Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Supersonic 2012 - Artist Lowdown

If you've never been to Supersonic festival (held every year in the heart of Birmingham and organised by the rather unique promoter Capsule) you are doing yourself a disservice. Catering for the more "out there" styles of music as well as some more commonly known acts, it may well be the most diverse and interesting festival you'll ever attend. We've put together a breakdown of all the artists performing (as it stands). It's not only music...you'll get panel discussions, films (a highlight for me in 2010 was a screening of Mogwai's "Burning" concert in NYC introduced by Stuart Braithwaite himself), record stalls and cupcakes...lovely cupcakes.
Have a read then book your tickets....

A founding member of Sonic Youth - where she plays bass and guitar and sings, Kim Gordon has also been involved in numerous collaborations with other artists and musicians including Julie Cafritz and Yoshimi in Free Kitten, Mirror/Dash with Thurston Moore and others including Lydia Lunch, Vincent Gallo, and Yoko Ono. With an extensive history in the world of art, both as an artist, writer and curator Gordon has maintained ongoing creative relationships with visual artists such as Dan Graham, Raymond Pettibon, Mike Kelley, Jutta Koether and Richard Prince and exhibited her own installation work across the US, Japan and Europe.
Guitarist Bill Nace has ripped a new black hole in the free rock universe as a constant, energising presence in the Boston area performing with Chris Corsano in Vampire Belt (and together with Jessica Rylan as Vampire Can't), Thurston Moore in Northampton Wools, x.0.4 with Jake Meginsky & John Truscinski and a coruscating duo with free reed player Paul Flaherty. His collaborations even extended to a short-lived association with Brighton noiseniks Dylan Nyoukis & Karen Constance (aka Blood Stereo) under the Ceylon Mange moniker.
Nace has released LPs on Ecstatic Peace!, 8mm, Ultra Eczema and more...

Bohren & Der Club of Gore
If you enjoy it slow and low, Germany’s Bohren & Der Club Of Gore will very likely do the trick. In fact, with each subsequent release the German quartet's music grows increasingly refined. Playing together since 1988, that band hint at doom, jazz, drone and contemporary classical with an unparalleled restrain. Live shows are few and far between. We are honoured to host them at Supersonic Festival 2012.

The Bug
The Bug's music draws influence from dancehall, noise grime and hip hop. More subtle influences include dubstep and dubtronica.
The Bug's first album, Tapping The Conversation, was released in 1997 on the seminal Wordsound label. The album was conceived as an alternative soundtrack to the 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film The Conversation. In this incarnation The Bug consisted of Kevin Martin and DJ Vadim was in more of a downtempo and trip-hop vein. From 2001-2004 The Bug collaborated with UK reggae soundsystem veteran The Rootsman on a number of limited edition 7" singles, released on the Razor X label. These releases were characterised by their harsh, aggressive nature both musically and vocally (vocal artists including Jamaican MCs such as He-Man and Wayne Lonesome). The Bug's second album, Pressure was released on Rephlex Records in 2003. It included a number of more ambient, dub-influenced tracks alongside the ragga-tinged onslaughts. The Razor X singles were compiled on theKilling Sound album (along with newer material) which was released by Rephlex in 2006. Bug projects have included collaborations with a number of singers and MCs including Cutty Ranks, Flow Dan, Warrior Queen and Ras B. In 2005 he collaborated with Mark Stewart and Keith Levene and has released records on Rephlex, Tigerbeat6and Klien Records. The Bug produced some radio sessions, including a clash with Soundmurderer on John Peel and a 2006 Breezeblock session with 10 MCs.
In 2006, The Bug launched a monthly London-based reggae club night entitled BASH, in collaboration with dubstepproducer Loefah. 2008 saw the release of London Zoo, the third full release from the project, to critical acclaim. Since then Kevin Martin has been involved in countless other musical projects under many different guises.
Carlton Melton
If you prefer old SST label cassette tapes or an early Spaceman 3 cassette you recently found wedged in the back seat of your car to super slick modern day music production, you may dig Carlton Melton. Their music is recorded live inside a geodesic dome, and is entirely improvised.

