Shangaan Electro – the dance craze coming to the library


The high speed dance phenomenon comes to Birmingham this October. As well as catching performances by the musicians and dancer, you can join a hyper accelerated dance workshop, complete with costumes!

“…there are rapid-fire, limb-rattling individual turns and hip-shaking group routines,

all set to face-meltingly fast electro rhythms…This is Shangaan electro” The Guardian. you can read an interview with the creator Nozinja here

There’ll be a Shangaan performance at Bring to Light, and on Saturday 26th October you can join a dance workshop at the Library of Birmingham, for all ages and abilities. Tickets for Bring to Light are available via



The Pavilion – nearly complete!

During the four month Discovery season for the opening of the Library of Birmingham, The Pavilion will house a series of creative residencies, from Film Ficciones to Girls Who Draw, the Library of Lost Books, and many more.

The Pavilion will be animated with coloured signs, displaying words chosen the the Birmingham 2022 group. This group of 16-24 year olds are currently hard at work pulling together the brochure for the Discovery season with the help of designer Keith Dodds.



Images courtesy of


Nazoranai video

Image by Katja Ogrin

Thanks to Simon Gray for sharing this video he made of Nazoranai’s amazing performance on Tuesday 9th July at CBSO Centre. With Keiji Haino on vocals and guitar, Stephen O’Malley on bass and Oren Ambarchi on drums it was both heavy and complex.


Bring to Light / 25-27 October (and Supersonic news)

After a hugely successful, artistically exciting and game changing 10 years, Capsule are using this milestone as an opportunity to re imagine Supersonic Festival. The festival will return in April 2014, in a new format, at an exciting new venue, with experimental new music and art remaining at its heart.

It’s been a wonderful decade of adventurous music, beginning in 2003 with a one-day event featuring Coil and LCD Soundsystem. Last year’s anniversary event encompassed a weekend of installations, workshops, talks, films, new commissions, and live performances with Kim Gordon, the Oxbow Orchestra, Penny Rimbaud and many more.

We’re enormously grateful for the loyal support of our audience, and we hope you will join us 25-27 April for Supersonic Festival’s next chapter.

Dinos Chapman

And while you wait, Capsule are producingBring to Light, a weekend of performances 25-27 October as part of the Library of Birmingham opening season. This will see performances from visual artist turned sonic performer Dinos Chapman, South Africa’s Shangaan Electro, the ‘brain pulse music’ of Masaki Batoh, songstress Josephine Foster, Robedoor, and more. This event has very limited capacity and tickets are available via

Line up:
Dinos Chapman / Shangaan Electro / Josephine Foster / Clipping / Deafheaven / Masaki Batoh / Robedoor / Zomes / High Wolf / Kogumaza / Richard Dawson / Sleaford Mods / Sarah Angliss / Delia Darlings / Laurence Hunt

Go to for more information.



Nazoranai + Nicholas Bullen photos

What a show! Thanks to all who came to the CBSO Centre last night, it was a really magnificent event and your feedback has been brilliant.

Thanks to Katja Ogrin for these photos.

Nazoranai were huge, and Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley really pushed the guitar/bass/drums set up to new heights.It was one of only three UK shows for this tour and was entirely improvised.

Keiji Haino

Stephen O’Malley on bass

Oren Ambarchi on drums

Nicholas Bullen presented sounds from his new record ‘Componenent Fixations’. CBSO Centre is an acoustically magnificent space, and the clarity of sound was perfect for the drones, sinewaves and environmental sounds of the piece.





The Library of Birmingham Discovery season

Capsule are delighted to announce our four month opening season for the Library of Birmingham. The season, which will run from Tuesday 3 September – 31st December is produced & curated by Capsule, supported by Arts Council England.

The Discovery Season programme is inspired by the Library’s internationally-important archives and special collections, and draws on content as diverse as one of the world’s largest books, Victorian children’s games and toys, and even train and bus tickets. The Season will bring to life the Library’s stunning new spaces, from the studio theatre to the towering rotunda and the outdoor garden terraces, and will play host to installations, events, performances and workshops for every age and interest. Events encompassing literature, art, film, illustration, food and debate will be enjoyed under one golden roof in the city’s newest social space.

Full details for the Discovery Season

Lisa Meyer, Creative Director, Capsule:

Capsule is delighted to present the Library of Birmingham’s Discovery Season. It has been a real adventure to develop and commission work for this exciting and inspiring new space, and herald the arrival of a major new cultural venue for the city and the country. Through a dynamic mix of exhibitions, activities and performances, we aim to challenge perceptions of what a library can be and bring the library’s world-class collections to life.

“Our programme will celebrate the great cultural life of the city, giving a platform to our very best artists and creative practitioners and the organisations that support them, from the smallest independents to our big cultural institutions. This collaborative approach reflects the library’s ethos to be a place for us all to meet and exchange knowledge and ideas.

The Discovery Season opens on Tuesday 3 September with a musical extravaganza, Together We Breathe, presented by Super Critical Mass. Brass players from across the region, including the CBSO, Conservatoire, Brass Band of Birmingham and amateur players will be positioned throughout the Library, filling the air with their dramatic sound. From the deep throb of tuba, the wash of trombone, and the sinewy swirl of trumpets, audiences will be welcomed to the Library of Birmingham by a mass of brass. Read more about how brass players can join this opening performance.

Morag Myerscough signs for the Pavilion – words by Bham 2022 group

Highlights include:

A pavilion designed by award-winning artist Morag Myerscough & Luke Morgan will play host to a rolling programme of creative residencies inspired by the theme of Discovery. The very first residency, during the opening week, will feature the Commentators from Stan’s Cafe, who will be broadcasting live from the Library. Other residencies will include Library of Birmingham Faces Trevor and Steven 2arttoyguys producing models inspired by books in the Library’s collections, Scott Johnston’s animation and film-making workshops, and illustrators Girls Who Draw. Library of Lost Books The Library of Lost Books is an exhibition of book art by over 40 UK artists and is accompanied by the 3 day conference, Resurrecting the Book. Craftspace and artist Jivan Astfalk with Shelanu, an exploration of migration to Birmingham.

