A Peak Inside Lisbon Psych Fest 2016

 

This April, Portugal sees the return of Lisbon Psych Fest. Taking place in the vibrant heart of the coastal metropolis, the event will gather international musicians as well as mind expanding visual artists in the culturally rich Bairro Alto neighbourhood. We caught up with organiser Tommy from Killer Mathilda to delve into the genesis of the festival. The Fuzz Club presence is strong this year, with The Underground Youth, 10 000 Russos, The Orange Revival, and TAU all slated to appear. Pre-sale tickets are still available on the official site

What motivated the originators of this festival to create this event?

Tommy: Basically, we're a group of friends who grew up in Lisbon with some of us having different international backgrounds living in the US, UK, Sweden, and elsewhere, but finally settled in Lisbon. In rediscovering our hometown we realised there exists a certain potential in terms of venues and spaces for projects like these. Being back in Lisbon opened up an opportunity and desire to export that same experience in a way. We also went to the first edition of Levitation France in Angers back in 2013.

We've always listened to rock & roll - from more folky rhythm and blues to psychedelic stuff....always trying to discover old and new scenes. So witnessing a psych revival with different bands, labels and festivals appearing all over, gave us a desire to follow it and try to do something of the same nature in our hometown. Furthermore, we saw Lisbon as an obvious but sometimes neglected stop on European touring circuits for small independent bands. We just wanted to be a part of something, having bands over that we like and put up some great parties which Lisbon definitely has a touch for. Ultimately, just wanting to be involved somehow in the cultural renaissance of Lisbon through music.


 Above: 10 000 Russos, Fuzz Club Festival 2015

What type of experience is Lisbon Psych Fest aiming to create?

We're a small indoor festival which gathers bands of a similar psych genre under the same roof for two days. We like the idea of gathering improbable bands from very different cultural background but that nevertheless relate to each other under the psych umbrella. For instance, this year we'll be having Chui Wan from Beijing, China, as well as Chicos de Nazca from Santiago, Chile. Basically, gathering a diverse range of bands from around the world.

It's also about creating an affordable, indoor, music-centric festival that is in the city centre and outside the typical summer-festival season, and intimate in the sense that musicians, audience and staff all work and interact with each other in a laid back environment.

We work with an amazing venue, unique in the sense that it is housed in a former printing press in one of the oldest neighbourhoods (Bairro Alto) in Lisbon that recently celebrated its 500 year anniversary. It's the coming together of the psych community in the Iberian peninsula and beyond at a unique meeting point.

Above: Chicos de Nazca

What is the general music scene in Lisbon like (as well as the psych/garage/underground scene)?

There's a growing number of bands appearing in Lisbon everyday under different alternative genres and as there are a number of very well-established venues in Lisbon (such as ZDB and Musicbox) - and others more recent, such as Sabotage or Damas - with regular agendas and the steady booking of bands has enabled a good flow of concerts all year a long, which of course gives the opportunity for a lot of emerging bands to play. Coupled with this are a number of new promoters who are also seeking to bring new bands and take advantage of the growing number of venues...

This is also starting to make a difference in breaking away from the sole habit of mainly summer festivals gathering and attracting audiences. In some sense, Lisbon Psych Fest hopes to compliment this phenomena by adding to the agenda as a small time, off season, urban music festival. The paradox these last years in Portugal, is that amid the economic crisis which has meant people have less money to spend, gigs and festivals continue to boom and promoters have the difficult task in trying to make these affordable while at the same time guaranteeing a wide audience.

How did the debut of the festival go for you all? Will there be any expansions or additions from last year?

Our debut went surprisingly very well....good turnout and very positive feedback from the press, and we had a number of people coming from other cities in Portugal as well as from abroad. The bands gave a us really good feedback as well, and they enjoyed besides the festival itself, the opportunity of being in the center of Lisbon and to be able stroll around town for some hours during the day.

