The Living Jarboe




With visual arts being such a huge influence on how I receive live music, I will be awaiting Jarboe’s performance at the festival with extreme trepidation. Also known as The Living Jarboe, she practices what she preaches. As a member of Swans, and consequently Skin, Jarboe’s warbling yet emotive vocals are sure to be situated within a visual atmosphere that will make any attendee weak at the knees. Her performances invite you to be a part of her particular moment, creating shockingly powerful visions through the music itself. It will undoubtedly be one of the performances to watch and I have no doubts that we will be subject to a feast for the eyes and the ears. ‘Lavender Girl’ is within the upper echelons of my favourite tracks of all time, with its ability to create an atmosphere that I feel is almost unique amongst musicians. Examples such as  ‘Totem’ and ‘Miracle of Love’bring a slice of the ungodly down to us mere mortals, proving why Jarboe’s career has been such a long and healthy one. Make sure to watch this interview with Swans which dates back two decades!

If you are a fan of Jarboe, then be sure to check out the equally as enchanting artist, Lichens. Lichens is the name of Robert A. A. Lowe’s musical project, that needs to be seen live to be believed. With tracks that trick the mind into a sense of suspension in time, through seamlessly looped wordless vocals, instrumental intersections and a beautiful layering of sound, Lichens epitomises transcendental sound. For Supersonic goers who haven’t listened to his music before, ‘Faeries’ and ‘Shore Line Scoring’ are two of my favourite tracks, and I would urge any fans of Jarboe to check out the music of Lichens before the festival to make sure you do not miss out. Having collaborated with the likes of Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Tyondai Braxton and Genesis P-Orridge, this guy certainly knows what he is doing.

Also make sure to check out his fascinating blog, at


Also check out the video for an example of Lichens collaborative work with White/Light.



The Bug – Acid Ragga Review – The Quietus


The prolific and ever unpredictable Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug) will once again be bringing his heavy dub basslines and grimey dancehall vibes to Supersonic this year. Kevin has just put out another 7″, and according to the fine folk over at The Quietus, it’s a very heady concoction indeed…

His latest project – the first ‘proper’ new Bug material since 2008’s London Zoo – is another scientific endeavour: an exercise in genetic recombination, triggered by a long-unanswered question that’s apparently been burning in Martin’s mind for years: “What happens if I cross acid house with ragga?” Leading up to the release of his long-awaited new Bug album proper Angels & Devils, his Acid Ragga 7″ series attempts to answer that question via a series of gene splices that transfer traits from each test subject into a new and virulent third form, a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of the electronic dub world that roars along at breakneck speed.

You can read the full review over at The Quietus website, and also hear a preview of the record’s title track!

If you like The Bug, then you won’t want to miss out on this year’s performances from elusive electronica merchants Hype Williams and hyperactive dubstep lunatics Devilman.


Supersonic Birmingham Taster this week


This Saturday 4th August we’re hosting a taster event for the 10 edition of the festival – extending our birthday celebrations as much as we can!

With a stellar and diverse line up this should get us all excited for October. King Midas Sound System aka Kevin Martin of The Bug, drops DJ exclusive dubs/versions and remixes as well as bleeding other artists’ music into the astounding sound design, with special guest vocals. Justin Broadrick will give a UK premier performance of his new project JK Flesh, expect soul-crushingly dark beats and bass, layered with Broadrick’s inimitable guitar.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to programme some exciting sounds from some Birmingham based experimental sound artists. Iron Fist of the Sun blends power electronics and black metal, Laurence Hunt of Pram and Modified Toy Orchestra performs a new solo percussive piece and Sarah M Farmer will play an entire orchestral piece using DIY instrumentation.

The taster takes place at Eastside Projects, Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth and doors are 7.30pm. Tickets are available via