Anna Von Hausswolff: The Pipes are Calling


I see it coming closer now

I see it very clear

The tree, the spring, the history, the spirits that are there

I see it coming closer now

The picture of a place

I see myself inside the house

I’m covering my face

– Evocation, Anna Von Hausswolff

Seated at the historic 1834 organ, the launch of this year’s festival in Birmingham’s Town Hall is lead by the formidable fingertips of Anna Von Hausswolff.

Since her debut 2010 album ‘Singing from the Grave’, she has gradually developed from a more self-contained, intimate chamber-pop sound to a gargantuan, ethereal beast of sonority which totally envelops the listener, evident in most recent 2015 album ‘The Miraculous’.

“The genesis of The Miraculous is a tangled backstory. Inspired in parts by a previous song she had written (the 20-minute epic, ‘Källan’), a book by the same name (by Swedish author Walter Ljungquist), a Russian war film (1985’s Come And See) and, most intriguingly, a magical childhood place that Anna still visits regularly and that she calls the ‘miraculous’. Anna talks about the place with a sense of wonder; the unnamed spot is an area of breathtaking natural beauty and once provided the backdrop to a bloody uprising, and is now entwined with fantastical stories created by family von Hausswolff.”

For a fascinating insight into the conjuring of ‘The Miraculous’ album, courtesy of The Quietus, delve [here].

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Anna Von Hausswolff is the daughter of avant-garde sound artist Carl Michael Von Hausswolff. Surrounded by art and creative minds all her life, Anna began singing in choirs and attended music high school where she studied music in a very traditional classical setting. In the spring time, her family would listen to Tchaikovsky and eat waffles. At 15 she began blending classical music elements into pop structures and wrote her first song at the piano. She released her debut single ‘Track of Time’, on 5 February 2010.

Although she says that now, in some ways, she is not so far away from that 15 year old girl – 15 years on it is clear how her compositional approach has broadened as she speaks of capturing the sound of tree-bark on her latest album, not by recording the sound but by creating an image through musical interpretation. Her music has become even more sonically aware & sophisticated – perhaps an influence of her fathers? Or too, the masters of noise rock SWANS whom she toured with last year?

Whatever Anna’s sonic choices, she remains entirely emotive. Relying on intuition to guide her through the song-writing process. It starts with a pattern on her synthesised organ, if it settles it repeats, a pattern then grows and if the urge takes her she sings but if it doesn’t the piece remains instrumental. Quite simple really. The complexity that follows is in the intricate arrangements and carefully positioned microphones to capture the necessary frequencies from the pipe organ to create a vast sonic landscape. And this is what is so captivating about Anna’s music; the simplicity juxtaposed with ornate detail.

Having toyed with organ synthesisers, it wasn’t until the first day of recording ‘Ceremony’, her second album released in 2013, that she played a real pipe organ for the first time and then went on to write 2 albums with this instrument at the helm. She’d also entered the world of Drone music, listening to the likes of Earth and Barn Owl. Her first live performance on a pipe organ was at Lincoln Cathedral that same year and in rehearsal, the church staff voiced fears her playing was too loud for the legendary Henry Willis organ, and banned her from playing on certain reed pipes, which meant rearranging the 20minute long piece ‘Källan’ entirely. Then, just 30 minutes before the show after practicing again she was banned from using any of the reed pipes at all.

“It was the first time I was going to perform my pieces in front of an audience on a real pipe organ and I panicked. I needed to accept what the staff were saying as if I broke the organ I wouldn’t be invited to play a pipe organ show ever again. I totally improvised the second part of the piece ‘Källan’ in front of the audience and, while it was very scary, it went really well. It was a new kind of audience for me as it was an experimental music festival where I thought people might be listening in a more thorough way. I thought they might see through me and think me an amateur, but I was very focussed on the sounds I was making, and as ‘Källan’ is quite a slow piece, I had time to think about the next part. I learned that in those situations even if things take an unexpected turn, you can work your way from that point.”

With great skill, comes great improvisation. A key feature now in Anna’s music. Her live shows are an ever changing exploration of her songs and their structures. With ‘Ceremony’ she explored themes of Death and the dominating, heavy sound of the live organ. Anna says, ‘Death is a good reminder of what you should be concerned about.’ and nothing summons up this sentiment more than the sound of the pipes calling.

And they called her back for third album ‘The Miraculous’.

Another totally enigmatic element to Anna’s sound which is important to note is – her voice. And it seems with her most recent output it has been unleashed to it’s full potential. Moments of Bjork-esque cascading fragility are soon upturned with bone-shattering shrieks and growls, harking the influence of Diamanda Galás.

Upon reflection, Anna describes ‘The Miraculous’ as conceptual in the sense of capturing the atmosphere of ‘a place’ but equally a very emotional, personal endeavour. To understand this album is to somewhat understand the artist as a whole and her journey to date. It is how she sees ‘the place’ today and how some things have lingered on and some things she’s left out purposefully as they’re no longer ringing true.

