Fonal Records shorts


Fonal Records is an independent record label from Finland that has been releasing experimental music since 1995. Initially established by Sami Sänpäkkilä to release his own recordings under the name Es, Fonal is a truly independent record label in every sense and now has over 80 releases to its name, This music video screening presents a variety of techniques ranging from animation to live action. Videos have been shot with mobile phones, super 8, 16mm film and Red One cameras, and all have been made with a zero budget. This special programme includes work from such label luminaries as Lau Nau, Kemialliset Ystävät, Paavoharju, Islaja and Shogun Kunitoki.

Eleanoora Rosenholm: Valo kaasumeren hämärässä from Sami Sänpäkkilä on Vimeo.


The Quietus Q&A


The Quietus: Q&A with editor John Doran
The Quietus is one of Capsule’s favourite sites.  Spending a few hours in their company is always a pleasure and mainman John Doran has been involved with Supersonic before, most recently hosting a Q&A with Neu!’s Michael Rother on 2010.  Here, we turn the tables and subject him to our own Q&A, courtesy of Ross Cotton.

How would you describe your relationship with Supersonic Festival?
Head over heels in love. Luckily my girlfriend feels the same way.

Which acts are you looking forward to most in this year’s line-up, and why?
Electric Wizard because they are pure, heavy evil, straight from some kind of black hole of doom. The Skull Defekts (will they find the Higgs Bosun?) will be amazing. Simeon of The Silver Apples is always amazing. WITTR, White Hills and Circle.

What has been your ultimate favourite performance at a previous Supersonic and why?
Probably either Beestung Lips in 2008 just because it was so fucked up, exciting and funny, Arbouretum in 2009 or King Midas Sound last year. Or SunnO))). It’s hard to pare it down to one set.

How would you describe Supersonic to a potential, fresh audience?
The right balance of pancreas bursting harsh noise, frollicking and cake.

What does Supersonic offer differently compared to any other festival?
The compactness of it is a real selling point. There’s always a good vibe there and you’re guaranteed to come away having seen something amazing you weren’t previously aware of.


Film week, day 3: ‘Still Before’, a film about Oxbow


Film week, day 3:  ‘Still Before’, a film about Oxbow

‘Still Before’, a film by Manuel Liebeskind, draws the most intimate tour portrait of this exceptional band from San Francisco and is perhaps as close as one can come to the exhaustion of everyday tour life.  Here at Capsule HQ we’ve only seen the trailer, but, believe us, that was more than enough to whet our appetites.  ‘Still Before’ is also highly notable for being filmed entirely on an iPhone with a 640×480 pixel resolution, probably the first feature-length to be so.

We can’t imagine it would be easy to get close to a band like Oxbow, so how did Liebeskind do it?  Turns out he’s their former booking agent, soundman and general man-Friday and thus the band gave him unprecedented access.  Through his film, Liebeskind attempts to uncover the obsessions, machinations and thought processes behind making, playing and touring music that embraces art as though its life depended on it.  Across five countries, over a dozen shows, and in front of rapt audiences, ‘Still Before’ explore the whys of art creation, the touring life and the motivations for continuing the process over two decades.


STILL BEFORE from Manuel Liebeskind on Vimeo.


Film week, day 2: ‘Man With A Video Camera’


Supersonic film week, day 2: Man With A Video Camera

Supersonic 2011 are pleased to present ‘Man With A Video Camera’, a documentary about the Finnish band Circle.  Happily, Circle themselves are also performing this year, thus squaring the, um, circle.  In fact, although we say ‘documentary’, ‘Man With A Video Camera’ is closer to an anti-documentary.  As with, say, ‘Lost In La Mancha’, Terry Gilliam’s film-about-making-a-film-of-Don-Quixote, the actual story appears to be somewhere else, somewhere unplaceable.  Perhaps that’s because filmmaker Esko Lönnberg himself has come from elsewhere, into Circle’s world…

Lönnberg left his middle-class job in Sweden and returned to his hometown of Pori, Finland to pursue his artistic desires.  The shooting for the film mostly takes place in the countryside where the band is recording their next album. The circumstances turn out to be chaotic and most of the band appear totally uninterested and unengaged.  But, Esko tries to keep the crowd together, even though he does not know himself if he is going to end up with fiction or non-fiction.  Throughout, Esko captures everything essential and unessential on video while the band plays.

In the end, this unique film tells you all you need to know about documentary-making, its perils and its rewards.



Film week, day 1 : Kill All Redneck Pricks; KARP LIVES! 1990-1998


Film week, day 1 : Kill All Redneck Pricks: KARP LIVES! 1990-1998

All this week at Supersonic we’re going to be previewing this year’s fantastic film programme.  Day 1 is the turn of ‘KARP LIVES! 1990-1998’.

This film is a biography of a friendship. Set in the indie rock utopia of an evergreen forested Olympia Washington of the early 90’s, this film chronicles the journey of the love of three friends from childhood to adulthood over a span of 20 years. Nestled in the mythology of bands such as Beat Happening, Bikini Kill, Unwound, and the Melvins, the story of KARP is the story of a childhood love forced to make adult changes in order to survive an adult world and how the choices we face as we follow our dreams affect those whom we love most. It is the story of how so often the thing that frees you can become your largest obstacle.

This is how a forum poster recalls it:
“Karp played a show in my living room in Columbus, Ohio in 1995 or 1996 (the years start to blend together). We had held dozens and dozens of shows there with no real incident. These were loud and sometimes crazy shows. When Karp played the police came. With all of the doors and windows closed you could still hear it blacks and blocks away. One of the loudest bands i have ever seen and i mean that as a high compliment. I am quite excited to see this.”

Don’t forget too that bassist Jared Warren will be playing in The Melvins at their Capsule-promoted show at the Institute on 1st November.



Alexander Tucker – ‘Dorwytch’ live session


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.



Supersonic workshops – get involved!



Three excellent workshops have been announced for the festival, giving you plenty of opportunity to get involved this year.

GET A GRIP Screenprinting

For anyone interested in screenprinting and DIY production we are bringing you a screenprinting workshop in collaboration with GET A GRIP. You can design and print your very own Supersonic T-shirt to keep, a perfect festival memento. Using elements created by an independent illustrator, the aim of the workshop is to get you printing the multiple coloured images wherever you choose over a T-shirt. Open to weekend ticket holders for £25. To book a place, email [email protected] with the subject SCREENPRINT.

Imperfect Cinema

Plymouth DIY Punk Cinema collective Imperfect Cinema will be inviting attendees at Supersonic Festival 2011 to contribute to an alternative documentation of the festival using endangered media technologies! Participants will receive a workshop, both practical and theoretical, introducing them to Super-8 cinema and lo-fi modes of recording. Participants will then obtain their own recordings of the festival, documenting their experience of the event. Recordings will then be processed and edited to form a screening and performance of the work created. Spaces are free to weekend ticket holders. To book a place, email [email protected] with the subject IMPERFECT CINEMA.

Dirty Electronics: Mute Synth

Take part in building the Mute Synth and a large group performance with Dirty Electronics. The Dirty Electronics Mute Synth is a hand-held touch and tilt instrument with copper etched artwork and contoured printed circuit board that was designed in collaboration with Mute and graphic designer Adrian Shaughnessy. The instrument brings together many Dirty Electronics aesthetics and instrument designs into one device in particular creating an instrument of the hand (in terms of both playing and building), a noise-based device that utilises feedback, and exploring the relationship between artwork and circuit board. Open to weekend ticket holders for £15. To book a place, email [email protected] with the subject MUTE SYNTH.



Day tickets on sale + more announcements!


Some exciting additions to the line up are announced today, along with a screenprinting workshop for those of you who don’t mind getting your hands dirty. Day tickets are also on sale from today and can be found HERE.

