On March 5th Fuzz Club launched a new monthly mini-fest at London Fields Brewhouse in Hackney, bringing together 12 quality independent labels and a lineup of bands to showcase all the best music and vinyl under the expansive psych umbrella. Photographers Lilly Creightmore and Andrea Shamlou were onsite capturing the day.
The label market hosted big and small from the UK, US and Europe including Rocket Recording, Sonic Cathedral, Captured Tracks, Mexican Summer, Slovenly Recordings, Hands In The Dark, Fire Records, Super Fan 99, Fluffer Records, Software Recording Company, Anthology Recordings, and of course Fuzz Club.
The lineup kicked off with Fire Records’ Dutch indie psych group Rats on Rafts, followed by the abstract electronica of Gum Takes Tooth, the shamanic rhythms and fuzz laden rock of Portuguese trio 10,000 Russos, dreamy psych pop from Younghusband and the post-punk infused shoegaze of The Underground Youth.
Thanks to everyone that came down and helped to make sure the event was a big success!
Next month’s Under The Arches takes place April 2nd featuring Clinic, The Cult of Dom Keller, Pretty Lightning, Guy Blakeslee (from The Entrance Band), M!R!M and Night Shades, and the label market. Join the event page here and buy tickets here.
Most black and white photos are by Lilly Creightmore and most colour stage shots are by Andrea Shamlou.
RATS ON RAFTS
GUM TAKES TOOTH
SETTING UP AN IMPROMPTU LIVE SET FROM TREN GO! SOUND SYSTEM AKA PEDRO FROM 10,000 RUSSOS. Check out a video from the set here
THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH
Original London scenesters Nigel Birch, John Lynch, Matt Payne and Sam Toms
Tess Parks and Black Market Karma
Olya Dyer and Craig Dyer of The Underground Youth
Black Market Karma
Black Market Karma and Charlotte Lafferty
Casper Dee and Nigel Birch
Alexandra Dunn and Charlotte Lafferty
Black Market Karma
Jon Emmins and his mum
John Lynch, Sam Toms, Matt Payne, Nigel Birch
THE LABEL MARKET
Tren Go! Sound System aka Pedro Pestana of 10,000 Russos performed an impromptu solo set at Under The Arches where he covered DJ's Shadow's "Fixed Income", transforming it from downbeat Bay Area hiphop into fuzzed out reverberation on his Firebird.
Follow Under The Arches to hear about our next event. Photo by Rita Sousa Vieira, video by Lee Winter.
On the 5th of March Fuzz Club are kicking off Under The Arches, a new monthly record label market and live music event showcasing the best of the global psych scene. Held in the railway arches of London Fields Brewhouse, the event promises to be a mecca for lovers of independent music, as it brings together an incredible selection of labels from the US, UK and Europe in a collaborative celebration of the music we love.
To take us into the evening there will be a monthly selection of the most exciting local and touring bands playing such as The Underground Youth, Electric Eye, Younghusband, Gum Takes Tooth, 10,000 Russos, Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation, Chicos de Nazca, The Third Sound and some big hitters to be announced very soon.
To top it off we'll keep the crowds sated with street food and free craft beer tastings and tutorials.
Entry to the label market is free and tickets to see the bands are £10-£12. For March's event both rounds of early bird tickets are long gone, but there are still some GA tickets available here. Make sure you like the Under The Arches Facebook page to be kept in the loop with all the sweet stuff we've got planned.
Here are the labels joining us on the day and some of the special vinyl they'll be packing for the occasion:
NY label Captured Tracks was born in 2008 by indie-label overlord Mike Sniper. Boasting a roster that includes DIIV, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Mac Demarco and loads more you can be sure that CT will bring a top shelf selection of vinyl.
Also founded in Brooklyn, NY in 2008 we’re really excited to have Mexican Summer bringing some of their extensive discography. They’ve released over 100 records across multiple formats – including releases from Best Coast, Ariel Pink, No Joy and Real Estate to name a few. They'll be bringing the first vinyl editions of Bosten racket makers Quilt's forthcoming album Plaza on limited edition ultra clear vinyl.
