21st – 23rd October 2011
Limited number of early bird tickets on sale now via www.theticketsellers.co.uk
Supersonic Festival, now in it's ninth year, is widely considered the best experimental music festival in the UK. Hordes of loyal festival supporters return each year and the number of attendees expands to include more people from across the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. So what makes Supersonic so special? (other than its easily accessible geographic location) It has always been more than just a music festival, rather it is a diversifying experience which tantalises our visual senses as much as our aural ones, offering an extraordinary event for adventurous audiences. Without a doubt, there is always something for everyone to enjoy, as the organisers understand their audience, embrace variety and go out of their way to put on a unique event which both stimulates and educates music, film and art lovers. And you can rely on Supersonic to surprise audiences with the kind of collaborations we can only dream up, always making it an unforgettable event.
In-keeping with tradition, this Birmingham based festival run by Capsule (curators and purveyors of the finest music and art) will return to its natural home, the Custard Factory for another year. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, they go ahead and announce the first additions to their ever-evolving and always eclectic festival line up…
This year, Supersonic Festival are proud to welcome to the main stage one of the heaviest bands in the world, Electric Wizard. Providing a sonic aural trip far, far away from this world, where only cyclopean walls of crackling vintage valve amplifiers set to the full overdrive, crushing doom and primal ritualistic beats can wash away all the filth and drudgery of everyday life. Particularly exciting is the UK exclusive performance of ZU93, the meeting of some special musical minds indeed. David Tibet of the absolutely essential Current 93 and members of the ridiculously talented Italian instrumental trio Zu make up the group, along with other amazing musicians; Stefano Pilia (the best guitarist of the avant-garde scene in Italy) and cellists Luca Tilli and Andrea Serrapiglio. Hauntingly beautiful, this really is the stuff that dreams are made of. You can expect more news of what to expect from their live show in coming months.
Supersonic are also proud to welcome back Zombi, after bringing them to the UK for the first time back in 2006. Producing work that is epic in concept, sound and artistic approach, Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra (the masterminds and multi-instrumentalists behind Zombi), have re-imagined the architecture of progressive rock and dynamic instrumentals, creating stirring melodies and moving cadences, carving a niche in underground music distinctly their own. Supersonic will bring another extra special collaborative project to UK shores going by the name Fire! Combining the musical talent of Mats Gustafsson on sax, rhodes and electronics, Andreas from Wildbirds & Peacedrums on drums, Johan Berthling from Tape on bass, plus mind-bending master musician Oren Ambarchi playing guitar and electronics, Fire! perfectly amalgamate noise, rock and free-improv with a groovy Krautrock mantra. This promises to be a collaboration that everyone will be talking about!
Also gracing the main stage is one of the most visible and prolific names in the avant garde underground, Secret Chiefs 3. Providing an alchemical fusion of wild sounds spanning multiple genres, including “Morricone-esque cinematic grandeur, midnight surf guitar, traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and time signatures, demonic death metal, and electronic deviance” (Pitchfork). White Hills will bring their mind-melting psychedelia to the festival for those people looking for "the rightful heir to Hawkwind's massive legacy." (Goldmine) whilst Lucky Dragons will astound with their notoriously immersive live shows where the audience is as integral to their performance as they are. The perfect band to bring like-minded people together.
Experimentalists of the truest kind, Eternal Tapestry have confirmed their invitation, so expect finely crafted free improvised guitar with structured rhythms and lots of layered ambient sound. Add to that, Bardo Pond performing their notorious esoteric psychedelia, replete with droning guitars, feedback, dense distortion and surges of reverb and white noise and Skull Defekts, Sweden's answer to Sonic Youth and The Ex, not to mention one of the hardest working bands we know. Meanwhile local legend Mick Harris (Former member of Napalm Death) performs as Scorn, taking blast-beats to an entirely other level. Speaking of blast beats, black metal cultivators Wolves In The Throne Room have just been confirmed and will be performing songs from their new upcoming album. And for that dose of chaotic sounds and wild unpredictability comes Japanese noise artist Astro, solo project of Japanese musician Hiroshi Hasegawa of the influential noise music group C.C.C.C and also a.P.A.t.T who sound like the best bits of everything you've ever heard, this completely original, utterly bewildering 2-7 piece band use all the genres possible to create a daft yet beautiful mess. Running all over stage whilst swapping instruments. Eclectic doesn’t cover it.