In interviews, Anna doesn’t want to get in to the geography of ‘the place’, ‘The Miraculous’; she is more interested in preserving it’s sanctity. It is sacred. Much like her choice of instrument in the pipe organ. Both ‘the place’ and the organ are somewhere Anna embarks on a pilgrimage to; unmovable, abstract yet tangible. And when she arrives she sees ‘the history present itself’ to her which she then interprets into something new and deeply fascinating.

We at Supersonic cannot wait to bear witness to what this gothic tour-de-force will present us with this June as she launches this year’s festival.

Weekend Plus tickets include her opening concert on Friday night at Town Hall – they are on sale NOW!


Supersonic Commission: British Library Sounds



Open call for British Library Sounds Commission

To be premiered at the Supersonic Festival

Deadline for applications: 5pm Friday 27 March 2015

Commission dates: April – June 2015


Supersonic Festival, Birmingham, June 11 – 14 2015


Supersonic Festival are delighted to be partnering with the British Library to offer an opportunity for an artist to develop a new work as part of the festival programme in June 2015. The successful artist will have the opportunity to work with selected material and their associated documentation in the Library’s archive to create a new work culminating in a performance or an installation at the festival, as well as being archived within the British Library’s sound collection.


This commission will be presented at the Supersonic Festival, 11 – 14 June, the UK’s premier experimental music and arts festival. Its international reputation and multidisciplinary programme draws audience, artists and industry professionals from across the globe ensuring a great showcase for this new work. For more information on the festival visit


The British Library is home to the nation’s sound archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings of speech, music, wildlife and the environment, from the 1880s to the present day. It has recently launched the Save our Sounds programme which is a major digitisation project to preserve the nation’s sound heritage


For this commission, selection of wildlife and environmental recordings from the collection will be made available and will include, among other things, the songs & calls of British birds, the soundscapes of natural habitats such as woodland, marshland and the British coastline, and a range of environmental recordings covering weather, waves, streams, rivers and more. Additonal content from other curatorial areas may also be available, subject to availability and rights clearance
More information on the collections can be found at


The selected applicant will receive a £750 fee for the development and performance of the commission. They will receive mentoring from the Supersonic team and an introduction to the collections from the British Library’s Curator, Wildlife and Environmental Sounds.


How to Apply:

To apply please send a proposal that includes all of the following:

Your name, contact details and website address.

A short statement explaining why you want to undertake the commission and what you hope to gain by working in this context (300 words max). Also tell us about two pieces of recent work that you are most proud of (200 words max) please save these documents together as a PDF or .doc file.

Evidence of your current work in the following form:

2 x links to your work uploaded to Soundcloud or You Tube/Vimeo.

Please send to [email protected] with ‘BL_SS commission’ in the title
Email attachments must not be larger than 5MB. Application is by email only.

Deadline for applications: 27 March 2015


Supersonic + Milque & Muhle Xmas Cocktail



Supersonic Festival and Milque & Muhle partner to bring you an explosive Xmas cocktail of aural delights and high-spirited performances across 2 rooms on Sat 13 Dec at the Hare & Hounds in Birmingham


Bludgeoning sludge rock from South London , now signed to Candlelight. expect heavy grooves, pounding drums and dual vocals.


Sly and the Family Drone
A primal orchestra of drum rhythms, radiophonic oscillator noise and electronically-abstracted vocals.

Lowest Form
Swirly nasty hardcore from one of britain’s finest ensembles, full length now out on iron lung records.


Ravioli Me Away
Ravioli Me Away are a dangerously ambitious and delusional all girl jazzy post punk, hip funk outfit from london.

Paddy Steer
Sounds like a Swiss cuckoo clock made of egg boxes and horsehair, glued together by an African Moog player in a Vietnamese iron monger’s shop.

Table Scraps
Local Garage Rock. Duo with guitar and stand up drumming with male/female vocals.

Rainbow Grave
Debut show formed from the ashes of Backwards (R.I.P) :’( – think Hate Sludge akin to  Stickmen with Rayguns/ Kilslug.

Advanced tickets from and directly from Milque & Muhle at the Custard Factory.


Supersonic Merch – tees, totes, records and more…



We’ve pulled out just a small selection of items to show you from stockroom. All these bits and bobs are available to buy on our online shop, so have a look for yourself HERE. There’s plenty more where that came from!

Need some new music in your life? Then check out our edition of live recordings taken at previous Supersonic Festivals and issued on high quality heavyweight vinyl. Harvey Milk, Tweak Bird, Iron Lung, Capsule’s 10th Birthday 7″ and other items on CD…. these are VERY reasonably priced right now, so now’s the time to christen your deck with something new!

Thanks for all the support to those of you who’ve already gone shopping with us!


