Supersonic 2012 – Here’s To Another 10 Years!

...

It’s hard to believe that almost two weeks have passed since we were all frantically rushing around the Custard Factory, putting the final touches to the various wild man posters around the site and screwing in the last few records to the Vinyl Rally’s MDF floor before hordes of music fans rushed in to bask in the eclectic and adventurous sounds that Capsule had loving curated this year – and what a lineup it was! There was truly something for everyone, as Friday ran the gamut between JK Flesh’s absolutely punishing industrial dub, the surreal electronica of the Small But Hard showcase, the free-wheeling cosmic riffery of Hey Colossus, the toy tinkering soundscapes of Modified Toy Orchestra, and of course, the triumphant return of drum’n’bass dark lords PCM to the Supersonic stage.

Saturday brought even more surprises, from the gentle folk strains of Dylan Carlson’s new material to the unholy combination of Merzbow and Oxbow’s Eugene and Niko, a full-on audio explosion that wiped clean the mental state of everyone in attendance. I also have to give praise to the incredible drummer that accompanied Masami Akita’s astonishing feedback theatrics, augmenting the sonic devastation with some jazzy splashes, tribal belligerence and even some well timed blastbeats without ever failing by the wayside of Akita’s incendiary slabs of twsited sonic debri, which is no mean feat! A rare UK showing from Bohren & der Club of Gore was utterly captivating, enveloping the Boxxed venue in a dense, melancholy atmosphere and transporting the audience into the starkest of film noir settings for the entire duration of their set.

Meanwhile, Drunk In Hell’s molasses thick sludge onslaught and Zeni Geva’s vitally intricate sonic attack provided a satisfying ammount of musical filth to wallow in, forcing heads to bang and mosh pits to errupt. Zeni Geva may only exist as a two-piece now, but that hasn’t hindered KK Null and Yoshida’s fury at all, with Null especially firing off an arsenal of bewildering noise outbursts alongside his standard riff warfare via a series of baffling pedals. The icing on the cake was undoubtedly the astonishing avant-electronica of Hype Williams; bathing the entire Warehouse in a thick, eerie fog, the enigmatic duo proceeded to fuse together dub, noise, jazz, musique concrete, electro and garage influences into an uncategorizable and unforgettable performance. As Copeland’s beautiful tones danced across the bizarre volley of sounds emanating from Blunt’s corner of the stage, in which gullet-rattling dub basslines collided with squealing trumpets and reverb drenched car alarms, it was hard to shake the feeling that we were witnessing something of a musical revolution!

In keeping with Supersonic’s inclusive ethos, even youngsters were catered for with this year’s kid’s gigs, in which we bore witness to the heartwarming sight of a room full of children grooving along to the expansive psych voyages of Flower/Corsano Duo – and who knows? In 10 years time, some of these children may be taking to our stages themselves to blow your mind with their sonic wares…

Sunday boasted perhaps one of the most spectacular running orders in Supersonic’s illustrious history, with all manner of heavy weights awaiting today’s eager audience. Gnod’s triumphant set in Boxxed was astonishing, the over-powering throb of their sublimely heavy krautrock-isms gradually reconfiguring the pulse of each listener, unwittingly tuning into their psyche and forcing them headfirst into a cosmic thrill ride the likes of which would make even Timothy Leary baulk at the sheer intensity of it all. Elsewhere, Justice Yeldham revealed to us all the mind mangling sounds that lay dormant in a single piece of glass, Lash Frenzy created an imposing and lucid arena in which achieve total sensory overload, and the mighty Ufomammut invited us to accompany them on a voyage deep into the heart of their latest two-record opus, ‘ORO’. Once these guys peak there’s no force in the universe that can restrain them, and the riffs are flowing thick and fast (or should that be slow?) tonight. Whilst both the ‘ORO’ records are impressive in their own right, combined they are a true force to behold, and to witness this incredible odyssey in the flesh is an awesome experience!

A tough act to follow indeed, but mysterious Swedish voodoo merchants Goat were more than up to the challenge. Taking to the stage in colourful robes, ritualistic gaments and erm, a golden robot mask, the band’s vibrant psych-rock/afro-beat concoction instantly whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Racing through all of their ‘World Music’ debut (including instant classics like ‘Goatman’, ‘Let It Bleed’ and ‘Run To Your Mama’) but allowing their songs a bit more room to breathe, the Swedes kicked out the jams with an infectious energy and by the time the extended version of ‘Det som aldrig förändras / Diarabi’ brought their revelatory set to a close, you’d be hard pushed to find a single member of the audience who wasn’t sporting an enormous ear-to-ear grin. Incredible!