Bringing something new to the festival is Antilles, a well-kept secret in the French underground community, whilst fellow French violinist Agathe Max will be gently weaving her elegant violin threads into cacophonous sounds. Keeping up the French connection are Monarch, one of the slowest, heaviest and loudest funeral doom metal bands Europe has to offer, driven by the pure intent on creating blood curdling feedback drenched physical sound through the use of insane volume and low end frequencies, and with a wall of sweet vintage amps. From Finland comes Pekko Käppi, remarkable student of the jouhikko instrument also well-versed in the Finnish runo-singing tradition. Welcomed back with open arms is innovative artist Cloaks, returning for a consecutive year, assembling his unique Dj and effects set and coming all the way from Melbourne Australia will be Blarke Bayer / Black Widow, a wildly experimental duo comprising Ben Andrews (Blarke Bayer) also a member of My Disco and Agents Of Abhorrence and Robert MacManus (Black Widow) formerly a member of Grey Daturas.
On top of all that there is still art, film, panel discussions and most importantly, details of other special guests to be revealed…
PRAISE FROM THE PRESS:
“Capsule's Supersonic festival has evolved…to consistently provide one of UK's most anticipated Festival line-ups. Fans of dubstep, krautrock, free-jazz and doom metal were all catered for on a bill which promised to both rupture the ears while stimulating the mind through its diverse selection of music, film and specialist talks.” – CLASH
“Excellent.” – GUARDIAN
“Supersonic is definitely not for the faint-hearted or half-arsed music fan. It's created for you from all angles of the musical spectrum.” – NME
“The UK's best alternative, noise and metal festival” – QUIETUS
“Supersonic, in our opinion is the best festival in the world right now.” – ROCK A ROLLA
“Every attraction is in some way a visceral sensory experience – ear candy for lovers of the sonically extreme…So many other music festivals offer you what you expect to hear, merely affirming your good taste in music, Supersonic is a place to be educated and surprised: new, experimental and intellectually nourishing.” – WIRE
EXPANDED SUPERSONIC LINE UP INFORMATION
a.P.A.t.T. (UK) – http://www.apatt.com/
a.P.A.t.T. sound like the best bits of everything you've ever heard. File next to ABBA / Zappa skipping through all the genres on the way. Completely original bewildering 2-7 piece band using all the genres possible to create a daft yet beautiful mess. Running all over stage whilst swapping instruments. Eclectic doesn’t cover it.
AGATHE MAX (FRANCE) – http://www.myspace.com/agathemax
Agathe Max is a French musician based in Lyon. She mostly performs as a solo violin act, enhanced with various loops, distortions and other effects. She has been very much on tour in the last few years sharing gigs with important international acts such as Carla Bozulich, Jonathan Kane, Rhys Chattam, David Daniell and Melt Banana. Her music is either composed or improvised, depending of the shape of the project. In addition to her musical career, Agathe Max is also a visual artist, a jeweler and an activist in the musical and artistic community in Lyon.
A well-kept secret in the French underground community, Antilles is a new act formed by three activists (Erik Minkkinen and Lionel Fernandez from Sister Iodine, Jerome Berg from The Berg Sans Nipple., Antilles is a new act mixing psychedelic noise and tribal percussion. Their enveloping sound aims to create an immersive live experience.
ASTRO (JAPAN) – http://www2.odn.ne.jp/astro/
Solo project of Japanese musician Hiroshi Hasegawa of the influential noise music group C.C.C.C. Astro's music is made using assorted analog equipment including Moog, EMS, and Flower Electronics synthesizers. His music covers a wide range of styles in the experimental psychedelic music field; from space music to psychedelically tinged harsh noise.
