Looking back on what we got up to this year, from the festival and magazine to all the sessions and quality releases we were lucky enough to work on...
|Thatâ€™s a wrap on 2018. Quite the year, wasnâ€™t it? For the most part itâ€™s felt a little bit like being stuck in some kind of monotonous, corporate-sponsored Boring Dystopiaâ„¢. Americaâ€™s Cheeto-in-chief is still plodding around the White House dripping fake tan, Big Mac grease and racism everywhere, Brexit is still a perpetual searing migraine that just wonâ€™t go away and it turns out that the ecological apocalypse we've been constantly warned about is now pretty much unavoidable.
However, despite all the never-ending noise of life today, one thing thatâ€™s been able to offer some temporary respite has been the amount of good music being released into the world. I suppose thatâ€™s one plus side of being stuck in a relentless socio-political shitstorm - it provides a fertile breeding ground for subversive, incendiary and forward-thinking music and the communities that form around it. As usual, weâ€™ve tried our hardest to keep up with all the incredible underground music being pumped out and continued on our mission to bring you the finest fuzz, reverb and drone scattered across this overheating rock. As we get ready to stumble into 2019, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on what weâ€™ve been up to this year. Itâ€™s been an incredible year for Fuzz Club and we couldnâ€™t have done it without you all â€“ thanks for everything.
Fuzz Club Eindhoven
So, Fuzz Club Eindhoven feels like a pretty good place to start. One of the most rewarding things about doing what we do is being part of a huge global community of like-minded people who share a love of great music and the culture around it. With that in mind, this year we really wanted to go about celebrating the psych scene at large - not just the Fuzz Club affiliated, but all the artists and music-lovers out there who are a part of this big musical family. What better way to do that than by throwing a huge two-day party in one of our favourite cities with some of our favourite bands, old and new?
Itâ€™s hard to put into words just how incredible that weekend was but ask anyone there and Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll testify to how special it was. Surrounded by unbelievably brilliant bands, mind-blowing visuals and a genuinely heartwarming atmosphere, hundreds of people descended on Eindhoven from over 35 different countries to join us in celebrating that thing we all love: quality music and the friends we make through it. The good news is, despite nearly killing ourselves (physically, mentally and financially) weâ€™ll be doing it all again next year â€“ so make sure you keep August 23rd and 24th free in your diaries!
Fuzz Club Magazine
Another way we tried to go about highlighting all the amazing and creative people around us was by launching a print magazine. Again, the purpose of the magazine was not just to talk about all of our brilliant bands but to shine a light on the musicians who have had a lasting impact on the music we love and the label itself, as well as the artists, photographers, promoters, writers and all the other people working behind the scenes. The first issue was comprised of 96 beautifully-printed pages and included interviews/features with some of our favourite musicians, in-depth genre retrospectives, art and photography spotlights, local scene reports and much more. The second issue is currently in the works and should be out early 2019 but in the meantime, you can find the issue 1 here.
Fuzz Club Sessions
This year we filmed far more Fuzz Club Sessions than we actually got around to releasing (theyâ€™re on their way, donâ€™t worry!) but the few we did put out more than made up for that. In July we released a spellbinding session from Danish outfit Tales Of Murder And Dust, whose atmospheric blend of cinematic post-rock and dark oscillating shoegaze made for one of the most mesmerising sessions to date. Next up was The Myrrors who travelled all the way from Tucson, Arizona to lay down a collection of sprawling and hypnotic drone-rock that took equal cues from sun-weathered desert blues and traditional Eastern folk. Following that there was the grimacing noise-rock fury of The Gluts. Recorded on a boat on the Thames, the Milan band's session saw them deliver a piercing, fuzzed-out racket that perfectly captured their intense live show.
Fuzz Club Releases
When it comes to recruiting artists to the Club we always strive to uncover the finest unheard and underground names across the globe and this year was no different. 2018 saw us release the very first recordings from The Orange Revival offshoot Medistation, Ukraine-based krautrock/ambient outfit Sherpa The Tiger and the dark lo-fi pop of Routine Death. On top of that, there was also an array of already-established artists who joined the club. For their debut albums, we signed Swedish shoegazers Dead Vibrations, French psych-rock upstarts You Said Strange and Italian fuzz-merchants Crimen. And also joining us this year, with impressive back-catalogues already behind them, was the prolific Oakland outfit Lumerians, Texas crooner RF Shannon, Londonâ€™s psychedelic polymath The Oscillation and the likes of Steeple Remove, Dreamweapon, Medicine Boy, Black Lizard and Nest Egg.
There was also killer new music from some familiar faces, too. The Underground Youth released a 7â€ single whilst they finished working on their next full-length which is due out in 2019, The Third Sound released their fourth album All Tomorrowâ€™s Shadows and two of our most formidable experimental forces, 10 000 Russos and RMFTM, put out a collab album of droning industrial noise. Also, Stockholm post-punk/darkwave project NONN released their second full-length with us and the mighty Throw Down Bones returned with Two, a synapse-shredding collection of industrial techno/acid house.
This year has without a doubt seen our most eclectic strings of releases: each delving into many different sonic worlds but all of them consistent in their brilliance and ambition. We've put together a playlist of this yearâ€™s releases so tuck into that if you wanted to check out anything you might have missed, or just want to relive the year in all its fuzzy glory. You can stream it below.