Finally, the Oxbow Orchestra provided an enthralling end to this year’s celebrations, reinterpreting some of their classic songs and even treating us to some choice cuts from their upcoming full-length ‘The Thin Black Duke’. Their performance was at once intimate and gripping, but without losing any of the potent intensity that has made the band such a force to be reckoned with over the years. This was due to be Supersonic 2012’s final performance, but it seems you, the audience, had other ideas, as an impromptu and sublimely hypnotic drum circle erupted in the beer tent just outside. As the ringing in our ears began to subside, the communal and strangely rhythmic clinking of pint glasses against benches and a sea of warm smiles was a perfect finish to this year’s festival.

Of course, I’m only scratching the surface of Supersonic 2012 here; beyond the numerous delights of this year’s musical lineup, there was a whole plethora of extra-curricular activities. The sight of a fresh-faced individual feverishly clutching at a copy of their own recently pressed Kim Gordon collab on their way back from the Reverse Karaoke installation become a pleasingly common sight over the weekend, and the procession of startingly costumed members of the Outcrowd throughout the festival site on Sunday was a source of much ceremonial excitement. The ear mutilating sounds of Lucas Abela’s Vinyl Rally were a definite highlight, featuring one of Lucas’ most ambitious track layouts to date. Volunteers hastily scrambled alongside the track as Lucas himself sat within the makeshift nerve centre of the rally, tinkering away whilst the assembled throng routinely found themselves astonished by the sheer spectacle of it all.

And of course, there’s the massive contribution that you yourselves paid to the festival, by arriving in your dozens and flooding the Custard Factory with enthusiasm, joy and good vibes. This year’s edition of the festival was one of the finest of the past 10 years, a truly excellent way to celebrate a decade of passionate experimental arts programming – here’s to another ten years!

SHARE:

A Colourful Introduction To Animation With The Juneau Projects

...

By now you’ve probably heard all about our Kids Gigs, a series of concerts designed to introduce your young ones to the power and beauty of live music in a safe, child friendly environment (if not, where have you been?). This year we’re proud to present the Flower-Corsano Duo on Saturday 20th, and Islaja on Sunday 21st, but it’s not just art of the musical variety that we’re offering to your kids this year. The fantastic visual arts collective Juneau Projects will be offering a 20 minute animation workshop at both gigs, with the aim of gently introducing your child to the art of creating moving pictures. Using coloured lights and a series of basic images, your children will be encouraged to bring these pictures to life before letting their hair down for the following musical treat.

This combination of visual arts and experimental music is the perfect gift for a precocious child (ideally under the age of 7), and this is a great opportunity to share an artistic experience with your young ones. There are barely any tickets left for Flower-Corsano Duo, but we still have plenty for Islaja; spaces are limited however, so book now to avoid dissapointment!

Tickets cost £10 (parent and child) or £12.50 (parent and two children), and this includes both the gig and the workshop.

Buy Tickets – Saturday with Flower/Corsano
Buy Tickets – Sunday with Islaja

SHARE:

Kids Gigs – Islaja

...

The response to our Kids Gigs this year has been truly humbling; it seems many of you are eager to share the beauty of experimental music with your young ones! The Flower-Corsano duo gig on Saturday is close to selling out, but fear not! On Sunday 21st October, we’re proud to present the unique acid-folk stylings of Islaja, an enchanting prospect for listeners of all ages.

Merja Kokkonen (AKA Islaja) has been at the forefront of the Finnish folk scene for almost 10 years now, with her distinctive and daring style often drawing comparisons to Bjork, Syd Barret and Nico. However, Islaja’s music is very unique, bringing in more Eastern sounding influences to weave a truly fascinating musical palette. Her soulful yet icy voice soars over her own compositions, that manage to attain a certain level of majesty without losing sight of their innate sense of playfulness, a combination that’s certain to charm you as much as it will your children!

