"Since I was a child there was always something on my mind I had to say but couldn’t find the right words to describe. Or something I saw in my dreams that I couldn’t forget and it stayed with me for days or even weeks."
The captivating visions manifested from the mind of Russia native Olya Dyer have provided stimulating optic accompaniment for many of London's best rock and roll gigs, and art direction for The Underground Youth.
As a designer and also the drummer for The Underground Youth, Olya has merged her creative energy into a force that reflects the many muses in her world. "Certain feelings, the music, people, films, relationships, everyday life arise in your heart. It all needs an outlet which I originally found in pen and a piece of paper and since then it has evolved into so many different shapes..."
"My interest to music related visual art came from my love of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s gig posters, simple as that. There is that simplicity, which is so iconic, undisputed, complete and just cool. It was a whole new discovery..."
Olya's travels have impacted her medium of choice through the years, giving her artwork a liberating sense of freedom. Her time in St. Petersburg and Manchester contributed to shifts from acrylic paintings of the feminine form to bold graphic landscapes, silkscreen prints, and percussion for The Underground Youth. "Nothing compares with the feeling of holding your work in your hands whether it’s a silkscreened poster, a t-shirt or a vinyl record."
Dyer's fascination with the tv series/film Twin Peaks has proved to be an enriching source of imagination for her art. "If I need to top up my inspiration, there’s no better cure for me than Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score." The psychological thriller directed by David Lynch offers a pervading element of mystery and iniquity to her visuals.
Now based in Berlin, Olya's craft is driven by her ability to shapeshift seemingly deterrent emotions into fuel for expression. "There’s no difference between my musical and visual challenges, because it’s all just art. That’s why I wouldn’t call myself a musician either, only when I need to simplify things."
There’s only one never-changing obstacle and that’s feeling the need to be better or questioning whether or not you’re good enough, that perfectionist ghost has been haunting me all my life, he’s unforgiving and doesn’t have days off. That’s my alarm in the morning, my insomnia and my biggest motivation that I’m so thankful for… "
The Underground Youth is currently touring Europe following the physical release of their cult 2010 album Mademoiselle.
- Lindsay Krause
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
Manchester’s The Underground Youth have built an impressive back-catalogue of seven full-length albums showcasing a hazy cocktail of neo-psych, post-punk, shoegaze and chillwave, of which every copy of each album has been long sold out. Now for the first time ever, we're giving their highly sought-after album Mademoiselle a physical release, alongside reissues of their sold out 2013 and 2015 albums The Perfect Enemy For God and Haunted.
The story of Mademoiselle is a testament to the power of great music being able to reach an audience, regardless of the fact the artist might be unsigned, underground and almost unheard of. Originally released in 2010 and only available online, Mademoiselle has piled up millions of views on YouTube, and has seen The Underground Youth acquire a cult following at a ferocious pace.
The album has continued to endear audiences with its bluesy psychedelic leaning, based on beautifully crafted lyricism and a sculpted sound. Layers of reverb-drenched, folk-indebted guitars and forlorn vocals bleed over hypnotising, monolithic drums to create a record that is 46 minutes of lethargic, lo-fi psych mastery.
To celebrate the release of the album, The Underground Youth will be headlining Fuzz Club’s new monthly London event Under The Arches on 5th March, followed by shows at Manchester’s Cosmosis Festival, Lisbon Psych Fest and the group’s fifth European tour.
The standard edition is pressed to heavy 180g white vinyl (1000 copies), and the deluxe edition is on black and white, heavy vinyl presented in a printed inner sleeve and hand numbered gatefold cover shown above (300 copies). Mademoiselle is also available on CD and cassette.
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
With represses of Haunted and The Perfect Enemy For God underway, we discuss how each album fits within The Underground Youth's impressive discography, and take a look at the vinyl artwork for each.
Haunted is the seventh LP from Manchester’s The Underground Youth and the latest in an extensive discography that has earned Craig Dyer cult stardom within the underground music community, as well as clocking up millions of listens and a global following.
In no way less insatiable than the six records and three EP’s previous to it, Haunted drifts from the neo-psych and folk sensibilities of The Underground Youth’s earlier releases and instead offers up his renowned psychedelia with a more brooding taste of hypnotic post-punk and a murky gothic undertone.
Haunted feels dark and melancholic as dreamy vocals croon over shoegaze and post-punk indebted guitars. Simplistic drumbeats bleed through to make the record feel desolate and entrancing.
Albeit a gloomy affair, Dyer still exercises his ability to write some of the catchiest pop melodies in psych. It’s not very often you find a record that feels eerily introspective and immersive while equally as infectious and difficult to get out of your head.
2013’s The Perfect Enemy for God is the sixth studio LP from The Underground Youth. Showcasing a clear influence of neo-psych, post-punk and shoegaze, the record feels lethargic in the best way as reverb-soaked vocals and whimsical harmonies blur over jangly, shimmering guitars to tell a bittersweet story.
It’s easy to get lost in this record as you find yourself being thrown between the dark, longing corners of one track – such as “Tokyo Blue’s” forlorn guitars and eerie harmonies – and the upbeat pop sensibilities of others – like “Rodion’s” jingle-esque melody.
Produced by Dyer himself, the incredible production of this album heightens its allure as copious amounts of reverb, harmonies, and perfect use of dynamics send you into a dreamy haze from the first listen.
The Haunted repress is limited to 500 standard edition copies on 180g heavy black vinyl, and just 100 copies of the deluxe edition on colour-in-colour coke bottle and ultra-clear vinyl, each coming with a printed inner sleeve using photography featured here, and a hand-numbered gatefold cover.
