Air Loom: a shimmering minimalist masterpiece

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Air Loom is the latest project from composer Sarah Angliss. With ancient instruments and bespoke electroacoustic techniques, Sarah has toured the UK performing Air Loom live with vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock.

Featuring voice, theremin, recorders, percussion, robotics, electronics and a rarity centre-stage – the Latvian clavisimbalum (a sonorous, fourteenth-century cousin of the harpsichord). Its plucked, soft iron strings ring with a rich, dark reverberance – a sound that hails from Eastern European folk and the Renaissance court. Angliss adds voices in close harmony, recorder, theremin, percussion and robotic carillon, an instrument she devised and built to play bells at inhuman speeds, creating a haze of delicate, metallic sound.

Angliss is joined by vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock. As they play, their sounds are deftly contorted, fragmented and recombined using Angliss’ digital inventions. Her own variant of the loop pedal stretches every strand of sound subtly as it plays. This transforms the most consonant music into something more angular as it makes beguiling musical collisions – the precarious harmonic terrain of Angliss’ signature soundworld.

 

 

“Music possessed of an eerie instability…a whole universe unto itself brimming with fresh propositions and new directions…

a shimmering minimalist masterpiece”

Wire Magazine

 

Check out the full release here…

Sarah Angliss is a composer making dreamlike performances where the total theatre of the sound’s creation is as striking as the music itself. Her music reflects her eclectic background as a classically trained composer, electronic artist and folk musician.

A prolific live musician, Sarah’s known for her skills and augmented techniques on theremin, an instrument she combines live with Max, vocals, recorder, saw, keyboard and her many found sounds and field recordings. On stage, she’s often accompanied by musical automata – machines she’s been devising and building since 2005 to give her performance an arresting and uncanny physical presence. Thematically, she often plays with the resonances between folklore and our perceptions of machines. Her music often plays with notions of electrical mysticism and the uncanny.

 

 

Stephen Hiscock is a composer, drummer and percussionist. His composing work has covered film, advertisements, theatre and the concert hall, having had works performed internationally, notably a national tour of Ghana. Stephen has spent several very happy study periods in Ghana learning traditional styles of music with master musicians from the National Dance Company of Ghana and The Pan African Orchestra.

Described by Le Monde as ‘As fine an actor as she is a singer,’ soprano Sarah Gabriel made her USA debut as Lucy Lockit (Britten The Beggar’s Opera) conducted by Lorin Maazel and her European debut as Eliza Doolittle in Robert Carsen’s triumphant production of My Fair Lady at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, opposite Alex Jennings as Higgins. Sarah has given recitals of music spanning 300 years and as a soloist with orchestra, she has performed the major oratorio repertoire, world premieres, operetta, musical theatre, and concert arias with ensembles including London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, English Chamber Orchestra.

 

Catch this mind-spangling amalgamation of sound by a formidable trio of musicians at Supersonic 2019…

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Hey Colossus: raging & rail-roading but somehow in control

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“could easily be the sound of a squadron of tanks invading

the dance floor of some infernal disco” 

The Quietus

 

Forging a completely idiosyncratic combination of power, control, tenderness, miscontrol and more power, Hey Colossus acutely channel the best of your record collections and spit them back out into some quite astonishing shows and releases.

 

Coming out of London and the South West of England, Hey Colossus are one of Europe’s great live bands. Since 2003 the six-piece has been driving around the continent with their “pirate ship” backline of broken amps and triple-guitar drang, elevating audiences in every type of venue imaginable; a doctor’s waiting room in Salford, an industrial unit in Liege and a vast field next to a river in Portugal. Wherever they may roam.

Hey Colossus have undergone a spectacular metamorphosis in the last three years, since the 2015 Rocket Recordings double-drop of ‘In Black And Gold’ and ‘Radio Static High’. These releases displayed not only a band with a work rate to put most their contemporaries to shame, but one arriving at an atmospheric and rewarding sound with as much flair for the beguiling as the barbaric.

 

 
“Standard-bearers for post-millennial British music which is au fait with punk and hardcore while not being punk or hardcore”
The Quietus

 

The latest release, ‘Four Bibles’ is their twelfth studio album and the first to be released by London label ALTER. Recorded by Ben Turner at Space Wolf Studios in Somerset, it’s their most direct album yet and follows a well-documented trajectory of evolution that began (in the truest sense) with 2011’s RRR for Riot Season and continued across three albums for Rocket Recordings.

 

Lead vocalist Paul Sykes sounds more in focus than before, dialling down the effects and using reverb/delay to carry his lyrics rather than smother. The band has also fine-tuned to leave some room for extra depth. Piano, electronics and violin (by Daniel O’Sullivan of This is not This Heat / Grumbling Fur) all find a way in amongst a familiar mesh of interlacing guitars, wrapped around a taut rhythm section. Like every other Hey Colossus record before, the line-up has altered and the sounds reflect this.

 

As guitarist Jonathan Richards puts it: “After 12 years functioning in a noiserock/doom/kraut/whatever scene of sorts and being aware of unwanted repetition, we feel it is more subversive for us to compose songs with rigid song structures than it is to absentmindedly clang off another riff-athon.”

 

 

The band talk to CLASH mag about the new single ‘It’s a Low” from the album…

“The song came together pretty easily to start with then mutated into something that was much more intricate, needing really close attention. The now-departed Roo’s pinching of the piano and Daniel O’Sullivan’s dashing viola really lifted the whole thing in the finale. Not our usual mood, but good we can still play with it all 15 years in.”

 

“Chinks of pop light shine through, but this is still raw uncompromising stuff” The Guardian

 

After giving us those shimmy-shakes at Centrala back in December for our end of year show, we’re pretty damn chuffed to welcome back pals Hey Colossus to this year’s 15th edition of Supersonic Festival.

It was one heck of a party! Join us for the next one?

Hey Colossus will be performing alongside Yob, Big Lad and Savage Realm at our Friday aftershow party – limited tickets left!

Get your Supersonic afterparty tickets here.

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Faten Kanaan: Interview

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“A strangely haunting yet beautiful bouquet of nocturnal, electronic blooms ranging from poignant ambient vignettes to chamber-like pop, from Brooklyn’s Faten Kanaan
– a gifted musical story-teller”

 

Faten is a NY based artist. Her performances slowly build songs by live-looping them, without the use of sequencers or arpeggiators. Cyclical patterns are central to her compositions, with the exploration of harmony and counterpoint as narrative tools. Sound & silence are used as intuitive gestures to tell a wordless story.

Inspired by cinematic forms: from sweeping landscapes and quiet character studies, to the patterned tension of horror film soundtracks; she focuses on bringing a visceral touch to electronic music. In symbiosis with technology is an appreciation for the vulnerability of human limitations and subtle nuances.

 

 

We asked Faten some questions ahead of her performance at Supersonic Festival 2019…

 

Hi Faten, looking forward to having you with us for Supersonic! You’re performing on the Saturday of the festival…
What can our Supersonic audience expect from your live performance?

I see myself as a storyteller.

Each performance I give is a journey through a narrative arc, without the use of vocals.
All the music is played live, with one synth and a loop pedal. I also use a minimal choreography of gestures as an extension of the sound. In the course of this journey, my intention is to set a mood, present certain archetypes/scenarios,
create an experience both private & shared and conjure a ritual to suspend time.

 

We’ve had your wonderful album Foxes on in the Supersonic office while we work away on festival spreadsheets. Those sweeping sonic landscapes really carry us through!
Could you tell us a bit more about this 3rd album and your shift into instrumental music? Why a wordless story?

Thank you!