Fire Records is a London indie stalwart. In it’s early days it released music from Spacemen 3, Pulp, Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads, and more recently they have Guided by Voices, Giant Sand and Surf City on the roster. They’ve also got a secret guest playing the first Under The Arches who you’re not going to want to miss.
Rocket Recordings have been dishing out some of the best in psych since 1998. Their roster includes Goat, Ngod, White Hills, Teeth of The Sea and loads more. They’ve promised they’re going to be bring some exclusives to Under The Arches and we can expect “the odd Rocket band or two performing live” so get excited.
Fuzz Club Records
We'll be celebrating the release of The Underground Youth's Mademoiselle with its first much-deserved vinyl pressing, and re-releases of Haunted and The Perfect Enemy For God. We'll also be holding stock of our highly anticipated new Black Editions, limited to 10 per release. It will also be your chance to pick up the first copies of some of our releases due out much later in March and April.
Hands in the Dark Records
Born in Desancan, France and London, Hands in the Dark have released music for The Oscillation, Housewives, Bitchin Bajas and more. On March 5th they'll be selling an exclusive pre-release run of The Oscillation's new album Monographic, so it'll be your chance to pick it up a couple of weeks before official release. Available in both black (600 copies) and white (400 copies) vinyl.
Sonic Cathedral is a London based record label specialising in all things noisy, they’ve put out records for Younghusband, The Vacant Lots, Spectres and many more of the bands we love.
Hailing from Reno, Nevada, Slovenly Recordings are one of the best outputs for garage, psych and punk, with an impressive roster including Acid Baby Jesus, The Oops, JC Satan, The Spits and the wonderfully named Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!! They have a tonne of new releases in Feb and March which they'll be selling at the market, including new vinyl from Useless Eaters, Scraper, Wet Ones, Choke Chains, Bazooka, Avenue Z, Red Mass, Andy California, The Dirtiest, Ton Ton Macoutes... and more!
Formed in Whitechapel in 2013, Fluffer Records are penchants for fuzz, releasing music from Virgin Kids and Sewer Rats, and are huge supporters of the London underground scene.
Sideman Records in a side venture of Captured Tracks’ Mike Sniper. Holding a vast catalogue of rare, vintage and obscure used vinyl, they'll be curating a selection of vintage Americana gems rarely seen by a London audience.
Super Fan 99
Super Fan 99 is a small but perfectly formed London record label specialising in Dream-pop, Americana, Psych and Indie-pop. Born out of several inspiring trips to Los Angeles, we release bands from across the globe on cassette and vinyl always in collectable short runs. Super Fan 99 loves interesting formats and has produced 5" and 8" square vinyl, heart shaped records and glittery tapes. All vinyl is hand-cut in Arizona with many releases selling out in a couple of hours. A true label for collectors and fans of under the radar gems.
Born in Shoreditch, London 1-2-3-4 Records show a love for the LOUD, with a tight but great quality roster including the legendary Buzzcocks, Arrows of Love and Love Buzzard.
Software Recording Company
Software Recording Company is an electronic record label whose roster includes Thug Entrancer, Co La, Ben Zimmerman and Suicideyear.
Anthology Recordings was born in 2004 as a reissue imprint releasing rare obscure vinyl ranging from all corners of music such as surf, psych and dub.
- Jack Palfrey
10,000 Russos are gaining quite a reputation for their live show. We thought it was so good that we signed them side of stage after seeing them for the first time at Reverence last year, and we know that everyone that saw them close the first night of the Fuzz Club Festival will agree.
The live session for "UsVsUs" captures all the power and fuzzed out energy of 10,000 Russos live, in a geurilla takeover of a public spot in their home country, Portugal.
The video was shot at Cromeleque dos Almendres, which is an archeological site dating back to 6,000 BC and contains one of the largest groups of megalithic stones in Europe. The Iberian equivalent to Stonehenge, it's steeped in mystery and may be a burial place or some kind of astronomical observatory as it is aligned with the winter solstice. The band chose it for its strong magnetic charge.
The video was made by Bando À Parte and executive production was done by Pointlist.
Images by Jorge Quintela and André Peyxoto
Sound by Sergio Bernardo Gregorio
Thanks to João Modas and Família Modas, Rodrigo Areias, Daniel Catarino, Yoann Crochet, Cristina Viana, Sociedade Harmonia Eborense, Gui, IGESPAR.
"UsVsUs" is taken from the self-titled album, now sold out on vinyl but available on cassette.
Our first experience of 10,000 Russos was under the dark night sky at Reverence Festival in the band's local Portugal. We heard from a distance their deep droning bass, ritualistic drumming and woozy vocals that seemed to drip like melting wax under the light of the full moon. We flocked to the stage like moths to a flame and discovered one of our favourite new bands of the year.
With their self-titled debut album out in August 2015, it's time to introduce the Fuzz Club audience to João Pimenta (drums/vocals) and Pedro Pestana (guitar) and André Couto (bass) from 10,000 Russos.
First up can you tell us a bit about the origins of 10,000 Russos? How did you get started and all those fun questions.
PP: João and I started the band in 2012. I knew his bands and he knew my solo project. We had been wanting to play together for a while and a two piece band made sense at the time. It was quite noisy with just about the right amount of rock ‘n’ roll. Eventually we wanted to go to other sonicscapes and that’s where André comes in with the bass.
JP: I was fed up playing in bands with riffs, guitar solos and choruses. Pedro seemed the right partner to do the job of deconstructing guitar waves. Then André seemed the right man to make the mantras of deconstruction. I know we will never fit on a musical scene and that’s marvelous.
AC: We met after our bands played together at Milhões de Festa. I loved their chaotic simplicity, I’m into repetition. I always thought they would need someone that would allow them to float, while keeping them on the ground. That is my role here.
Your debut album is coming out here in the next month or so on Fuzz Club. How did the band and Fuzz Club come together?
AC: I know Fuzz Club almost from day one. Underground Youth, Singapore Sling, Sonic Jesus, Dead Rabbits, Lola Colt…I love it’s bands, the releases, the compilations, the splits. People from all over Europe gathered in one label! I met Casper at The Reverb Conspiracy (vol.1) Release Party a couple of years ago. After our show in Reverence Valada last year, Casper was waiting for us and signed us on the spot.
JP: We were never part of anything here in Portugal, always working in a 'minutemen ethos',doing everything ourselves, from booking to merch to releasing music. It’s a nice change and Fuzz Club shares our passion so both sides are excited about this record.
Do you have any other releases besides the early 4 track cassette you did after you started? Are the songs from that cassette on this debut album?
PP: The cassette was released in 2013 and we played those songs extensively. None of them are on the forthcoming album. Sometimes we play them live, though.
JP: We also have a song in an Álvaro Cunhal tribute compilation for the Portuguese Communist Youth.
What about bands that have influenced you over the years?
JP: Since an early age I have been an avid consumer of music. I am not gonna tell you the story of “my dad had tons of records and I listened to Pink Floyd when I was 6″, ‘cause that is not true. It was all very natural. I used to listen to the radio show of António Sérgio, (sort of a Portuguese John Peel) and since I was young I was exposed to Nick Cave, The Fall and Morphine. I always loved bands who were not aligned with any particular genre or musical wave.
As for bands who have influenced me to search your own soul and your own sounds, I will have to say that bands as Suicide, 13th Floor Elevators, NEU!, Wire, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth or Velvet Underground have influenced me, musically speaking. But literature influenced me as well, with writers like Eca de Queiros, Zola or Bukowski. And cinema. And painting. And History. And people. The list can be endless.
AC: At a young age I’ve been highly influenced by early Pink Floyd, Hendrix, The Doors, Velvet Undergroud, Jefferson Airplane and 13th Floor Elevators. Then followed Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, Jesus and Mary Chain, early Sonic Youth, Loop and Spacemen 3. I’ve been also into the experimental, electro-acoustic and industrial scene. The german Krautrock thing, came to me at my early twenties, Ash Ra Temple, Can, Neu!, Faust, Harmonia, Tangerine Dream… It goes on…
PP: Yes, the list can be endless. As one is getting older, the answer for this question gets bigger and bigger and I could go on forever. I love or loved a lot of different stuff. As a teen, my cousin introduced me to The Doors, who played a very big role in my understanding music, especially in song structure. I rarely played in a band with closed songs since then. I love the way they made a song, play it for 2-3 minutes and then they just jam and jam and jam…
I like most of the bands João and André mentioned above. As for other bands, I can remember a few examples like DJ Shadow, Mano Negra, Manu Chao, Tinariwen, Dead Skeletons, Django Reinhardt, Joy Division, Butthole Surfers, or Wooden Shjips. Dub music really opened my ears a lot! Drinking from all these different fountains kind of reflects a bit the stuff we do with 10000 Russos, it sounds like everything at the same time and it sounds like nothing at all.