This year we're expanding in terms of the lineup, bringing a few bigger names, and adding two kickoff events at the renowned ZDB with a very special guest! As well as at Musicbox with a really interesting Russian band, and an opening act of a great promise in the Portuguese independent music scene: Ghost Hunt. We're expecting to collaborate with some local artists who will display their work at an exhibition within the venue, as well as a pioneer liquid light experiment.

Above: The Orange Revival, Viper Room, Los Angeles California Fall 2015

What things do you look for in bands/artists to put them on the lineup?

Our aim is to promote the local music scene and bands that we perceive could be whisked up into the international psych scene, and maybe LPF might be a first step into touring abroad. We were really happy to see Dreamweapon from Porto do a tour in the UK last year. This year we'll be having Sun Blossoms, Ganso, and Twin Transistors (from Leiria) who we think are really promising emerging acts in Portugal. We're also really excited to have Alek Rein (from Lisbon) and his full band this year, who will be playing his long-awaited first full-length album (out in the Spring).

Above all, we are looking for bands we like and listen to and take into consideration bands that have gotten good feedback in Portugal and played before. We also debut bands that we believe have a unique sound that will last within the genre and beyond. When Pauw and Desert Mountain Tribe played last year, they had only released their EPs, and since then have put out their debut records and played in major festivals such as Liverpool, for instance.

This year we'll have The Orange Revival, a band that has put out some amazing records and we'll surely be seeing them more and more around Europe (with their latest out on Fuzz Club). Amazing Portuguese trio 10 000 Russos. New project by Shaunny (Dead Skeletons and Camera). And of course, Gnod and The Underground Youth who have played before and are already well known.

Stay tuned to the Fuzz Club blog for more upcoming festival updates. The season is nigh!

- Lindsay Krause 

March 02, 2016 by Lindsay Crause

Meet the Labels at the Under The Arches Record Label Market

Under The Arches March

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:

Captured Tracks

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.

Mexican Summer

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

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

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

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.

Slovenly Recordings

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!

Fluffer Records

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

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.

1-2-3-4 Records

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

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

The Ultimate List of Global Psych Fests

The Underground Youth

The list of live music experiences around the globe for fans of experimental sounds continues to grow each year. What used to be a scene centered in iconic hubs like San Francisco and London has infiltrated the hearts of sonic devotees in every corner of the world. We've compiled a list of over 48 upcoming festivals worth making the trek for, no matter where you reside. Make sure to keep an eye on the Fuzz Club blog for festival and event updates!

- Lindsay Krause

Photo: The Underground Youth at Liverpool Psych Fest 2015   

BELGIUM

Brussels - Stellar Swamp February 19-20, 2016

Geel – Yellowstock Festival August 13-14, 2016

CANADA

Montréal – Montreal Psych Fest 

Toronto – Night Owl Fest

Quebec City - Les Nuits Psychédéliques de Québec April 13-16 2016

Vancouver – Levitation Vancouver June 16-18, 2016

CHILE

Santiago – En Orbita January 9th, 2016

DENMARK

Aarhus – Aarhus Psych Fest

Copenhagen – Copenhagen Psych Fest Spring Edition: March 3-4, 2016

FINLAND
Oulu - Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia July 15-16, 2016
FRANCE

Angers – Levitation France

Paris – Paris International Festival of Psychedelic Music June 18-19, 2016

GERMANY

Dresden – Reverberation Fest - 21-22 October 2016

IRELAND

Dublin – Reverberation Weekend April 8-9, 2016

ITALY

Isola Vicentina – Il Faro Psych Fest

Lessinia – Lessinia Psych Fest

MEXICO

Mexico City - Festival NRML 12-13 March, 2016

NETHERLANDS

Eindhoven – Eindhoven Psych Lab June 10-11, 2016

NORWAY

Oslo – Oslo Psych Fest

PORTUGAL

Évora – Black Bass

Lisbon – Lisbon Psych Fest April 15-16, 2016

Lisbon - Sound Bay Fest - 29 April - 1 May 2016

Valada – Reverence Valada September 8-10, 2016

SWEDEN

Malmö – Malmo Psych Fest

SWITZERLAND

Yverdon-les-Bains- Swiss Psych Fest

UK

Leeds - Karma Fest May 29, 2016

Lewes – Lewes Psych Fest March 19, 2016

Liverpool – Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia September 23-24, 2016