Clifford Torus
Clifford Torus is Anders Hana (Moha!, Ultralyd & Noxagt) on drums & electronics & Leon Barnett (Horacio Pollard) on guitar & vocals. Heavy, hypnotic, drenched in feedback and driven by a super charged rhythm, Clifford Torus deliver a mesmerising multi-layered rhombus harsh noise.
Doomsday Student
You know who these men are. They have been other men. Who they were before does not matter. What matters most is who they are now. These men, with two menacing guitars, violent drums, and wild words will fill that void in you. Born from the ashes of Arab on Radar, Doomsday Student come from that untouchable tradition of noise rock from Providence, Rhode Island.
Dope Body
Primal hardcore thrash vibes from the lovely brothers of Baltimore. Dope Body are road doggies, funsters, and gleeful pummellers of basement and attic parties alike, wide-eyed fanatics of the craft that the more reasonable among us might mistake for insanity (it isn't entirely so). Dope Body is a spasm of styles and directions, showering sparks from a half-melted thickness. They writhe under their own influences and experiments, swinging and swaying from guttural chugging to charming riffs n licks within the confines of a single tune. Promoting their brand new album, Natural History, Dope Body are in possession of what might be their most COMMERCIALLY ACCESSIBLE album ever – especially if your idea of "commercially accessible" is Half- Machine Lips Moves/Psychic, Powerless.../or "Salad Days"-era punk. They have well and truly honed their own off-kilter sound, replete with heavy walls of rhythm, raw electronics and vocals that grunt and yelp with an animalistic ferocity. Lock up your daughters, your boyfriends, your kids - keep your own body in check - no one body's the same, but everybody's body is sure to get weird when it comes into contact with Dope Body!

Drunk in Hell
Dylan Carlson
Legendary Earth guitarist Dylan Carlson recently set out to pursue a solo endeavour, up to now he has released a cassette as drcarlsonalbion but there still remains an air of mystery and much anticipation as to what direction this solo musical endeavour will go next. For Supersonic, he will be teaming up with a number of other musicians including Teresa Colamonaco on vocals, Michael York on bagpipes, and Rogier Small on snare drum.

As a powerful and loud guitar/drum duo, Lightning Bolt comparisons come cheap….the Flower-Corsano Duo are something else - more like a white-punk-jazz-trash Konono No.1 or an Eastern sound, opiate-fixated Harry Pussy. As a duo they have that special power to elevate through noise, rhythm and primal harmonix. An exhilarating sight/sound that shudders the body and cleanses the mind. Obsessive stuff.

A collective who hail from a small and very remote village in deepest, darkest Sweden, Goat produce heavy, afro psych punk, with absorbing percussion. Old tales of voodoo and curses from their village Korpolombolo inspires their music. One to watch!

Hey Colossus
“Hey Colossus are the closest thing the UK has to inheritors of the crown of the Butthole Surfers.... like the whole Texas Chainsaw Massacre family drunkenly shouting along to Neu! and Loop during Ragnarök” Stool Pigeon

Hookworms fling themselves headlong into classic 80’s/90’s psych-rock
like they’re trying to break something. Hailing from Leeds and
cramming themselves giddily within the well established formal
properties of the genre, they walk the scorched road behind Loop,
Spectrum, and any other titan of two-chord songs who’s ever slowly
wah-ed a chord until they saw colors.” - Cameron Stallones (Sun
Araw/Sun Ark)
Hype Williams
On record, Hype Williams make music laced with their signature hazy glow and full of crunched eurovision lullabies, kinetic drum machine jams, unsettling funk, smeared walls of synth, and moments of unadulterated opiated bliss. Live, the band offer a completely different and intense side to their music with each performance being different to the last, so expect to see nothing like it again.
Islaja is Merja Kokkonen, a visual artist and musician living and working in Berlin, Germany. Her debut album Meritie (Fonal, 2004) gained praise in international music media such as The Wire, Dusted Magazine and WFMU. The follow up release Palaa Aurinkoon (Fonal 2005) caused even more excitement and created quite a stir. 2007 saw the release of her third album Ulual yyy (Fonal 2006) and released a live cd "Blaze Mountain Recordings" on Ecstatic Peace label. Her latest album Keraaminen Pää was released on Fonal Records September 2010. Islaja records her music at home using a rainbow of instruments to accompany her personal vocal delivery sang in Finnish. She has already played numerous large festivals including Eurosonic, by:Larm, Sonar, Itsenäisyysyö at the B2 club in Moscow, Russia and All Tomorrows Parties 200 curated by Thurston Moore. Animal Collective invited Islaja to play a two week support tour with them in Europe. Islaja is also a member of Hertta Lussu Ässä, a free folk super trio with Lau Nau and Kuupuu.