In addition to sharing the power of live music with your kids, this event also presents the opportunity to engage them with other forms of art too. The fantastic Juneau Projects will be offering a 20 minute animation workshop at both gigs, with the aim of gently introducing your child to the art of creating moving pictures. Using coloured lights and a series of basic images, your children will be encouraged to bring these pictures to life before letting their hair down for the following musical treat. If you think your child would enjoy an artistically stimulating experience in a safe, child friendly environment, then this is the perfect gift. Spaces are limited, so book now to avoid dissapointment!

Islaja will perform on Sunday 21st October. Tickets cost £10 (parent and child) or £12.50 (parent and two children), and this includes both the gig and the workshop.

Buy Tickets – Saturday with Flower/Corsano
Buy Tickets – Sunday with Islaja

SHARE:

Rangda – The Three Headed Beast…

...

We’re extremely excited to welcome the multi-faceted psychedelic improv monster known as Rangda to the stage. Taking its name from an Indonesian child-eating demon queen, this experimental unit features three prominent avant-garde musicians, namely Ben Chasny, Chris Corsano and Sir Richard Bishop, who will also be performing their own sets over the weekend too. If you’re yet to become acquainted with these three, here’s a quick introduction and a few reasons why their sets this year are going to be unmissable…

Rangda

The trio released their debut album, ‘False Flag’, back in 2010, much to the delight of experimental music fans across the globe. The howling, untamed improvisations contained within simultaneously bring to mind the wide eyed free jazz of Ornette Coleman, the blistering noise rock of Boredoms and the free-wheeling cosmic energy of Can. ‘Fist Family’ finds Corsano exorcising his demons and unleashing hell upon his poor kit, as Chasny and Bishop’s guitars howl away at the moon like highly strung lions. ‘Sarcophagi’ ventures into calmer waters, with tender, shimmering guitar licks playing off against Corsano’s beautifully restrained drumming, whilst the aptly titled ‘Serrated Edges’ sees frantic, kaleidoscopic Hendrix-isms colliding with intricate, jazzy cymbal splashes and gleeful snare abuse. The vast, meditative psychedelia and slowly unfurling vibrations of 15 minute closer ‘Plain of Jars’ round off this aural journey in spectacular fashion.

Anticipation is running high in certain circles for the band’s follow up, ‘Formerly Extinct’ due to be released through Drag City Records on the 18th September. Expect to hear choice cuts from both records and much more from the band’s Supersonic set, especially as these three players’ improvisational skills are sure to come to the fore and provide one wild ride for all and sundry!

 

Flower/Corsano Duo

Chris Corsano is an extremely accomplished improv percussionist, who has collaborated with artists as diverse as Björk, Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke and even Jandek. Corsano will be joined at Supersonic by Mick Flower (of incendiary drone rock behemoths Vibracathedral Orchestra) for a set of intricate Eastern tinged odysseys, pitting these two dazzling musicians against each other in an intense yet expansive musical setting that promises to be a very absorbing journey indeed.

Six Organs of Admittance

Ben Chasny has played with everyone from psych-rock heroes Comets On Fire to David Tibet’s esoteric Current 93, but with his primary project, Six Organs Of Admittance, Chasny gets the chance to show off his skills as a song-writer. Ranging from spacious, heartfelt folk to scorching psychedelic jams, Six Organs Of Admittance’s music is constantly evolving and redfining itself. Expect nothing less than an absolute revelation from Chasny’s set this year!

Sir Richard Bishop

After cutting his teeth with the highly acclaimed experimental rock three piece Sun City Girls, Bishop began to explore more diverse influences, taking inspiration from a number of different sources from around the world to create a truly unique and thoroughly engaging sound. Traditional Arabic, Indian and African sounds are all audible within Bishop’s nimble fretwork, but there’s something else at play here too, that indefinable something that makes Richard one of the most exciting contemporary acoustic guitarists around. Miss his set at your peril!

SHARE:

Flower/Corsano Duo

...

As a powerful and loud guitar/drum duo, Lightning Bolt comparisons come cheap….the Flower/Corsano Duo are something else – more like a punk-jazz-trash Konono No.1 or an Eastern sound, opiate-fixated Harry Pussy. As a duo they have that special power to elevate through noise, rhythm and primal harmonix. An exhilarating sight/sound that shudders the body and cleanses the mind. Obsessive stuff.

http://www.mflower.dsl.pipex.com/

http://cor-sano.com/

SHARE: