Backwards. Two basses, drums, voice and electronics. The fag end of No Wave meets the ugly monotone of Hate Sludge. From Birmingham, featuring ex-members of Beestung Lips, Una Corda and Napalm Death. Disappointment Guaranteed.
The fine folk over at the Quietus just had a quick word with sound artist and original Napalm Death bassist/vocalist, Nicholas Bullen, about all things Supersonic. For those curious as to what Bullen has in store for them this weekend, Nic dropped this tantalising little hint –
[It’s] predominately geared towards sound – the development of my electronic composition, which is what I focus on in the main – so I’ll be playing a 35 minute composition which has a loose base structure, but for the most part is live improvisation and processing. And that ties into the film which I’m going to show which is an excerpt of a much longer film called The Inverse Heliograph, which is predominately constructed from super 8 film, which is re-photographed, processed, overlaid and altered in terms of duration. Really it’s an audio-visual set I suppose.
Bullen goes on to discuss The Inverse Heliograph in more detail, his early days with Napalm Death, and who else he’s looking forward to seeing at Supersonic this year in the rest of the interview, which you can read in full here.
Nicholas Bullen will perform on Saturday 20th at 20:45 in the Theatre at Supersonic.
Justin Broadrick will be making his fourth appearance at the Supersonic Festival this year, unveiling his new solo project JK Flesh – a dense, atmospheric endeavour that feels like the culmination of all his previous projects combined. This seems like a fine time to glance back over Broadrick’s long and eclectic career, and celebrate one of Birmingham’s finest musicians in the process…
In 1982, a young Justin would take his first musical steps with his friend Andy Swan under the name Final. The endlessly prolific Broadrick would release no less than 50 Final cassettes within the next year and a half, and would later resurrect the project in order to continue his soundscape experiments.
Fall Of Because
Two years later, Broadrick would sew the seeds that Godflesh would eventually grow out of with Fall Of Because, alongside future Godflesh cohorts G. Christian Green and Paul Neville. The trio, taking their name from a Killing Joke song, recorded several songs that would go on to become known as Godflesh classics (including ‘Life is Easy’, ‘Devastator, and ‘Merciless’) before calling it a day a few years later, around the same time that Broadrick met fellow Brummie and sonic visionary, Nicholas Bullen…
After a chance meeting at a local flea market, Broadrick would join Bullen and wild eyed drummer Mick Harris in a fledgling anarcho-punk band by the name of Napalm Death. The three-piece refined their sound over the course of three demo tapes, before recording the A-side of seminal grindcore classic ‘Scum’ in 1987 and changing the face of extreme metal forever. Evidently life in the fast lane was not Broadrick’s cup of tea, and he and Bullen left the band before their debut album was completed, feeling that they had pushed this extreme sound as far as it could possibly go (‘You Suffer’ is still credited as being the shortest song in the world by the Guiness Book of Records!).
This lineup would reconvene in 1992 for Scorn’s debut album ‘Vae Solis’, an oft overlooked industrial classic that pits crushing Swans worship against tribal electronic beats – it’s sometimes hard to believe this was the work of the same three musicians responsible for blistering grind outbursts like ‘The Kill’ and ‘Siege of Power’!
Following his departure from Napalm Death (and after a brief stint drumming for industrial pioneers Head Of David), Broadrick reconvened with G.C. Green to form Godflesh. Using their old Fall of Because songs as a starting point, the pair would fuse the hard hitting gut punch of metal with the harsh, mechanical qualities of industrial music, creating another legendary band and redefining a genre in the process. Over the course of 7 full-lengths and numerous EPs, singles and remixes, Godflesh drastically reshaped what many people thought a metal band could sound like, and influenced a plethora of other artists from across the musical spectrum. At the height of their infamy, Broadrick politely turned down offers to join Faith No More and Danzig – one can’t help but wonder how different the musical landscape of the 90’s would have been if he’d accepted…
London based producer Kevin Martin had promoted Godflesh’s first show in the capital city, sparking a long lasting friendship between the pair. Justin eventually contributed to Kevin’s band God, and in 1991, they released their first record under the moniker Techno Animal, a startling concoction of industrial, hip-hop, dub and noise that still sounds fresh to this day. Broadrick and Martin would go on to collaborate many more times over the next few years, and even invited Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire to help them out with the manic breakcore of their Curse of the Golden Vampire project.