I rarely sang on my previous recordings… but as my focus shifted to an interest in textures and timbres, I minimized vocals even more to allow each instrument patch to embody its own character and say what it had to say. I stopped singing live altogether because it was too jarring a transition out of the dream haze I enter when I play. I also have to punch in at least 50 patch numbers during every performance, so I’d rather focus on remembering those.
I’m much more comfortable with the black and white keys. They feel like an extension of my body, so sometimes I play them in a way that maybe isn’t as traditional. Old muscle memory kicks in from having played other instruments: the piano has always been my main instrument, but I had a brief stint with the cello and an even shorter one with the harp and the oud. The tactility of those strings has helped me better understand the physicality of sound, the space around notes, and how much room to give them. Not having words also allows listeners to attach their own meanings onto my music. Plus, I don’t have to worry about which language I should be singing in.
 
Your most recent video for ‘Pendulum’ was out just a couple of months ago.  
Why this track from the album? And the idea behind the single still shot, could you tell us more about that?
 ‘Pendulum’ felt like a microcosm that captured what I was trying to do with the album.
It has a narrative structure, an arc of a story. It also focuses on the idea of repetition and cycling, which is important to me both philosophically and aesthetically… of noticing the smallest change happening to a sound, and how we ourselves change with it.
This idea of stillness, drifting, and things coming full circle was captured by my friend Jessie Rose Vala’s beautiful video. We used to share an art studio many years ago and have collaborated occasionally. I’m a big fan of her work.
The dynamic shifts in this song (and others) allow the music to breathe when it needs to, and for each note to ring out its full sound. I still love playing my baroque-y fast bits… but am also inspired by bands/composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Earth, and Zbigniew Preisner. They use intentionality in such a powerful way, and treat silence with the respect it deserves.

 

We’re big fans of DIY culture in music, we noticed you compose, produce and mix your own music too and create a lot of the artwork yourself for your releases.
Is this out of necessity or an artistic choice? Why?
Production and mixing-wise, going the DIY route was first a result of necessity, then it became a choice.
The mixing process has become an essential part of my arrangements: how frequencies & textures interact with each other and the listener… how the story unfolds. I’m self-taught with using a DAW, and am still learning as I go along. Experimenting and problem-solving are such satisfying parts of the process, as frustrating as they can be at times.
I wouldn’t have had the courage to go the independent route if it hadn’t been for my amazingly supportive community of very talented engineer and musician friends. Some people who I look up to had encouraged me to trust my ears and give producing my own music a shot.
I’m also very lucky that one of my dearest friends, Heba Kadry, is an incredible mastering engineer and a constant inspiration. She’s mastered everything that I’ve done, and has a special talent for understanding an artist’s vision and bringing their music to life.
I’ve chosen to do the artwork myself because I see my albums as a conceptual whole. My background is as a sculptor and painter, and I had shifted away from the visual art world to focus on my music. Also, for about 7 years I’d worked as a poster restoration artist and archivist- so I enjoy working with design elements and fonts, having been inspired by all sorts of historic paper ephemera.
 

 

It’s great to get to know our Supersonic artists a little better and introduce our audience to your work, another thing we love about our festival is that many of our artists are fans of each other. 
Who are you looking forward to at Supersonic?
I’m excited to check out The Body, Jerusalem in my Heart, and The Bug with Moor Mother. I’m also psyched to see performances by bands I’m not familiar with, they can be such a great surprise. And I look forward to meeting the organizers.

 

FOLLOW FATEN ON FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM 
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PRISON RELIGION: bludgeoning beats

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PRISON RELIGION is the collaborative project of Richmond-based audio/visual artists Poozy and False Prpht. They draw on slivered, staticky forms of electronic music – industrial, noise, techno, and the sort of glass-shattering bass-heavy stuff.

Poozy and False Prpht, aka Parker Jones and Warren Black, first met in an airport in South Carolina, releasing their first mix in 2016.  From the early release, Cage With Mirrored Bars (a collaboration with Crimewave, on Blackhouse Records) to 2018’s O Fucc Im On The Wrong Planet, the duo has dived deep into the space between blown-out trap and contemporary destructive club music.

They also draw on legacies of metal and hardcore, throwing their bodies around at shows, punching low ceiling and screaming over PAs pushed to their upper limits, whilst treading the line on the more outré realms of contemporary rap.

 

 

“The barely tonal beats of tracks like ‘Shots Fired’ have this way of making it feel like the 808s are falling apart or dissociating, like a crowd dispersing as Jones and Black spin kick in the centre… acid-drenched tracks draw on the history of industrial music, metal iconography and experimental club music.” 

Noisey

 

 

O Fucc Im On The Wrong Planet displays the duo’s confrontational yet hysterical and escapist approach; P_R explains in an interview, “the title’s this realisation that our whole situation is so fucking bizarre… We’re living in Idiocracy. What the fuck is going on?”

The production destroys any notion of comfort afforded in dance music, with cold industrial and glitchy hip hop textures serving as the stylistic anchor. According to Noisey, “[e]ven though it’s only six tracks, only one of which breaches three minutes, the duo manages to compress a whole lot of dread into the record’s short runtime – a reminder that space is a fruitful setting for any sort of horror-invoking media.”

Soon after the release, Prison Religion teamed up with Halcyon Veil to release a collection of remixes based on the record. Titled RESONANCE IN EXOPLANETARY HYBRIDIZATION, the EP features edits by Swan Meat, Lee Gamble, Rabit, Bonaventure, Geng, and Endgame, among others. With close ties to NON Worldwide, P_R are also ushering in a new wave of vocal-based club performance.

 

“Prison Religion are one of the most hardcore, rap-related acts we’ve heard in years. No cock out business, just Philip Best levels of mic-burning bile and vitriol shrieked and expectorated over bludgeoning beats, field recordings and charred electronics.

Boomkat

 

Not one for the faint-hearted, we can’t wait for the acid-drenched sounds of Prison Religion to blow our minds (and possibly our eardrums) at Supersonic 2019…

 

 

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Fracture Patterns – step into the noise field

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Saturday 22nd June

@The Crossing, Digbeth

Doors 7pm

TICKETS

Join us on June 22nd for an evening of experimental noise and immersive visuals. The Crossing, Digbeth is the usual home to our beloved Stage 1 of Supersonic Festival, come and experience the space like never before for this Superspecial first time collaboration between Eartheater & Semiconductor plus local support in the shape of a rare appearance from Wolverhampton’s finest pre-grunge/post-punkers VICTOR!

“Victor have a sound that could definitely break through a mountain” – Counteract

 

VICTOR have been in hiding for quite some time but reformed recently for a reunion show for local promoters DIE DAS DER to help raise funds to rebuild Black Country Recording Company which sadly burnt down in 2018. They played a monumental return gig and have clearly got a taste for it again (thankfully), so are stretching the strings once more for an un-holy clattering of luscious noise-rock to kick start the evening.
The evening will be interspersed by Youth Man‘s Kaila Whyte spinning some tunes on the decks with Meesha Fones from VICTOR in tow.
Leading us on to the main event…

Fracture Patterns is a live collaboration between UK artist duo Semiconductor and New York musician and producer Eartheater. This original commission by the Outlands Network combines large-scale multi-channel video works by Semiconductor with a new live soundtrack and performance by Eartheater, fusing both into a compelling theatrical production.

“Eartheater is the future of everything weird” – Noiseyvice

Eartheater explores experimental pop and fantasy combining her genre-breaking musical production with a singular visual aesthetic. Semiconductor’s visually and intellectually engaging artworks explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lenses of science and technology.

HALO by semiconductor from Semiconductor on Vimeo.

Together, they invite audiences into the noise field, as they explore the collision and collusion of their respective practices.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

OR TAKE PART IN THE EVENT YOURSELF! HERE’S HOW…

***LIMITED CAPACITY***

FREE Vocal choir workshop with EARTHEATER

Workshop 6pm (45mins) | Evening performance 7pm doors |

An exciting opportunity to participate in a free vocal workshop with musician and artist Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater) and to take part in a performance of new Outlands commission Fracture Patterns.

Drawing upon her unique vocal style, Eartheater will guide participants through contrasting vocal spaces, experimenting with scale, range and tone to explore the higher and lower ends of your vocal spectrum individually and as a group.

