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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Support Independent Labels via Bandcamp

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[Supersonic 2019 Market Place – image by Joe Singh]

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. 
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This month, we want to take the opportunity to further champion a handful of the independent labels we’ve built close connections to at Supersonic over the last 16 years. Whether it be a line-up take-over, marketplace stall or source of undiscovered gems – we trust no-one more to find the creme-de-la-creme of envelope-pushing artists from the UK & worldwide.
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Here are our recommendations. We hope you’ll find something new for your collection amongst this cracking list of audacious independent labels. Now’s your chance, show your solidarity and support by purchasing what you can…

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Anti Ghost Moon Ray https://antighostmoonray.bandcamp.com/

Anti-Ghost Moon Ray is a Brighton/London-based independent record label, blog and arts collective run by art-pop scientist Bernholz, the shape-shifting electronic soloist Gazelle Twin, the hypnotic Acquaintance and fuzzed-up indie/pop collective Great Pagans.
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Rocket Recordings https://rocketrecordings.bandcamp.com
Rocket Recordings is run by John O’Carroll (Bristol) & Chris Reeder (London) both with backgrounds in graphic arts, since 1998 they have been releasing uncompromising sounds from some of the great underground bands from Europe and beyond. This is a label that are always striving to push music forward and not stand still – a philosophy that is a testament to their 22-year independent existence, and very much shared by Supersonic.
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Thrill Jockey https://thrilljockeyrecords.bandcamp.com/\

Led by Bettina Richards, the US label Thrill Jockey is ever evolving starting as home to bands like Tortoise and now boasts a roster which includes The Body, Arbouretum, Boredoms and OOIOO, White Hills and many of our Supersonic favs!

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Hominid Sounds https://hominidsounds.bandcamp.com

The vinyl & tape label Hominid Sounds specialise in everything! Noise, punk, psyche, electronics, metal, sludge, rock and jazz. It was formed by Matt Ridout (Casual Nun) alongside Gordon (Terminal Cheesecake), Graham (a gig-goer extraordinaire/supporter of all things heavy!) and Wayne (Big Lad/Death Pedals).

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Curl Recordings  https://curlrecordings.bandcamp.com/music

The London based DIY label, CURL is a collective based in London featuring Mica Levi, Coby Sey and Brother May among others. Formed with the intent of performing, selecting and releasing music created via interdisciplinary practices, this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink body of artists will headline our Friday night, showcasing their progressive, post-genre experiments.

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Box Records https://box-records.com/
Exploring the UK Underground since 2009, Box Records was set up by Matt Baty – the vocalist of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and friend Matthew Childs. In an interview with Echoes & Dust, Matt says “I release music that I’m passionate about and hope other people will enjoy. I’ve got to find the music exciting and it’s got to move me in some way… I genuinely don’t see much of a difference between the music of say, Richard Dawson and a band like Khünnt. Sure, sonically it’s completely different but both are emotionally charged, honest and true.”
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Lancashire & Somerset Records https://lancashireandsomerset.bandcamp.com/

Lancashire and Somerset is a self-proclaimed humble record label, headed by our designer David Hand and partner Liz – currently living in the hills of Shropshire. They attempt to help and supporta growing family of bands with a like minded ethos, privileged to put out what they consider very special releases on mainly the superior format of vinyl.
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Neurot Recordings https://neurotrecordings.bandcamp.com

Neurot Recordings is a fiercely independent label dedicated to the spirit of sound. Formed by the members of Neurosis and Tribes of Neurot as a means to further their musical vision while achieving control of their own destiny, the primary function of Neurot is to serve as an outlet for the increasingly prolific output of all their related projects. Including Steve Von Till‘s recent release of poems & lyrics which he premiered at Sofasonic Festival here.
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NAWA Recordings https://nawarecordings.bandcamp.com

Nawa Recordings is an independent record label focused on releasing new, alternative, and experimental music from the Arab world. The label was founded by multi-instrumentalist Iraqi musician and composer Khyam Allami in 2011 to release his debut album Resonance/Dissonance.https://nawarecordings.bandcamp.com
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Wysing Polyphonic https://wysingpolyphonic.bandcamp.com/

Based in Cambridgeshire, Wysing is a thriving cultural campus which hosts experimental residencies for UK and international artists. Wysing Polyphonic the label, was established in 2017 as a natural extension to their festival.
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Ipecac Recordings https://ipecacrecordings.bandcamp.com

Like the medicine it’s named after, Ipecac Recordings is here to purge you of the drek that’s been rotting in your tummies. Ipecac Recordings is the brainchild of Greg Werckman (former label manager for the legendary punk label, Alternative Tentacles) and Mike Patton (former frontman for Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, currently of Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom).