Visit the Capsule Shop





Digbeth Dining Club



For those of you arriving slightly earlier on Friday evening and fancy some gourmet street food we’d like to recommend visiting the Digbeth Dining Club which is just round the corner from Supersonic Festival and an excellent way to start your weekend.
On offer will be – Manila Munchies (Filipino), Big Daddies Diner (Gourmet Hot Dogs), Mexican Bean, Jabberwocky (Gourmet Toasties) and platinum Pancakes.
They’re based at Spotlight, Unit 2 Lower Trinity Street in Digbeth B9 4AG
and will be open from 5.30 – 10.30pm so plenty of time to grab yourself a gorgeous snack before the festival kicks off at 9pm


Karen Gwyer


Karen Gwyer_Portraits_1

KAREN GWYER is a US-born Londoner with a small bunch of divine releases to her name on both Opal Tapes and No Pain In Pop. Gwyer casually summons the feeling of a warmer, more futuristic Popol Vuh, other comparisons including Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Cabaret Voltaire, Cluster or even an instrumental, more rhythmic Fever Ray.

“Rather than making straight club music, Gwyer assimilates house and techno tropes into oozy, hypnotic slow burners, as in album opener ʻSugar Totsʼ. African beats herald the action, joined by molasses-thick synths and glassy bells that chime finely somewhere in the distance. Similarly, on ʻPikki Kokkuʼ, steamy, diaphanous whispers and minimal drum patterns overlay molten synths and subtle low end. Thereʼs little resolution here; instead we have an internal lambency thatʼs warm and satisfying…. The result is an intimate and beautiful record” – Factmag


Swans – Q&A + new album review



Swans return to the UK this May for a headline slot at this year’s Supersonic Festival. Expect an epic set of pulverising tunes from the visionary frontman Michael Gira & his 6 man ensemble of music veterans. Having recently unleashed their extraordinary new album ‘To Be Kind’, we know it’s going to be one of this year’s highlights, so grab your chance to see them whilst you still can. Tickets here.

UNCUT recently reviewed the album giving it a highly respectable 8/10. They also had this to say:

“…these are not delicate symphonies. Nor do Swans jam, or employ anything as rhythmically complex as syncopation or tricky time signatures. Instead, these songs roll in like dark clouds, heave and grunt like a galley slave under the lash, or beat relentlessly, like a forehead hammering against a wall. It is much to Gira’s credit that he manages to make such music not just tolerable, but gripping.” – Louis Pattison, UNCUT.

Uncut also did a short Q&A with Michael Gira:

Q: When you were interviewed while touring The Seer, you were talking about writing ‘tender’ music…

A: “Exactly, that’s “To Be Kind”. It’s a song written for my fiancee. But whatever I’m doing, whatever I’m reading, whatever I’m watching, it all goes into the records. When I am blessed with a subject or a string of words that feel coherent, I get down on my knees and lick the ground in gratitude. For me, it ins’t an easy thing to write. Subject matter isn’t really an easy thing for me to control. I find it builds gradually over the course of the record.”

Q: Is “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” about Howlin’ Wolf?

A: “It’s not about him, no. I just kind of felt he was there with me as I was singing it. I don’t know what those words are, except me reaching back into this inner child place, which is not a sweet place necessarily. I noticed when I was singing, I was doing what the Wolf did, a bit – reaching into this unbridled id. And he did some really stupid things onstage, as did I. He’d do things like get down on the floor, get under some woman’s skirt and go like a-woooo! So I dedicated it to him.”

See Swans when Supersonic Festival returns next month! Due to the addition of a second stage and a whole new bill of exciting artists we’ve been able to release a limited number of additional tickets which have already selling fast. Don’t miss out on Swans and so much more this May 30-31st! Tickets here



Film madness



Supersonic are delighted to be partnering with Death Waltz Recording Company and The Duke Mitchell Film Club for One Night Only, the two kings clash – on one side the king of obscure oddities from London  on the other – the king of rare sounds from all across the globe – a boutique label specializing in obscure, rare-to-find and brilliant soundtracks.

The result can only be brilliant chaos.

For a special, one-off Supersonic event the minds behinds these two labels are putting their heads to create a one-of a kind evening stuffed with wall-to-wall madness – taking over the cinema at supersonic on 31st May 2014, they will be presenting a programme of cinematic and audio-visual madness the like of which is never to be seen before or after.

There will be VHS tapes, an ever-decreasing quality of carbon copy films,  their respective inspirations, the worst music videos in mind, weird shorts and more than a fair share of crap horror music as well as rare and secret clips, videos, shorts and more. Nothing will be sacred, nothing will be off-limits – this will not be your usual film slot, that’s for sure.


Kids Gig


Saxophone making Modern Art Oxford. Yard Party

Supersonic Festival wants to inspire the audiences and musicians of the future through our Kids Gigs programme. This year we will be hosting a Kids Gig event on Friday May 30th. This is a free event and recommended for children under 10 and their families. It will take place in the foyer of Symphony Hall at 10:30am.