The workshop will be an exploratory, playful and liberating experience dispelling traditional ideas of what a choir is and what a voice ‘should’ sound like.

The outcome of the workshop will be fused into the evening Fracture Patterns performance of Semiconductor’s film Black Rainwith music by Eartheater and vocals by you.

No experience is necessary (this is not a traditional singing workshop) just come with an open mind and an adventurous spirit! Participants gain free entry to the evening Fracture Patterns event.

TO TAKE PART, EMAIL: anna@capsule.org.uk  with the subject title ‘EARTHEATER WORKSHOP’

Places available on a first come first serve basis. GO GO GO!

This collaboration is brought to you by the Outlands Network. OUTLANDS brings together a diverse mix of visual arts and music organisations, independent venues, creative producers, and promoters, all from outside London, with the aim of strengthening organisational reach and developing regional audiences. OUTLANDS was developed out of a motivation to pool expertise and resources, to encourage diversity and accessibility, build local audiences, and to support engaging and ambitious interdisciplinary music productions across the country, and the organisations that strive to promote them.

CHECK OUT OUR SUPERSONIC PODCAST – OUTLANDS SPECIAL – TO FIND OUT MORE:

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DÄLEK: practitioners of noise-fuelled depravity

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It’s been 20 years since the pioneers of alt hip-hop, Dälek formed in Newark, New Jersey; having since crafted an idiosyncratic blend of ambient metallic noise and pungent, declamatory raps. Led by rapper, producer and engineer Will “Dälek” Brooks, this act seemed too quirky for the rap kids, and too left-field for the metal dudes. But thanks to excellent, ground-breaking work such as 2002’s From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots and 2005’s Absence, they carved a singular path, anticipating the crop of contemporary noise-rap experimenters like Clipping and Death Grips in the process.

 

 

DÄLEK’s take on hip-hop is foreboding and hypnotic in a way that feels unexpected; sure, in the Age of Future, creepy, dark vibes are almost

de rigeur, but DÄLEK takes it a step further towards the abyss by incorporating a seething electronic edge – think Einstürzende Neubauten, not Soundcloud.

Noisey

 

Pioneers of alt hip-hop, Dälek features Rapper/Producer MC Dälek, Producer/Live Electronics Mike Manteca, with roots in the mid-90’s DIY scene. They have encapsulated fans and critics across all genres, garnering fans and accolades from the Hip-Hop, Electronic, Indie, Metal, Shoegaze, Jazz and experimental communities.

After releasing 7 studio albums, numerous collaborations, EP’s, and remixes, they are known for their large body of work and pushing boundaries with every release. Debut album Negro Necro Nekros was released in 1998 on Gern Blandsten, 2002 saw Ipecac Recordings release the game-changing From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots which was followed with 3 more releases on Ipecac Recordings – Absence in 2005, Abandoned Language in 2007 and Gutter Tactics in 2009.

In 2010, Dälek went on a five-year hiatus to recoup from a decade of relentless touring and to focus on new musical projects. In January of 2015 MC Dälek said he “missed the noise,” and a tour and new single quickly followed. 2016 saw the release of the critically acclaimed Asphalt for Eden on Profound Lore Records, once again showing the music world their constant evolution sonically and lyrically.

Their flow has often been usurped by scorched textures, the product of synthetic decay, themes flitting from pungent political rage through to outright Dionysian frenzy. The latest release, Endangered Philosophies, has focused lyrics more at the forefront than ever before, and MC Dälek’s new experiments with rhyme styles and flows. There’s no doubt about it, Endangered Philosophies is a work of guttural catharsis, it is a call to arms…

Within the context of the current political landscape, the title Endangered Philosophies certainly brings to mind pertinent issues of the moment, notably the rampant rise of anti-intellectualism, as well as the all too rapid erosion of genuinely progressive values in the face of fearful reactionary forces. In MC Dälek’s own words…

 

“Endangered Philosophies is a very introspective record about very external forces. This isn’t about one listen… it’s about your evolving perception when you immerse yourself in the layers of sound and words. Endangered Philosophies is a record about the RIGHT NOW and yet will resonate differently each time it is listened to, in a word….timeless.” 

 


Dälek have been prone to outbursts of pummeling extremity, yet their sound is anything but one dimensional; with viscous dark-ambient soundscapes congealing atop their incessant beats, a dual focus on brute force and disembodied unease. They make use of material sent to them by people they have friendships and relationships with including Toronto based Metz, manipulating and sampling in the same way they would use record samples.

Although the group have evolved their sound over the years, they continue to collaborate with the same behind the scenes crew who’ve been with them from the beginning, from the production team to the artist behind their cover art. At this stage in their career they have elevated to a frankly peerless stature; 20 years since the release of their pivotal debut album Negro Necro Nekros, and having previously collaborated with a host of like-minded visionaries; ranging from Krautrock legends Faust, through to the 90s electronic act Techno Animal – a similarly restless project comprised of Kevin Martin (The Bug, King Midas Sound) and Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu).

Fans of Dälek will be thrilled to discover that the group once again appear at Supersonic Festival 2019, charging forward and continuing to resist stagnation in all its forms. 

 

 

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DO.OMYOGA ANNOUNCEMENT

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We welcome back Kamellia Sara to Supersonic Festival 2019 with DO.OMYoga – bringing together music and movement with stillness to create immersive meditation.

 

On Saturday join Kamellia at Eastside Projects for a special live collaboration with HENGE under the Monster’s head.

On Sunday all you need to do is rest and relax as you bathe with sonic vibration in a Doombath.

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st July 2019, 12.30 – 2pm
Eastside Projects
LIMITED PLACES
£10.00
30 x tickets availale

 

MORE DETAILS + TICKETS

Saturday w/ HENGE.

Sunday Doombath.

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AJA: noise-based healing

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Coming to Supersonic this year are psycho-sexual noise-spasms by transgressive, gender-activist performance-artist AJA Ireland. We expect sonic, visual and physical over-stimulation, that’s neon coloured & intense.

Using unsettling noise, distressed screams, hand made electronics and found objects pushed through pedals, AJA’s industrial beats and distorted drone, combined with a psycho-visceral, intense performance, challenges the audience by breaking down barriers and pushing limits sonically and visually.

 

AJA “seems intent on destroying all boundaries between herself and the audience…not just that she tends to spend most shows off the stage, set up in among the audience, but the literal way she ropes the audience into what she does with her long microphone lead.”

Noisey

 

Catharsis is a big part of her music. She channels a plethora of intense emotions into her work: “I scream and I’m confrontational, but at the same time I do it out of love – and I want everyone to feel that”. In spite of this, Aja’s performances haven’t always been met with respect. “I don’t like the old-school macho side of the scene, and at times crowds have responded with a lot of disrespect and misogyny. For instance, people come into my space even after I push them away, playing with my equipment and laughing in my face when I’m performing naked”.

 

When people are open and respectful, magical things can happen”

 

Despite at first coming across as fierce, perhaps frightening, AJA’s work brings with it a sense of positivity. This positivity manifests itself is through a notable drag influence, the lead single from her debut album being entitled ‘Tuck It, Tape It’, an act which refers to hiding a penis and testicles with tape. She cites drag performance as a huge inspiration on the way she presents herself.

 

 

The vibrancy of drag also bleeds into AJA’s aesthetic, she co-designs her costumes with Berlin-based designer Lu La Loop. “I’ll send over sketches to her and she’ll design them. They are inspired by a whole range of things; usually stemming from conversations we’ve had about things as disparate as biology, punk, nature and witchcraft.” The costumes can at times come out as a hybrid of all those ideas, they’re colourful, but they’re also quite frightening. Her music has even been played at Berlin Alternative Fashion Week.

Aesthetically you could place AJA somewhere between Gazelle Twin, Fever Ray or even Arca, but sonically she’s something completely different. As well as being explicitly noisy, AJA’s live performances can also be beat-centric – she calls back to producer Andrew Course as a key perpetrator in AJA making the music she makes today. “He spent years and years teaching me everything I know about production, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing now without him”.