Godflesh eventually imploded shortly after releasing their 2000 swansong ‘Hymns’ (featuring ex-Swans sticksman Ted Parsons in place of the drum machine that had provided the bleak, mechanical pulse for previous records), but out of their ashes rose Broadrick’s new project, Jesu. Over the course of four full-lengths and numerous EPs and splits, Justin would forge a more ethereal, optimistic sound that has more in common with the shoegaze movement than it does the harsh industrial feel of his earlier works.
Broadrick crossed paths with Aaron Turner when Jesu toured with Isis, and the two joined forces with occasional Jesu cohort Diarmuid Dalton and ex-Head of David bassist David Cochrane to create Greymachine, a stark, rhythmic juggernaut amidst wastelands of barren noise that almost sounded like Godflesh being re-imagined by Whitehouse. Greymachine would only release a single eponymous album, but the record still stands as one of the heaviest and most uncompromising monoliths in both Broadrick and Turner’s back catalogues.
‘Posthuman’ is Justin’s first official solo album, and it feels like a comprehensive combination of all the different sounds and styles he’s previously worked with, fusing together to form one imposing industrial behemoth that doesn’t really sound like anything else being produced in 2012. The cathartic blend of dubstep, industrial, metal and noise could be seen in some ways as a spiritual successor to the Greymachine album, but the project casts quite a distinct shadow over Broadrick’s extensive back catalogue.Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess…
Of course, this is only the most basic overview of Justin’s long and storied career; there are many of his projects we’ve left out here, such as the harsh power electronics of White Static Demon, the twisted breakcore of Krackhead and the vast, Throbbing Gristle-meets-King Tubby soundscapes of Council Estate Electronics. And this is all before we’ve even mentioned his recent venture into the great unknown as Valley Of Fear (alongside Skullflower’s Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies), and of course, the feverishly rumoured and much anticipated Godflesh comeback record…
With all these projects on the go simultaneously, it’s a wonder Justin finds the time to play live at all, making it all the more special when he does. It’s a real pleasure to have this visionary artist bringing his latest project to Supersonic this year, and promises to be an experience that no self-respecting Broadrick fan is going to want to miss.
JK Flesh will perform at Supersonic Festival on Friday 19th October.
If you think the Capsule ladies sit around twiddling their thumbs between Supersonics, think again! 2011 has been an incredible year for our most ambitious project to date with exhibitions, live events and a conference all celebrating Birmingham and the Black Country as the birthplace of Heavy Metal. The project is ongoing and you can contribute to the Home of Metal digital archive and learn more here www.homeofmetal.com
Impassioned by the social conditions of the time and inspired by anarcho-punk bands who were taking an anti-capitalist stance through their music, Nicholas Bullen and Miles ‘Rat’ Ratledge formed Napalm Death. At only 14 years old, they were motivated to play gigs, create fanzines, and swap music via cassette tapes with the wider punk community. This exhibition will give you an exciting insight into this period of music history – the formation of Grindcore.
No strangers to Supersonic, here are Napalm Death performing at the fest in 2010:
Home Of Metal: Sirens Of Sparkhill
4.45PM SATURDAY I THEATRE
Kerrang! DJ Johnny Doom will be hosting a special roundtable chat with past and present members of Napalm Death – so if you ever wanted to hear about the formative years of the world’s premier grindcore band, or if you just want to discover exactly what the bloody hell a swinging thumbjump is, you’d be advised to set time aside to catch this one-off discussion.