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Die Das Der https://diedasder.bandcamp.com/

DIE DAS DER is a community of like-minded musicians, artists, bloggers, photographers, film-makers and journalists. They curate and organise events, release music, and aim to highlight Birmingham’s thriving underground music scene. They’ve been using these Bandcamp Fridays to release some cracking compilation albums, where all money goes towards helping ensure the survival of several independent Birmingham venues that they worked closely with, and that we brummies love – they’ll be releasing the 3rd volume this Friday!

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

GRINGO is a record label based in Nottingham, over 20 years old, still hopped up on DIY and in too deep to stop. With artists such as Grey Hairs & Kogumaza in the mix – they believe at the heart of all good music is LOVE. If you believe in love, please invest some of your hard-earned in their music. 

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Viral Age Records https://viralage.bandcamp.com/

Also based in Nottingham, UK are Viral Age – a DIY hardcore/punk rock/heavy music label and distro.

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Night School Records https://night-school.bandcamp.com/Unlike many other labels, tied to a more rigorously uniform sound, Night School have been distinct in their concord of variance. Helmed by Glaswegian Michael Kasparis, the records they release reflect the singularity of the artists more than any fixed sonic trademark. From The Space Lady to Apostille, this platform has still an assured sense of character, unpredictable and far from ordinary.

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God Unknown Records https://godunknownrecords.bandcamp.com

Founded in 2013 by Jason Stoll of Mugstar and Sex Swing fame, to champion artists in and beyond the psychedelic rock scene, experimental label God Unknown brings together artists representing folk, jazz and punk from around the globe.

 

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All our Sofasonic Playlists so far! Tune in…

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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 here we hand over to our guest playlists, from experimentalist Gazelle Twin, percussionists Valentina Magaletti and Mariano Sarine to visuals artist Mark Titchner and punks of colour, Decolonise Fest – there is something for everyone here!

We have 16 so far, and they’re all available to listen to below – so whether you’re walking the pooch, having a lazy day or doing some DIY this bank holiday, we’ve got the perfect selections for you…

 

Valentina Magaletti

Radwan Moumneh

Sex Swing

Rocket Recordings

Matt Ridout

Mike Nelson

Molly & Mabel

Queef

Mariano Sarine

Gazelle Twin

Faten Kanaan

Mark Titchner

Iggor Cavalera

Khyam Allami

Decolonise Fest

Sofa King

 

 

For more info about the playlists and the artists that curated them, explore here:

| 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

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Sofasonic Playlist: mariano sarine (DEAF KIDS)

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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 is a multi-instrumentalist living in Brazil, active as the drummer/percussionist for Deaf Kids. Formed in 2010 and signed to Neurot Recordings, Deaf Kids create a heavy riotous sound – a trance-inducing cacophony and body-shaking mix of percussive rhythms, bending guitars monolithic drone riffage. We’ll never forget their pummelling performance at Supersonic 2018.

 

From their home in the industrial city of Volta Redonda/Rio de Janeiro, Deaf Kids’ output reference anything from their own background in punk, right the way through to spiritual jazz and practically any musical form which allows them to experiment with the utter extremes of musical expression.

As well as Mariano’s solo act, Sarine, (with a debut release set for Friday 28th via bandcamp) he also plays synths and percussions live with the electronic artist Felinto.

As part of our extended Sofasonic programme, we asked Mariano to collate a number of musical treasures that mean something to him…

 

“Here’s a playlist for y’all, containing sounds from Brazil and the world, connected by their use of rhythm as the main driving force – but as this playlist proves, rhythm is far from a limitation, there’s outbursts of joy alongside more mellow, melancholic and sombre vibes across these tunes.

Might these burning embers lighten up your inner bonfires, and your day!

 

Take a listen here…

 

 

In case you missed it, Mariano also took part in a poignant and important panel discussion titled “Looking For Today” as part of Sofasonic Festival, exploring how musicians respond to social and political unrest.

On the panel hosted by Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley, you’ll hear perspectives from Paula Rebellato (Rakta) + Mariano De Melo (Deaf Kids) based in Brazil, Franklin James Fisher (Algiers) + Will Brooks (Dalek) in the US, Khyam Allami in the UK.

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Neurosis – live at Supersonic Festival 2019

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The iconic heavy pioneers, Neurosis headlined our Supersonic Festival 2019 at Birmingham Town Hall last year – it was one heck of a special show.

 

A year later, and following our Sofasonic Festival screening, we’re so excited to finally release half-hour of footage from that unforgettable opening concert. So join us in re-living those Neurosis goosebumps this Friday (28th) at 19:00 BST on our YouTube channel.