AJA runs Ableton workshops for young girls who want to experiment with sound. She also uses this platform to promote discussions about taboo issues: “I try to open up conversations, about mental health and my experiences – and how music and performance has helped”.

“Channelling raw emotion, AJA Ireland alchemises past trauma

into a kind of noise-based healing”

Red Bull

 

We invite you to Supersonic 2019, so you can be very much a part of that.
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New Supersonic Podcast release

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Yep that’s right EVEN MORE announcements for Supersonic Festival 2019 to sift through!
We’ve just under 10 weeks to go until the 15th edition of the internationally renowned Supersonic Festival.
Weekend tickets have now sold out WHICH IS PRETTY AMAZING!
There are still a few day tickets so CLICK OVER HERE to fill your boots. Perhaps you’re already coming along for the weekend but there’s a pal you think should know about us and could visit for the day? Just a thought…

ANYHOW! In this edition of the podcast we cover the new 10 acts to be announced for the festival:

BIG LAD // MATTERS // HEY COLOSSUS // SAVAGE REALM // BODYVICE // HHY & THE MACUMBAS // BLANKET // DANIEL HIGGS // HARESS // SARAH ANGLISS // THE SEER // UKAEA

As well as talking about our upcoming year-round show FRACTURE PATTERNS – a new collaboration between New York musician & producer Eartheater and UK artist duo Semi-conductor. Set to be a stunning performance on June 22nd at The Crossing, Digbeth. Don’t miss it!

 

Supersonic Festival
July 19th-21st
Birmingham, UK

See you there!

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Neurosis & Godflesh: Pioneers of heavy music

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This year at Supersonic we are honoured to have legends NEUROSIS & Godflesh open the festival in the glorious setting of Birmingham Town Hall – two bands, pioneering in heavy sound.

 

Since their mid-eighties beginnings, and despite a catalogue that boasts some of the most moving sounds in visceral heavy music, NEUROSIS have always strived to incorporate light and balance as well as aggression and venom. Over the course of NEUROSIS’ audio and visual evolution, their unique sound has placed greater demands and offered increased rewards to all who’ve embraced it. They have developed a style blending industrial, heavy metal, and alternative rock with often spiritually focused lyrics.

Under the stewardship of Scott Kelly, Dave Edwardson, Jason Roeder and in 1989 spiritual heir Steve Von Till (and now Noah Landis and Josh Graham on visuals), NEUROSIS does only what the best art can: it crafts a sense world for those with sense and senses from the realm of eternal ideas and weaves it, whole cloth, into the audio, the visual, the powerful. A seamless melding and welding of elements that are not too wildly disparate: loss, gain, and eventually gaining through loss. With a recorded output of 27-odd releases and tours all over the lands known & unknown, it is almost impossible to try to capture them with a single descriptor, and many have tried – metal, doom, ambient hardcore – misguided at worst and a waste of time at best.

Over the collective’s past ten albums, Neurosis have invited listeners to join them on the path their music carved. The band has toured very little over the last decade and has generally avoided self-congratulation. Consistently affirming their self-reliance, singer Steve Von Till runs the record label that released the band’s last three albums (all of which were recorded with infamously no frills/no bullsh*t producer Steve Albini). All members of the band are candid about the day jobs they work in order to maintain the band’s independence. This suggests that Neurosis would continue to be Neurosis regardless of their audience.

Their influence can be spotted across a surprisingly wide variety of heavy music, from some of the most successful metal acts of the last 10 years to fringe Christian hardcore bands. NEUROSIS’ place in metal history has as much to do with the breadth of their influence as it does with the depth of their catalogue, and tracing that influence helps illustrate both the band’s impact and the singularity of their vision.

Watch two performances, twenty years apart…

 

1997

2017 

Across the pond, a little closer to our Midlands home, we add the industrious Godflesh to the mix… 

 

An English  experimental metal  band from  Birmingham. Godflesh formed a few years after NEURSOSIS in 1988 by  Justin Broadrick  (guitar,  vocals  and  programming) after he left the first recorded line up of Napalm Death. He teamed up with bassist Ben Green and an Alesis-16 drum machine to unleash a pair of releases that sounded unlike anything at the time: the 1988 EP Godflesh and 1990’s full-length Streetcleaner. As one of the first bands to merge metal with industrial, their innovative sound has been dubbed as a foundational influence on both the industrial metal  and  post-metal bands that followed.

Godflesh is known for their unique mixture of industrial drum machine beats with droning, discordant guitar and powerful, intermittent bass. On their earlier albums, the rhythms, synths, and samples are credited to “Machine” or “Machines” but later, Godflesh would make use of human drummers Bryan Mantia and Ted Parsons. Their eerie, slow, and repetitive style is regularly described as “apocalyptic“, with Broadrick’s often guttural vocals that make use of something akin to the death grunt technique. Yet they also at times show a softer, more melodic side, as in “I Wasn’t Born to Follow” from 1992’s Pure. They present lyrics that are terse, cryptic, and bleak, often emphasizing duality or opposition, as illustrated by the opening lines of “Defeated” (from 2001’s Hymns):

Everything I build I destroy
Everything I love always hurts
Everything I hate I’d rather love
Everything I am is everything I’m not

 

Watch our interview with JKB and Benny; discussing hometown Birmingham, reformation, Home of Metal & the early years following their 2010 performance…

“It makes obvious sense to be playing where our roots come from. The whole inspiration is this city.”

 

 

We stand poised and ready for the mass of sound coming to us from these two phenomenal bands this July. Don’t miss out on this incredible line-up; get your tickets here.

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MATTERS INTERVIEW

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‘This is something quite epic…another winner from Static Caravan Records’ – Steve Lamacq – BBC 6 Music

Local Brummie band Matters won over the Supersonic crowd at 2018’s end of year party. Their storming set of pulsating synths, heavy beats and cinematic vision is something to behold, so much so – we’ve invited them to perform at Supersonic Saturday this year – and they’ll be cranking it up a notch or 2! A set not to be missed at Supersonic Festival 2019 from one of Birmingham’s most talked about new bands. DAY TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE!

In light of their BRAND NEW VIDEO RELEASE this week for single ‘Mauveine C’, a track taken from forthcoming release ‘The Square’ out soon on Static Caravan Records, we decided to send the band some questions so you could all get to know them a little better.

FOLLOW MATTERS ON FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

Hello Matters.

What Matters to you?

Nature. Food. Endless Internet music radio. Wikipedia. People who make tutorial videos on YouTube.

What doesn’t Matter to you?

Genres. Nostalgia.

Why did you become Matters?

Stuart wanted to do something that had fewer boundaries than the music he’d been involved with before, Brid had always had an interest in synths and the technology around that. Tom joined us late last year, he’s great with electronic drums as well as being an actual real drummer. He also brings our combined height up to 551cm. We do almost everything ourselves and it’s a very open space to incorporate lots of creativity.

How does the name relate to the music?

In a way it sort of feels like a blank canvas, like there is lots of space around it.

You create beautiful films for your music, all in-house. You’ve just released ‘Mauveine C’ this week featuring members of other Birmingham bands both in the music & visuals. Can you tell us about this track, the video and collaboration?

Our label wanted to put out something small before we went into the next thing. We had a track left over from the debut record, so we thought it would be interesting to tackle some re-imagining/reworkings of the older stuff to put out with it. We had wanted to do something with Hoopla Blue for a while, and they didn’t feel like just an obvious choice. We share some common ground, but we are very different from each other musically. The result was Mauveine C, which is a reworking of our track Mauveine. It’s the only thing we have that uses a vocal. They did a wonderful job, and we felt like it deserved a video. The video features two members of Hoopla, alongside Beth from the excellent Dorcha. The video for Mauveine C is about perception and the difference between one person’s version of reality to the next. That, and how life is too finite to spend it arguing over who’s reality is the right reality.