First of all, some sad news. Due to illness within the band ZU93 are forced to cancel their appearance at this year’s Supersonic. This is indeed, really sad news and we wish a speedy recovery.

In happier news, we are utterly thrilled to announce two very special performances at the fest this year. Mike Watt will be joining the festival line up with his Missingmen. A hero to many, Mike Watt has most known for his work in the Minutemen, fIREHOSE and his current work with Iggy and the Stooges. MC Will Brooks of Dalek will be bringing his new solo project iconAclass to the festival this year, his new material sees him maintaining the gritty view of boom-bap he is know for, while returning to his roots.

For anyone interested in screenprinting and DIY production we are bringing you a screenprinting workshop in collaboration with GET A GRIP. You can design and print your very own Supersonic T-shirt to keep, a perfect festival memento.  Spaces are very limited for this workshop, so sign up quickly by emailing [email protected] with the subject SCREENPRINT.

Day tickets are now on sale:

Friday 21st October – £20

Saturday 22nd October – £35

Sunday 23rd October – £35

There are still weekend tickets available for only £75, giving you three days of exciting music, art, film and of course cake.







Barn Owl – new video for ‘Turiya’


Barn Owl present ‘Turiya’

We all know that Supersonic have got a Barn Owl exclusive this year don’t we?  Well indeed we have – the festival will be their only UK date on this trip.  To add to our Barn Owl excitement, the band have just unveiled a brand new video for the song ‘Turiya‘ from the current ‘Lost in the Glare‘ album.  Have a look below.  Directed by their regular film collaborator John Davis, the film features some really nice light diffusion and complements the slow-burn of ‘Turiya‘ perfectly.

Barn Owl – Turiya from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.


Cloaks Q&A


Cloaks Q&A #11
On the 3by3 label, Cloaks play speaker-shredding blasts of dubstep noise.  Beats skip, jump and judder while all manner of found sounds build up into layers of ambient scree.  Cloaks’ music is a harsh listen but all the more devastating and exciting for that.  Here, mainman Steve Harris answers our Q&A.

1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Important, unique, raw, adult, anti-hype (substance)

2. What can people expect of Cloaks at the festival?
You should expect to hear a more experimental, noise-driven approach to our music. We will also be predominantly playing unheard material from our album in progress.

3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
That’s a great question, and one I couldn’t ever answer sufficiently.

4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see?  (And why?)
Part Chimp, Alva Noto, Scorn, White Hills, The Skull Defekts. Supersonic always has a culture of ‘new’ as well so the point of it for me in terms of seeing other acts is all the names I’ve never heard of. The chief reason the festival is so great is that you discover new things so I’m looking forward to being pleasantly surprised.

5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are…
Earplugs, a large supply of disposable income for the marketplace, promo materials to hand out, spare bag to store all the new stuff you just bought, spare earplugs.


Monarch Q&A



Monarch! Q&A
For our tenth Q&A, we welcome Basque country sludge-metallers Monarch!  With some of the slowest tempos and heaviest dirges around, Monarch! promise to be a revelation at Supersonic 2011.  Read on.

1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Rob Shaffer : Respected international experimental music festival.
Michell Bidegain : Criminally loud public address systems.
Shiran Kaidin : Eclectic, surprising, loud, classy and crunchy.
Emilie Bresson : Fun, fucking good loud music

2. What can people expect of Monarch at the festival?
Rob S. : Extreme nothingness.
Michell : A 13bpm black mass.
Shiran : Slow and loud vibrations.
Emilie : A slow motion march to the end of all.

3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
Rob S. : Music forces one to exist in the present moment, and provides the possibility of expressing true emotion which listeners could choose to feel as well .
Michell : Denim and leather. No explanation as to why, just a constant driving need to make music.
Shiran : Music is the way to express what cannot be described.
Emilie: It makes me be myself and, for a moment, it makes me forget about anything else but the music we play.