A unique energy, Jarboe’s music draws from a variety of charged sources. Her 14-year involvement with Swans cemented her place as an icon in avante garde music and she has worked prolifically as a solo artist and collaborator since. Her delivery has been described as voice acting and also channeling. A primary objective for Jarboe is to close in on the gap in the audience/performer relationship via complete submission and vicarious experience through her performance.

JK Flesh
Godflesh, Head of David, Napalm Death, Techno Animal, Jesu, Greymachine, Palesketcher – just some of the projects from the insanely prolific Justin Broadrick, who in his new relationship with 3by3, raises his Techno Animal moniker JK Flesh from the dead for it’s debut full-length outing, to once again prove his mastery of all things brutal.
Soul-crushingly dark beats and bass, layered with Broadrick's inimitable guitar and vocal fuzz, providing a stark contrast to 2010’s Palesketcher output, that will resonate with fans of Godflesh and the post-dubstep landscape alike.

Kevin Drumm
Emerging from the Chicago’s improvised music scene, in the 1990s he became one of the world's pre-eminent prepared guitar players. Since then his work has expanded to include electroacoustic compositions and live electronic music made with laptop computers and analog modular synthesizers. Drumm's work draws upon musique concrète, electronic sound, improvisation, heavy metal, and noise music. He is also a black metal fanatic.

KK Null
Tokyo based KK Null (Kazuyuki Kishino) is a multi instrumentalist and experimenter. As well as being part of a number of influential progressive rock bands, KK Null has played an important role in the relationship between rock and extreme music/noise.
KK Null & ORE
ORE and KK NULL are delighted to be part of Supersonic 2012 performing as a distinctive collaboration for the tenth anniversary.  In many ways, KK NULL's collaboration with Lash Frenzy at Supersonic 2010 acted as a proof of concept for the amplified tuba sound of ORE, so it's entirely fitting for Capsule to bring the two entities together this year. Better still, KK NULL and ORE have gelled so well in the early stages of working on this collaboration that they have also decided to release a limited split CD-R single together, which will be available at the festival.
They will be performing a specially-written twenty minute piece together, culminating in a vast cacophony of sound. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Lash Frenzy
This will be a large scale improvised noise collective. you could reference the kk null performance which went down well. this will feature members of Anaal Nathrackh,  Beestung Lips, Benediction, Sally, Einstellung.
Lash Frenzy return to this year’s festival to present ‘Vir Heroicus Sublimis’. Celebrating a decade of Supersonic, Lash Frenzy will be taking inspiration from their own decade’s worth of performances and throwing them into a blender, along with your brain. Whatever comes out is whatever comes out, so expect everything and expect nothing.  All we know for sure is that there’s more than one person involved and less than 1000. If you weren’t able to get in to the Lash Frenzy vs KK Null performance at Supersonic 2010, then make sure you don’t miss out twice! 
Lau Lau
Free spirited Finnish artist Laura Naukkarinen. Since the release of her celebrated debut full length Kuutarha on Chicago’s Locust Music in 2005, Lau Nau has enjoyed considerable recognition for her intimate and playful blend of ethnic tinged folk songs with curious and intuitive sounds conjured from familiar and exotic sound sources.

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an artist and multi instrumentalist working with voice in the realm of spontaneous music Through collaboration Robert has worked with such artists as Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Tyondai Braxton and Genesis P-Orridge.

Masami Akita performs as Merzbow. Since 1979 he has been a hugely influential practitioner on the fields of sound art, noise and extreme music. Abrasive and restrained in equal measure, Merzbow is considered to be the most important artist in noise music.