You like cats. Which of your tracks do you think cats would most enjoy and why?

I think it really depends on the cat. One of our cats loves a good analogue oscillator, she probably prefers the Square for those. Our other cat won’t listen to anything slower than 236 bpm, so we’re a bit lost on him. There’s a dead sexy cat over the road I saw carrying a whole rat in her mouth once, she’s always out at night, I believe Mauviene is in her hunting playlist..

We cant wait for your Supersonic performance. What can our audience expect?

The music we’re writing now feels much darker than before so that’s where the performance is headed, we won’t be playing anything that we currently have out. Visually, we did a few shows last year with some large patterned light boxes we made, they were a bit Memphis inspired, but we’ll be tearing it all apart in the next few months and rebuilding it into something that suits the new stuff more. We know a bit more about how it all works now, so hopefully can push the technology a bit harder. It’s obviously not practical to do this at all our shows so it’s gonna be a treat for us (and hopefully the audience too).

Who are you looking forward to at Supersonic?

Moor Mother. The Bug. Jerusalem in my heart. Dalek. But mostly hearing something good we haven’t heard before.

 

 

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BIG JOANIE: black feminist sistah punk

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Big Joanie are Stephanie Phillips (singer/guitarist), Estella Adeyeri (bass) and Chardine Taylor-Stone (drums). They formed the band in 2013 as part of London’s thriving DIY punk scene. Big Joanie have played with locals Shopping; toured with US punks Downtown Boys; and Dutch Punk band The Ex; and performed at the first UK Afropunk festival. 

With their sound inspired by that of The Ronettes, Nirvana, Breeders and Jesus and Mary Chain, Big Joanie have described themselves as being “similar to The Ronettes filtered through ’80s DIY and Riot Grrrl with a sprinkling of dashikis.”

This London-based group has self-released three rough-hewn EPs on their own imprint, Sistah Punk, each one featuring songs that blend tangling post-punk guitar lines, spit-shined hooks, and a “sprinkling,” Chardine says, of black liberation politics.

 

 

a woven rock tapestry of affirmational lyrics,

girl-group claps, and deep, slashing guitars.

Pitchfork

 

Big Joanie recorded their debut album ‘Sistahs’ over several sessions from November 2017 to January 2018 at Hermitage Works Studio with producer Margo Broom. One of the main reasons for coming together as a band was to create an atmosphere to be “completely ourselves as black women and discover what was possible to realise in those spaces.”

The album cover features Steph’s mum Joan, whom the band is named after, and her aunt on holiday in Wales. The album title derives from the band’s belief in sisterhood and female friendship. 

 

“Women of colour have always had a place in punk.

Big Joanie is here to remind you of that.”

The Fader

 

 

 


Outside of the band, all three members are also involved in communitarian activities…

Steph is a journalist writing incisively about music and politics, but despite a serene focus and a deep, assured singing voice she admits to a natural reserve, explaining that she lived vicariously through the riot grrrl music she devoured as a teenager in the middle England town of Wolverhampton. “As a very shy person, I loved hearing someone else stand up for themselves,” she tells The Fader. 

A couple of hours away across the Midlands, the outgoing, quick-to-laugh Chardine grew up nurturing a love for Nirvana in Kettering, the town “where all the fucking government parties do their research for middle England.” Chardine is a prominent activist and the founder of London’s Stop Rainbow Racism Campaign, which aims to get rid of racist performances from LGBTQ spaces.

In London, bassist Estella Adeyeri teaches guitar to young girls, explaining how she was listening to British alternative radio station XFM — “back when it wasn’t just blokey music,”.

Part of their motivation for being visible is to make sure that punks of colour don’t feel, as Steph puts it, like the “odd one out.” As an antidote to this, they all work together on London’s Decolonize Fest — a music festival by and for POC punks, held at the central axis for their home city’s punk community, DIY Space For London.

In this Tedx talk, Chardine discusses how coming from a working-class background, rather than through university, prompted her journey towards becoming a Black feminist. She discusses her obsession with alternative music and how the DIY mantra of punk subcultures can inform activism and help forge a radical identity for Black women today…

Bold, catchy and arresting, Big Joanie make powerful music whilst creating a continuum for Black punks by presenting strong, powerful visions of Black womanhood and talking about the Black punks who came before them. Catch them at Supersonic Festival 2019.

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HHY & The Macumbas: a shifting musical entity

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The band’s intense concoctions of harsh brass sounds, cyclical percussion and idiosyncratic dub techniques mark HHY & The Macumbas out as one of a number of pioneering groups to have emerged from the progressive,

experimental music scene in Porto, Portugal’s second city.”

The Quietus

 

 

For those not familiar with the music of HHY & The Macumbas, they are a shifting musical entity. Built amid smoke and fiery red lights.

This band has been “a long investigation into percussion, circular rhythms, dub strategies, and horns coming from the alcohol-fuelled Portuguese marching bands” says constructor and conductor in the world of HHY & The Macumbas, Jonathan Uliel Saldanha.

The word Macumba comes from Brazil, where it refers to religious practices found across the country that originate in Africa, including the traditions of Candomblé and Umbanda. Both in Brazil and in Portugal, the term has taken on a pejorative meaning, connoting mischief, malice or witchcraft, forces associated with peripheral realms beyond the bounds of the city. In Portugal, the term also came to be infused with uneasy memories of its colonial role in both Brazil and Africa.

 

“This music stems from a deep connection with the streets of Porto and its undertones, nights and drags,” Saldanha says.

 

 

 

Saldanha’s work emerged out of SOOPA, an art and music production unit he founded in Porto, Portugal. As an international art and music platform, SOOPA is oriented around a collective of artists and thinkers; a sound, visual and performance laboratory with a longstanding activity based in the old harbour city since the dawn of the millennium. Saldanha has been a leading force in the Portuguese experimental music scene, through which he coined a signature “skull-cave echo.”

Saldhana describes Indian classical music, dub and free jazz as “the three main vectors informing my perception” in his formative years, citing John Coltrane’s later work and Indian sitar music by the likes of Nikhil Banerjee as strong influences.

 

Watch a whole live show from the Macumbas here…

Part of the reason the Macumbas’ sound is so tough to define is that their music emerges out of an attempt to create their very own form of “traditional music”. As Saldanha puts it: “I was always very interested in this idea that we could make our own traditional music, the traditional music of this group of friends. There’s a group of five rhythms that we use, with different tempos, different accentuations. Kind of a signature. These rhythms became part of our sonic world”.

Beheaded Totem, their latest release (which you can listen to here) is a challenging record. Full of menacing horn parts, layered over mutating percussion rhythms, it’s an album that pulls in multiple directions: low-end frequencies gravitate downwards towards the Earth, while cymbals and trumpets clatter overhead, luring the listener out of the hypnotic circularity of the percussion. Meanwhile, the brass disappears into coiling, dubbed-out echoes and reverbs. It’s an intoxicating but unstable listen, constantly threatening to veer off into demonic territories.

We cannot wait for the Macubas to bring their concoctions of sound to Supersonic 2019…

 

 

 

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BodyVice: industrial spandex & lactose noise

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BodyVice is a new project by Natalie Sharp aka. Lone Taxidermist, an accomplished sound & stage designer, performance artist and make-up artist whose design practices converge around sound and the body.

First, a bit about 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.

Sharp tells The Culture Vulture; “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.”

In self-directed videos, Sharp manifests icons and deities drawn from the corners of the (Post-)Internet, embodying and channelling ‘cake-sitting’ and new dominatrix tactics – all wrapped in plastic and smeared in whipped cream.

If you don’t believe us, check this out…

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.

Sharp 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.