4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see? (And why?)
Rob S. : There are many legendary performers playing this festival, i am hoping to see zombi because their music makes me feel good, electric wizard for their crushing rythm and volume, zu3 for david tibet, secret chiefs 3 for their non pretentious technicality. i hope to see as many artists as possible really.
Michell : Zombi, Turbonegro, WITTR, Electric Wizard, Secret Chiefs 3.
Shiran : Electric Wizard, TRBNGR, Wolves in the throne room, Bardo Pond and Secret Chief 3.
Emilie : Same here!

5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are…
Rob S : Good friends.
Michell : Beer.
Shiran : Ears and eyes will be enough I think.
Emilie : My ear plugs.


ORE interview


ORE interview – Sam Underwood
by Ross Cotton

Sam Underwood is a familiar face to the Supersonic stage, after performing in various guises including the manic-acid-circuit-bending Glatze, and the more delicate, electro/acoustic Mr Underwood. This year sees Sam returning to Supersonic as one-third of drone doom tuba band Ore.  Along with Ben Waddington and Stuart Estell, the trio have developed a heavy metal sound, featuring tubas at its core.

Ore was an idea that me and Ben had in a pub, quite some time ago now”, says Sam. “It was one of those ideas that could have gone nowhere. We spotted the potential and we wanted to take the bass end, very heavy slow riffs. But when it involves two out of three of you learning to play tubas from scratch, that’s quite an epic task”, says Sam.

“Basically Stuart Estell is the only person who’s an accomplished tuba player at the moment.  He’s also heavily into doom metal, which was key. It really required someone open-minded enough to embrace the concept.  He’s writing the pieces as I’m learning how to play”.

Sam also played the tuba at last year’s Supersonic with Lash Frenzy.  “That was the first time I did the tuba stuff live. It serves as a proof of concept!”, he says. “It was an improvised noise gig, and I was playing it through some effects pedals and a massive bass amp. I couldn’t play, but I could make some interesting noises. My decision was to learn an instrument seriously during my year long sabbatical. And because I liked tuba, and because we had an idea for a band, I decided to do that”.

The whole idea of Ore seems to reflect the industrial past of Birmingham magnificently, something that the trio had in mind from the start. “It has it’s influences in all of that”, says Sam.  “Obviously (the tuba) is a massive great lump of metal for one thing, and that’s part of it, they’re a very physical thing to play”.

While this subverted-stereotype of brass instruments will certainly act as a surprise to many who clasp eyes, and ears, on Ore. “We aim to create epic experiences, where people come along and are wowed by the scale, the sound and the sense of witnessing something totally new”, he says. “It’s a luscious, heavy epic vibe, a different vibe to a lot of other stuff going on. But that’s what Supersonic is all about. It’s the blend of acts put on that’s pretty unique”.

Make sure you don’t miss Ore and their blend of heavy doom tubas as part of this year’s line-up.  Sam Underwood recommends you check out:  “Secret Chiefs 3 (I really like the mix of influences they bring to bear), ZU93, Fire! With Oren Ambarchi, Tony Conrad, Pekko Kappi and Alva Noto.

My Pecha Kucha 20×20 – Birmingham 01/02/11 from Sam Underwood on Vimeo.


White Hills Q&A


Supersonic Q&As : White Hills

Hopefully you’ve kept up-to-date with all our artist Q&As.  They’ve kept us pretty busy here at Capsule HQ, so we’re thankful to the lovely people at The 405 for doing this Q&A with kraut-glam-space-rockers White Hills.  You’ll want to clicky-click this link here for all the action.


Current 93 – recent live show available for free download


Current 93 – recent live show available for free download

David Tibet of Current 93 is performing at Supersonic 2011 as part of Zu93, a collaboration with the Italian death-jazz outfit Zu.  Current 93 performed early in August at OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland and the entire set has been made available for a Tibet-authorised free download by Hennessy Williams.  Just follow the link to the Current 93 site Coptic Cat below.