In the meantime, of course, we recommend you watch Godflesh live at Supersonic 2019 – the only fitting warm-up for this occasion!

And if that’s not enough Neurosis-fuelled goodness for you, listen here to guitarist & vocalist, Steve Von Till, read poems from his new book Harvestman: 23 Untitled Poems and Collected Lyrics. This is Von Till’s first published work of original poetry paired with his solo lyrics of the last 20 years.

And if you need EVEN MORE… you can revisit the time Norwegian artist Einar Selvik of Wardruna and Steve Von Till of Neurosis joined together in conversation especially for Sofasonic Festival, to discuss their deep connection to nature, language and the ancient past.

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Sofasonic Playlist: Sex Swing

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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

 

Despite missing out on a live set from Sex Swing at Supersonic Festival 2020 this year, we’ve still kept in touch with this band of malevolent rogues. Following our interview with them about their new album ‘Type II‘ back in April for the Supersonic Podcast, we’ve asked the guys to put together a playlist of songs that loosely pins-down their collective taste in music.

 

Unearthed from the UK underground, Sex Swing are a ‘supergroup’ of sorts. Between them, individual members have been sparking tinnitus in bands such as Mugstar, Bonnacons Of Doom, Earth, Dethscalator, Dead Neanderthals and now even Idles. Terrifyingly visceral, Sex Swing create music that can be likened to the haunted clangour of a faulty air conditioning unit that lurks in an anonymous office building. It’s man vs machine where discord becomes harmony and it’s a fearsomely invigorating spectacle to behold. 

 

“We all have very diverse tastes, which is highlighted in this playlist.

I think that goes a long way to understand how we come up with the music we make.

These are songs that we are digging at the moment…”

 

Take a listen here…

 

 

“Its been a weird period for Sex Swing as we released our latest LP whilst under lockdown and obviously we couldn’t play shows to promote it. So are all looking forward to playing again and making some noise. 
We all have a lot of love for Supersonic as to how diverse the line ups are and the passion that goes into the curation of it. It always feels like the real deal.”
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And if that’s not enough – don’t forget to stick on the Supersonic Festival Podcast where we interview Sex Swing here via Mixcloud. In this podcast we also celebrate the incredible unclassifiable artists that featured on “the greatest line-up that couldn’t be”, including a special feature on Rocket Recordings.

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Watch now! Sofa Sabbath series

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As a really special treat to our audiences, we brought together our two loves – Supersonic & Home of Metal. The result? Sofa Sabbath!

 

This Sofa Sabbath series was forged especially for Sofasonic Festival last month. Through wild interpretations and creative covers of classic Black Sabbath songs, a whole host of artists have paid homage to the forefathers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath, in their own unique way.

 

They are now all available to watch again on our YouTube channel for your pure viewing enjoyment! Get stuck in below…

 

Tirikilatops, hatched in Seoul, is an avant-garde cross cultural collaborative effort between UK and South Korean artists/musicians. Together they forge bizarre electro k-pop from an ingredients list that contains kimchi beats, pop sensibilities, offbeat lyrics, hacked keyboards, rice wine, halloween attitudes and super earworm melodies.

 

Agathe Max is a multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist and composer based in London, known for her work with string instruments such as violin and viola. Combining her classical background with electroacoustic she amplifies string instruments with effects and vocals.

 

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 with raucous clashes of Tetris-like guitar beeps.

 

With just the right blend of psychedelia and hypnotic grooves, White Hills weaves in and out of anthemic chants, deep space bleeps and other worldly madness for a mix that proves to be intoxicating.

 

 

Noisy, synth led, electronic, industrial music with post-punk sensibilities. Blue Ruth is a semi-improv genre crossing experience by Kaila Whyte of Birmingham punk band Youth Man and noise-trio Pretty Grim.

 

Valentina Magaletti is a drummer, composer and percussionist whose goal is to strategically enrich a folkloristic and eclectic palette through endless listening and experimentation with new materials and sounds.

 

 

Formed in Nottingham in 2009, Kogumaza use primitive rhythms, patterns and riffs to create dense and mesmeric song-cycles. With a sound manipulated through dub delays and echoes, this is a heavy rock trio that willingly loses control of the sounds they make, as they make it.

 

Haress consists of the core guitar duo of David Hand and Elizabeth Still. Based in the Shropshire Hills, they also organise the amazing Sineater Festival and run the DIY record label Lancashire & Somerset.

 

If you enjoyed this Sofa Sabbath series – keep your eyes peeled! We’re gradually releasing performances, panel talks, make-a-longs and more from our Sofasonic weekend over on our YouTube Channel. So make sure you Subscribe!
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