The Delights Of The Small But Hard Showcase


Small But Hard is a new independent label, set up by breakcore maverick DJ Scotch Egg (AKA Shigeru Ishihara) in conjunction with artist/print-maker Simon Fowler (co-founder of London based Cataract Press) and Daisuke Imamura (DJ Die Soon). The label has quickly amassed several very interesting artists, who are all quite distinct in terms of sound but united in their tireless dedication to pushing the boundaries of electronic music. Supersonic is honoured to present the whole Small But Hard family this year, so let’s take a look at what this showcase has in store…

DJ Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Egg is somewhat of a Supersonic veteran by now, but in case you’ve missed out on any of his previous manic performances, here’s a little taster of what you can expect. Scotch has been pioneering his frantic ADD chiptune/gabba mash ups for almost 10 years now, often using a circuit bent Game Boy to unleash all manner of breakcore upon his unsuspecting audiences. This time round he’ll be performing under the name DJ Scotch Bonnet (one of his many guises), stepping outside of his self-imposed 8-bit cage to supply us with his trademark cut-up beats and massively overdriven bass bombs – a potent combination that’s sure to get you moving!


With DJ Scotch Egg taking control of an arsenal of skull rattling bass frequencies (anchored in place by Dokkebi Q’s Gorgonn’s live mixing and Bo Ningen’s Taigen Kawabe’s inimitable vocals, whilst under the supervision of the enigmatic Mr. D), Devilman sounds like dubstep turned inside out and inflated to cartoonishly gigantic proportions. This isn’t the first time Devilman have appeared at the festival – their larger-than-life bass blowout in 2010 reduced all in attendance to gleeful, quivering wrecks, hypnotised by the bowel rupturingly heavy low frequencies and gyrating in ecstatic devotion. Not to be missed!


Koyxeи‘s obtuse take on hip-hop is unparalleled, bringing in dub and breakbeat influences and draping them in an exceptionally noisy and hyperactive dressing. Koyxeи (or Kouhei Matsunaga as he’s known to his friends) has worked with a number of prominent experimental musicians, including Autechre, Tangerine Dream’s Conrad Schnitzler and Merzbow (who will also be appearing at this year’s festival), and it seems the influence of these seemingly disparate artists has rubbed off on Matsunaga, whose eclectic sounds know no boundaries.


C_C finds Kouhei Matsunaga teaming up with jungle enthusiast Eduardo Ribuyo to indulge their love of handmade beats and analogue feedback loops. C_C performances are largely improvised, with the duo conjuring vast textures out of heavily manipulated source sounds, filling the room like liquid and syphoning into your ears like thick treacle. Fans of electronic music will certainly want to check these guys out!


Berlin based noisemonger Kakawaka has been causing quite a stir of late with his expressive, volatile live shows, bringing together harsh noise & performance art, and sound experiments & outlandish tomfoolery in his own unique style. We’re not entirely sure what Kakawaka has in store for his Supersonic performance, but it’s sure to be a wild, spontaneous spectacle that you won’t forget in a hurry!


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.



Experience Bruce Lacey with the Bruce Lacey Experience




‘Professor’ Bruce Lacey is perhaps undoubtedly the star in the crown of British eccentrics. Many Supersonic attendees will be too young to remember the era when Lacey’s avant-garde performances that created an on-stage fantasy which juxtaposed a particular British zeitgeist between the 50’s and 70’s. However, let me tell you that Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller has teamed up once again with Nick Abrahams, and created a cinematic extravaganza that draws consistently on the satirical nature of the nation’s customs.

Lacey’s mechanical constructions have oscillated between robotic sex symbols to tool kits for aspiring shamans to a Flea Circus. However, what remains the same is that he is one of the most exciting performers of the last Century, despite his status as a relative ‘unknown’. Many have attributed this back to his incredible foresight. Much like Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 who predicted that one day we would all be watching televisions the size of walls, Lacey was unbelievably ahead of his time. He is inter-disciplinary, a collector of talents. His foresight is difficult to comprehend, now that we exist within a sea of celebrities who seem to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none. It is this, amongst other things that Deller and Abrahams have chosen to explore.

The Bruce Lacey Experience celebrates both Lacey’s work and his life, tracing back to how he used his initial training as an electrical mechanic to further his interest in the eccentric world of television. He has worked both backstage and on the stage itself, and it is this hybrid of talents which make him such a riveting object of fascination. There is no doubt that the film will be an addition to the festival line up that will inspire, engage and hopefully encourage a ‘make and do it yourself’ attitude amongst revelers.

