Supersonic: A Decade Of Championing The Avant-Garde



For 10 years now, Supersonic has been tirelessly emphasising the importance and beauty of the independent spirit; one need only glance through the reams of musical mavericks that have graced the festival’s stages to see how successful their efforts have been. To celebrate, Capsule have planned a couple of events to highlight the free-thinkers that have helped turn the festival into the glorious tour-de-force it is today.

In keeping with Supersonic’s tradition of featuring enlightening panel discussions, ‘You Can Be You’ promises the audience one of the most intruiging and horizon broadening conversations to ever take place in the Custard Factory, as The Quietus Editor, Vice columnist and all-round music enthusiast John Doran takes the chair to quiz Jarboe, Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson and Crass co-founder Penny Rimbaud on how these extremely accomplished artists have maintained their integrity and independence whilst operating in the furthest regions of the avant-garde.

Anyone who’s ever been moved by Eugene’s feral howl and imposing stage presence, Jarboe’s dulcet tones and emotive range, or Rimbaud’s energetic drumming and sneering social commentary will not want to miss out on this. These are artists that divide opinion with their untameable drive to create, and are united in their refusal of musical standards and any perceived rules or guidelines that others may wish to impose upon them, but how is this passion sustained through times of difficulty? Will there ever come a time where this deep-seated desire to create is satiated? There’s only one way to find out… See you there!

Running with this theme of independent creators, Jason Forrest of the new online TV site Network Awesome has curated a film prgramme entitled ‘3 ______ And The Truth’, a loving tribute to the maverick minds that created things that only they ever could, ranging from the ingenious to the downright bizarre! The Network Awesome site features a number of specially made programmes, curated by visionaries like John Zorn and Barry Adamson, and is well worth checking out!


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.



In Conversation with William Bennett + Vice Guide to Liberia



A special Q&A will see Whitehouse/Cut Hands man William Bennett, the influence of West African sounds on his own work, his new Afronoise project and his music’s inclusion on the Vice film.

VBS TV travels to Liberia in West Africa to explore a country ravaged by years of civil war. Liberia was originally planned and founded as a homeland for former slaves back in 1821. But fast-forward over a century and a half, and a military coup, and you find the first Liberian Civil War as Charles Taylor’s US-backed opposition overthrows a government unfriendly to US interests. The film explores the current fate of the Liberian people and that of the warlords themselves.