As part of our Home Of Metal project
Friday 22nd October 9pm – 2.30am
Tickets £20 BUY NOW
Headlined by Napalm Death
with Dead Fader, Demons (feat Sick Llama), Devil Man (feat DJ Scotch Egg), Drumcorps, Fukpig, Gum Takes Tooth, Necro Deathmort, PCM
Saturday 23rd October 4pm – 1.30am
Tickets £35 BUY NOW
Headlined by Godflesh + Melt Banana
with Blue Sabbath Black Fiji, Cave, Cloaks (DJ set), Dosh, Eagle Twin, Gnaw, Gnod, King Midas Sound, Lash Frenzy vs KK Null, Lichens, Melt Banana, oVo, Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides, People Like Us, Steve Troman & Dan Nicholls Duo, Stinky Wizzleteat, Tweak Bird
+ talks, films, workshops, market place, tea room
Sunday 24th October 2pm – 12.30am
Tickets £35 BUY NOW
Headlined by Swans + Hallogallo
with Barn Owl, Black Sun Drum Corps, Bong, Factory Floor, Jailbreak feat. Chris Corsano + Heather Leigh, James Blackshaw, Master Musicians of Bukkake + Khyam Allami, Mugstar, Nisennenmondai, Peter Broderick, Pierre Bastien & Male Instrumenty, Voice Of The Seven Thunders, Zeni Geva
+ talks, films, workshops, market place, tea room
Weekend tickets £75 BUY NOW
FURTHER ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR
SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL 2010
HALLOGALLO 2010 – Michael Rother + Friends present the music of NEU!
NAPALM DEATH / PEOPLE LIKE US / DEMONS (W/SICK LLAMA) / OvO / CAVE / PART WILD HORSES MANE ON BOTH SIDES / DOSH / TWEAK BIRD / DRUMCORPS / PCM
Joining confirmed acts including:
GODFLESH / SWANS / JAILBREAK FEAT. CHRIS CORSANO + HEATHER LEIGH / MELT BANANA / JAMES BLACKSHAW / LICHENS / BONG / GNOD /VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS / NECRO DEATHMORT / GNAW / EAGLE TWIN / BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI
22 – 24 OCTOBER 2010
Following the news that the 2010 edition of Birmingham’s acclaimed annual Supersonic Festival will be headlined by SWANS and GODFLESH, Capsule are excited to announce a further round of live acts who will also perform at this year’s festival, including HALLOGALLO 2010 and NAPALM DEATH. Tickets are now on sale!
“I´m thrilled to return to Supersonic this year with my new live project Hallogallo 2010. We will present some favourite music by NEU!, Harmonia and from my solo albums. I look forward to Supersonic this year because two great musicians and friends are joining me in Hallogallo 2010: Steve Shelley (drummer of Sonic Youth) and Aaron Mullan (guitar player of Tall Firs). Expect some fast-forward movement!” – Michael Rother, Hallogallo 2010/NEU!
Capsule are also excited to confirm that unquestionably the most influential band in extreme music’s ferocious history NAPALM DEATH will be performing in their hometown to make their first ever Supersonic Festival appearance. Acclaimed as the creators of Grindcore, Napalm Death will be pushing the envelope of metal to new extremes in what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable performance.
“We are very much looking forward to playing Supersonic this year. It’s always great to play a hometown gig, and with this festival being so diverse musically it’s going to be even more fun for us as we rarely get the chance to play such events – and on the same stage as SWANS, well what can I say?” – Shane Embury, Napalm Death
Also confirmed are an incredible, eclectic mix of music and visual artists, including PART WILD HORSES MANE ON BOTH SIDES with their mesmerizing and unforgettable avant-primitivism, oVo with their incredible combination of heavy riffage, bombastic drumming and unforgettable vocals, as well as a return from the dark lords of Drum and Bass, PCM. DOSH will be performing, complete with mandatory pots and pans, as well as DRUMCORPS, with their unique, high-energy mix of music production values and the raw power of American hardcore.
TWEAK BIRD are also confirmed, bringing their big drums, fuzzed out baritone guitar and tandem spacey vocal melodies, and also CAVE, with their sickeningly tight drum and bass. There will also be multi-sensory art in the form of DJ and multimedia artist Vicki Bennett, aka PEOPLE LIKE US, and dark visual music trio DEMONS (W/SICK LLAMA).
This latest announcement forms part of a series of line up announcements for Supersonic 2010 with many more exciting acts and artists to be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
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“They’re just as brutal and ferocious as ever. As the songs keep improving in structure so does the intent ferociousness, infectiousness, edginess and socio-political irascibility” Terrorizer Magazine
Formed in Birmingham in 1981, Napalm Death created Grindcore and the ‘blast beat’, pushing the envelope of metal to new extremes. 2010 will be their first Supersonic Festival appearance.