My Disco
An Australian minimalist band, My Disco (named after the Big Black song) have to bet he most danceable guitar band around. If you like your party music on repeat, then it’s time to switch onto the Melbourne trio.
Nicholas Bullen
Nicholas Bullen is a sound artist, composer and writer whose practice is focused on explorations at the margins of representation and experience (with a particular focus on live performance and improvisation).He has a 30 year history of composition (appearing on over 35 recordings) and live performance (performing extensively across the globe both solo and collaboratively, beginning as a founder member of the ‘extreme’ music group Napalm Death).His work spans a range of fields and media including sound art (including sound installations and sound design for artist’s radio), texts and lectures, film and curation, alongside ongoing performance at art galleries, music festivals and cinemas. The work has been performed or installed at numerous locations in the United Kingdom (including Tate Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Gallery and others) and abroad (including Art Basel, Creative Time, Schirn Kunsthalle, Ultima Oslo and others).
Oxbow Orchestra
In advance of the world assault subsequent to the band OXBOW's spring 2013 release of their long-awaited new record the THIN BLACK DUKE, there is this, the OXBOW ORCHESTRA. Strings, woodwinds, brass, operatic backing vocals and classically contained renderings of the OXBOW song book and featuring EUGENE S. ROBINSON and NIKO WENNER from OXBOW, the ORCHESTRA delivers songs new and old in a format unaccustomed to the blood and sweat of a typical OXBOW outing.
A textbook definition of ONCE IN A LIFETIME.

It would be bear impossible to celebrate 10 years of Supersonic without PCM. This duo have been at the heart of the Birmingham electronic/dance music scene for many years but have managed to keep their music and ethos resolutely underground.
PCM draw from their wide-ranging influences from metal to Krautrock, 60s psychedelia and hardcore to create a unique take on Drum & Bass/electronica.
By combining nitrous-fuelled beats and filthy subsonic basslines with alien soundscapes and horror movie unease, PCM continue Birmingham’s heritage of producing dark, heavy music but with their eyes firmly on the dancefloor.

Rangda, the child-eating demon queen of Balinese mythology, finds a sonic voice via the epic, thrashing jammerisms of  Sir Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny, and Chris Corsano. A twin virtuoso guitar attack is matched by one of the most in demand drummers in the world. Live, they are utterly thrilling, and a rare opportunity to witness such important players in avant garde contemporary music playing together.
Richard Dawson
A skewed troubadour who sings and plays guitar with a rare intensity, and a very singular style. Dawson’s music is a collision of opposites, his hoarsely cracking voice suddenly rising to a magical soar, while his battered acoustic guitar veers from stumble to sublime in a way that can recall Sir Richard Bishop or Captain Beefheart.

Ruins Alone
Like strong alcohol, Ruins make music that makes you grimace. Ruins is a lab of the Tatsuya Yoshida stamp, a direct interface between his brain and his drumsticks. You could get 15 rock records out of one Ruins album, just by adding a bit of fizzy water. Yoshida is also the drummer for legendary Japanese band Zeni Geva.

Sir Richard Bishop
Richard Bishop is an improviser, composer, and an intrepid explorer on electric and acoustic guitar whose work often reflects the shadow worlds of India, the Middle East, North Africa, and other points along the Gypsy trail. There is also a fair amount of experimentation involved in much of his string-work which can lead to audio realms rarely visited by others. Attentive listeners may hear shades of Jimmy Page, Django Reinhardt, Sonny Sharrock, and Ali Akbar Khan in his playing. Others may hear the sounds of a train wreck or a swarm of bees flying into a buzz saw (it depends on the day). It hardly matters. Bishop has fused all of these and many other elements to forge a unique and inventive style all his own.

Six Organs Of Admittance
Six Organs of Admittance is the primary musical project of guitarist Ben Chasny, " the architect of one of America's best-ever psychedelic syndicates" - Pitchfork.

Small But Hard showcase
Promoting exciting new label Small But Hard with exciting artists, including...
Koyxeи is one of the many aliases of Kouhei Matsunaga, when in his Hip Hop/Breakbeat guise with vocalists & MCs.
C_C - after listening to a lot of jungle, dub and breakcore, Eduardo Ribuyo had his brains blown when he met NHK, aka Kouhei Matsunaga. The ensuing metamorphosis brought us C_C, master of handmade beats and analogue feedback loops. Taking k7 tapes as his primary material, and sourcing sounds from anything and everything, C_C produces heavily textured music breathing, repetitious, and deep. Live performances envelop, soupy and treacly, moving incognito through his signature improvised flow.
Devilman comprises of three strong individual talents, Shige (DJ Scotch Egg) on bass, Gorgonn (Dokkebi Q) live mixing, and Taigen Kawabe (Bo Ningen) providing vocals. They are part of a secret underground organisation fronted by the mysterious MR. D.
DJ Scotch Bonnet is the new solo project of Shigeru Ishihara, aka DJ Scotch Egg. A maverick, crazed with energy and excess creativity, Ishihara’s chance meeting with Matsunaga Kouhei spurred an isotopic explosion of activity and inspiration; the result was new dope style distorted bass and beats
Kakawaka makes noise. The lunatic who took over the asylum, Kawakawa merrily blends childish tomfoolery with mind mangling noise. Abrasive sound sculptures beat you into submission until you are sick on the carpet. He spits in your eye and pisses on your face. For thus it is written in the great journal of musical endeavour that someone somewhere will achieve maximum joy from this unholy racket.

Stian Westerhus
“The sense of menace is generated with huge energy by the belligerently brilliant Norwegian guitarist Westerhus who coaxes a plethora of tortured sounds from his axe, bowed notes elongating into harmonic dismemberment of epic proportions. (...) This is heady, sometimes heavy, otherworldly stuff, fuelled by jazz but never hindered by it. Welcome to the new century of improvised music."- JazzWise Magazine

Sian Macfarlane presents a new work exploring the Victorian séance, and its roots in the pain of the loss of loved ones.
An exploration of the world of the séance, popular in Victorian times, where spiritualism was at its height, this piece will incorporate family snaps, slides, and super 8 footage as well as found sounds.

Thomas Ankersmit
Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and installation artist based in Berlin and Amsterdam. His main instruments are the Serge analogue modular synthesizer, computer and alto saxophone. He frequently works together with New York minimalist Phill Niblock and electroacoustic artists Valerio Tricoli and Kevin Drumm.

Tim Hecker
Canadian based composer and sound artist, Tim Hecker has spent the last decade inhabiting a unique intersection between noise, dissonance, and melody. In his varied and celebrated works, digital and organic sources tightly intertwine. The immense power and menace of his live shows make Hecker a contemporary master of volume and texture.

Jan Anderzen is a Tampere based artist who rearranges images and sounds to create Tomutonttu. Streams, mutilated voices and found sounds are some of the ingredients Anderzen uses to mould his ecstatic music. Jan Anderzen is also the leader of the band Kemialliset Ystävät - one of the most recognized Finnish experimental music makers.

Ufomammut is a power trio formed in 1999 in Italy by Poia, Urlo and Vita, worldwide recognized as the creator of a unique brand of psychedelic sludge.
With long songs, droning vocals and massive effects the band combines a monumental riffing attitude with the psychedelia of the more visionary Pink Floyd. Ufomammut’s live show is supported by the internationally acclaimed graphic and video art of Malleus.

Warm Digits
Warm Digits is the krautophonic blizzard-wave duo of Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis, based either side of the Pennines in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Manchester. Warm Digits make a semi-improvised brew of metronomic rhythms, snowstorm guitar and radiophonic electronics, dual-laptop electro, swathes of no-wave guitar and frantic free jazz drumming, taking their cue from the hypnotic repetition of Neu!, the textural overload of My Bloody Valentine, the glacial otherworldliness of Emeralds, and the sensuous modernity of cosmic disco; there are hints in the mix too of Eno, Giorgio Moroder and Holy Fuck.