Simon Fowler interview – illustration and printmaking


Simon Fowler – interview with an illustrator/printmaker
by Ross Cotton

London based illustrationist and printmaker Simon Fowler has been commissioned to design a poster for this year’s festival. Previously creating pen and ink works for the likes of Earth and Sunn O))), Simon returns to Supersonic after debuting his art in 2010 for the From Light to Dark exhibition.

“(Last year) was the first time I attended Supersonic”, says Simon. “It’s the festival I’ve enjoyed the most, because it’s curated by people who really care about what they’re doing. I’ve met so many people; it’s just an incredibly well crafted event”.

Simon has also developed a keen creative relationship with previous festival performers, dub-psych duo Devilman. “Within a year, I’m 80% of the way through the artwork for their album”, says Simon. “I think this Devilman piece has been one of the most enjoyable. “It’s an idea that I had quite a long time ago and it fits perfectly with their music. I’ve been able to put more time into it rather than a typical commission. It’s nice to be crossing genres and not just being pigeonholed in metal or doom”, he says.

“Music plays the biggest influence in my creative process”. Fowler’s analogue artwork seems to have flourished extensively over the last few years. A journey that is well and truly rooted with contemporary musicians. “I’ve been working with Stephen O’Malley since about 2009, he’s one of my main collaborators,” explains Simon. “That’s knocked on into doing stuff for Earth. I did the artwork for the reissue of their first album last year, and I’m working on a poster for Wolves in the Throne Room at the moment. I was given a brief a couple of weeks ago from them, giving me the visual ideas they had to tie in with their album. I haven’t actually heard the album, so it’ll be interesting to see their performance (at the festival) against what I’ve created”.

Though Simon often feels that viewers sometimes misinterpret the ideologies of his art. “A lot of people try to describe my work as being dark, but I don’t necessarily see it like that”, says Simon. “I think it’s more expansive, and maybe its just the music it’s associated with; connotations of darkness. I thought it was quite natural, reflecting natural environments and the detail that’s in those environments, taking something that could be industrial on the surface, quite ugly, but if you really analyse all of the individual elements, you kind of see the beauty and geometry within that”.

And what are Simon’s plans for the future? “For the rest of the year, I’m going to be talking to Dylan Carlson and working on a project of his, not necessarily Earth but something he’s thinking of doing”.

Simon Fowler recommends you check out: “Fire! with Oren Ambarchi (it looks pretty eclectic!), Tony Conrad, Cloaks and Scorn”. Check out Simon Fowler’s poster design at the festival, and be sure to bring an extra bit of cash for a print!

Simon Fowler’s Cataract Operation site



New sounds from Secret Chiefs 3


New sounds from Secret Chiefs 3 (possibly)

Now this is a tricky one.  Secret Chiefs 3 have posted a sampler of their new 7″, a record they hope to have for sale at their Supersonic show.  Except it’s not by Secret Chiefs 3.  Though it might be.  Kind of.  What are we talking about?

It seems to go like this:  Secret Chiefs 3 was started by former Mr Bungle man Trey Spruance (him above) in the mid 90s.  They seemingly play everything from surf rock to death metal to Persian funk.  But again, they sort of don’t.  What is clear is that Spruance creates a new branch from the Secret Chiefs t(h)ree every time he gets an urge to go in a particular direction.  Which brings us back to this new 7″  – it’s actually a split 7″ between Ishraqiyun and FORMS and you can listen right here.  ‘Split’ seems to a good word for this whole project.  And what does it sound like?  There’s no way we can do a better description job that the band themselves:

“An unassuming but brilliant piece by Bernard Hermann was hidden in the background during the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. Originally just piano, vibes and timpani, “Radar” now gets exploded into an uncalled-for over-exposure, via the world’s only fully organic, wood & spirit mechanized orchestra, FORMS.”

What they said.