If film is your thing, why not have a look at the rest of Supersonic’s amazing cinematic line-up. With ‘Bullshit Detector‘ and ‘The Luxury of Empire’ running alongside the Bruce Lacey Experience, festival goers will experience a selection of sentiments and ideas that differ between each recording. From the DIY ethos of Bullshit Detector, in its understanding of the cultural significance and the legacy of CRASS records, to the intimate portrait of Oxbow on the French leg of their 2009 European tour, each film offers an exploration of the relationship between art and music in ways that will undoutedly stimulate your senses.


The crossroads of Sabbath – fully booked


This walking tour is now fully booked and we have no places left – it was massively oversubscribed. We’ll have lots more activities for you to get involved with during the weekend of Supersonic – to be announced in the next couple of weeks so watch this space. Why not sign up for Imperfect Cinema’s DIY film workshop and create visuals for Drunk In Hell’s live set at Supersonic.
If you haven’t bought your tickets yet of course now is the time – details of where to get them from are HERE


Supersonic festival podcast no.2


The second of three Supersonic Festival preview podcasts lovingly created by Chris Downing for your listening pleasure.

Politicians & Paedophiles (Feat. Daddy Freddy) By The Bug

Urgelblut By Bohren & Der Club Of Gore

The Beginning Of The End By Flower Corsano Duo

Vevor Of Agassou By Lichens

A Warm Front, Coming From The North By Warm Digits

Geen Dank By Thomas Ankersmit

Hafgee By PCM

Black Dog In The Sky By Richard Dawson

Form And Function By Hookworms

Infearnatural By Ufomammut

Untitled By Tomutonttu

Charioteer By Ore

Uni Pöllönä Olemisesta By Islaja

Black Addict Otter By Clifford Torus

The Earth Is Cold By SWLLS

Refusal Fossil By Ruins Alone

Sigil Of Brass By Earth

True Warriors Endure The Idleness By Kevin Drumm

Weekend tickets are just £80 and available from HERE
First Supersonic 2012  podcast LISTEN HERE


Hooray – we hit 100%


Wonderful news, we have just reached our 100% target with our We Fund campaign. 80 very generous folks helped us to raise £5000 which will go someway to helping us deliver our 10th birthday edition of Supersonic Festival. We are massively humbled by what a group of people can achieve together. Of course now it’s over to you guys to purchase the tickets. Many thanks and we can’t wait for Supersonic, which will be full of additional surprises.
From all of us at Supersonic HQ – THANKS x
Until then here is a taster from last year.


Supersonic Tea Party


Capsule like cake, a lot, and for our 10th anniversary celebrations, it seems only right to partake in a feast of epicurean delights. Join us for an afternoon of tea, sweet treats and a nice glass of fizz to toast 10 years of adventurous music and meet with some of the people that have made this event possible over the years.

There will be a number of special guests in attendance from artists, friends of the festival and some fantastical creatures. Like Alice in Wonderland, it may be the stupidist tea party you’ve ever been to.

The Tea Party acts as a thank you to those who have pledged £50 or more to our current We Fund campaign. Like many arts organisations, we are increasingly looking for new ways to continue what we do. This campaign allows people, if they are in the position to, to support us by making a donation to the festival this year. Your donations will help us to continue to put together a highly ambitious festival programme, allowing us to take risks on emergent artists and unique collaborations. We are hoping our loyal audience, friends and partners can help us further our ambition for this unique event.

To make a pledge to our campaign, please visit



Sonic Feast – a sound led dining experience



The Sonic Feast is a unique sound led dining experience, featuring bespoke and unusual concoctions to celebrate the festival’s 10th year in style. Created in partnership with Companis, this event will feature a range of special guests including Supersonic Festival artist alumni and has a very limited capacity. Companis is a nomadic artist and curatorial practice creating bespoke dining experiences that immerse the diner in performance, food and spectacle. We’d love for you to join us for this very special event.

The Sonic Feast acts as a thank you to those who have pledged £150 or more to our current We Fund campaign. Like many arts organisations, we are increasingly looking for new ways to continue what we do. This campaign allows people, if they are in the position to, to support us by making a donation to the festival this year. Your donations will help us to continue to put together a highly ambitious festival programme, allowing us to take risks on emergent artists and unique collaborations. We are hoping our loyal audience, friends and partners can help us further our ambition for this unique event.

To make a pledge to our campaign, please visit


The Alif Ensemble – Birmingham – 19 July


Any Supersonic veterans will be familiar with Khyam Allami, master of the Oud, he has performed twice at Supersonic, both solo and in collaboration with Master Musicians of Bukkake. Ever busy, he is now playing as part of The Alif Ensemble – a collective of some of the most talented and exciting Arabic musicians around. We’re thrilled to welcome The Alif Ensemble to Birmingham, fresh from their performance with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, on Thursday 19th July at Ikon Gallery.

Joining Khyam are Palestinian composer and vocalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and Egyptian electronica musician Maurice Louca, alongside a band of musicians from both traditional and contemporary Arabic music disciplines, including Ayman Mabrouk (Egypt) on Percussion, Khaled Yassine (Lebanon) on Percussion, Khaled Omran (Syria) on Bass and Yarob Smarait (Jordan) on Violin.

With support from acoustic meddler Simon Fox, this should be a very special show. Tickets are available via


First of three Supersonic 2012 podcasts

Supersonic in Creative Review












The lovely people at Creative Review have published this beautiful spread of Supersonic artwork over the years. January’s ‘music’ edition of the publication also features an interview with Capsule’s Lisa Meyer about the festival’s visual approach in its piece on festival design entitled ‘Less Mud, More Art’.

Lisa says “By considering your identity , taking the time to produce good quality material you convey the love that you’ll be paying to all elements of the festival; that’s what we’ve built our reputation on’.

The artwork shows designs and illustrations by Heavy Object, Stuart Kolakovich, Karoline Rerrie and Savage Pencil




A big Supersonic Welcome


It’s crunch time y’all!

Supersonic Festival 2011 takes place this weekend, 21-23 October at Custard Factory, Birmingham. Another weekend of dynamic music, film art and cake. Below is some useful info for festival attendees.

Get your highlighters out as the festival timetable is now online, ready for you to plan your weekend.

Box Office
Located on Floodgate St, which runs off Digbeth High Street and will be open:

FRIDAY 9pm –  midnight (Box office closed)
SATURDAY 4pm – 11pm (Box office closed)
SUNDAY 2pm – 10.30 (Box office closed)
Here is a link to a map

There are tickets still available from
and will also be available on the door from 9pm tonight

Please make sure you come and pick up your wristband before the box office closes.

We have an FAQ here –

Cash points
There are only a few cash points machines in Digbeth, so you might want to take out money prior to arriving at the festival site. Particularly as our lovely Marketplace is back for another year, with Supersonic merch, band merch and stalls from a whole host of independent labels and distributors including Holy Roar, Cold Spring and altvinyl. There’ll also be a stall from the Birmingham Zine Festival as well as the Tea Room serving a delicious selection of cakes.
The Marketplace opening times are:

SATURDAY 4pm – 11pm
SUNDAY 2pm – 10.30

Food + Drink
This year we are running Supersonic bars at each stage. On sale will be Purity ales, Hogan cider and lager as well as The Kraken Rum, wines and soft drinks. There will also be tasty food available from Soul Food Project, Pika Pika Japanese food, Squisito Italian deli and more – suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. (please note you are not permitted to bring your own alcohol on site)

Extra Treats
Artist Sam Underwood has recently installed his Sonic Graffiti project across Digbeth and he will be giving tour of the piece to Supersonic attendees over the weekend. Meet Sam outside VIVID on Friday 8pm and Sunday 8pm to plug yourself into the city.
Bring your own headphones.

As well as the music and film programme there are installations and exhibitions to keep you busy over the weekend. Grindcore: Cut n Paste, SOUNDkitchen: Cinema for the Ears () and Conny Prantera’s audiovisual installation will all be situated in Zellig, Custard Factory on Saturday and Sunday. The spaces will be open 12-8pm so you can come and check out these exciting works before the music programme begins.

Think you know your Electric Funeral from your Electric Wizard? Well put your music trivia knowledge to the test with Club Unlikely infamous QUIZ. It’s free to enter, just come on down to bar 70eights on Sunday 23rd and register your team by 2.15pm – exciting prizes!

Kids Gigs
There are still spaces available for families to join in with the Supersonic Kids Gigs, big sounds for little people. Two special performances will be taking place at the mac, introducing little ones to experimental sounds. On Saturday 22nd families can catch Lucky Dragons and on Sunday 23rd, The Berg Sans Nipple will bring their nimble fingered electronica wizardry. Tickets can be bought directly from mac.

The third instalment of Brumcast’s Supersonic podcast is now online where you can check out Nathan Bell, Barn Owl, Drunk in Hell and many more.