Zeni Geva
Japanese noise rock group led by singer and guitarist KK. Null. Zeni Geva's music can be diverse and experimental, incorporating elements ranging from death metal and hardcore punk to math rock, psychedelic, and noise rock. Their music is often technically unorthodox and demanding,
Bruce Lacey Experience - documentary by Jeremy Deller & Nick Abrahams
For his new documentary the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and his sometime accomplice Nick Abrahams turn their attention to fellow film pioneer and iconic performance artist Bruce Lacey. Three years in the making the film examines Lacey’s remarkable legacy as a painter and sculptor (creating extraordinary mechanical devices in the 1960s), an avant-garde filmmaker (alongside Dick Lester and Bob Godfrey) and as an all-round cultural chameleon, working with The Goons, The Beatles and even folk-rock super-group Fairport Convention. An intimate portrait of a self confessed 'silly bugger' and true visionary artist who, at the age of 85, still lives the bohemian dream; creating art and magic in a farmhouse near Norwich. 
Oxbow - The Luxury of Empire 
Mariexxme's lush documentary "The Luxury of Empire", filmed on the French leg of Oxbow's 2009 European tour offers an intimate portrait of a band in full artistic maturity. It sees them undergoing the daily trials of touring with grace and provides sometimes touching and humorous insights into an otherwise mysterious band. The film's dark, cinematic aesthetic was inspired by the atmosphere of Oxbow's recent work. It echoes its title and is interlaced with live performances and candid interviews in which the band peel away the layers of their processes and which bring the viewer as close as it's possible to get to a band without being in it.
'You Can Be You' - with Penny, Jarboe, Eugene - You Can Be You (title of Honey Bane/Crass single)
Offering an insight into some of the hows and whys of maintaining an independent spirit whilst on the very edge of the avant-garde, this panel will feature a number of maverick artists. How is the drive to make art sustained under sometimes-difficult circumstances? After many years of writing and touring music, will the desire to create ever be satiated?
Supersonic Festival is now in its 10th year, beginning as a one-day event it has become an internationally renowned weekend of music, art and more. The panellists have hugely influenced the festival producers, as well as many other artists performing at Supersonic. ‘You Can Be You’ will offer a fascinating insight into the drive and motivation behind some of the most prolific experimental artists around.


Given the success of Imperfect Cinema last year, Capsule have invited the team back to host a free workshop exploring DIY modes of filming and cinema only this time, the footage people gather using Super 8 cameras will be edited and used as visuals for Drunk in Hell's performance. All in all, an exciting opportunity for festival goers to be part of the performance and utilise the industrial backdrop in a highly creative way. Imperfect Cinema will also be screening the film 'Bullshit Detector' - their film about the Crass compilations, which ties in nicely with Penny Rimbaud's guest appearance. 

The Vinyl Rally is an large-scale installation combining sound art, video art and kinetic sculpture into every kid and kidult’s dream-hybrid; an immersive participatory play-set playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports in a video game played within a real world setting!
Classic first person video racing is simulated as remote control cars with styli attached, race across a track constructed from a mass of disused vinyl records. Transmitting sound (produced as the styli skim along the vinyl surface) and vision (from wireless spy cameras mounted to the front of each car) to reengineered old school racing consoles with immersive 50” flat screens. Here players navigate the course from the vehicles point of view, not only controlling the cars movements, but also the parameters of the resulting sounds they create via a series of unique audio effects mounted onto the dashboard giving each car its own distinct aural flavour. These sounds are emitted from speakers built into the seats causing them to vibrate in correspondence with the movements on screen, producing a personally immersive experience aurally, visually and physically that can only be truly appreciated seated at the controls.
Vinyl Rally is the project of Australian artist Lucas Abela, AKA Justice Yeldham

“Supersonic is a place to be educated and surprised: new, experimental and intellectually nourishing.” – WIRE

 “Having been a journalist for 15 years I’ve had cause to work at approaching 100 festivals all over the world and in my opinion Supersonic has the consistently best quality line-ups and is the most engaging and stimulating to fans of underground music. Certainly no other festival introduces me to more new and exciting music than this one.” - THE QUIETUS

“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

Crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences


19-21 October

Birmingham UK

Weekend tickets available from www.theticketsellers.co.uk