An Interview With Black Mass Rising Creator Shazzula

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We have a real audio-visual treat in store for you this year; a screening of Belgian artist Shazzula Nebula‘s experimental film ‘Black Mass Rising’, a mystical lo-fi experience examining occult and apocalyptic themes through a dark procession of creepy, faintly psychedelic visuals. As you would expect from an ex-member of bands like Aqua Nebula Oscillator and White Hills, Shazzula has put just as much time and effort into the film’s soundtrack as she has its visual aesthetic, with a soundtrack consisting of exclusive tracks from the likes of Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Sylvester Anfang II, Burial Hex, Kinit Her, Cultus Sabbati, Aluk Todolo, Menace Ruine and many, many more. We got in touch with Shazzula to find out more about this extraordinary film, and why she’s just as excited to bring it to Supersonic as we are to screen it!

BLACK MASS RISING movie (Official Trailer) from shazzula on Vimeo.

Supersonic: What inspired you to create ‘Black Mass Rising’?
Shazzula: In terms of cinema…

*    “Visa De Censure X” by Pierre Clementi.

*    “Invasion Of Thunderbolt Pagoda” by Ira Cohen.

*    “Le Frisson Des Vampires” by Jean Rollin.

*     “Lucifer Rising” by Kenneth Anger.

*     “Nosferatu” by F.W. Murnau.

*     “Begoten” by E. Elias Merhige.

Other things that inspired me:

The ‘Pre-Raphaelism’ Art movement, the dark side of things and of course MUSIC.

Why should Supersonic attendees check out the film?
Well… if they like those movies… and if they like the bands on the soundtrack… They really should get into it… It would be an opportunity to hear in one project all those great bands, all finally united. Like a Sound & Visual Communion!

The list of contributing artists reads like a fairly comprehensive list of contemporary avant-garde/ esoteric musicians. How did you get all these bands involved in the project?
I love them all, they all are unique and they are indirectly related! For some of them, I was in contact or they are friends or we met…

When the idea of the movie first came to my mind, I did not want to do the whole soundtrack myself (I’m not really into “me myself and I”…). I thought it would be great to get all these music lovers in one crazy D.I.Y project!

I never thought the movie will have success or anything, I just wanted to do it and believe in it 100%, and I was so glad they all accepted to follow the Dark Path To The Light !

If time, money and space were no object, what would you have done differently with the film?
Well… I never wanted to have money for this project… it was from A to Z all improvised on my travels with friends & yes: The baby was born after 9 months…

The next movie project is heavier, it will be filmed in Mongolia.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
1- Dylan Carlson project with Teta Colamonaco on Vocals !
2- Six Organs Of Admittance
3- Sir Richard Bishop
4- Goat
5- Lichens /Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
6- Gnod
7- Merzbow

If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
So many!!

– Master Musicians Of Bukkake
– Om
– Sayona

Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
Unfortunately : Earplugs!

A Camera & bunch of  filters.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Shazzula?
Limited 300 Copies LP reissue of RUTH WHITE “Flowers Of Evil” on Our label, BLACK MASS RISING.

A tape of SAYONA on Brave Mysteries.

MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE will make the whole soundtrack of the next BMR Movie…

Patience!

For more information about Shazzula Nebula, you can visit her official website and the Black Mass Rising Society page.

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Preparations For Your Gnod-tastic Voyage…

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As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…

The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)

This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!

Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)

After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.

Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)

Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!

In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)

‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.

Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)

Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!

You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!

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Black Mass Rising

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A lo fi experimental film exploring visions of the darkness, The Mystic, The Occult, The Religious and The Apocalypse. The film is made by Belgian artist  Shazzula Nebula who has performed in psychedelic band White Hills and is an ex member of Aqua Nebula Oscillator.

The soundtrack features:

Master Musicians of Bukkake
Kawabata Makoto
Bobby Beausoleil
Horror Illogium
Yoga
Sylvester Anfang II
Burial Hex
Sayona
Kinit Her
Rose Croix
Mourning Ring
Ga’an
Shazzula
The Entrance Band
In Zaire
Cultus Sabbati
Mater Suspiria Vision
L’Acéphale
SUM OF R
Aluk Todolo
Menace Ruine
Demonologists
http://blackmassrisingsociety.blogspot.co.uk

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Rock-a-Rolla Q&A

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Rock-a-Rolla: Q&A with editor-in-chief Vuk Valcic
For our 12th Q&A we’re going off-piste and instead of talking to the artists performing at Supersonic 2011, we’re checking in with Vuk Valcic, editor of Rock-a-Rolla magazine. Capsule has a long standing relationship with the magazine and we salute their coverage of independent, progressive music.  Read on to find out Vuk’s fondest Supersonic memories and why he thinks the festival is essential.

How would you describe your relationship with Supersonic Festival?
Rock-A-Rolla has been Supersonic’s media partner since the very early days of the mag – in fact going all the way back to our first year of existence. Capsule have always had a knack for selecting interesting and vital artists, and the line-up has always been spot-on in terms of what we cover in the magazine. We’re also friends and fans.

Which acts are you looking forward to most in this year’s line-up, and why?
As always, pretty much all of them, but for my part Secret Chiefs 3, Zombi, Zu93, WITTR, White Hills, Circle, Fire!, Barn Owl and The Skull Defekts are all particularly unmissable. Secret Chiefs 3 should be every festivalgoer’s top priority.

What has been your ultimate favourite performance at a previous Supersonic and why?
Tough question. There’s no way I can choose just one, but let’s go with Oxbow Duo and Wolf Eyes in 2007, Asva and Dälek in 2008, and SunnO))) and Thorr’s Hammer in 2009, all of which were memorable for various reasons. And of course Zu a couple of years back – one of the best live bands out there.

How would you describe Supersonic to a potential, fresh audience?
In one word: essential. It’s the only festival that keeps getting it right year in, year out. For crucial, cutting-edge underground rock, metal and experimental music, there’s simply no other festival quite like it in the UK. On a more personal note, it’s like getting all the bands you read about in Rock-A-Rolla together in one place for an awesome weekend.

What does Supersonic offer differently compared to any other festival?
The line-up is just plain different to any other UK festival you can think of, and it’s always outstanding. It speaks for itself, really. Other than the band selection, the Custard Factory setting makes this a completely different beast to the outdoor festivals doing the rounds – no mud and Portaloos here, just great music and a great atmosphere.

What impact does Supersonic have on Birmingham’s music scene?
I think it goes beyond Birmingham – and the UK for that matter. It undoubtedly plays a major part in putting Birmingham on the map and of course brings festivalgoers to the city, which can only be a good thing, but more importantly Supersonic has far-reaching impact on underground music worldwide.

Interview by Ross Cotton

www.rock-a-rolla.com

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White Hills Q&A

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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.

http://whitehillsmusic.tumblr.com/

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White Hills

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With just the right blend of psychedelia and hypnotic grooves, White Hills weaves in and out of anthemic chants, deep space bleeps and other worldly madness for a mix that proves to be intoxicating. Since the release of the band’s debut album, listeners have been praising their originality and unique brand of heavy space rock. White Hills formed out of the need to forge Space Rock into the 21st Century.

‘A label like “space-rock” deserves music that’s as nuanced and limitless-feeling as space, and space-rock deserves a band like White Hills. Not only do they add urgency to familiar psychedelic rock templates, but they pay just as close attention to the quiet moments as the raging ones– each track on their self-titled Thrill Jockey debut displays a careful layering of sounds and atmospheres’ -Pitchfork

http://www.myspace.com/whitehills

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