Meet Pharaoh Overlord


Meet Pharaoh Overlord

In their own words, Pharaoh Overlord play “hypno-improv-stoner-rock”. Featuring three members of the Finnish group Circle (also playing Supersonic 2011), Jussi Lehtisalo, Janne Westerlund and Tomi Leppänen started up Pharaoh Overlord just over a decade ago to explore their love of stoner-rock. Since then, they’ve boiled it right down to its essence, each new record taking a different trip.  Then again, their ‘Out Of Darkness’ album from earlier this year took a sharp, unexpected turn into the heart of true heavy metal. Their ‘Live in Suomi’ album even features Joachim Irmler of Faust, both performing and remixing. All of which was enough to inspire Roadburn Festival to host them as artists-in-residence this year.

The band’s new record ‘Horn’ (Ektro Records) is a further departure for the band. This is nasty, noisy full-on art rock from the outer reaches of space, like early Sonic Youth tearing it up with Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers.  We reckon this is really satisfying head-music that’ll move your body too. The album features a cover of Spacemen 3’s ‘Revolution’, which may or may not be the tune they’re playing on the Roadburn 2011 clip below. You tell us. Either way, it’s a quarter of an hour of zoned-out, one-chord magic.

Pharaoh Overload at Ektro Records


Meet Astro


Meet Astro

Hiroshi Hasegawa was in the band C.C.C.C., one of the biggest Japanese noise groups, and Astro is his solo project.
Born in 1963, Hasegawa first worked on improvisation with just his voice and drums before forming C.C.C.C  in 1989.  Astro began in 1993 as a project using analog synthesizers.  He formed Cosmic Coincidence as a new configuration of C.C.C.C. in 2010 with the members Manuel Knapp and Rohco.  To date, he has released an enviable 50+ releases across all his projects.  Throughout, Hiroshi describes his playing style as “like drifting between the meditation and awakening state with electronics”.  Astro in the recent past plays with electronic-noise, frequently an assault on both his equipment and the audience.  It’s as close to a rock-band destroying its gear in last-rites death throes as we’ve seen in the recent electronics scenes.  Judge for yourself in the clips below.

Astro on Facebook


Supersonic theme of the day: bowed strings


Theme of the day: bowed strings

We’re always making links between the disparate worlds of artists here at Supersonic and today we bring together three unique artists who all share a simple common bond.  Pekko Kappi, Tony Conrad and Agathe Max all use bowed instruments in their music, all with very different techniques and to different ends, each highly skilled.

Finland’s Pekko Kappi plays the Jouhikko, the ancient Finnish-Karelian bowed lyre.  He got involved with the Jouhikko in 1997 in the Ala-Könni–institute of Kaustinen and ever since has been studying the tradition with the master players of Finland, Estonia and Sweden.   This particular lyre was played with a bow as early as in the European Middle Ages although in the area around the Baltic Sea there is evidence of both bowed and plucked lyres. In Estonia and Eastern Finland the Jouhikko remained in use until the beginning of the 20th century.  Kappi is one of a number of players investigated this instrument and bringing it alive for new generations.

Tony Conrad is a legendary figure in both film and music for many people.  He was an early member of the New York-based ensemble The Dream Syndicate alongside La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and John Cale, using continuous tones to create what they called ‘dream music’.  Conrad’s first musical release was 1972’s ‘Outside the Dream Syndicate’ collaboration with Faust (check out our Spotify playlist for a track from that) but he released very little work until a series of box sets in the past decade.  His film work is justifiably lauded too and his early piece ‘The Flicker’ is considered a landmark of the late 1960s structural film movement.  One more fact?  His father was Arthur Conrad who worked with Everett Warner during World War II designing dazzle camouflage for the US Navy.

Agathe Max
is a violinist from Lyon, France.  With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max creates dynamic, fast-flowing loop pieces that encompass noise, post-classicism and krautrock with nods to the High Lonesome Raga as filtered through Henry Flynt.  Her current album ‘This Silver String’ has been really well received in many places.  “Agathe Max delivers a drone to keep the earth turning on its axis, with a keen and romantic sense of swing. Everything you need to have a good time” – Jonathan Kane.