 

 

“(a)n unholy amalgamation of Grace Jones, Ari Up and

John Cooper Clarke, her vocal styles veer all over the place from a stream of consciousness poetry in her Cambrian drawl to

diva-esque wails and jarring harmonies”

The Quietus

 

 

Future ambitions for Lone Taxidermist? Sharp tells Noisey “I want to go to Berlin, play all the clubs, I want to play in more weird places like underwater, the moon, going down a Helter Skelter. One day I’ll do something with David Lynch, throw Bjork in there too while we’re at it.”

 

“Your body is a sensory device, each sense can be manipulated/modulated
and played like an instrument.
You are both superhuman and human-synthesis.
The layers of your anatomy come to represent a process or modulation
of how you can be played.”

 

 

Natalie Sharp’s new project BodyVice, identifies with establishing interfaces between the human body and technology to create new sensory zones between performer and audience – it promises to be a mind-boggling episode of industrial spandex and lactose noise.

Featuring wearable, playable body-sculptures and interactive video combined with performance, BodyVice takes a biological and calculated approach to sound art, investigating how chronic pain experienced by the artist, can be communicated through a variety of mediums.

Sharp’s stellar support team includes flautist Tida Bradshaw, filmmaker Matt Watkins and sound artist Tara Pattenden (Phantom Chips) who has helped her to create a battery of electronic micro-controller ‘skinstruments’.

View a teaser of BodyVice here…

https://www.facebook.com/londondrawing/videos/289539188628985/UzpfSTExNzQwNzI3MTY0MzA1MToyMzU1MTc2NTI3ODY2MTAz/

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Market Place Call Out

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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 peddlers of curiosities to sell their wares and network. This is also where the bands performing at the festival sell their merchandise.  

This year, the Market Place will be situated in the light, glass-walled canteen of  our Digbeth hub venue, equipped with a tea room serving a selection of epicurean delights.

We’ve got a few spaces left available in our festival Market Place to fill…

Weekend stalls cost £120, we provide tables and chairs, promote your stall online and in our printed brochure and will give you 2 x weekend tickets to the festival.

Please send completed proposal forms to info[at]capsule.org.uk by 5pm, 17th May 2019.

Download the form here: 2019 Supersonic Market Place Stall Holder Proposal Form

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HEN OGLEDD: four curious minds

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Signed to the Domino imprint Weird World, Hen Ogledd is a band project comprising Richard Dawson, Rhodri Davies, Dawn Bothwell and Sally Pilkington.

Hen Ogledd’s meaning comes from the Welsh name for The Old North, describing the region of Britain running from roughly present-day North Yorkshire up to the foothills of the Scottish Highlands and governed by Celtic Britons in the Early Middle Ages. With each band member hailing from historically different tribal regions of the Old North, they musically challenge the idea that the ancient world was rife with magic, while the new is infiltrated by cold logic.

The quartet combines ideas that draw upon the mystical and technological, creating a discombobulating pop prayer exploring artificial intelligence, witches, nanotechnology, pre-medieval history, robots, romance, computer games and waterfalls.

 

the sound of four curious minds having a conversation

Loud & Quiet

 

This dynamic act swirls ravishing melodies with hallucinatory textures and bonkers rhythms, underpinned by some deft performances: Pilkington’s picture-perfect pop and earthy singing, Davies’ blazing harp splutterations and guitar moans, Bothwell’s twisted telephone techno and bamboozling lyric-bombs and Dawson’s utter bass.

‘Mogic’, is the latest release from Hen Ogledd. A review from Loud & Quiet suggests“by the record’s end, the effect is not so much a musical experience as a multidisciplinary one, taking in storytelling, bricolage, poetry, linguistics, and even a dash of psychogeography.”

 

tranquil, dreamlike optimism

Line of Best Fit

 

In an interview with Narc Magazine, Davies discusses how the band collaborate, explaining “I think we all really embraced vulnerability in writing and sharing heartfelt pop songs” and “we all shared an openness that allowed the music to go in different directions.”

Dawn Bothwell describes “I felt quite overwhelmed with love when I joined [the band] – it was very pleasant” adding “it’s like being in a soft play doing backflips.”

 

Watch a short film, that provides a loving insight into the making of Hen Ogledd’s new album, ‘Mogic’ …

The music of Hen Ogledd will surely warm the cockles of your heart with its playful experimentations in sound. Here at the Supersonic HQ, we can’t stop singing ‘I’ve been looking for you, I’ve been looking for you…”, excited for what this wild, inimitable pop unit will bring to the stage in July at Supersonic 2019

 

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Home of Metal presents Black Sabbath 50 Years Exhibition

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“It’s an honour to be a part of the Home of Metal. I am just a guy from Birmingham who’s been blessed to have had such dedicated fans throughout my career. Like I’ve always said ‘I am nothing without them’.” Ozzy Osbourne

As part of this years Supersonic Festival we are also running in parallel a major season of exhibitions and events Home of Metal devoted to the music that was born in and around Birmingham. Music that turned up the volume, down-tuned the guitars, and introduced a whole new meaning to the word ‘heavy’. With a blockbuster exhibition Black Sabbath 50 Years at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

We have blocked off 3 exclusive time slots for people visiting Birmingham for the weekend of the festival to get tickets for this exhibition. You can access these using the code ‘Supersonic’ for Friday / Saturday / Sunday 

The exhibition celebrates Black Sabbath from the perspective of their fans, to show the impact and cultural legacy of the band as pioneers of Heavy Metal, and to celebrate this unique, significant part of British music heritage.

From the humble beginnings of 1960s Aston, Birmingham, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created Black Sabbath, in turn forging a new sound, a new aesthetic, and a new musical culture – Heavy Metal. They’ve sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, ranked by MTV as the ‘Greatest Metal Band’ of all time and listed by Rolling Stone Magazine in their ‘100 greatest artists of all time. This year Black Sabbath will receive a Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys. 50 years later Home of Metal celebrates the band, their impact on music and their dedicated global following.

 

“Fans are our lifeblood, they’ve always been there to support us.” Tony Iommi

This immersive exhibition will feature historical photos, ephemera, and memorabilia sourced directly from all of the original Black Sabbath members. Including personal stories that will demonstrate the extraordinary scale and diversity of Black Sabbath’s international fan-base together with a vast photography collection of over 3,000 portraits of fans from all corners of the globe.

Ben Venom

Read about the whole season via www.homeofmetal.com

Home of Metal Free exhibitions include:

All This Mayhem at MAC (Midlands Art Centre),presents US artist Ben Venom using traditional quilting and Heavy Metal aesthetics to create textile based pieces which contrasts the counterculture components of gangs, punk/metal music and the occult with the comforts of domesticity.

Alan Kane: 4 Bed Detached Home of Metal at The New Art Gallery Walsall, will see Alan Kane bringing together personal collections from metal fans, plus works from leading UK artists including Jeremy Deller, Una Hamilton Helle, Des Hughes, Jim Lambie, Sarah Lucas, Jessica Mallock, Mike Nelson, Simon Periton, Mark Titchner, Cathy Ward, Charlie Woolley and, of course, Alan Kane himself, in an ambitiously collaborative exhibition that will be set across the extensive Floor 3 Galleries.

Hand of Doom at MAC (Midlands Art Centre), the exhibition features a collection of portraits of Black Sabbath fans wearing the ubiquitous battle jacket. The jackets are embellished, handmade and embroidered by the fans themselves, and worn to tell the story of their fandom and gig-attending history.

Monster Chetwynd: Hell Mouth 3 at Eastside Projects, Chetwynd’s fascination with Penelope Spheeri’s three-part film series The Decline of Western Civilisation (1981 to 1998), featuring many of the ‘most influential and innovative musicians and groups of all time’, has informed many of Chetwynd’s works over the past decade and will take centre stage in this large- scale sculptural and performative spectacle set within this industrial space in the heart of Birmingham.

Przemek Branas at Centrala,  Branas, an award-winning and acclaimed Polish artists, will present two exhibitions and a programme of talks and events in response to the theme: Home of Metal. An archival and research based exhibition will feature materials, such as letters, cassette tapes and zines, collected by Polish fans and received by them from the West, at a time the Polish music scene was under state control.

 

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BIG LAD: a two-headed trigger-synth-party-noise machine

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BIG LAD is a two-headed trigger-synth-party-noise machine made up of Henri Grimes (ex Sheild Your Eyes) on drums and Wayne Adams (ex Death Pedals) on synths.

This duo are renowned and cherished as an unforgettable live experience having played extensively in the UK’s exceptionally healthy and thriving underground scene. They’re as comfortable trashing people’s necks at sweaty basement punk shows as they are melting gurning faces at raves such as Bangface and are now becoming a staple on many UK and European festival stages every year.

 

“A mind-expanding kaleidoscope of live and manipulated sounds –

a brutal culmination of breakcore, noise rock and post-hardcore”

Louder Than War

 

 

“Are you ready? Let’s play!” exclaims the strangely menacing toy sample which opens up BIG LAD’s new record… and play they certainly do, may God help you if you’re not ready for the off warp speed-drumming ala Lightning Bolt, twists and turns with Venetian Snares and Aphex Twin style synth and gizmo sonic warfare. This isn’t a record to soundtrack a picnic.

‘Pro Rock’ is the second album from the band, their first being 2015’s ‘Big Lad’ record which was released under the moniker Shitwife. They then decided to rename the band BIG LAD, to confuse the crap out of everyone, which it did.

 

“I usually just come up with hooks and riffs etc.

and we then both start to put them together as recorded songs,

then from there, we work out how the hell to play it all live.”

 

Last year at Supersonic 2018, Big Lad Wayne joined Gum Takes Tooth for the Moog Sound Lab as part of a residency hosted by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. It sounded a little like this…

 

These pair have a sound that is purely relentless. We can’t wait for them to bring the punk/metal/noise rock/whatevercore electronic-hybrid party to Supersonic 2019!

 

“They play right in the middle of the crowd. It’s maxed out, exhilarating stuff, which given them the ability to sneak onto pretty much any line up, from a grindcore night all the way to a warehouse rave.”

Echoes & Dust

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VOLUNTEER CALL OUT!

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VOLUNTEER

SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL 2019

We are looking for a dedicated team of volunteers to help deliver Supersonic over the festival weekend

19 – 21st July

The festival is small enough for everyone involved as a volunteer to gain an overview of how the festival works, and to give real input and value in the following areas.

Artist Liason

Box Office

Hospitality

Site Set up

Merch

Promotion

 

If you would like to get involved – please complete the application form

HERE

 

The deadline for application forms is 24th June.

Volunteers must be 18 years old

 

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Daniel Higgs: King of the Cosmos

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Photo by Fumilshee.

Daniel Higgs is a musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland. His artistic output – spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings simply defy classification.

 

“The pleasure of following Higgs…lies more in where he takes you

than how he gets you there.” – Pitchfork

 

Higgs is known primarily for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the four-piece band Lungfish, a group enshrined as one of America’s last true folk bands, and Higgs anointed as a patron saint to artistic purity. If you were growing up in the ’80s or ’90s, Lungfish may well have been one of the most important bands in your music anthology. The post-hardcore group tapped into something incantatory, enraging a sense of quest, spirituality and poetry via unmatched raga-like minimalism.

In recent years, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that can only be described as the ultimate in isolation, worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band. Higgs weaves meditative, casually ruptured drones using acoustic and electric guitar, upright pianos, banjo and jew’s harp, often recorded entirely on a cassette recorder. He pairs the music with a series of paintings that call to mind religious iconography passed through the disfiguring surrealism of Miro.

 

“A friend loaned me a banjo after I played it for a bit at his house. I switched to it from guitar almost immediately. I love its ancient voice. I love the voice of all banjo-like instruments; shamisen, tar, sarod, sanxian, gimbri, loutar, dhramyen. It’s a universal instrument.”

 

Daniel Higgs performing at Supersonic Festival 2018…

 

Dive into the enigmatic mind of the artist in this rare 2005 interview from WYPR’s The Signal…

 

Often we hear that a true work of art is meant to speak for itself, and with the work of Daniel Higgs the statement rings truer than ever. His art is of the cosmos, we earthlings are merely lucky that it happens to be confined to our atmosphere, in our lifetime.

We welcome back our King of the Cosmos, Daniel Higgs to our 15th Edition of Supersonic Festival, July 2019.

Tickets are available here.

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WORKSHOP CALL OUT!

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(Wildman life drawing workshop) 

 

SUPERSONIC 2019 – WORKSHOP CALL OUT!

Supersonic, the UK’s premier experimental music and arts event, returns this year for its 15th edition, Friday 19 – Sunday 21 July. We are on the lookout for some wonderfully creative minds to bring us unusual, imaginative and engaging new workshops that will take place as part of the weekend.

From high-brow to indulgent fun, we want you to craft something extraordinary for our curious audiences. Whether you’re flying solo, a group or an organisation, we want to hear ideas that embrace our passion for collaboration between both artists and audience alike, in a bid to reveal the otherwise indescribable connections between art forms and champion the unclassifiable.

The successful proposals will present an innovative idea and show a clear understanding of all-things-Supersonic – a festival which celebrates the expressive, challenging and generally out-there, whilst remaining inclusive and engaging to varied audiences.

To apply please complete this Workshop Proposal Form and send, via email to info@capsule.org.uk with ‘Workshop Proposal’ in the subject line. The deadline for proposals is 5pm, 29th April 2019.

There is a budget of up to £150 available for the workshop, as well as 2 weekend tickets to the festival.

What are you waiting for… send us your proposals!

 

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Day tickets on sale – Supersonic Festival 2019

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SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL DAY TICKETS GO ON SALE AS TEN MORE ARTISTS ARE ADDED TO THE 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY LINE-UP INCLUDING HEY COLOSSUS, BIG LAD, BODY/VICE, DANIEL HIGGS, THE SEER, SARAH ANGLISS & MORE

We are releasing a limited number of day tickets and are delighted to announce ten more artists to the special 15th year anniversary line up. BUY TICKETS

Already announced are headliners Neurosis supported by Godflesh who are opening the festivities with a very special concert at Town Hall Birmingham. Elsewhere across the weekend, and over at the main festival site in the cultural hub of Digbeth are; Anna Von Hausswolff, Mono, Yob, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, plus a special collaboration between The Bug Feat. Moor Mother to name a few.

Joining this already immense line-up are Hey Colossus, Big Lad, Body/Vice (a new project by Natalie Sharp/Lone Taxidermist), Daniel Higgs, The Seer, a new collaborative project with Sarah Angliss, and more.

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DAY LINE-UPS

Friday – Town Hall opening concert featuring Neurosis and Godflesh
+ the after party with live performances by Big Lad, Hey Colossus, Savage Realm and Yob

Saturday – The Bug feat Moor Mother, AJA, Big Joanie, Blanket, CZN, Daniel Higgs, Faten Kanaan, Hen Ogledd, HHY & The Macumbas, Matters, Prison Religion and The Body

Sunday – Anna Von Hausswolff, Mono, Air Loom: Sarah Angliss with Stephen Hiscock and Sarah Gabriel, Body/Vice, Dälek, Haress, Jerusalem In My Heart, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and The Seer

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NEXT TEN ARTISTS

Big Lad is a two headed trigger-synth party-noise machine made up of Henri Grimes (ex Sheild Your Eyes) on drums and Wayne Adams (ex Death Pedals) on synths. They’re as comfortable trashing people’s necks at sweaty basement punk shows as they are melting faces at raves.

blanket as their name suggests, are a guitar-led quartet whose music envelops listeners in a comforting quilt of sound, transporting them to dreamy landscapes of sweeping, celestial beauty. With honeyed vocals immersed in soaring guitars, tinkling piano, warm bass and propulsive drums – this is a cinematic experience.

