Anonymous Bash | Charles Hayward ZIG-ZAG + SWIRL

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This year’s Supersonic sees some Superspecial performances. Two of which are Anonymous Bash and Charles Hayward Zig Zag + Swirl.

Anonymous Bash is a band born out of a recording which was conceived, recorded and produced at Islington Mill as part of the first Samarbeta music residency.

Directed and led by This Heat’s infamous drummer, Charles Hayward, this band has developed from reinventing a release produced by over 20 musicians into a workable live performance by 8.

The live line up includes; Charles Hayward (This Heat), Paddy Shine (Gnod), Sam Weaver (London Outfit Hungry Ghost), Chris Haslan (Gnod), David McLean (Tombed Visions), Jefferson Temple (Locean) and Marlene Ribeiro (Negra Branca), with special sporadic appearances from Louise Woodcock (2 Koi Karp) performing ‘Wrong Again’.

Here’s an interesting insight into the conception of Anonymous Bash:

Armed with a wealth of experience, Hayward conducts and orchestrates a whirling dervish of sound with the Anonymous Bash crew, shifting seamlessly between time signature and tempo in a devilish and electrifying fashion that consistently weaves a spellbinding effect on the audience. Saxophones wail, bass guitars throb and modular synthesizers whoosh and chirp a top a constantly shifting tapestry of breakneck rhythms and out-rock dub workouts, with each member of the group given their individual time to shine before returning to feed into a sprawling mass of sound led by a man at the height of his powers.

The band features members of Gnod. Since their inception, Gnod’s musical trajectory has been one of constant fluctuation borne out of an incessant need to discover new sonic worlds. Beginning life as a shamanic drone ensemble, at times fitting up to 15 members on stage, these early rituals informed the core ideals that have come to define the group in their years of activity; community and trance-inducing repetition.

Gnod offer a gateway to an aural black hole and along with firm guiding hand, the opportunity to dive head and body first into a powerfully new psychedelic maelstrom full of possibilities.

We can’t wait to venture through worlds of new possibilities with Anonymous Bash, led by the notorious Charles Hayward, who will also be opening another door for our Supersonic audience via another formation – Zig-Zag + Swirl.

Charles Hayward needs no introduction, his kinetic percussive talents and restless mercurial vision having blazed a trail across the British avant-garde for the last four decades, from Quiet Sun through This Heat to Camberwell Now and a plethora of solo material.

On 4th March, This Is Not This Heat performed at The Barbican. It was a night of This Heat music reimagined and sculpted by Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, Alexis Taylor, Chris Cutler, Jenny Moore, John Edwards, Luisa Gerstein, Daniel O’Sullivan, Thurston Moore, James Sedwards, Frank Byng, Alex Ward, Laura Groves & Merlin Nova, which was met with astounding reviews. [here]

Avid collaborator, Hayward has worked with numerous artists from our Supersonic hive including this year’s Laura Cannell. This Friday sees the launch of a night of new performances called Modern Ritual at Cafe Oto, exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes. Featuring solo sets from Charles Hayward, Laura Cannell and Hoofus, a new collaboration between Laura & Charles and a new performance/talk by Jennifer Lucy Allan and a reading from Luke Turner. You can find more info. [here]

Hayward’s Zig-Zag + Swirl formation comprises a performance in which technology is used to open uncertainty in songs that surf his muse’s trademark combination of a psychedelic continuum and the startling other.

So, Supersonic audience, make sure you get to Anonymous Bash and Charles Hayward’s Zig-Zag + Swirl at this year’s festival.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

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Gnod live at Supersonic 2012

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Our good friends at HTF Media have released this video of Gnod performing at last year’s Supersonic. It was the second Supersonic outing for the Manchester collective and they’ve fast become one of the best live bands in the country.

If you head over to the Supersonic Festival youtube channel you can see some brilliant footage from previous festivals, including The Bug, Vinyl rally, Bardo Pond and interviews with Godflesh and Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai. If you subscribe to the channel, you’ll get an email letting you know when new stuff is uploaded.

Gnod are back in Birmingham on Saturday May 11th at the Wagon & Horses in Digbeth with ORE and Author & Punisher. Facebook event page.

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Supersonic 2012 – Here’s To Another 10 Years!

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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!

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Preparations For Your Gnod-tastic Voyage…

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As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…

The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)

This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!

Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)

After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.

Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)

Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!

In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)

‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.

Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)

Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!

You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!

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Justice Yeldham, Gnod and Free School added to line up

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You can’t hold us back! We’ve added even more exciting live acts to the festival line up, keeping it bursting at the seams with a diverse range of new music. Australian sound artist Lucas Abela (the brains behind the Vinyl Rally will be at the festival performing as Justice Yeldham. Abela creates an other-worldy sound by pressing his face and lips against glass whist employing various vocal techniques ranging from throat singing to raspberries. Trust us, it has to be seen to be believed, so for a taster check out this video from his Supersonic 2008 appearance.

Rhythm, drone and psychedelic noise will come in the form of Manchester collective Gnod. Free School will bring the sunny Balearic sounds of summer and the icy kosmische sounds of winter for some disconcerting dance music.

Check out the full line up, there’s only a month to wait!

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Gnod

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Mainlining a torrent of psycho-delic, reverb drenched, doomsday motorik and improvised sounds is the master and mystery of Gnod. Audiences have come to expect bizarre humanoid toasting over cosmic synth eeriness pinned down with a combination of duelling deep-vein-thrombosis juggernaut riffs and heart-pounding beats. Gnod explore the possibilities of a big, awesome sound with an uncompromising aesthetic.

To date the band have releases with Not Not Fun (USA), Blackest Rainbow (UK). Tamed Records (France) and Rocket Recordings (UK) to name a few and are gaining a cult following on the live scene in grimy venues & dark club spaces all over Europe with their head-spinning, mind-bending, bowel-shaking live shows.

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