Check these three unique artists below.

Agathe Max @ Grrrnd Zero (Lyon, France) from S etant chaussee on Vimeo.


Meet Barn Owl


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.

Barn Owl & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma Live At The Cube (Bristol) from Fluid Radio on Vimeo.

Barn Owl – Light from the Mesa from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.


Alexander Tucker Q&A


Supersonic Q&A no.7 : Alexander Tucker

For our seventh Q&A the questions are being fired at British experimental musician Alexander Tucker.  Tucker has become a established presence in the freak-folk-improv scene since his debut album was released by Tom Greenwood (Jackie OMF)’s U-Sound Archives label in 2003.  He released his new album Dorwytch on Thrill Jockey Records in April 2011 and will be performing it in its entirety at Supersonic.  The record breaks new ground for Tucker by combining minimalist string arrangements with electronic manipulations and drones to produce doom chamber-pop songs and psychedelic music-concrete collages.  Tucker also has a duo with Stephen O’Malley and is an established visual artist.

1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Sonic, hairy, friendly, psych, people !

2. What can people expect of your set at the festival?
The set will include hairy yeti beings, fog, mind-bending electronics and astral projections.

3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
I make music to illuminate the inner being, escape the doom, conjure up the almighty spirit and to communicate with my fellow human beings.

4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see?  (And why?)

I want to see both Circle and Pharaoh Overlord because they are both fuckin awesome, Bardo Pond because they are the best band in the world, Tony Conrad because he’s shit hot.

5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are.

Mary Jane, Stout, food and water, outrageously over sized metal t-shirts.


Meet Wolves in the Throne Room – listen and see


Wolves in the Throne Room  announce new album ‘Celestial Lineage’ (artwork pictured)

We’re delighted to have finally booked Wolves in the Throne Room for Supersonic.  The band have wanted to play for some time now and 2011 is the year.  The band, from the Pacific NorthWest of the US, have been highly acclaimed since their debut album ‘Diadem of 12 Stars’ in 2006.  Core members Aaron and Nathan Weaver formed the band with an intention to blend 90s Norwegian black metal with something approaching “a sense of spirituality that is rooted in the landscape and natural cycles of the Northwest”.

And, just in time for Supersonic, the band will release their new album ‘Celestial Lineage’ on 13th September through Southern Lord.  Intended as the final part of a trilogy begun with their 2007 album ‘Two Hunters’ and continuing through ‘Black Cascade’ from 2009, the album is in their own words “about temple building and establishing traditions – we wanted it to have a more refined and imperial quality [than the two previous records].”  Judge for yourself, as an exclusive preview track has been shared via NPR.  Featuring vocalist Jessika Kenney, ‘Woodland Cathedral’ is a pagan hymn that partly explores the influence of folk rituals and traditions on the band.

Listen to the track here.
Wolves in the Throne Room website here.

Lastly, illustrator, and past Supersonic collaborator, Simon Fowler has also just unveiled his fantastic submission for the ‘Celestial Lineages’ tour print series.  Here it is:


Manchester tickets on sale now at Piccadilly Records


Supersonic 2011 tickets now on sale in Manchester at Piccadilly Records, Oldham Street, M1 1JR.

That’s right, any Greater Manchester dwellers can get their Supersonic 2011 tickets over the counter at Piccadilly Records.  Available from today for £75 + booking fee.  Save yourself the worry of the postal service and support your local record shop, especially after the devastating fire at the PIAS warehouse last week.  Even better: order a PIAS-distributed album by one of the artists playing at Supersonic and support the labels and distribution network in a time of much need.  Could we suggest maybe Alexander Tucker, Skull Defekts, White Hills, Barn Owl or Eternal Tapestry (all on Thrill Jockey)?


Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple to play kids gigs at Supersonic 2011


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.