BodyVice is a new project by Natalie Sharp (Lone Taxidermist). Featuring wearable, playable body-sculptures and interactive video combined with performance, BodyVice takes a biological and calculated approach to sound art, investigating how chronic pain experienced by the artist, can be communicated through a variety of mediums. Here at Supersonic we expect nothing less than effortlessly blended songwriting and multi-instrumentalism with a mastery of non-standard instruments like Musical Saw and Theremin.

Supersonic is proud to reveal the return of Daniel Higgs, musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland. His artistic output – spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings simply defy classification. Known primarily for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the band Lungfish, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that are worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band, weaving meditative, casually ruptured drones using acoustic and electric guitar, upright pianos, banjo and jew’s harp. His wonderful storytelling shall no doubt win over the audiences, and we cannot wait.

Based in the Shropshire Hills, the core of Haress consists of guitar duo David Hand and Elizabeth Still. Haress bring to Supersonic an expansion of their duo, including additional drums from David Smyth (Kling Klang, Mind Mountain), guitar and Echoplex from Chris Summerlin (Kogumaza, Grey Hairs, Hey Colossus), vocals from Thomas House (Sweet Williams, Charlottefield) and trumpet from Nathan Bell (Lungfish, Human Bell).

Hey Colossus are a six piece who have long specialised in concocting an unholy racket. Forging a completely idiosyncratic combination of power, control, tenderness, miscontrol and more power. Active since 2003, the band acutely channels the best of your record collections and spit it back out into memorable live shows and releases.

HHY & The Macumbas‘ intense concoctions of harsh brass sounds, cyclical percussion and idiosyncratic dub techniques mark this elusive Portuguese ensemble out as one of a number of pioneering groups to have emerged from the progressive, experimental music scene in Porto. This music stemsfrom a deep connection with the streets of Porto and its undertones, nights and drags. Emerging from SOOPA, an art and music production unit based in the old harbour city, band leader, Saldanha has been a leading force in the Portuguese experimental music scene since the early 2000s, through which he coined a name for their signature sound; “skull-cave echo.”

Matters formed in 2015 in the old factory spaces of Digbeth. The three piece 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. Their complex and frantic sound wouldn’t be out of place as the backdrop to an intense movie scene.

Composer and performer Sarah Angliss presents Air Loom, distilling a lifetime’s work with ancient instruments and extraordinary electroacoustic techniques. Centre stage is the clavisimbalum, a sonorous, fourteenth-century cousin of the harpsichord. Its plucked, soft iron strings ring with a rich, dark reverberance – a sound that hails from Eastern European folk and the Renaissance court. Angliss is joined by vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock. As they play, their sounds are deftly contorted, fragmented and recombined using Angliss’ digital inventions.

It’s hard to be a god in a Savage Realm. Mind-warping music from five individuals who have stared deep in to a portal to an ancient (or is it modern?) parallel universe where the Demigod ’91 demo is the only remaining cultural artefact of a putrid battle-torn existence. Taught the ways of the post-nuclear mutant warrior people of this land, the band returned from their mystic voyage to the future (or was it the past?) with four relics. They call it “Nocturnal Savagery” but only you, the listener, can decide whether you are capable of making it out the other side alive. Absolutely essential listening for all fans of heavy music.

WORLDZERO is a brand new project that sees the collaboration between THE SEER, UKAEA and IMPATV, bringing together performance, sound, lighting and projection mapping to create an ambitious multi-sensory installation and live performance.

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NEW PODCAST RELEASE – Supersonic acts announced so far!

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Well hello.
It’s 15 weeks to go until Supersonic Festival 2019.
The 15th Edition.
We have another line-up announcement just around the corner, so before we throw some more acts your way we thought we’d round-up all the acts announced so far for this year’s festival in one neat little package.
Get yer lobes ’round this!

ACT FAST >>> TICKETS

PODCAST FEATURING:

YOB / JERUSALEM IN MY HEART / NEUROSIS / GODFLESH / THE BODY / HEN OGLEDD / AJA / 700 BLISS (MOOR MOTHER & DJ HARAM) / PRISON RELIGION / DALEK / FATEN KANAAN / MONO / CZN / BIG JOANIE / ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF / PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS / THE BUG

 

 

 

 

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10 more acts announced for Supersonic 2019

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We are delighted to reveal ten more artists have been added to the special 15th year anniversary line up. The latest additions include; Anna Von Hausswolff, Mono, Yob, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Faten Kanaan, Dalek,, CZN, Big Joanie, Prison Religion and AJA.

Already announced are headliners Neurosis supported by Godflesh who are opening the festivities with a very special concert at Town Hall Birmingham. Elsewhere across the weekend, and over at the main festival site in the cultural hub of Digbeth are; The Bug Feat. Moor Mother, The Body, Hen Ogledd and Jerusalem In My Heart.

Weekend Tickets have been flying out and we are set to sell out this year – don’t miss out — BUY TICKETS HERE
About the new additions…

Anna von Hausswolff
returns to the Supersonic stage once more after stunning the crowd in Birmingham’s Town Hall in 2017. Since then, Anna has gone on to release her fourth album Dead Magic met with much critical acclaim. Her music defies categorisation, it is not about gothic rock, pop, drone, dark music or metal, this is music of the spirit and the blood; the feast and the ritual; the baptism and the epitaph; life and its absence in all its poetics; a communion in which one dies and returns to life many times.

We welcome back to the festival Big Joanie  who have described themselves as being “Similar to The Ronettes filtered through ’80s DIY, and Riot Grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis”, New Jersey hip hop act Dälek who have a penchant for monolithic sound arrangements as well as dream-like haze of sheer volume, they combine both the powers of sound and words with a singular and undisputable style, and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, the Newcastle-based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years. We just couldn’t celebrate our 15th edition without these fellas helping to bring the party vibes and comedy banter.

Other exciting additions to the line up include…
AJA who deploys rhythmic noise, bomb heavy drum machine, convolving vocal utterance and a dedicated hell-scape of field recordings, abrupt sound design and blistering drone to her legendary live performances.

CZN an exciting new collaborative project by  percussionist and sculptor Joao Pais Filipe and Valentina Magaletti (Tomaga, Vanishing Twin, uuuu). The duo create rich tapestries of hypnotic rhythms, evolving the sound of drums and percussion into vivid textures: visceral timbres and telescoping rhythms that surround and beguile, and which hint at the meditative states of spiritual jazz as much as the cerebral counterpoint of Minimalist Composition.


Faten Kanaan
 is a NY based artist. Her performances slowly build songs by live-looping them, without the use of sequencers or arpeggiators. Inspired by cinematic forms: from sweeping landscapes and quiet character studies, to the patterned tension of horror film soundtracks; she focuses on bringing a visceral touch to electronic music.

MONO who, across 10 albums in 20 years have convincingly reflected the quietest and most chaotic parts of life through their music. Their ever-expanding instrumental palette – which began in earnest in 1999 with the traditional guitar-bass-drums rock band setup and has evolved to include as many as 30 orchestral instruments.

PRISON RELIGION is the collaborative project of Richmond-based audio/visual artists Poozy and False Prpht. They draw on slivered, staticky forms of electronic music – industrial, noise, techno, and the sort of glass-shattering bass-heavy stuff that people have come to call deconstructed club music.

And finally for now, the epic, crushing, and heavy beyond words trio YOB who by now has achieved legendary status due to their unmatched aesthetic and incredible body of work.
YOB has succeeded in developing modern sounding doom metal that hearkened back to the classics.
See full line up HERE / Hotel deals HERE

During Supersonic Festival, patrons are encouraged to explore the various Home Of Metal exhibitions curated and produced by Capsule the people behind Supersonic Festival. This will include ‘Black Sabbath 50 Years’ at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, as well as related exhibitions at The New Art Gallery Walsall, MAC (Midlands Art Centre) Eastside Projects, and Centrala. This huge season of exhibitions and events throughout 2019 pays homage to Black Sabbath – the forefathers of metal, and should at last confirm Birmingham’s place on the music map.

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