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.



Cut Hands


In 2002, being inspired by Haitian vaudou musicians’ capacity to make intensely powerful music with almost no technology, William Bennett first employed djembes and doundouns on the classic Wriggle Like A Fucking Eel 12” by Whitehouse, in what was seen as a radical musical direction by many in the wider noise/industrial scene.
The Cut Hands project itself was founded by William Bennett in 2007 initially to experiment further with his obscure collection of Ghanaian percussion instruments in free-form work-outs alongside other types of (genuine) sound experimenting. The fruit of 8 years of recordings finally culminated in 2011’s critically acclaimed and best-selling release Afro Noise I.

The music of Cut Hands featured heavily in the VBS films Liberia (2009) and Mandingo (2010)



VBS Guide To Liberia


The Vice Guide To Liberia
Produced & Directed by Andy Capper and Shane Smith
Soundtrack by Cut Hands aka William Bennett of Whitehouse

In The Vice Guide To Liberia, VBS correspondents travel to the capital city Monrovia to meet three men who participated in the 14 years of civil war that ravaged the West African country.
These men are former warlords General Rambo, General Bin Laden and General Butt Naked, who freely admits to cannibalism and a body count of 20,000 during his time in the war. They  give us guided tours of some of the most dangerous, impoverished areas including jails, brothels, and heroin dens. Despite the UN’s intervention in the country, the majority of Liberia’s young people live in desperate poverty. Surrounded by filth, drug addiction, and teenage prostitution, the ex child soldiers who were forced into war struggle to fend for themselves by any means necessary. As the former President Charles Taylor fights accusations of mass war crimes in The Hague, the people strive for positive change against all odds. America’s one and only foray into African colonialism is keeping a very uneasy peace indeed.