The Perfect Enemy for God is being repressed onto 180g heavy ultra-clear vinyl (700 copies) and the deluxe edition will be on coke bottle clear vinyl with black splatter (300 copies), again with printed inner sleeves and a hand numbered gatefold cover.
- Jack Palfrey
We've just received some stock back from one of our US stockists and it's full of sold out releases! Some of these are fetching very high prices on Discogs so we're lucky to have them back in store. Here they are...
For those that are fairly new to the Underground Youth, can you give us a background of the band?
I started writing and recording music back in 2008, raw lo-fi bedroom recordings using really basic recording equipment. I named the project The Underground Youth after the title of one of those early tracks and made the albums of material available for free online. It continued in this way, releasing a couple of albums a year, until I was contacted in 2011 by what would become Fuzz Club Records. The intention was to release my latest self-released album (Delirium) on vinyl and put a live band together to tour The Underground Youth’s music for the first time. Where we are now is a result of that happening.
I know a couple years back, we discussed how cinema was a big influence on you and the relationship between sound and image. Does this still inspire you?
It still plays a large part in the creative process for me. The aim is to create a soundtrack to accompany an imagined film or visual idea. In the future I’ll look at developing the right kind of space and visuals to accompany the music, more of an art installation than a live show. That’s an idea that inspires me, to find different ways to present the music.
Are you still the primary force behind the band, or are the other members contributing to the writing process?
The Underground Youth does still function as it always has, as my creative outlet. However the live sound is in the hands of the live band, and on the new record I worked more collaboratively with the producer, so it feels less of a one man project these days.
Speaking of the new record, it’s call Haunted and out very soon. What can you tell us about the album?
It was very much about creating an atmosphere, and I think we managed to capture the envisioned mood perfectly. The lyrics follow a dark and unsettling theme, each song documents the nightmares of a different character, so the music needed to create the appropriate atmosphere for this. The album is slightly distanced from the ‘psychedelic’ side of our sound and focusses more on the influence of 1980’s post-punk music. There’s elements of noise and industrial music in there too, it’s certainly more experimental than anything The Underground Youth has put out before.
Did the atmosphere you wanted to create take you into that sound, or was this what you started with to get to that atmosphere?
It seems like a natural direction to move in, especially considering the nature of the album I wanted to make (dark and haunting). Saying that I never begin the creative process knowing what direction I want the musical style to go in, it comes out during the writing/recording.
The Underground Youth was the band that basically started Fuzz Club Records, and I guess Fuzz Club has had a hand in jumpstarting the Underground Youth as well. It’s a pretty cool connection to have, because not many bands can say that. I personally get that feeling of “family” with Casper from the label as he's always been very supportive of the bands he not only has on his label, but the music that he loves in general. What’s it like, having been around from the start of the label?
It feels like a lifetime ago Casper and I were sat in a bar in Manchester discussing his initial ideas for Fuzz Club Records, he had all these high hopes and ambitious plans, I thought he was crazy. But to think of how many of them he’s managed to achieve, and how he’s helped me bring my project to where it is, I’m glad I agreed to go with it. It’s not about business and that side of music, it’s about creating art and all I care about is doing what I love. Casper understands that and so do the ‘family’ that make up Fuzz Club, I’m proud to have been a part of it since the beginning.
What are some of the plans for the next few months?
We’ve got an eight date UK tour starting with Liverpool Psych Fest in late September / early October and then a month long European tour in November.
What's been on your turntable lately?
I’ve just picked up the new Beach House album Depression Cherry. I’ve also been revisiting Patti Smith and listening to a lot of Einstürzende Neubauten recently. Neubauten had a big influence on the new record.
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. For me, I have been a massive music lover for as long as I can remember, in part to my father’s record collection. What started the journey for you?
I remember seeing footage of Bob Dylan performing live, some TV spot or something from the early sixties. I can’t even remember what song he played but just seeing him standing there, playing 3 chords, singing with that voice. That’s why I picked up a guitar.
The Underground Youth Tour Dates
Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia
01/10/15 UK Glasgow - Nice n Sleazy's
03/10/15 UK Manchester - Islington Mill
04/10/15 UK Rugby - West Indian Club
05/10/15 UK Nottingham - Chameleon Arts Cafe
06/10/15 UK London - The Shacklewell Arms
08/10/15 UK Sheffield - Picture House Social
03/11/15 Fr PARIS Point Ephemere
04/11/15 Fr LYON Venue tba
05/11/15 Fr DÜDINGEN Bad Bonn
06/11/15 Ch SAINT GALLEN Rumpelturm
07/11/15 Ch MARTIGNY Caves Du Manoir
08/11/15 Ch VEVEY Studio 603
12/11/15 Dk COPENHAGEN
13/11/15 Dk AALBORG 1000Fryd
14/11/15 Swe MALMOE Inkonst
15/11/15 No OSLO Revolver
17/11/15 De LEIPZIG Westwerk
18/11/15 De KÖLN Tsunami Club
19/11/15 De COBURG Bei Adam
20/11/15 De FREIBURG Slow Club
21/11/15 De BERLIN Magnet
24/11/15 De FRANKFURT Das Bett
25/11/15 Ch ZURICH Zukunft
26/11/15 De AUGSBURG City Club
27/11/15 De OBERHAUSEN Pressure Air Festival
28/11/15 Be YELLOWSTOCK Winter Fest