Supersonic Festival add a second stage in a brand new venue at the Custard Factory

Supersonic Festival add a second stage in a brand new venue at the Custard Factory

, more bands announced, plus a further 200 tickets go on sale


Following the initial announcement about Capsule’s intimate two day event, Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014 on the 30th and 31st May, the event was a sell out. Since then, the Birmingham curators learned of a new venue space opening up at the Custard Factory called Alfie Birds and after making enquiries, Capsule decided to make use of this exciting new space and expand their event, making available another 200 tickets at £50. Ticket buying link:

Here’s what the curators have to say about this development…

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to extend the programme by adding another stage to this years event, there are just so many great acts we couldn’t help ourselves”

Adding to an already impressive line up (including Swans, Wolf Eyes, Matmos, Sleaford Mods and many more) are an array of weird and wonderful performers, and what band fits both categories “weird” and “wonderful” more aptly than Evil Blizzard, who shall bring their critically acclaimed, uniquely bizarre noise rock to the event. Meanwhile, Pharmakon‘s confrontational power electronics and deathly industrial sounds will reverberate loudly around the Custard Factory, impossible to ignore. For something different, veteran performer/film composer and member of rock bands Codeine and Come, Chris Brokaw shall perform solo in support of his latest album.

Excitingly, Khünnt (featuring Richard Dawson and Pigs x 7) shall perform at Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014, exploring the boundaries of esoteric music, from minimalist noise, cack-rock and ESP screams to live improvisation, fog-beat and psychedelic city mantra. From these savage sounds we traverse to the futurist pop, electroacoustic and chamber orchestra music of Felix Kubin. And on another part of the musical spectrum, Sly & The Family Drone‘s egalitarian approach will propel the audience and band together into a shamanistic setting of catharsis and anarchic celebration.

What Supersonic event is complete without something heavy? Enter Opium Lord, who’s desolate doom-sludge, filthy grooves and abrasive noise will satisfy those with a penchant for dark sounds. Also ticking the boxes for loud, visceral, imposing and intelligent music are Bristol based ANTA who have also been added to the line up.

To mark the release of their first record, a 10″ EP, on London-New York label Care In The Community Recordings, Alien Whale have been added to Supersonic Ltd Edt, musically exploring their roots in free-form rock ‘n roll with an ecstatic energy.  Also taking to the stage at Supersonic Ltd Edt 2014 are Rattle, two of Nottingham’s most unique and recognisable drummers (Theresa Wrigley of Fists and Katharine Brown of Kogumaza) and aided by Kogumaza’s Mark Spivey shall perform their hypnotic and dance-floor filling music, that recalls This Heat or ESG.

And finally, Capsule add two exciting local bands to the Supersonic Ltd Edt bill which includes, Birmingham based, Youth Man who shall present their hyperactive, non-stop form of post-punk which sounds like the Pixies playing Minutemen covers, heavily influenced by the Dead Kennedys. Also added are Backwards, featuring ex-members of Beestung Lips, Una Corda and Napalm Death – who serve up a heady brew of distortion with two bass guitars, drums, voice and electronics.

Capsule demonstrate with each new addition, their impressive genre-hopping curatorial skills, from festival stalwarts to newcomers that we will no doubt be hearing more about in the coming months.

Of course as well as adding more performers Capsule also elaborate on the extra curricular happenings across the 30th and 31st May at the Custard Factory and other locations also. Don’t forget to check out the Bill Drummond exhibition at Eastside Projects, he shall be leading a re-enactment of two historical performances given by The17 choir. The first was in Moscow on the 28 September 2006, the second in Saint Petersburg the following day. The re-enactment will involve 34 people, 17 of whom will act the part of those that were The17 in Moscow, the other 17 will act the part of those who were The17 in Saint Petersburg. The17 choir creates music that follows no musical history, or necessarily has words, melodies or rhythms. This is a ticketed event taking lace at Eastside Projects on Saturday at 2pm.

Still to come in the near future…more information about Capsule’s inaugural ‘Labs’ (artist development and commissioning scheme) devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art, which Capsule intend to launch at Supersonic Ltd Edt.

SUMMARY OF ARTISTS PERFORMING (in alphabetical order):

Agathe Max
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 jeweller and an activist in the musical and artistic community in Lyon.

Alien Whale

Alien Whale is an improvising rock group comprised of three bulwarks of the Brooklyn underground music scene. Matt Mottel (of Talibam!) plays keys, Colin Langenus (of USAisaMonster) plays guitar, and Nick Lesley (of Necking) plays drums. The three members work across music genres and art forms and have individually collaborated with luminaries of the musical avant-garde such as Rhys Chatham , members of Fluxus, Boredoms or Sonic Youth. Alien Whale takes them back to their roots in free-form rock ‘n roll with ecstatic energy. Supersonic will mark the release of their first record, a 10î EP, on London -New York label care in the community recordings.


Loud, visceral, imposing, intelligent. Based in the creative hub of Bristol, UK, ANTA formed in early 2010 and quickly set to establishing a fearsome live reputation, the initial material forming the backbone of their debut album ‘The Tree That Bears The Equine Fruit’. Since its release, the instrumental quartet have seen a change in guitarist, played countless shows across the UK sharing stages with bands such as Mugstar, Trans Am, Chrome Hoof, Thought Forms and Bardo Pond, as well as numerous festival appearances. The last eighteen months have seen the band’s sound evolve from the lurching, exploratory doomscapes that defined their debut, into something considerably more concise, focused and sonically aggressive.


Backwards, featuring ex-members of Beestung Lips, Una Corda and Napalm Death – performing with two bass guitars, drums, voice and electronics. The Fag end of No Wave meets the ugly monotone of Hate Sludge.

Basic House
BASIC HOUSE is the work of the UK’s Stephen Bishop, the man behind the ever more impressive label that is Opal Tapes. Our ears place Basic House in similar territory to Helm and Sewer Election, but always with the feel of a nagging, repetitive beat in the back of his head that’s fighting to materialise. Others have drawn comparisons to a woozy Andy Stott and Aaron Dilloway, with maybe a pinch of John Wiese in there too. But the sound is definitely Bishop’s, the feeling of a rich and aurally satisfying tapestry that only the more superior end of electronic composition can furnish. Basic House is increasingly in demand all of a sudden, with releases this year on Luke Younger’s Alter and on Digitalis and increasing demand for his excellent live shows across Europe. And with his set-up also becoming gradually more modular, we’re expecting even greater things.
Fact said recently of his Oats album: “Juxtaposing arresting material that doesn’t seem like it could be made to work, Bishop bends and edits parts together with care that belies their aggression. The results feel very much alive; primal, but with the beginnings of emotional understanding. It’s a brilliant experience.” Others draw comparisons from Basic Channel to Vatican Shadow and Fennesz, and you could argue his sonic aesthetics are what really set Basic House apart, his precise attention to sound design taking his compositions through to another level. As Brainwashed put it, his records work “so wonderfully precisely because of Bishop’s unwavering commitment to his broken, crackling aesthetic of cryptic dispatches. Stephen certainly recorded some great individual pieces, but Basic House’s brilliance lies far more in how it sounds than in the actual beats and notes being played.”

Chris Brokaw

CHRIS BROKAW is a singer/songwriter, film composer, accompanist, and rock band member living in Seattle, Washington. He has been making records and touring internationally for 20+ years, beginning with his bands CODEINE and COME, who made landmark records for Sub Pop and Matador in the 1990’s. Since 2002 he has made dozens of recordings: solo albums of instrumental and vocal music,and with his bands THE NEW YEAR, DIRTMUSIC, THE LEMONHEADS, THE MARTHA’S VINEYARD FERRIES, and WREKMEISTER HARMONIES. He has recorded and performed live as an accompanist to THURSTON  MOORE, RHYS CHATHAM, EVAN DANDO, CHRISTINA ROSENVINGE, JENNIFER O’CONNOR,
STEVE WYNN, GG ALLIN and JOHNNY DEPP. He has composed for the Dagdha Dance Company (Frankfurt/Limerick) and Kino Dance (Boston); and scored five films, 2 of which (“Now, Forager” and “Taken By Storm”) screened in 2013 to packed houses at MOMA in New York City. His score for “ROAD” won the award for Best Original Score at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in 2005. He played as one of 77 drummers in the Boredoms’ “77 Boadrum” in Brooklyn; as one of 200 guitarists in Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Wave” at Lincoln Center, NYC; and The Festival in The Desert in Essakane, Mali in 2008 with his band DIRTMUSIC. He has duos with Geoff Farina (ex-Karate) playing pre WWII country blues, and with Stephen O’Malley (Sunn o)))), playing improvised abstract music.  His new album, the soundtrack to “Now, Forager”,will be released April 15 on Dais Records ( Also coming in late April/early May will be a one-sided LP on American Tapes (label of John Olson – Wolf Eyes,etc): a collaboration with RYLEY WALKER. In September 12XU will release a new double album of live solo instrumental recordings.

Evil Blizzard

Comprising four bassists, a singing drummer and a baby’s head theramin, Evil Blizzard are a live experience unlike any other in this modern era of auto-tuned and cloned Americanised hipster chic, their show is a full-on life-altering aural intoxication.

“I like Evil Blizzard, they give me hope that music is alive and kicking” – Mark E Smith (The Fall)

Ex Easter Island Head
“Large Electric Ensemble is Ex-Easter Island Head’s first piece for massed prepared guitars and drums.
Utilising third bridge preparations (inserting metal rods beneath the guitar strings) and a range of alternate tunings across the ensemble, the piece combines propulsive, rhythmic minimalism with chorusing attacks of massed harmonics.
Across four movements, the ensemble adopt a new vocabulary of playing based around various guitar preparations, from billowing harp-like arpeggios to ‘bowing’ the strings with allen keys to produce luminous upper register drones. Microtonal intervals create shimmering tones akin to the struck metallophones of Balinese gamelan, whilst the thrum of electrified
strings creates a dense undertow of singing harmonies. Scored in custom notation the piece places free flowing passages alongside conductor cues, allowing the players to collectively create a distinctive sonic landscape.
A recording of the piece was released as the group’s fourth record in January 2014, receiving critical acclaim from the likes of The Wire, Fluid Radio and The New York Times; the latter drawing favourable comparisons with the work of Glenn Branca and summing up the record’s maximalist attack as “all the strings being heard at once.”

Felix Kubin

Felix Kubin, messenger of exploding lungs, lives and works against gravitation. At the age of 12 he started composing electronic 4-track music. His activities comprise futurist pop, electroacoustic and chamber orchestra music, radio plays, lectures, workshops and his label Gagarin Records. He has been involved with the noise project Klangkrieg, the communist singing group Liedertafel Margot Honecker and the tetchy teenage bands Die Egozentrischen 2 and x2. Recently, he works a lot with the ensemble Integrales.

Jenny Hval
Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Despite her young age, she has already infused, carved and modulated an artistic voice that is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time.

Khünnt (Featuring Richard Dawson and Pigs x7)

Formed in 2006, Khünnt have fervently explored the boundaries of esoteric music, from minimalist noise, cack-rock and ESP screams to live improvisation, fog-beat and psychedelic city mantra. The latest incarnation of the band sees them spiralling down a long hole howling a gale of blighted sustain, aggravated nowhere-isms and chunks of sheer bedlam, finally splashing heavily around the bottom of the mirrored well.
Khünnt worship as one at the toes of a tortured and hopeless entity, utilising no-tune guitars, primal riffs, freeform noise, savage vocals and unrelenting repetition to manifest their perpetual entrapment in the illusion of modern life.

Matmos are known for making toe-tapping rhythmic pop out of odd and unusual sound sources. They have always worn genre loosely, but it’s safe to say that this is the first electronic album to start with tap dancing and end with doom metal, and the only album on which members of Nautical Almanac and the Arditti String Quartet rub shoulders. Comprising stomping techno, eerie synth jams, musique concrete, Latin rhythms, and Ethiopian music, at once at home in the academy, the art gallery, the nightclub and the noise warehouse, the dizzyingly diverse assemblage which is “The Marriage of True Minds” is driven by a tightly unified conceptual agenda: telepathy.

Opium Lord

“Opium Lord had a busy 2013, releasing their sold out debut EP on CD and vinyl, numerous UK appearances and a headline tour of mainland Europe, making bold statements in their formation year.  The band make desolate doom-sludge with a coal black heart. Filthy grooves meet abrasive noise to convey a menacing atmosphere akin to the dodgiest drinking establishments that only a band from Birmingham could make.Having just completed the recording their debut album “The Calendrical Cycle, Scene One: Eye of Earth”, 2014 looks just as dark.”


Margaret Chardiet was born and raised in New York City She has been making power electronics/death industrial music under the name Pharmakon for five years. As a founding member of the Red Light District collective in Far Rockaway, NY she has been a figurehead in the underground experimental scene since the age of seventeen. She points out that the environment there amongst so many other experimental artists (amongst them Yellow Tears & Haflings) inspired her to keep making increasingly challenging work. She describes her drive to make noise music as something akin to an exorcism where she is able to express, her deep-seated need/drive/urge/possession to reach other people and make them FEEL something in uncomfortable/confrontational ways.


If the idea of a band consisting of just 2 drummers brings to mind a hippy bongo nightmare then you’ve obviously never heard Rattle. Comprising of 2 of Nottingham’s most unique and recognisable drummers (Theresa Wrigley of Fists and Katharine Brown of Kogumaza) and aided by Kogumaza’s Mark Spivey they create a hypnotic and danceable music form that recalls This Heat or ESG even whilst remaining completely their own.

Sleaford Mods
Sleaford Mods don’t sound like anything else. Sleaford Mods are the realest band out there right now. Sleaford Mods ARE right now. And if you think “Mod” is just about dressing up like “page 7 Weller” and boring on about Small Faces all day and night on yer reissue 60s Vespa, then don’t bother mate. If you don’t “get” Sleaford Mods you are one of them, “the enemy”. Seriously the best music/act to come out of this spoilt, over-saturated musical farmyard we call the UK since the Pistols. Yep, that’s right. “Sleaford Mods rule” Kim Gordon

Sly & the Family Drone

Sly & the Family Drone are a primal orchestra of drum rhythms, radiophonic oscillator noise and electronically-abstracted vocals.
Sly’s reductionist take on music is literal: they split their drum kit to its singular base units, passing individual drums to the audience who maintain the beat while they free themselves for more noise and freestyle mayhem, ultimately eliminating any boundaries between spectator and performer. This egalitarian approach propels audience and band together into a shamanistic setting of catharsis and anarchic celebration.

Swans are Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica and these are their first US dates since last July.
Swans infamous and powerful live show was described by the New York Times as “an act of generosity”, by Time Magazine as ” a force that jolts you into focus ” while asked “Are Swans the best live band in the world right now?” and it was on this recent 2012/2013 tour, Gira explains, that “a good portion of the material for this album was developed live”.
Wolf Eyes
The infamous blistering noise of Wolf Eyes propelled them from being a dank Ann Arbour, Michigan basement sensation to the finest ranks of Sub Pop without ever losing a shred of credibility. From touring with Sonic Youth and Andrew W.K., Wolf Eyes have crossed  borders into popularity which few other such confrontational units of their ilk have been able to and kept straight and narrow on their blazing path. Originally started as the solo project of former Nautical Almanac member Nate Young, he was soon joined by  Aaron Dilloway in 1998, John Olson in 2000 then Mike Connenlly and now Crazy Jim. They has released over 150 recordings in their relatively short lifespan, on labels such as Bulb Records, Troubleman Unlimited, Fusetron, and Sub Pop, as well as on Olson’s American Tapes label, Dilloway’s Hanson Records, Mike Connelly’s Gods of Tundra label and Nate Young’s AA Records. The overwhelming force of Wolf Eyes must be seen to to be believed.

Youth Man

Birmingham band Youth Man storm through a venue like a bull in a china shop, levelling everything in sight. Their hyperactive take on post punk sounds like Pixies playing Minutemen covers whilst under the influence of Dead Kennedys. By the end of their brakeless juggernaut of a show – once the ringing in your ears has subsided – you’ll have plenty to talk about.

Bill Drummond The 17′ performance lecture with Eastside Projects + Exhibition

The 25 Paintings
Legendary musician and artist Bill Drummond will begin a twelve year ‘World Tour’ under Spaghetti Junction marking this momentous event with an exhibition at Eastside Projects.
The exhibition focuses on ‘The 25 Paintings’, a series of artworks that signpost actions Drummond will perform across Birmingham during his three month stay in the city including, but by no means limited to, giving away bunches of daffodils, discovering Dead Oak Rings, building rafts, hiding in cafes, making beds, sweeping the streets clean and brewing tea. Also on show will be The SIXTY Posters, The 25 Sixty Second Films, an evolving selection of photographs, a globe of the world and a large map of the city.


Bill Drummond shall also be leading a re-enactment of two historical performances given by The17 choir. The first was in Moscow on the 28 September 2006, the second in Saint Petersburg the following day. The re-enactment will involve 34 people, 17 of whom will act the part of those that were The17 in Moscow, the other 17 will act the part of those who were The17 in Saint Petersburg. The17 choir creates music that follows no musical history, or necessarily has words, melodies or rhythms. This is a ticketed event, taking place at Eastside Projects at 2pm on Saturday.

If Wet with Sarah Kenchington + Ryan Jordan

If Wet is a monthly event of sonic exploration, held in a rural Worcestershire village hall; chaired by musical instrument designers David Morton and Sam Underwood (Ore, Glatze) who together form MortonUnderwood. Part show and tell, part test bed, part salon. A place for artists to showcase their latest sonic works and research. A place for you to revel and discuss.

After a successful inaugural season MortonUnderwood have decided to extend the reach of If Wet beyond the village hall and it is with great pleasure that they will transport their distinctive event to Supersonic 2014.

They will host a salon event to introduce a selection of artists that create ‘extraordinary objects’.  This will be the first commissioning opportunity as part of Capsule’s Labs and provide a creative exploration. Confirmed participating artists will include:

Ryan Jordan

Ryan Jordan is a UK based sound artist and electronic musician working with DIY Punk electronics, physical performance, Pure Data, and noise. He creates live electronic music/noise scores and performances which incorporate human physical movements and stoboscopic light as their essential foundation.

He is specifically interested in new understandings of music/noise/sound, the creation of new instruments and interfaces, free/libre and open source software (FLOSS), DIY electronic arts and their impact and implications on contemporary society and culture. Sensory Response Systems is his first major project and research into this subject.

Sarah Kenchington

Sarah Kenchington builds her mechanical instruments from discarded materials. Bicycle spokes, typewriters, the inner tubes of tractor tyres are combined to create unique musical machines which emit a discordant array of moans, squeaks and chimes. Kenchington’s work offers a contemporary manifestation of a long history of the artist giving birth to machines (from Leonardo da Vinci, through to Heath Robinson, Tinguely and Michael Landy), yet Kenchington’s machines are anything but automata, remaining fundamentally dependent on an interaction with the human to come to life. Kenchington relishes the unpredictable nature of her instruments, a quality which means that despite being author of both instrument and the music it emits, she is never entirely in control of what happens. Her performances evolve in conversation with or in response to the machine, a process which for Kenchington is akin to playing an improvised duet with another musician.

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Supersonic Festival add a second stage in a brand new venue at the Custard Factory