Our hastag this year is #ssf11



SOUNDkitchen’s cinema for the ears


SOUNDkitchen’s cinema for the ears

SOUNDkitchen is a collective of sound artists and composers bringing new and experimental sounds to Birmingham through exciting line-ups, eclectic electronic performances and collaborations.  We’ve got some more information on what they’ll be presenting at Supersonic and have picked out some highlights here.  These performances all run 12-8pm so they’re ideal for checking out before the bands start later in the afternoons.

Saturday 22nd October

2-3pm: BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre). A multi-channel work curated by Jonty Harrison.
4-4.30pm: Imaginary Landscapes – Through the Moors.  This piece tracks a journey made by Chris Tarren from his home in York out to the North-East coast, featuring multi-channel spatialisation, field recordings and experimentation that varies the sensations of reality in the material used.
5-6pm: Entre Terre et Ciel by Annie Mahtani and Julien Guillamat. Based on field recordings made around the village of Azet in the Pyrenees, this interesting piece features sounds from varying altitude levels from the bottom of a valley right up to a mountain path.

Sunday 23rd October

2-3pm: BEAST performance 2.
4-4.30pm: Iain Armstrong performs a laptop set of raw and processed sounds, focussing on aspects of noise.
4.30-5pm:  Shelly Knotts processes the sound of the steel pan, weaving intricate metallic textures in an improvisation across SOUNDkitchen’s installation.

In addition, there are installations present for the duration of the festival. SOUNDkitchen will be airing field recordings and composed pieces in their site-specific installation. They’ve asked a variety of collaborators to produce work that ties in with Capsule’s Home of Metal exhibition by producing work along the themes of home and metal.


Spectacle at Supersonic


Spectacle at Supersonic

Supersonic has invited six artists to create illustrations in response to this year’s theme of ‘Spectacle’. The term was borrowed from the Roman practice of staging circuses, in the famous “Bread and Circuses” philosophy of the Roman elite to maintain civil order without solving underlying social and economic problems.

Like the festival itself, ‘Spectacle’ operates in two contexts simultaneously. On the one hand, it refers to high culture performances where the draw for an audience is the impressive visual accomplishment. On the other hand, it refers to low cultural shows operating in a folk environment.

Making a spectacle of themselves then are former skateboard shop owner Chris Bourke, the ‘Organic Disturbances’ of Craig EarpHarriet ‘Alana’ Shephard‘s pen and ink illustrations, Jake Blanchard, the gouache-based vibrancy of Sophia Alda and Thomas J Hughes‘ garish horror-influenced illustrations.


Test your know-how at the Supersonic quiz


Test your know-how at the Supersonic quiz

Reckon you can name-that-riff in 3 seconds flat? Know your Neubauten from your Neurosis? Crystal clear about the precise differences between drone doom and funeral doom? Then pit your wits against the best in the Club Unlikely Supersonic quiz. It’s free to enter and you can field a team of anything between 2 and 6 people. The only possible drawback?  It’s on Sunday afternoon so, depending on your preferences the night before, you might need a little pick-me-up to get the brain ticking over.

So, Sunday: 2.30pm start at 70eights. Please have your teams registered and ready to fire for 2.15pm.

Here’s some classic quiz action to get you in the mood.


Kids gigs with Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple


Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple to play Kids Gigs at Supersonic 2011

It’s hard to imagine to two more perfect bands to play our Supersonic Kids Gigs than Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple.  These will rule!   If everyone isn’t running around clapping and smiling in five minutes, we’ll need to think about refunds.

Lucky Dragons are all about people coming together to make sound, to make an event, to make something new and joyous.  It’s not by accident that they refer to their live shows as ‘actions’.  They encourage participation and this Supersonic live show promises to be all about (re)discovery and (re)turning to play to learn about ourselves and make new connections.  There’s a live video link below and more Lucky Dragons live films are here.

The Berg Sans Nipple are a Frenchman and a Nebraskan.  With two drums, synths, samples, a ton of percussion and vocals, their sounds hop-skip past each other, caught in devastatingly beautiful melodies held tight by a mind bending rhythm section.  Their new video ‘Changing the Shape’ (link below) is a fantastic twist on the age-old game of exquisite corpse where an image or story is built up person-by-person using instinct and imagination.  Let’s play!

The Berg Sans Nipple – Change The Shape from Clapping Music on Vimeo.


Supersonic in photographs by James Robinson


Supersonic in photographs by James Robinson

Supersonic photographer James Robinson has captured some amazing images at the festival in the past couple of years. (That’s Kristoph Hahn of Swans above, a man who practically defines the dictionary entry for ‘craggy’.) Robinson has been able to not only shoot live performances , but also develop an on going set of portraits of the artists off stage.

In a time when (for some folk) it can be difficult to think of musicians as people, when popular culture elevates artists to such inaccessible places, Robinson’s photographs get to the core of these musicians as real individuals.  His photographs maintain integrity and lose the myth-making nonsense.  The exhibition ‘Incarnate‘ at Supersonic 2011 reveals more of Robinson’s work.

To see more of Jamies Supersonic photos check our Flickr group



Turbonegro interview, Supersonic preview

Supersonic interviews


Supersonic interviews

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.

Rockfeedback interview link

Wikifestivals interview link



Meet our marketplace stall holders


Supersonic 2011 marketplace – welcome to our stallholders

Make sure you bring an extra bag or two to Supersonic – you’ll be wanting to stock up on import Neurosis vinyl and that ultra-rare, lathe-cut 8″ comp of Bardo Pond side projects. The one with the hand-stamped foil sleeve?  Yeah, that’s the one.  These fine people have got all this and more.

Lancashire and Somerset is humble label, currently living in the hills of Shropshire. They attempt to help and support a growing family of bands like Nathan Bell, Kogumaza (both performing at Supersonic 2011), Enablers, McWatt and previous festival hits Mugstar, all with a like minded ethos based around truthful, honest music. Releasing mainly on the superior format of vinyl, they hope to continue to help this network grow.

First Fold is an independent record label specializing in Electronic and Experimental music. First Fold’s focus is to maintain a self regulating and enthusiastic approach to the creation of music and visual media.

Bad Egg is an independent, stalwartly DiY label which has been releasing and promoting some of Birmingham’s finest and noises since 2009. Their roster houses local heroes such as Stinky Wizzleteat, Human Hands and Fuck Your Haircut.

Burning World Records label and mailorder is based in Holland, home of the Roadburn Festival, and mainly focused on vinyl. Black metal, drone, death, stoner, doom – as long as it kicks you in the gut. As a label Burning World is the home of Roadburn Records. They’ve released records by Altar Of Plagues, Yob, Church Of Misery, Lustmord and Neurosis in the past, to name but a few. Coming up are the new Gnaw Their Tongues vinyl and White Hills Live at Roadburn on CD and vinyl.

Future Noise is a Manchester based-label, booking agency and PR company.  They work and have worked for the likes of Ufomammut, Charger, Unearthly Trance, Grifter, Morkobot, The Sontaran Experiment, Stuntcock, Lento, Paul Catten, Conan, Domes of Silence, Rise to Thunder, A Man Called Catten, Bastard of the Skies, Black Sun, Undersmile, Siena Root, OvO, Pine Barrens, Privileged to Fail Records, Full Stack Recording Studio, The Sleeping Shaman, Supernatural Cat Recordings and The Malleus Rock Artlab.

Holy Roar Records is an independent record label run by Alex Fitzpatrick and Ellen Godwin. The label began in January 2006 when they moved to London from Birmingham and put out their first release in June 2006. Since then Holy Roar Records has released over 80 CDs, records and tapes. The name is actually derived from a vision Alex had whilst on the hallucinogen LSD. The vision came to Alex, as he listened to Slayer, in the form of a lion with the face of Jesus.

Digging out musical treasures at the A + R car boot sale of recorded sound, Static Caravan have been putting out esoteric electronica and folk-pop since the late 1990s. They have worked with Tuung, Hannah Peel, Starless & Bible Black, The Owl Service and Serafina Steer amongst many others.

Southern Records has been fiercely fighting the independent corner since the late 1970’s, when the helped anarchist punks and activists CRASS found their own label.  Over the years Southern have worked with, amongst many many others, Dischord, Bluurg, Wrong, Subterranean, On-U Sound, Touch & Go, Kranky, Constellation, Ipecac, Anticon, Saddle Creek and Southern Lord. Southern is proud to support Capsule and Supersonic for another year of outstanding boundary-pushing programming. Come and say hello – they’ll have plenty of interesting stuff for sale and love a natter.

Cold Spring are the UK’s premier Label, Mailorder and Distributor for Industrial & related music: Esoteric, Dark Ambient, Power Electronics, Noise, Ritual, Japanoise, Soundtrack, Neofolk, Doom and experimental music.

The films below aren’t from this year’s stallholders, but they are a celebration of the beautiful world of physical records and record shops!


Alva Noto interview


New inteview with Alva Noto

Our friends over at the ever-excellent ATTN magazine have just published an interesting interview with Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto ahead of his appearance at Supersonic 2011.  Take a look here.



Listen to the city with Sonic Graffiti


Plug into an alternate sound of the city

Supersonic happens at the Custard Factory complex in an area of Birmingham known as Digbeth. Built around the nearby River Rea (for easy access to transportation), the first settlement of what is now Birmingham was in fact established here in the 7th century.  Come the Industrial Revolution and Digbeth becomes one of the first centres of industry in Birmingham, beginning a long and important history of successful trading and manufacturing.  Nowadays, light industry and creative businesses sit alongside each other in the area.

It’s these interconnected histories and threads that the Sonic Graffiti project explores.  All around the area, set into a decaying walls, there are a headphone sockets. Unplug yourself from your own world and plug into sounds from this place and beyond, dark and decayed sounds, pulling you beneath the surface and into the fabric of buildings, past lives and multi-layered histories. The project features sound works by Mr.Underwood – these are contained within the installations with each piece based on a field recording taken close to the site in which you find it. The pieces will require you to interact with them in a variety of ways to trigger or manipulate the sound.

Sonic Graffiti is a co-commission between Capsule and VIVID and is part of an experimental season entitled Crash, stimulated by the vision of J.G. Ballard.  Ballard’s writing, particularly on urban utopia/dystopia, frequently covers ground from ecological fears to the sexualisation of technology and from urban ruin to suburban alienation. His universe pervades music, film, fashion, visual arts, architecture and recent philosophical constructs such as psychogeography.

The artist Sam Underwood will tour his Sonic Graffiti project during the festival.  Meet him on Friday 21st October at 8pm or Sunday 23rd October at 8pm outside VIVID – and bring headphones.
VIVID | 140 Heath Mill Lane | Birmingham | B9 4AR


Supersonic zine on Issuu


Supersonic zine on Issuu

Ross Cotton, Capsule’s very own Lester Bangs, has produced a classic zine to celebrate this year’s festival.  If you’re in Birmingham, pick a copy up on your travels.  If not, you’re also in luck because Ross has made it available via the Issuu self-publishing site.  Click the link below for loads of pre-festival opinion, interviews, a guide to Birmingham and amazing illustrations.


William Bennett Q&A, late night horror and much more


To make your weekend with us whole, we’ve got an excellent programme of films, exhibitions, talks and workshops. Particularly exciting is the news that Whitehouse/Cut Hands front man William Bennett will be talking about his new project, his West African musical influences and his music’s inclusion on the Vice Guide to Liberia. This talk will then be followed with a screening of the Vice film that examines the dark history of the war torn country and the fate of its people today.

We’ll also be screening an exciting selection of film shorts from the exceptional label, Fonal. The Finnish label includes artists Es, Islaja (pictured), Lau Nau and of course Circle, who will be performing at the festival this year.

Conny Prantera is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in London. Through her intricately detailed drawings, she tells us a story of disquieting and disturbed beauty. Here at Supersonic she will be showing a new piece titled Kore Kosmou, a video installation consisting of photomontage and drawings, meticolously put together frame by frame, animated and synced to a series of purposely created audio loops and drones

Other screenings include a package of late night horror, programmed by Psychotronic Cinema. Responsible for he legendary “All Night Horror  Madness” event and the upcoming “All Night Bad Movie Experience” they’ll be bringing ‘Flesh for Frankenstein‘ and ‘Suspiria‘ to the festival as a late night treat.

Birmingham experimental artists and producers SOUNDkitchen will be in residency at the festival, presenting their ‘Cinema for the Ears’. Working in collaboration with BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre), they promise a concoction of installations and performances in a site-specific immersive sound sculpture. They will also be contributing the sonic element to the Imperfect Cinema performance on Sunday – creating an alternative documentation of the festival.

Other fantastic local folk getting involved are the Birmingham Zine Festival. Celebrating alternative publications for Supersonic 2011, the festival organisers have invited some of their favourite small press publishers to sell  their books, comics and zines, along with an exhibition of zine artwork. Continuing the zine celebrations, there will be ascreening of ‘$100 and a t-shirt’, Joe Biel’s documentary exploring the thoughts and experiences of zine-makers in North America. Also a  panel, From a to Zine,  featuring Alex Zamora, Nic Bullen and Charlie Woolley will discuss the history of zines, their inspirations and how this feeds into modern DIY creativity and publishing.

Go here for weekend and day ticket info.