I’ve always been interested in the stories people have about their first major music memory, and what set them on the journey for the love of music and the discovery of it. What started the journey for you?
JP: Seeing BB King live at 12. It clicked something.
PP: I remember always being fond of sounds in general. I believe one of my earliest childhood memories of music is Laurie Anderson’s Big Science. My Mom used to listen to it all the time when she was painting. I still recall the chill down my spine with that wolflike sound on the title track. Another of those early memories include Zeca Afonso as well. My sister’s tapes and CD’s also played a big part on the way I listened to music as a youngster. Much, much later, when I started working on sound for films, I learned a lot about music and in turn music taught me a lot about cinema.
AC: The episode I recall the most is when my best friend came to me after a trip with his family to the Zoo in Lisbon. They stopped at a record store and his aunt gave him a record of his choosing. He chosen Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma because he fell in love with its cover. We were between eight and ten years old at the time. I remember it was strange to comprehend, but we loved it and kept daydreaming to it.
Later, at the age of twelve, we got our first band, it was called Psychedelic Mind, and it was influenced by the 60’s psychedelia I quoted above. It was quite fun, and although we never got anywhere it lasted until I went to university, at the age of 17. I still have some tapes I use to listen to. I am 36 years old now, and when I was a teenager, there was no such thing as the internet or cell phones. I grew up in a small village near Porto. We gathered at a local pub and exchanged records, tapes and books among friends. At weekends our bands would play there. Everything besides school was about music. Everything still is about music.
You guys hail from Portugal. How’s the music scene there at the moment? Any up and coming bands we should keep our eyes out for?
JP: Portugal is very rich, musically speaking, regarding the fact this country is very small and has around 9 million people. The problem is that the bands over here have very little opportunities to show their music. There is almost no record labels and you can count the record shops over here with the fingers of one hand. Same problems with clubs and live venues. Its almost impossible to play in the interior of the country, even in bigger cities because there are no spaces to play, people are not interested, and what is paid is almost nothing.
With this situation you would think: “well, as there is almost nothing to support a musical scene, maybe there isn’t one”. That's incorrect, there are many bands here that would kick ass in England if they had the chance. As a friend of mine would say “when you are playing and there are just 5 people attending, you can’t suck”. But the opportunities are very little and bands could be a little more united because we are all in the same boat.
But this still is a very concentrated county in one city and one capital, so if you are not from there, as we are, you must work the triple. But thats not the problem for us, we like to work the triple and we know what we are facing. We know we are a peripheral band from a peripheral city of a peripheral country of what is now a peripheral continent. But now we have the opportunity to do something outside of here and that is just a breath of fresh air for us.
You should keep your eyes on Black Bombaim (fuzzy mushroomy instrumental rock n roll trio), Cave Story (Velvet Underground-ish/Modern Lover-ish rock), Legendary Tigerman (one man band Suicide kind of thing with a major influence of cinema), The Act-Ups (garage rock the way garage rock should be) or Allen Halloween (real hip hop from real streets of a real suburb).
PP: For the past 15 years I’ve had the feeling that we were witnessing one of the most interesting and promising generations in Portuguese music. In a country with a very small industry, it’s amazing to find such good quality in recent bands. João already mentioned two personal favorites of mine, Black Bombaim and The Legendary Tigerman, for instance. I’d like to add Dead Combo, O Manipulador, Killimanjaro, Tó Trips, Dreamweapon, Norberto Lobo, Sensible Soccers, Imidiwan or Rafael Toral. As far as the music scene goes, it feels there are more bands than ever. On the other hand, venues aren’t always packed every time there is a concert. This crisis shit obviously didn’t help. Record sales are also very low, as far as I know. However, we managed to sell out our last release on tape. Not on stores or anything, just in concerts and by mail order.