Leading this Kids Gig is artist Sarah Kenchington who  makes, designs and adapts acoustic musical instruments. She performs on a semi mechanical pedal powered orchestra, designed to be slightly beyond her control, creating a mixture of dirty noise and plaintive almost tuneful melodies.

As well as her solo performances Sarah has performed and recorded with a range of musicians from Glasgow’s vibrant experimental music scene including Daniel Padden, Mark Vernon and Luke Fowler. She also builds large scale instruments and installations, including ‘Wind Pipes’ for Edinburgh art festival, made from salvaged church organ pipes. And ‘Sound House’ for Modern Art Oxford, an instrument made from a house.

Supersonic’s Kids Gig on May 30th will be at Symphony Hall






Margaret Chardiet aka Pharmakon was born and raised in New York City She has been making power electronics/death industrial music under the name Pharmakon for five years. As a founding member of the Red Light District collective in Far Rockaway, NY she has been a figurehead in the underground experimental scene since the age of seventeen. She points out that the environment there amongst so many other experimental artists (amongst them Yellow Tears & Haflings) inspired her to keep making increasingly challenging work. She describes her drive to make noise music as something akin to an exorcism where she is able to express, her “deep-seated need/drive/urge/possession to reach other people and make them FEEL something in uncomfortable/confrontational ways.



15 questions with Matmos



This year Supersonic will welcome Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) to the fold. This American duo have been manipulating raw materials into surprisingly accessible forms, often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by them and their large circle of friends and collaborators (Bjork, Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic etc.). The result is a model of electronic composition as a relational network that connects sources and outcomes together; information about the process of creation activates the listening experience, providing the listener with entry points into sometimes densely allusive, baroque recordings. Their most recent album, The Marriage of True Minds, was released in 2013 by Thrill Jockey Records. recently sat the pair down for a Q&A. We’ve picked out a couple of questions for you below but the interview can be read in full here and it’s well worth doing just that.

When did you start writing/producing music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

My starting point wasn’t music but sound- I started making cut-ups with tape recorders when I was fifteen, editing funny little skit-like things out of records and the radio with a pause button. I did it because I had read about William S. Burroughs’ experiments with tape recorders and cut-ups and wanted to try that out myself. So I acquired a lot of cheap little plastic tape recorders and began to make pause-button edits, and then started doing primitive multi-tracking of noises and voices by having four tapes play in a room and recording them all to a fifth tape deck. I loved, in order, disco, heavy metal, hip hop, new wave, punk and hardcore and then industrial and noise. That’s the cycle from age 11 to age 16.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

The most literally incisive moments were the recordings of cosmetic surgery that generated our album A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure: rhinoplasty, chin implants, liposuction.

I think meeting Martin was the catalyst for it all. We made a tape called Matmos in Lo Fidelity that was entirely in 8 bit. It was just an exercise in cutting and editing sound intensively, with lots of hyper juxtapositions and ridiculous noises – that was so fun to make, and was the beginning our romantic and musical partnership.



There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?

We are old fashioned and we like artefacts. I have watched enough turnover of formats in the digital domain to be pretty sceptical about the longevity of digital environments and digital storage. Remember floppy disks? 3.5 diskettes? Memory sticks? Zip drives? SCSI ports? I do. Implicitly, I am collector scum and I still have big boxes of noise cassettes from the 1980s that I love, and tons of vinyl at our house, and old photocopied zines. I think digital is great and has lots of advantages and obviously it’s the dominant media/medium/pathway at the moment. But I don’t see people twenty years from now caressing their old mp3s, while I am still listening to my Misfits record that I bought in high school.

MCS says:  Decidedly toward the latter- that’s why we’ve released the Ganzfeld EP in a limited edition with headphones, eye goggles and extensive liner notes about the project. We want people to be involved in a tactile way and to be informed, through language and image, about what they are hearing. That makes us old fashioned- we’re attached to the metaphor of “the album” as in the “photo album”- something to touch and leaf through and pore over in order to feel a connection.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

We work to solicit interpretive desire, so that the listener feels a need to understand and learn about what she is hearing. We want to activate listening by foregrounding both jarring encounters with real sound, sourced in everyday life, with everyday objects and heavily artificial / constructed / untrustworthy moments. We hope that the tension between these components will make people worry about what it is that they are hearing and that it will generate a kind of audio-puzzle for them. That’s our hope. But of course you can’t actually determine how and in what way people encounter your work, and that open-endedness is just part of the process.


For more information on Matmos visit



Felix Kubin


Kubin Twins - by Dorle Bahlburg

Felix Kubin, messenger of exploding lungs, lives and works against gravitation. At the age of 12 he started composing electronic 4-track music. His activities comprise futurist pop, electroacoustic and chamber orchestra music, radio plays, lectures, workshops and his label Gagarin Records. He has been involved with the noise project Klangkrieg, the communist singing group Liedertafel Margot Honecker and the tetchy teenage bands Die Egozentrischen 2 and x2. Recently, he works a lot with the ensemble Integrales.


Capsule Labs



Supersonic Ltd Edt. will launch Capsule’s inaugural Labs, an artist development and commissioning scheme devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art.

MortonUnderwood will host an If Wet  salon event to introduce a selection of artists that create ‘extraordinary objects’.  This will be the first commissioning opportunity as part of Capsule’s Labs and provide a creative exploration. Confirmed participating artists will include:

Ryan Jordan conducts experiments in derelict electronics, possession trance, retro-death-telegraphy and hylozoistic neural computation. He builds crude instruments that replicate fundamental electronic components which are the foundation of current digital technologies. Performing these live alongside high powered stroboscopic light he attempts to induce the hallucinatory and trance like states of the (oc)cult arts.

In this presentation/performance he will demonstrate his self constructed hardware built with raw minerals and metals and then spiral sideways into theories of cybernetics, neuroscience, art, music and physiology in an attempt to piece together our fragmentary daemons and split the nine-fold reality layers of human perception; from communing with the dead to disturbing the holographic brain; from trance states to opening flicker portals in optic nerve fibres; these practitioners practice dark hypnosis in psychoactive hyperventilation clubs.


Sarah Kenchington

Sarah Kenchington builds her mechanical instruments from discarded materials. Bicycle spokes, typewriters, the inner tubes of tractor tyres are combined to create unique musical machines which emit a discordant array of moans, squeaks and chimes. Kenchington’s work offers a contemporary manifestation of a long history of the artist giving birth to machines (from Leonardo da Vinci, through to Heath Robinson, Tinguely and Michael Landy), yet Kenchington’s machines are anything but automata, remaining fundamentally dependent on an interaction with the human to come to life.

Kenchington relishes the unpredictable nature of her instruments, a quality which means that despite being author of both instrument and the music it emits, she is never entirely in control of what happens. Her performances evolve in conversation with or in response to the machine, a process which for Kenchington is akin to playing an improvised duet with another musician.

watch video



Supersonic & Paragon hotel partner up for discounted audience rates



We’ve partnered with The Paragon Hotel to offer our audiences discounted rates for Supersonic Festival 2014. The Paragon is conveniently location only a 5 minute walk away from the festival site and so is perfect if you want to enjoy the festival without trekking across the city. It is also only a 10-15 minute walk from the city centre, so you can have the best of both worlds should you want to explore the city in your free time.

Paragon Hotel 
145 Alcester Street, Birmingham, B12 0PJ
0121 627 0627

Discounted rates shown below, please quote SUPE300514 when booking.

Single room:

£42 Room only

£47 Room + breakfast

Twin/Double room:

£47 Room only

£55 Room + breakfast


Supersonic 2014 “Ltd Edt” playlist



It’s that time again to get curious, to get adventurous and to get ready. After taking a year out to re-imagine the festival following our tenth anniversary, Supersonic Festival is now back and going old skool in special two-day “Limited Edition” format this May 30th-31st. Tickets HERE.

The line-up so far includes post-punk legends SWANS, avant garde rockers WOLF EYES, multi-instrumentalist ensemble EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, straight-talkers SLEAFORD MODS, sonic explorer BASIC HOUSE, Baltimore duo MATMOS, electro-violinist AGATHE MAX, Norwegian songwriter JENNY HVAL and more…. For a taste of what’s to come have a listen to our Supersonic 2014 playlist featuring these artists:

Supersonic Festival’s playground for 2014 will be the iconic Custard Factory, home of Capsule HQ. This ever-evolving industrial arts complex will shapeshift once again this May to play host to Supersonic’s enticing programme of experimental music, film and art. But this is Supersonic “Limited Edition” don’t forget, so expect a few extra special treats… and remember tickets are limited to 400 so do not miss out. Keep your eyes peeled for further line-up announcements over the next few weeks.
Tickets are available from HERE.


My Experience as a Supersonic Intern



Being an intern with Capsule, and specifically Supersonic festival, for the past few months has been an utterly eye opening experience. Perhaps the most significant thing I have personally gained from my time with the fantastic team who curate and produce the festival, is a re-connection with the city I thought I was permanently detached from

I have to admit, and I am saying this as a Brummie (pretty much) born and bred, that I have often felt that the city has felt a bit stagnant in comparison to other British cultural heavyweights such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. I now realise this was a result of nothing else but my own ignorance. I was so busy loving life up North (having lived in Manchester for the best part of four years), that the cornucopia of music and art events that myMidlands home had to offer went completely unnoticed. Whilst I had heard of Supersonic, initially back in 2010, I had unfortunately never made it down as I was out of the country on both occasions. I admired the line-up for being so completely and unbelievably fresh- I had not heard of 80% of the bands, yet I was intrigued by the opportunity to have my ears filled with new sounds, my eyes opened with new sights and my head bombarded with new ideas.

As soon I found out I was going to be a part of the core team in the lead up to Supersonic 2012, I was given tasks that ranged between compiling blog posts to putting together articles and interviews for the 16 page zine that was to be published a couple of weeks before the festival. It was great learning more about the bands that would be playing, delving in to their back catalogues online and more importantly learning from the Capsule team who are so gleamingly passionate about what they do and the music that they bring to their captive audience.

Throughout the duration of the festival, Kez (the other marketing intern) and myself were put in charge of the Box Office, a responsibility which meant a lot- it isn’t often that you are given the opportunity to take charge on something as an intern and it was a refreshing feeling to be completely trusted. Perhaps my favourite thing about sitting at the front line, as such, was seeing such an incredible array of facial hair; moustaches carefully grown into styles that mimicked everyone from Poirot to Borat and Dali to Hulk Hogan. And the beards! Well, let us just say that some had taken on a life of their own. Amazing.

Luckily there were no real hiccups this year at Box Office HQ. Our handy PDA’s ensured that mistakes could be kept at a minimum, and our amazing team of volunteers did a sterling job in helping us keep things running smoothly. Perhaps my favourite moment of the weekend was when a couple of rogues from a Digbeth zombie run ended up mistakenly in the festival- they were both dressed in bloodied, ripped get-ups and we assumed they had been part of a workshop or performance that we weren’t aware of. It was only when they noticed that the people around them weren’t trying to kill them that they realised they were in the wrong place. We took a look at their zombie map and sent them on their way.

I think the most surreal experience of the festival was driving Justice Yeldham over to Margaret Street for the ‘Art of Listening’ talk. I mean, what radio station do you put on for a man who plays a piece of glass?

Musically, my highlight of the weekend had to be Goat. I don’t think anyone could have helped but have left Gibb Street Warehouse with a smile after their completely bonkers and captivating performance. I found my feet jigging, my arms waggling and my head bobbing to a beat that if you were to close your eyes, would make you think you were on the tropical shores of Haiti. As I looked around I saw everyone else smiling around me because they could not help it- watching six Swedes stamp their feet, swish their hair and play their instruments wearing what can only be described as hats fit for gnomes is an unforgettable experience.

I must also note Hype Williams as being an act that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry- their stranger than fiction origins are matched by a feeling that they are attempting to plunge their audience into such a state of annihilation, so that they may be reborn in a state in which they will have forgotten how to breathe. At points during their performance I felt that the intake of oxygen had taken a serious backseat as I was so pre-occupied with what this insane bass was doing to my eardrums.

In conclusion, it has honestly been a truly great experience. An experience that I would 100% recommend to anyone who wants to work within the creative industry. The role is certainly hands-on; I have got involved in everything, from moving office furniture to artist liason to just generally engaging with the audience. Throughout the festival weekend you have to be ready for any situation, should it arise which is really a task in itself- it is surprising the questions that people come up with. The festival itself passed in a bit of a blur, but what cannot come into question is the fact that the team behind Supersonic are hugely dedicated to bringing fans of all things experimental a stellar line-up year on year. It is a rare thing for an intern to be so involved and to be made so welcome so I would urge anyone who is even contemplating applying to give it a go- there is nothing left to lose!


The Quietus Grill Jarboe On Supersonic, Swans & Solo Performances


It sounds like Jarboe’s upcoming tour is going to be a truly special experience, as the singer recently revealed some further details about her Supersonic performance to the Quietus

The interesting thing about the whole European tour, which includes Supersonic, is that it’s an example of my own stretch or eccentricity as a performer, in that I’m doing it with a classically trained pianist and vocalist, Renee Nelson. We’re going to be reinterpreting Swans and World of Skin classics in a very beautiful way. When that’s done, we’re coming home and then immediately going on tour with Nachtmystium, a black metal band. I don’t know how many people there are that do that kind of stretch, but I’m in my element. I’m 100% punk rock and experimental and will remain true to my roots. That’s what you get with me – you’ve got to be an adventurous audience!

You can read the full interview here, in which Jarboe also talks in depth about her contribution to the new Swans record, life on the road with Micheal Gira, and writing her memoirs…

Jarboe will perform at Supersonic on Saturday 20th October, as well as taking part in our ‘You Can Be You’ panel discussion alongside Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson, Crass’s Penny Rimbaud and the Quietus editor John Doran.



Savage Pencil In Conversation At Supersonic!


With less than a week to go until Supersonic’s 10th anniversary celebrations, the festival’s running order has almost fully taken shape and is gearing up to be one of the best editions in Capsule’s illustrious history. We can now unveil the icing on the cake of this year’s delicious looking lineup; an exclusive Q&A session with artist Edwin Pouncey (AKA Savage Pencil). Pouncey’s lurid, halucinatory artwork will be familiar to any readers of the Wire, as his intensely vivid and sharply satirical Trip or Squeek strips have been gracing the publication’s pages for over 10 years. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the Wire’s deputy editor Frances Morgan will be sitting down to quiz Pouncey on his artistic process.

Though his acerbic work can be seen as part of the rich lineage of satirical illustration, Edwin’s distinctive style is informed by a myriad of fascinating influences, assimiliating the ’60s freak scene, Japanese monster movies and the weird fiction of HP Lovecraft into own his eye scorching vision. Casting a wry and intoxicated eye at pop culture (and contemporary avant-garde music in particular), Pouncey makes use of a recurring cast of characters including such luminaries as Steve Reich, Stockhausen, Moondog, Mark E Smith, Sonic Youth, Robert Wyatt, Suicide, Kraftwerk, Crass, Lou Reed, Jandek, Throbbing Gristle and Sleep, weaving them into his obtuse visual tapestry with aplomb. In the process, Pouncey’s art itself has become as much a part of the current experimental art landscape as the artists he has paid tribute to, with the works of Savage Pencil adorning album covers and shirts from the likes of Sonic Youth, The Fall, Sunn O))) and numerous others.

With a career spanning almost four decades, Edwin is celebrating by compiling all of his Trip Or Squeek cartoons in one weighty tome for the first time. Containing over 100 comic strips, the book features extensive notes, a discography and never-before-seen preparatory sketches by Savage Pencil, in addition to an illustrated foreword by artist Gary Panter. The book is indenspensible for anyone with a passion for experimental art and psychedelic illustration, and it’s an honour to welcome him along to our tenth anniversary. We urge you to grab this opportunity to gain an insight into the mind that guides the Savage Pencil…

SHARE: Preview Supersonic, And Drunk In Hell & Imperfect Cinema’s Visual Workshop!

..., the North-East’s arts & culture dispatch, have recently written up a preview of Supersonic Festival, which you can read in full here. Focusing on the local names that will be appearing on the bill, the preview features interviews with acoustic troubadour Richard Dawson, krautrock inspired electonica merchants Warm Digits and intimidating noise-rock terrorists Drunk In Hell.

In fact, it seems Kyeo are just as excited about the Drunk In Hell / Imperfect Cinema workshop as we are, describing it as thus –

The atmospheric festival setting – Digbeth’s appropriately named, post-industrial Custard Factory – lends itself to what they describe as a “stark, aesthetic that played such a pivotal role in the creation of Heavy Metal.” The footage that results will get used for a visual document but, more importantly, will also serve as a visual backdrop for Drunk In Hell’s performance the next day. So if having your face torn off by blistering hardcore while watching film of your friends filming you throwing up in a warehouse the day before is your particular cup of blood (and it should be) this is a must-see.

We couldn’t agree more! There are still a few spaces left for this workshop, so book now if you’d like to get involved – you can click here for more information.





I dare you to type Hookworms into Google. What you will be treated with is a selection of images that will be enough to make you bring up your dinner. A Hookworm is a parasite that feeds off its chosen host, making them weaker and itself stronger; what an awfully fitting reference. Hookworms are a band that beat their audience down to the ground with noise, repetition and psychedelics. As their audience gets lulled into a state of confusion whereby they are unaware of which way is up and which way is down, Hookworms make their bass stronger, bounce their vocals around and create a tornado of sound that will suddenly and unexpectedly knock you off your feet.

Does this all sound slightly unfair? Being aurally abused by a band who have named themselves after something that may live in your intestines? Of course not. Because what Hookworms promise to bring to the stage is more than music; it is a cataclysm of sound itself, a ripping up of the rule book and a set of pure escapism.

The band hail from Leeds, a place where a new music act seems to pop up every hour, but Hookworms are different to other various incarnations of sound. For example, their first EP was released on cassette tape- an interesting choice as I think 95% of people have longed ditched their trusty tape recorder in favour of something slightly more 21st Century. You cannot help but respect their decision however, as it makes you think; it is only the people who really want to listen to their music who will go out, dig out a device to play the tape on, get some new batteries and sit back ready to revel in 8 minute tracks that will make them seriously wig out.

Catch Hookworms on Saturday at Supersonic Festival. For more information or tickets visit


Get a Grip Screen Printing Workshop



 GET A GRIP specialise in screenprinting merchandise, and are back for Supersonic’s tenth anniversary to hold a workshop that is available for all festival ticket holders. Get a Grip came into being from a combination of DIY ethics, ecological thinking and a mutual love of Punk Rock, therefore they are the perfect candidates to bring you this unique workshop. The two-hour workshop, run from their poolside studio and shop front, gives you an informal introduction to their manual water-based screen printing techniques and gives you the opportunity to create a one of a kind t-shirt that will serve as a lasting memento of Supersonic 2012.

The workshop is open to weekend ticket holders for £25 which includes guidance, materials and a 100% organic t-shirt to take home. Using elements developed by an independent illustrator, taking inspiration from the festival design, you’ll put together a multi-coloured design to print onto a t-shirt. No experience required – you’ll enjoy this workshop whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced printer.

Time and places are running out! So to make sure you don’t miss out email [email protected] with ‘SCREENPRINT’ in the subject line – please also include your T-shirt size (Male or Female S/M/L/XL/XXL).


Get a Grip Screen Printing Workshop



 GET A GRIP specialise in screenprinting merchandise, and are back for Supersonic’s tenth anniversary to hold a workshop that is available for all festival ticket holders. Get a Grip came into being from a combination of DIY ethics, ecological thinking and a mutual love of Punk Rock, therefore they are the perfect candidates to bring you this unique workshop. The two-hour workshop, run from their poolside studio and shop front, gives you an informal introduction to their manual water-based screen printing techniques and gives you the opportunity to create a one of a kind t-shirt that will serve as a lasting memento of Supersonic 2012.

The workshop is open to weekend ticket holders for £25 which includes guidance, materials and a 100% organic t-shirt to take home. Using elements developed by an independent illustrator, taking inspiration from the festival design, you’ll put together a multi-coloured design to print onto a t-shirt. No experience required – you’ll enjoy this workshop whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced printer.

To book a place, email [email protected] with ‘SCREENPRINT’ in the subject line – please also include your T-shirt size (Male or Female S/M/L/XL/XXL).


Dope Body Gear Up For European Mayhem


Baltimore’s noise rock heroes Dope Body are clearly as excited as we are for their iminent European invasion! The band have recently prepared this short video as an indication of the kind of pure rock carnage we can expect when they hit the Custard Factory in October. Here’s what they had to say about these shenanigans –

Natural History ain’t yet history; in fact, the latest Dope Body LP stands firmly on phantom stumps with growing bumps – that is to say, it just keeps moving. Now, it’s actually moving the band internationally – across the Atlantic ocean and over to the freaks in Europe for the first time, where they’re sure to be most receptive to the skunky Dope Body funk. It’s no permanent vacation, no – these dudes are on a tour mission, one that rips right through the European heartland as well as a healthy squeeze through the passages of that Kingdom, United. WTF, though- let’s stop talking and get to rocking! The tour kicks off in the ever approaching days of October. Meantime, let’s take a fist-hand peek into the world of Dope Body and all its excesses via this tour vid teaser:


Dope Body will play as part of Supersonic Festival on Sunday 21st October – don’t miss out!


Finland Unite




Islaja, Lau Nau, Tomuntonttu– three of Finland’s finest. Imagine a rearrangement of sounds and images, whereby psych-folk is juxtaposed with groovy animal noises and a variety of instruments create a cacophony of noise that is as subtle and intimate as it is full of impact and intrigue.

Let us start with Islaja. Heading up 2012’s Kids Gigs, she is an artist that is and will be appreciated by all ages and all tastes. She is credited with playing a whole host of instruments, ranging between colourful juice glasses, witch laugh megaphone and even beer cans. Her new album, Keraaminen Pää, is overflowing with rich, sculptural sounds, dense atmospherics and Nordic romanticism, and will she will undoubtedly evoke a vibe on stage that mirrors her unique vocal style.

Islaja performs regularly at venues and festivals across Europe and the UK, and has shared the stage with bands as diverse as Animal Collective, Low, Handsome Furs, Skaters and Junip. However, she has remained relatively unknown in her native country until recently, where people have really begun to sit up and stare. Whilst many have referred to her music as ethereal, relating her presence to that of a nymph amongst the tamed wilderness of the forest, Islaja herself has said noted that ultimately, ‘I am a child of the city, and I reckon my music ultimately is just rock.’

Since the release of her celebrated debut full length Kuutarha on Chicago’s Locust Music in 2005, Lau Nau has enjoyed considerable recognition for her intimate and playful blend of ethnic tinged folk songs with curious and intuitive sounds conjured from familiar and exotic sound sources. Like her Nordic counterparts, whilst her music is at home in the city she manages to transform the room by making her audience feel as though they are experiencing the great outdoors. The gentle meeting of edginess, warmth and elements of natural beauty ensure that her performance will stand up and provide a protective jumper for revelers against the unpredictable October weather.

Finally, let us move on to Tomutonttu. Described as a ‘creature who looks after all the dust’, it is again Finnish-based musician Jan Anderzen who rearranged images and sounds and makes the music of Tomutonttu audible. Read streams, mutilated voices, groovy animal noises and records other people have made are some of the ingredients Anderzen uses to mold his ecstatic music. Someone described it like this: a confusing close-up of music, a microcosmos of strange sound events and dirt flying around in stereo space, interacting with a logic all of their own.

Let us imagine our Nordic dream. Now, let us see our Nordic dream being realised at Supersonic 2012.