This weekend, Supersonic is celebrating 10 years of tinnitus, sludge-riffs and bass pressure-induced nose bleeds. Held annually in Birmingham – metal’s fatherland – the music festival is an eclectic mix of avant-garde noise and sound artists. Here are seven acts we are looking forward to losing our shit to from tomorrow.
(1) Hype Williams
Hype Williams are a rather elusive London duo who bring together high and low cultural references in both their music and in interviews. Their sound is blissfully lo-fi and ideas-laden, tinged with hip-hop and dance influences. The joy.
(2) The Bug
The Bug is the stagename of prolific London producer Kevin Martin. Drawing in a diaspora of influences- from dancehall and dub to noise, grime and hip-hop, Martin has been filling dancefloors for more than a decade. His experience and encyclopaedic music knowledge is evident at his live shows – don’t miss his headline show on Saturday.
As a 14-year-old in visceral noise band Swans, Jarboe cemented her place as a great sound experimenter. As a solo artist and collaborator, she continued to draw from a variety of charged sources, and her unique live energy has certainly kept fans glued. Jarboe will be reinterpreting songs of Swans, World of Skin, and solo works.
Having released 350 songs since 1979, Merzbow is a hugely influential purveyor of white noise electronica. His music makes use of tape loops, squealing feedback and dramatic bursts of unidentified sounds, amounting to indescribably visceral noise music. Unforgettable.
(5) Kevin Drumm
Kevin Drumm has been lost in a kind of noise nightmare sound-cloud since the mid-90’s. His most recent release was a triptych of albums, each recorded in a separate room in his house. His live show is a fascinating watch: Drumm recreates his impossible sound with guitar, synthesizers and laptops.
(6) Dylan Carlson
With his band Earth, innovator Dylan Carlson bravely set to stone the doom metal genre. His newest solo project DrCarlsonAlbion is set to culminate in a book/album/DVD project early in 2013 called Coleman Grey Presents Falling With A Thousand Stars And Other Wonders From The House Of Albion. Amazing. For Supersonic, he will be enlisting some friends to help out with vocals, bagpipes and the snare drum.
(7) My Disco
Melbourne-based minimalist trio My Disco are notable for their use of complex time signatures. Tension is built through their music through use of steady drumbeats and staccato guitar riffs. Spicy stuff – the My Disco clan have spent nearly a decade refining and defining their sound, each album a triumph of stripped-bare post-punk grooves.
Words: Ellen Falconer