Spotify playlist for Supersonic 2011


Hello folks. My name’s David and I’m the Marketing intern for Supersonic 2011. I’m based in Manchester so I have the dubious pleasure of getting to know the M6 in intimate detail over the next few months. One of my first jobs has been to put together a Spotify playlist for artists performing at this year’s festival. It’s been great to check out some fantastic acts – hope you enjoy listening. Personally I’m excited about Skull Defekts (their current record ‘Peer Amid’ with Daniel Higgs is superb), Wolves in the Throne Room, Nathan Bell and Bardo Pond. Cloaks are my newest discovery too. Liking them a lot.

Listen here:


Line up announced & tickets on sale


Supersonic Festival 2011
Fri 21 – 23rd October
Birmingham UK

Line up includes special guests Zu93, Electric Wizard and Secret Chiefs 3
joined by
a.P.A.t.T., Agathe Max, Antilles, Astro, Bardo Pond, Blarke Bayer/Black Widow, Cloaks, Eternal Tapestry, Fire! w/ Oren Ambarchi, Lucky Dragons, Monarch, Pekko Käppi, Scorn, The Skull Defekts, White Hills, Wolves In The Throne Room, Zombi

Limited early bird tickets available from

In-keeping with tradition, Supersonic Festival 2011 will return to its natural home, the Custard Factory, Birmingham for another year. This year, we are proud to welcome to the main stage one of the heaviest bands in the world, Electric Wizard. Zu93, an exciting collaboration that began three years ago when members of Italian avant rock band ZU, and David Tibet first met. Supersonic are also proud to welcome back Zombi, after bringing them to the UK for the first time back in 2006. Also gracing the main stage is one of the most visible and prolific names in the avant garde underground, Secret Chiefs 3. Providing an alchemical fusion of wild sounds spanning multiple genres, including “Morricone-esque cinematic grandeur, midnight surf guitar, traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and time signatures, demonic death metal, and electronic deviance” (Pitchfork).

Particularly exciting is the announcement that Supersonic will bring an extra special collaborative project to UK shores going by the name Fire! Combining the musical talent of Mats Gustafsson on sax, rhodes and electronics, Andreas from Wildbirds & Peacedrums on drums, Johan Berthling from Tape on bass, plus mind-bending master musician Oren Ambarchi playing guitar and electronics, Fire! perfectly amalgamate noise, rock and free-improv with a groovy Krautrock mantra. This promises to be the collaboration that everyone will be talking about!

White Hills will bring their mind-melting psychedelia to the festival for those people looking for “the rightful heir to Hawkwind’s massive legacy.” (Goldmine) whilst Lucky Dragons will astound with their notoriously immersive live shows where the audience is as integral to their performance as they are. The Skull Defekts are amongst the line up bringing their unique form of experimental rock as well as Wolves In The Throne Room, heralded by the press as one of the most promising Black Metal bands to emerge from the United States.

Experimentalists of the truest kind, Eternal Tapestry have confirmed their invitation, so expect finely crafted free improvised guitar with structured rhythms and lots of layered ambient sound. Add to that, Bardo Pond who will also take to the stage later this year performing their notorious esoteric psychedelia, replete with droning guitars, feedback, dense distortion and surges of reverb and white noise. Meanwhile local legend Mick Harris (Former member of Napalm Death) performs as Scorn, taking blast- beats to an entirely other level. And for that dose of chaotic sounds and wild unpredictability comes Japanese noise artist Astro, solo project of Japanese musician Hiroshi Hasegawa of the influential noise music group C.C.C.C and also a.P.A.t.T who sound like the best bits of everything you’ve ever heard.

Bringing something new to the festival is Antilles, a well-kept secret in the French underground community, whilst fellow French violinist Agathe Max will be gently weaving her elegant violin threads into cacophonous sounds. Keeping up the French connection are Monarch, one of the slowest, heaviest and loudest funeral doom metal bands Europe has to offer, driven by the pure intent on creating blood curdling feedback drenched physical sound through the use of insane volume and low end frequencies, and with a wall of sweet vintage amps. Welcomed back with open arms is innovative artist Cloaks, returning for a consecutive year.  And coming all the way from Melbourne Australia will be Blarke Bayer / Black Widow, a wildly experimental duo comprising Ben Andrews (Blarke Bayer) also a member of My Disco Robert MacManus (Black Widow) formerly a member of Grey Daturas. Pekko Käppi is sure to take our breath away, performing traditional Finnish runo-singing.

On top of all that there is still art, film, panel discussions and most importantly cake, details of other special guests to be revealed…

For further details about our line up check HERE
For our special hotel deals check HERE


Anthea recommends…


We’ve asked a number of Supersonic regulars to tell us what they’re most looking forward to at this years festival, Anthea from Thrill Jockey recommends…

Factory Floor
Have to be one of the most exciting UK bands for a very long time.  The hype is to be believed, they are a frightenly intense and hypnotic band to watch. Their Rough Trade East show this year was for me a highlight of the summer.

Swans –

Well, I think if your not totally excited about the fact such an important and constantly brutal band are gracing the stage you need to re think your life!

Voice of Seven Thunders

Are mesmerizing to both listen to and watch live. This is going to be a big highlight for me, their eponymous album which came out early in the year, is one of my personal favourite albums of 2010, so I am really excited they are is playing the festival. And waiting for the Nurse With Wound collaboration to come later in the year is making me dizzy!


Are always a must watch band for me. This is the perfect festival for them to be playing at as their singer is one of the most entertaining, compelling front men in any London band around at the moment. Pure heavy riffage, noise and destruction, excellent ingredients for things to get messy!

Eagle Twin

Really a little bit over excited ( in a Christmas morning kind of way, when you are 10 years old)  that I am going to get to see these guys play their UK debut. I am told they do not disappoint, and come highly recommended to me – so I am spreading that love!


Noise Boxes


photograph by Hellocatfood

Supersonic Noise Boxes – workshop

When: 2pm, SATURDAY, 23rd October
Number of places: 20
Cost: Free to weekend ticket holders plus £10 contribution for materials, each participant will get a Supersonic Noise Box Kit, for you to make and keep. You will need to bring your own thing to house it in (see details further on)

What: A 3hr workshop led by sound artist mr.underwood aka Glatze to build a 3 oscillator screaming, light-controlled Noise Box. Each participant will build and take home their Noise Box. This will be based on the unit shown in the demo video, with a few nice tweaks and additions to make it even cooler!

Noise Box – Supersonic from Sam Underwood on Vimeo.

What is the Noise Box?:
A sci-fi electronic drone instrument whose pitch is controlled with gesture.  The frequency of the sound output by each of the three oscillators in this Optical Theremin is determined by the intensity of the light falling on each sensor. Vary the light using your hands or by shining a light directly onto the unit . Use just one oscillator for a more playable instrument, or all three at once for a noisy cacophony of sound!

Suitable for: All skill levels. Complete beginners welcome – we’ll teach you how to solder etc. Mr.Underwood and his team will assist you throughout the build of your 3 oscillator Supersonic Noise Box.

Booking: email admin[at] , marking the subject field as “noisebox” a payment request for the materials contribution will then we sent to you, places will be offered on a first come first serve basis.

What you will need to bring:
You will need to bring your own enclosure to house the electronics. Something with the following minimum internal dimensions: 140mm (long) x 90mm (wide) x 40mm (deep), you will be provided with all other components, instructions and tools you will require to complete the build.

Your £10 materials cost covers the circuit board, the various components and the project amp. The only thing we leave up to you is what you would like to put it in. We do this to provide a level of personalisation and customisation. So, please bring a sturdy container of some kind to house it in.

Mr.Underwood is a musician, sound artist and instrument designer. His established projects go under the names of Mr.Undewood and Glatze. He started instrument building many moons ago, starting out with odd acoustic instruments and then he got into circuit bending. From this, he has started to develop a series of electronic and mechanical instruments, including his midi-octopus. A great believer in knowledge sharing and a DIY culture, Mr.Underwood is delivering a series of workshops throughout 2010.


Nicholas Bullen confirmed for Supersonic 2010


A special sound piece will be performed at this year’s festival by Nicholas Bullen (Napalm Death, Scorn, Black Galaxy).

The ‘Breach’ project is a series of live performances for voice and prepared sound.

‘Developed as a demonstrative companion to a text piece focused on strategies for ‘silencing’ language, the live performances utilise the human voice as a medium for exploring ways in which the voice itself can be used to undermine the codes which govern discourse.Multiple microphones, live sampling and electronic processing are used to capture, layer and transform the voice: breath, whispers, glottal tics, snarls, growls, wails and cries become a shifting soundfield of immersive drones, radiator vibrations, rhythmic pulses and shards of noise denuded of linguistic content.’ Nicholas Bullen

This piece will be performed in the Theatre Space.