London – Under The Arches, Presented By Fuzz Club - Monthly starting 5th March

London – Northern Star Celebrates 10 Years of Psychedelia May 14, 2016

London – The Psychedelia Smithsonian (monthly reoccurring event)

Manchester – Cosmosis Festival March 12th, 2016

Manchester – Manchester Psych Fest

Manchester - Rising June 25, 2016

UNITED STATES

Leggett, CA - Hickey Fest

Los Angeles, CA – LA Psych Fest

Mecca, CA – Desert Daze

Oakland, CA – Oakland Echo

Oakland, CA - Burger Boogaloo June 25-26, 2016

Pioneertown, CA – Desert Stars Festival September 23-24, 2016

Pomona, CA – Moon Block Party

San Francisco – Gathering of the Tribes Fest

Santa Ana, CA – Indigo Music Festival

Santa Ana, CA – Beach Goth

Santa Ana, CA – Santa Ana Psych Fest

Denver, CO – Synesthesia August 20th, 2016

Miami, FL - Mandala Music Festival May 28-29, 2016

Miami, FL - Melochromania (Monthly event)

Chicago, IL – Chicago Psych Fest Jan 28-30, 2016

Wichita, KS – Wichita Psych Fest 

Louisville, KY – Louisville Psych Fest

Boston, MA – Boston Fuzztival

Kansas City, MO – KC Psych Fest

Las Vegas, Nevada - Psycho Las Vegas August 26-28, 2016

Portland, OR – Summer Daze (Portland Psych Fest)

Austin, TX – Levitation Austin (Formerly Austin Psych Fest) April 29-May 1st, 2016

Seattle, WA – Hypnotikon

Seattle, WA – Northwest Psych Fest

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Psych Fest May 6th, 2016

February 10, 2016 by Lindsay Crause

Intergalactic Happenings: The Ultimate Cosmosis 2016 Playlist

 Cosmosis festival playlist

The Fuzz Club family continues their legacy at Manchester's Cosmosis Festival 2016, with White Hills, Lola Colt, Sonic Jesus and The Underground Youth all making appearances. Other notable acts include The Jesus and Mary Chain (who are working on their first new album since 1998)( via Timeout), Sleaford Mods, The Raveonettes, and Of Montreal. Taking place in Victoria Warehouse and featuring "art installations, mind bending immersive experiences, melt-trip projections, arts & crafts, and many more mystical happenings", this is one festival UK fuzz fans won't want to miss.

Festival organizer Matt told Louder Than War magazine of the festival's grand vision,

"The initial aim for Cosmosis was to create a very alternative festival that could be distinguished from other small festivals. This meant supporting upcoming UK bands by having them share the stage with more established acts. This also meant using an interesting and challenging venue and also incorporating local artists, independent record labels, and independent merchants whose ideas and artistic values we share." 

We've compiled a playlist of songs by all of the artists on the bill to tide you over until the cosmos aligns on March 12th.

-Lindsay Krause

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January 22, 2016 by Lindsay Crause

Prepare for Liftoff with Levitation's Free Week Showcase in Austin

Levitation Festival

Music lovers in Austin, Texas taking flight for April's LEVITATION Festival (Formerly Austin Psych Fest) were treated to a preview of the upcoming brain float. Red River Street venue The Mohawk hosted 8 impressive sets for LEVITATION's Free Week Showcase earlier this month including Fuzz Club collaborators Christian Bland & The Revelators. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for liftoff as we highlight a few of our favorite acts from that fine and festive evening.

MOVING PANORAMAS

Starting off the night were the buttery daydream sounds of Austin trio Moving Panoramas. Their attention grabbing melodic tales sounded smooth as velvet, and the three piece all girl band charmed the crowd early in the evening. During "One" (also the title of their new October 2015 LP out on Modern Outsider), lead singer Leslie Sisson cooed "We all know one is the number, we all fear the most". The band will be playing during South By Southwest this March.

Starting off the night were the buttery daydream sounds of Austin trio Moving Panoramas. Their attention grabbing melodic tales sounded smooth as velvet, and the three piece all girl band charmed the crowd early in the evening. During "One" (also the title of their new October 2015 LP out on Modern Outsider), lead singer Leslie Sisson cooed "We all know one is the number, we all fear the most". The band will be playing during South By Southwest this March.

 

 

 

 

 

 Golden Graves

The first indoor show of the night was packed as Austinites Golden Graves took the stage. Continuing the hazy and deliciously distorting vibes set by the previous performance, the four piece enchanted the intimate space with a slurry of what could be music to break up with your girlfriend while drinking 40's of Olde English in the graveyard. The four maintained steady sound waves that rolled in and crashed sweetly like the tide, washing the audience in their lush and grungy grooves.  Last year they released their self titled EP.

The first indoor show of the night was packed as Austinites Golden Graves took the stage. Continuing the hazy and deliciously distorting vibes set by the previous performance, the four piece enchanted the intimate space with a slurry of what could be music to break up with your girlfriend while drinking 40's of Olde English in the graveyard. The four maintained steady sound waves that rolled in and crashed sweetly like the tide, washing the audience in their lush and grungy grooves.  Last year they released their self titled EP.

 

 

Christian Bland and the Revelators
Christian Bland and the Revelators

The Black Angels guitarist Christian Bland, was joined by Revelators Chris Catalena on organ, Bob Mustachio on drums (who has also played with LA's The Warlocks), and Luke Dawson on bass to lay down a tight set fresh from last month's new split EP release (with Chris Catalena & The Native Americans) on The Reverberation Appreciation Society.The reverb spirit was very much alive and well, with the group delivering their quaking and hypnotic rock and roll sure to please any levitators. "CB160", an ode to the classic Honda motorbike from 2014's The Unseen Green Obscene lured listeners into Bland's world of treacherous midnight rides, complete with enough freaky distortion reminiscent of an adrenaline fuelled escapade. The Black Angels are set to play a few festivals this summer, including (of course) Levitation, as well as Atlanta's Shaky Knees and Switzerland's Bad Bonn Kilbi both in May.

Ringo Deathstarr
Ringo Deathstarr Levitation

Ringo Deathstarr's bassist/vocalist Alex Gehring,"whose delicate voice echoes eerily over the spectral, otherworldly chords that plunk underneath" (via RVRB), serenaded outdoor Mohawk attendees next. The 2015 Levitation alumni released their 5th studio album, Pure Mood, on The Reverberation Appreciation Society last month, solidly balancing shape-shifting drones, garage grit and elegantly delivered lyrics. The band will be heading overseas this March for Cosmosis Festival and a UK tour.

Golden Dawn Arkestra

Golden Dawn ArkestraRounding out an already striking lineup was the incredibly elaborate and funky Golden Dawn Arkestra. Their grand entrance, cascading down both of The Mohawk's outdoor staircases as they made their way to the stage (complete with ornate and fragrant incense vessels ) invited the crowd into their mysterious world. "I want to remind you, this is your only option. Respect your option" mastermind and member Topaz McGarrigle (aka Zapot Mgwana) encouraged everyone as their dance fueled interstellar vibrations infected the air. Golden Dawn is nothing if not one of the most enlivening and illuminating music experiences around these days, inspired by the transformative and avant-garde jazz message of Sun Ra, and packing a very stimulating visual component with their glittering costumes and performance art. The closing act certainly edged anyone planning to attend April's festival closer to to ecstatic anticipation, foretelling the divine traveler's tale on their site, "Awaiting the return of their divine solar mandjet. They convey the signal in song as they look towards the skies for a sign of the coming light."

Also playing were Hidden Ritual, Indian Jewelry, Isaiah the Mosaic, and Bali Yaaah.

Weekend passes for Levitation Festival are available for purchase here. Notable headliners on this year's bill include Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys (performing Pet Sounds), Animal Collective, Ty Segall, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

-Lindsay Krause

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