> ‘We’re an open wound’: São Paulo’s underground music scene

> Jair Bolsonaro has trashed Brazil’s image but he hasn’t broken its soul

> Bolsonaro’s silence on artists’ deaths reflects disdain for Brazilian culture

 

Sofasonic panel talk ‘Looking for today‘ where we explore how musicians respond to social and political unrest. Hear perspectives from Paula Rebellato (Rakta) & Mariano De Melo (Deaf Kids) based in Brazil, Franklin James Fisher (Algiers) & Will Brooks (Dälek) in USA and Khyam Allami in the UK. This session is hosted by Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.

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Sofasonic Playlist: Ben Sadler

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Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

Being a music fan can be a bit overwhelming these days – via the big wide web, almost all recorded music in history is accessible, so it can often be quite tricky to navigate the sheer wealth of sound that’s out there! By reaching out to our Supersonic artists and friends we discover the undiscovered, we get an insight into their influences and start to piece together the inspirations behind the music & art we know and love.

So whether you’re working, walking the pooch, having a lazy day or doing some DIY – we’ve got the perfect selections for you…

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine | Sofa King |

 

 

Today, we bring you a playlist crafted by the Birmingham-based artist Ben Sadler. From Lionel Ritchie to Kraftwerk, many of you will remember Ben’s hilariously inventive song covers at Sofasonic. But by day, Ben is part of Juneau Projects formed in 2001 alongside friend Phil. Together, they work across a broad range of mediums that focus on the relationship between society, culture and the natural world. 

 

“Supersonic is such a great thing. Picking one memory is so hard! One thing that truly has stayed with me, though arriving late (a long story but not very interesting), is seeing Sunn o))). Standing outside the Custard Factory, hearing Sunn o))) shaking the building to its foundations with the sounds of the city filtering in around me, was a weird zen-like experience. I closed my eyes and took it in. It seemed to be a great testament to Supersonic and Birmingham – the two are entwined in a profound way.”

 

 

The tracks I’ve chosen for the playlist are a selection of songs that have soundtracked lockdown for me. Some are songs I’ve discovered during this period and grown to love, some are old friends that have popped up to fill my ears again with a new relevance.”

 

 

Take a listen here…

 

 

When lockdown started towards the end of March Ben thought it might be nice to do song requests for people and share them on Instagram each day. He ended up making 82 videos (!) each roughly a minute long with costumes, makeup, props and music – all very lo-fi.

 

 

“Lockdown has felt quite dream-like. A slow-motion world with a strange logic, moments of fear and odd beauty. I spent much of it absorbed in making cover versions on Instagram of songs people requested. It was a fun and life-affirming project and I was incredibly warmed by the warmth and kindness shown by people towards it. “

 

For Sofasonic Festival, Ben raided his daughter’s dressing-up box once more and returned to the wigs, tin foil and tracksuit tops with 10 new covers – requested by you lot, our Sofasonic audience!

 

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Sofasonic Playlist: Sofa King

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Thank you to everyone that tuned in over the weekend for Sofasonic Festival, as part of our extended Sofasonic celebrations we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.

 

Sofasonic Playlists: Radwan MoumnehMark Titchner | QUEEF | Gazelle TwinMatt RidoutKhyam Allami | Molly & MabelDecolonise Fest | Rocket Recordings | Mike Nelson | Faten Kanaan | Iggor Cavalera | Valentina Magaletti | Sex Swing | Mariano Sarine |

 

Birmingham based experimentalist Sofa King, is the musical output of pop-obsessed transgender individual Dianne Burdon. She treats reverb and feedback like a chemical formula.

Delivering on the promise of dad rock and the trans agenda, Sofa King offers raucous clashes of Tetris-like guitar beeps, to a drum beat that can just about keep up with Dianne’s vocal chants. Following the cracking Sofa King performance at our International Women’s Day event earlier this year (what a beautiful live-show memory!) and the cracking cover of Fairies Wear Boots for our Sofa Sabbath series, we asked Dianne to send us her lockdown selections…

 

 

“This is a collection of songs that I’ve discovered, or reconnected to, during lockdown. I’ve been creatively quite stunted in this period, so I’ve been looking outwards, vegetating on the sofa watching music video after music video, livestream after livestream, endless content forever. 

 

Take a listen here…

 

 

Sofa Sabbath is a series we’ve created especially for Sofasonic! This is a really special treat… Bringing together our two loves – Supersonic & Home of Metal, we’ve invited Sofa King, alongside a whole host of artists to put their unique spin on the forefathers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath.

Keep your eyes peeled for more wild interpretations and creative covers of classic Sabbath songs for your pure viewing enjoyment!

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