Stand + Stare’s Theatre Jukebox

A Discovery Trail of artworks situated across the Library including Laura-Kate Chapman’s illustrations inspired by the Parker Collection of Children’s Games in the children’s library. A series of figures which will be planted in the flower and vegetable beds of the third floor Discovery Terrace created by Juneau Projects. The Theatre Jukebox, created by Stand & Stare using the Library’s Wingate Bett Transport Ticket collection, an arcade-style cabinet installation that plays stories instead of records housed on the Library’s fourth floor

Shangaan Electro – South African performance & dance workshops

Discover New Music, a series of cutting edge live music performances featuring Birmingham bands and internationally renowned artists. Performances will include an exclusive UK performance by Rhys Chatham and Charlemagne Palestine, Adrian Utley (Portishead) and a mass guitar ensemble interpreting Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ and Rise of Birmingham, a night of new music from the region. The high-speed dance phenomenon from South Africa Shangaan Electro. Leftfoot present Omar, British soul singer, songwriter and musician. A Supersonic inspired weekend including visual artist Dinos Chapman presenting his new horror soundtrack inspired music. Tickets go on sale from 29th July via

Harvesting Stories, a project for Birmingham residents to share their recipes, giving a snapshot of the city’s communities and a flavour of the region. There will be a series of demonstrations and tasters starting in community libraries and culminating in picnics within the Library of Birmingham for people to share both their food and their stories.

Ice Book

Box of Light – Before the cinema, there was the magic lantern; a fabulous device that used glass slides to create moving spectacles and transport audiences around the world. Birmingham was at the centre of this pre-cinema world, producing thousands of lanterns for export as well as pioneering the flipbook and an early form of celluloid. Flatpack will present Box of Light a celebration of this fertile period with a weekend of performances, screenings and activities for all ages.

Birmingham 2022 – panel discussions led by 16-24 year olds from Birmingham, considering what culture will look like in the future, the changing face of libraries, the significance of the Library of Birmingham to culture in the city and the importance of creative education.

Bill Drummond

Volume: Birmingham’s Art, Book and Print Fair, in December has been created as a unique event for the Discovery Season by bringing together existing organisations in collaboration (Writing West Midlands, Birmingham Zine Festival, An Endless Supply, Baskerville Society, Grand Union and Eastside Projects). Volume will open with a keynote speech from artist, musician and writer, Bill Drummond.

Brian Gambles, Project Director, Library of Birmingham, says:

The Library of Birmingham Discovery Season will offer something for everyone and we hope all of the city’s residents will come along to enjoy these special events in their new library. For four months the Library will be filled with a party atmosphere, with installations around every corner and the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of art forms, from stunning visual displays to eclectic music. This is a celebration not to be missed!

In addition the Library will play host to:

Birmingham Literature Festival (formerly the Birmingham Book Festival), programmed by Writing West Midlands, with a sparkling programme including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and bestselling novelist, Lionel Shriver.

Reference Works, an exhibition of Birmingham’s largest ever photography commission which has seen four photographers – Michael Collins, Brian Griffin, Andrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps – create work in response to the building of the Library of Birmingham

The Young Readers programme will be back, with author Charlie Higson hosting the first children’s book event at the Library of Birmingham, followed by authors Philip Reeve, Lynne Chapman and Michael Rosen later in the Season.




Nazoranai + Nicholas Bullen – tomorrow!

Nazoranai at Roskilde Festival, by Jacob Crawfurd

A reminder that tomorrow night there will be an unmissable show in Birmingham. If you’re a fan of the heavy doom of Sunn0))), the darker side of psychedelia, free jazz, noise or drone, this one is for you!

Nazoranai is one heavyweight line up;
Oren Ambarchi is an Australian composer with interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, but tomorrow night he’ll be taking up drums.
Stephen O’Malley is a musician from Seattle, who has conceptualised numerous drone, doom and experimental music groups, most notably, Sunn0))).
Keiji Haino is a Japanese musician and composer whose work has included rock, free improvisation, drone, noise and minimalism.

This show will also act as the album launch for Component Fixations, the new record by Nicholas Bullen, out on Type*.

Tomorrow’s show will be the first UK Nazoranai performance. There’s a photo gallery of their performance at Roskilde Festival via



Meet Keiji Haino

“Keiji Haino’s 30-year career has encompassed a dizzying range of approaches from wild, guitar-led ensemble rock and near-Neolithic drumming; live electronics and untutored explorations of lute and flute; and the deconsecrated peals of solo gamelan performance. He has also collaborated widely with the likes of Derek Bailey, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke and Tony Conrad. Throughout, Haino has retained a visionary focus upon temporary suspension through noise (and silence) whilst refining a mercurial, highly distinctive method and an arrestingly dramatic on-stage presence that borrows the raiments of performance art.” Cafe Oto

Haino leads the power trio Nazoranai, forging heavy psych and noise with Stephen O’Malley of Sunn0))) and Oren Ambarchi.  Haino is a master at pushing the possibilities of the guitar/bass/drums format. If you’ve not witnessed Haino live before, we thoroughly recommend you surrender yourself over. They play the CBSO Centre next Tuesday 9th July.

The last time Haino played Birmingham was Supersonic Festival 2008 with Merzbow, where the two artists almost seemed in battle on stage!

Tickets for this event are £15 in advance from Nicholas Bullen will also perform, launching his new ‘Component Fixations’ record.