AC: Portugal has always had an important music scene to its locals. Personally, if I don’t like the sound of a band, doesn’t matter where it comes from, it means nothing to me. Doesn’t matter how good the musicians play, how charismatic are their frontmen – I’ve always hated frontmen – how very entertaining shows they put.. if the music sucks, it sucks! And it is all about music.
There are very few bands, Portuguese or not, at the present times, I can say they make a difference. Bands that produce good music, that are trying to achieve to something greater, bands with a solid artistic vision are hard to find anywhere. Portugal only has a couple of them but they exist.
What’s on your turntable now?
JP: Back From the Grave Vol.1 – Crypt Records
PO: Anouar Brahem – Le Voyage du Sahar
AC: Faust + Tony Conrad – Outside The Dream Sindicate
What setup do you currently use?
JP: I play in a Pearl drum kit from the 90s. All fucked-up. I earn 500 euros a month in my day job so I cannot buy another. But I am thinking of buying a Ludwig drum kit, so I am cutting out eating meat and I don’t drink beer anymore. I am more thin now and looking forward to putting the Pearl kit in a trashcan.
I use a SM58 mic connected to 2 guitar pedals. A Boss Overdrive and a Digital Delay DD-7. I normally use this combination linked to a amplified mixer and to a speaker, so my voice its not over all the other instruments. I used the mic not just for the voice but also to get some sounds of the drum kit, using loops and delays.
PP: I’ve been using mostly an Epiphone Firebird VII for ten years now. It was love at the first sight. Sounds great and it’s good looking! Before that I didn’t own a proper guitar, probably because I started out playing bass as a teenager. In the chapter of non-working guitars, I own an old Russian guitar, Elektrogitara Solo II, that never worked, it’s good for a museum. I’ll not sell it cheap, so buyers come out! It’s from 1989 and has onboard FX like phaser and overdrive but, as far as I learned from blogs and forums, none of those guitars actually worked even when they came out of the factory.
A brandless guitar with some bass strings was also part of my arsenal. Talking about working guitars, an Aria Diamond came into my possession 2 years ago. Its a copy of a Mosrite Venture’s model. P90 pick-ups. Sounds twangy! I love creating layers of sound, perhaps more focused in that than in playing note for note. Guitar feedbacks can be cleansing for both mind and body. To create those layers and timbres, guitar FX pedals come into the deal.
It depends on the projects or bands I’m working with but in 10000 Russos it basically involves a Big Muff, Memory Man, DD6 & DD3, Phaser, Crybaby, Daddy-O, TS9 (copy), Total Sonic Anihilation (copy) and a volume pedal. Amp wise, a Fender Deluxe Reverb is what I’m using. It belongs to João. For tremolos I use the one on the amp.
AC: – I just love Gibson basses, especially EB2 and EB3. I’m using an EB3 at the moment. As an amp I use an Ampeg SVT, and i recently discovered the 2×15 cabinet. In addition to Fuzz, Octavers, Reverbs and Delays (Electro-Harmonix, for sure) these are my weapons of choice.
What are your plans for the rest of the year. Any major tours, gigs, writing or recording?
PP: All of those are part of the plan. We make new songs on a regular basis. Our trashcan is full, so writing is always part of the process.
JP: We are planning to tour in England and Portugal in the near future and then, quite possibly, a euro-tour.
Fast forward five years from now, what would you like the band to have accomplished by then?
JP: More records and more tours with bands we love. I think every band desires the same. We are always a work in progress, always making music that we, as music lovers, would hear as any other record we love. Thats always the goal.
AC: My most sincere desire is that I can live from my work and through my work. My work is making music and art and I wish I can keep doing it, profoundly better.
PP: More records and tours, for sure. To stop being broke all the time would also be nice. Oh, health and happiness for everyone!!
Interview by Nathan J. Barrett.
10,000 Russos's self titled album is available now on vinyl, CD and digital.
Listen to the full album via YouTube: