Dragging themselves towards their tenth anniversary like a sloth in a heavy metal parking lot, Mothertrucker are no strangers to the almighty riff. They’ve crafted a sound built on thick dirty distortion, menacing atmospherics, head bopping tempo changes and rewarding climaxes. Not content to sit alongside the navel gazing, post-metal, Neurosis wannabes so prevalent this century, Mothertrucker have evolved their sound into something far more unpredictable without losing sight of what brought them together in the first place – the power of the riff. Once you have found yourself trapped in the headlights of the Mothertrucker, you can but only lay back, stretch your sack & make peace with your maker.
A number of websites have been asking Capsule for our take on the festival – why we do it, highlights from previous years, things to watch for this year. Check out our take on things below via Rockfeedback and Wiki Festivals.
New Spotify playlist
We’ve announced more new artists since our last Spotify playlist so, to make your listening experience simple and seamless, here’s a link to an updated version. Now with added Mike Watt, Drum Eyes, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Klaus Kinski, DJ Scotch Egg, Drumcunt and Orthodox. Enjoy! (But our sincere apologies for those horrible meerkat adverts.)
Alexander Tucker – live video session for Spine TV
Alexander Tucker will be performing his new song-cycle ‘Dorwytch‘ at Supersonic 2011. ‘Dorwytch‘ greatly expands his sound into a larger ensemble, featuring lushly layered strings and subtle use of synths. The suite revolves around themes of “human/plant matter transcendence” and manifested in the meditative purity of Tucker’s tones and drones. This live session also catches sight of the hairy being we’re expecting to see at Supersonic.
Meet Barn Owl
Supersonic 2010 attendees will perhaps need no introduction to the stunning dust-trails of sound that San Franciscan duo Barn Owl create. The band were so well received that we just had to get them back for Supersonic 2011. In the past year, the praise for their mesmerising drones and layered feedback has slowly built up into a huge wall of superlatives. It’s taking all our strength here at Capsule to avoid waxing lyrical about “hauntingly beautiful sonic waterfalls” and the like! Rock-A-Rolla even went so far as to say that their 2010 album ‘Ancestral Star’ on Thrill Jockey was “the most significant experimental drone album since [SunnO)))’s] ‘Monoliths & Dimensions’”.
What you definitely get with Barn Owl is a hugely powerful immersive experience. Frequently playing in front of modified super 8 footage, the twin guitars of Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras intertwine instinctively, equal parts slow-burning twang and spaced-out feedback drone. It’s hard to stop those superlatives flowing. The band have just released a new EP ‘Shadowlands‘ that adds a devotional aspect reflective of artists like Popul Vuh (especially their soundtrack for the Werner Herzog film ‘Fitzcarraldo’) and Alice Coltrane, and their new full-length ‘Lost In The Glare‘ will be out on 13th September. (Free mp3 here.) Both Caminiti and Porras are solo artists releasing on labels like Root Strata and Three Lobed Recordings and Caminiti is also an established visual artist.
More information on their Electric Totem site.
Supersonic Q&A no. 6: OREN AMBARCHI
Australian guitarist and sound designer Oren Ambarchi is performing at Supersonic 2011 in collaboration with the FIRE! trio of Mats Gustafsson from The Thing (saxophone/rhodes), Johan Berthling from Tape (bass) and Andreas Werliin from Wildbirds and Peacedrums (percussion). Originally a drummer, he came to the guitar by accident, investigating its sound properties rather than learning traditional techniques. A good entry point into his work is ‘Grapes From The Estate’ album (Touch, 2004), a masterful exploration of ambient guitar and electronics. More recently, he has collaborated with Stephen O’Malley and Attilar Csihar as Gravetemple.
1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Lovely people and killer shows
2. What can people expect of your collaboration with FIRE! at the festival?
In all honesty I don’t know what to expect as the Supersonic show will be the first time we’ve worked together(!).
Additionally I’ll be flying all the way from Australia for 30+ hrs, landing at Heathrow, driving straight to Birmingham and hitting it immediately so…it should be awesome, hahaha. I must say that I’m a fan of all the guys in the band so I’m really excited to work with them.
3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
I often think about what drives us to do this stuff, this stuff that continually tortures & haunts us..(or me anyway as it can be a struggle at times). Mostly for me I think it’s the search for beauty/ecstasy. When I’m going for something & it doesn’t work, I can get super depressed for days. But when it ‘works’ there’s no other feeling that comes close and I’m always striving to get to this state again & again. I’m really addicted to it.
4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see? (And why?)
Well, definitely Tony Conrad. I’ve seen him a number of times but I can’t get enough of his work, especially in a live context. He’s super important to me. Also totally psyched to see Cut Hands. I’m a huge Whitehouse/Bennett fan, I love the way he’s fused this ecstatic trance inducing voodou vibe with noise. There’s plenty of other friends playing at the fest who I’m looking forward to hanging with & listening to, there’s definitely a great breadth to all the lineups at Supersonic.
5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are…
Melatonin, ear-plugs, finding a decent restaurant (ahem) and a good single-malt.
Since 1992, Envy has become a dominant band in the independent
hard‐core scene in Japan. Since then they have pursued and succeeded in creating their own original style of music. Over the past 15 years, envy has become a dominant band in the independent scene in Japan. Their music, through their own evolution, encompasses a sound where intensity and beauty coexist.
Since the beginning, they have toured extensively throughout Japan as well
as Europe, US and Asia, gaining popularity and creating a solid growing international fan base along the way. They have released 4 full albums as well as several splits with such bands as Thursday, Jesu, Sixpence, Endeavor and TMK. Envy has supported bands such as Mogwai, ISIS, Converge, Explosions in the Sky, Locust, Lighting Bolt, Hot Cross.
They are one of the leading independent Japanese bands and widely considered to be one of the best live bands around, having labored and toured their songs relentlessly for over a decade, and will continue to do so.
Fresh from their artist residency at Roadburn Festival, Supersonic are delighted to announce that both Circle and Pharaoh Overlord will join the festival bill.
Formed in 1991, Circle is the most visible and prolific name in the Finnish avant-rock underground. Having survived innumerable lineup changes, the band and its founder, bassist/vocalist/guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo, have constantly reinvented themselves, weaving hypnotic mantras out of exacting Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise, dark psychedelia, and soundtrack-like beauty. Hard, chilly repetition has served as the lone unifying theme throughout 15 years of experiments.
To accompany this performance, we will be screening a special new ‘documentary’ on the band, ‘Man with a Video Camera‘.
[jwplayer config=”audio sidebar” playlistid=”1378″]Are the sound of 10,000 exploding suns, pulsing with repetitive beauty and pounding like a supersonic mantra. Mugstar recall “Saucerful…” era Floyd and echoes vintage Neu! alongside the sounds of Oneida and Sonic Youth. Mugstar take the sonics of psychedelia and krautrock, drag it through the lenses of punk and post-rock, heavy as lead but driven to a repetitive extreme so that it becomes an impenetrable Krautrock hammer; much like Neu on a week long binge of testosterone.
[jwplayer config=”audio sidebar” playlistid=”1365″]Their performance at Supersonic 2009 was hugely popular, so we just had to get them back. Himeno Sayaka (drums), Zaikawa Yuri (bass) and Takada Masako (guitar) met, of all places, at the same music club at university in Tokyo. After quickly becoming friends the obvious next step was to form a band, and Nisennenmondai was born. Their driving rhythm section and metallic guitar sound something like an ungodly and hypnotic amalgamation of Boredoms, Neu!, Can, and Ruins circa 1986-7.
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Supersonic Festival are delighted to announce the first UK sow in over 10 years for Godflesh.
After leaving the ranks of Head of David in 1988 (having previously done time in the early days of Napalm Death), Justin Broadrick wasted no time in setting up a new outfit that was arguably as epoch-defining as Napalm. Teaming up with bassist Benny Green (his cohort in pre-Napalm act Fall of Because), their new act, Godflesh, saw the hyper-speed facets of Napalm Death turned on its head with downtuned guitars and slower tempos the order of the day. A tangible sense of urban decay and alienation oozed from every pore, thus birthing Industrial Metal.
Their ‘Streetcleaner’ opus conjured up images of concrete tower blocks; cold, grey flyovers and nihilistic angst – arguably as potent a musical representation of Birmingham as the opening chords to ‘Black Sabbath’.
To this day Godflesh are revered as godheads by acts as disparate as Isis and Fear Factory, this long-awaited 2010 reformation surely bound to propel them back into the consciousness of many, staking their claim as true musical innovators.
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