BARDO POND (US) http://www.myspace.com/bardopond
American psyche-rockers Bardo Pond will be performing their notorious esoteric psychedelic explorations replete with droning guitars, feedback, dense distortion and surges of reverb and white noise. The current members are Michael Gibbons (guitar), John Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (flute and vocals), Clint Takeda (bass guitar), Jason Kourkonis (drums), and Aaron Igler (synth/electronics).
BLARKE BAYER/BLACK WIDOW (AUSTRALIA) – http://www.myspace.com/blarkebayer
Blarke Bayer / Black Widow are an experimental duo from Melbourne, Australia. Blarke Bayer is Ben Andrews, also a member Myy Disco and Agents Of Abhorrence; Black Widow is Robert MacManus, formerly a member of Grey Daturas.
CLOAKS (UK)– http://www.myspace.com/cloaks
After a storming DJ set at last year’s Supersonic, we’ve invited Cloaks back for more
considered to be one of the more abstract and uncompromising production teams to have emerged from the spannered and industrial-edged UK dubstep scene. Their distorted and often claustrophobic sound, created using found sound and circuit bent instruments was first debuted on the London based Werk Discs, with their output drawing comparison to not only modern bass music but to the darker sounds of noise and industrial.
ELECTRIC WIZARD (UK) – http://www.myspace.com/electricwizarddorsetdoom
The heaviest band in the world. The oblivion and ecstasy of crushing doom and high grade marijuana, a sonic aural trip far, far away from this world, where only cyclopean walls of crackling vintage valve amplifiers set to the full overdrive and primal ritualistic beats can wash away all the filth and drudgery of everyday life. Our music is DoomMetal, the only true definition. We toll the bell of hell, our sound is a crushing behemoth of funeral march psychedelia.
Violent, bleak and ritualistic, we bow to the black altar of the RIFF. We do not rock, we kill!
ETERNAL TAPESTRY (US) http://www.myspace.com/eternaltapestry
Eternal Tapestry started in the fall of 2005, conceived after original members Nick Bindeman and Dewey Mahood discovered their mutual love of Sonny Sharrock and Neu! It was these two vastly different artists who helped the band's sound take shape, free improvised guitar with structured rhythms and lots of layered ambient sound. Now a quintet also comprising Nick's younger brother Jed, Ryan Carlile on saxophone and synth, and Krag Likins on bass. The members of Eternal Tapestry are extremely active in the experimental underground. Nick explores minimal synth music as Tunnels, with an album to come on Troubleman Unlimited in 2011. In addition Nick plays guitar in the psychedelic/improv group Jackie-O Motherfucker. Dewey has recorded solo bliss out music as Plankton Wat since 2002, and explores the outer realms of dub as Edibles. Jed has played in the bi-coastal drone/rock band Heavy Winged since 2004 and has released many records with the band over the years, with the latest being a release on Type Records. He also joined Jackie-O Motherfucker as their drummer at the beginning of 2010, and plays in the minimalist/techno project Operative. Ryan plays as one half of the electronic/drone duo Cloaks. Jed and Dewey also collaborate with Barn Owl as the group Garden Sound, whose debut album came out this fall on the Digitalis label.
Combining the musical talent of Mats Gustafsson on sax, rhodes and electronics, Andreas from Wildbirds & Peacedrums on drums and Johan Berthling from Tape on bass. Plus Oren Ambarchi playing guitar and electronics. Fire perfectly amalgamate noise, rock and free-improv with a groovy Krautrock mantra.
LUCKY DRAGONS (US) http://www.myspace.com/luckydragons
Wholly contributing to Supersonic Festivals visual art and film aspects of the programme are Los Angeles based art project Lucky Dragons. In their notoriously immersive live shows, the audience is as integral to their performance as Lucky Dragons themselves. Their Supersonic performance is bound to be a unique spectacle for all to experience together.
MONARCH (FRANCE) – http://www.myspace.com/monarchuberalles
Located in the far reaches in the south of France lies Bayonne, a small City untouched by modern architecture and home to one of the slowest, heaviest and loudest funeral doom metal bands Europe has to offer. They call them selves Monarch and they ascended to this Earth in the year of 2004.
Drawing comparisons to the likes of heavy weights Khanate, Burzum, Corrupted and the Melvins, Monarch are a unique band with the pure intent on creating blood curdling feedback drenched physical sound through the use of insane volume and low end frequencies, oh, and with a wall of sweet vintage amps.
PEKKO KAPPI (FINLAND) www.pekkokappi.com
Pekko Käppi studied jouhikko playing at the Ala-Könni School in Kaustinen in 1997 and since then it has been his main instrument. As a singer and a researcher he is well-versed in the Finnish runo-singing tradition. He graduated from the Department of Music Anthropology at the University of Tampere. His debut album “Jos ken pahoin uneksii” was released in 2007 and nominated for the Finnish ethno-grammy award. Currently Käppi is teaching at the Folk Music Department of Sibelius-Academy. Kappi has a strong ethnomusical approach in his work, but has worked with various artists across different genres of music.
SCORN (UK) – http://www.myspace.com/mjhscorn
The project of former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris. The project was formed in the early ’90s by Harris along with Nic Bullen (one of the founder members of Napalm Death in 1981). Bullen left the group in April 1995 and the projects continues on to this day as an essentially one man show.
Industrial and experimental in nature, much of the output focuses on minimalist beats with an emphasis on very deep bass lines, often resembling dub and trip-hop in structure.
SECRET CHIEFS (US) http://www.myspace.com/secretchiefs3
"…Secret Chiefs 3 have existed in various incarnations over the course of the past eight years, and have served as the funnel for Spruance's remarkably far-flung studies of the hermetic mysteries and musical traditions of unknown and under appreciated subgenres. Album titles like Grand Constitution and Bylaws and Book M hint at the music's vaguely metaphysical bent. Over three years in the making, Book of Horizons is Secret Chiefs' most expansive and coherent statement, an alchemical fusion of Morricone-esque cinematic grandeur, midnight surf guitar, traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and time signatures, demonic death metal, and electronic deviance that yields a work of undeniable force."
-Jonathan Zwickel, Pitchfork
SKULL DEFEKTS (SE) – http://www.myspace.com/skulldfx
There are some bands who are content to make a record, play a few shows, and exist as a musical entity only when it’s time to make a new album, and then there are bands like The Skull Defekts who are the backbone of their musical communities. Hard at work on their numerous individual projects, constantly collaborating, releasing their own records on their own imprints, and touring incessantly, The Skull Defekts are Sweden’s answer to the States’ Sonic Youth and the Netherlands’ The Ex and one of the centerpieces of the Swedish experimental rock scene.
WHITE HILLS (US) – http://www.myspace.com/whitehills
White Hills present mind-melting psychedelia and broad explorations in ambience, noise, and space. Best described by Goldmine as "A perfect space-rock storm of drone, mind-melting psychedelia, overdriven guitars and heavy bass, White Hills is the rightful heir to Hawkwind's massive legacy."
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM (US) – http://www.wittr.com
During the Summer of 2002 at an Earth First rendezvous in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, guitarist Nathan Weaver was inspired to create a band that merged a Cascadian eco-spiritual awareness with the misanthropic Norwegian eruptions of the 90′s. The band envisioned would strive to create a mythic space where artist and listener alike could strip away the mindset of the mundane to reveal a more ancient and transcendent consciousness. The mysterious and wild energies of the untrammeled forests of the Northwest would be channeled into sonic form.
ZOMBI (US) – http://www.myspace.com/zombi
Producing work that is epic in concept, sound, and artistic approach, Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra, the masterminds and multi-instrumentalists behind Zombi, have re-imagined the architecture of progressive rock and dynamic instrumentals -carving a niche in underground music distinctly their own.
ZU93 (UK/ITALY) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Tibet, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zu_(band), http://www.dieschachtel.com/editions/dsZ07.html
The meeting of some special musical minds indeed. David Tibet of the absolutely essential Current 93 and members of the ridiculously talented Italian instrumental trio Zu make up the group, along with other amazing musicians; Stefano Pilia (the best guitarist of the avant-garde scene in Italy) and cellists Luca Tilli and Andrea Serrapiglio. More news to follow…