One Unique Signal have shared 'HSO4' the closing track from their new album Hoopsnake. The third album from the experimental noise masters, Hoopsnake is a collaboration between the three core band members and 20 of their contemporaries, including The Oscillation’s Demian Castellanos and Steven Lawrie of The Telescopes, who all produced music inspired by a single riff.
The riff was born from a repetitious loop originating from the sessions for their previous LP, the Sonic Boom mastered Aether. The band then recorded two versions of it (one a loud, guitar-driven take, the second a softer synth passage) and shared it with friends and collaborators, inviting each artist to create a corresponding sonic interpretation, which have all been mixed into four separate tracks of about 10 minutes in length.
'HS04' is an ethereal whirlwind of looming, eerie synths. A soft, comatose wall of noise that sends you deep into a dream-like state, building and building as you lose yourself in Hoopsnake's majestic finale.
Hoopsnake is available on vinyl, deluxe edition vinyl, CD and cassette. The deluxe edition vinyl is sold out. They will be playing Under The Arches on May 7th in London alongside The Entrance Band, The Oscillation and Purple Heart Parade, join the event page here.
Fuzz Club’s very own Singapore Sling are kicking of their UK/European tour today. A legend in psych circles, Henrik Björnsson and his band will be bringing their fuzzy ode to rock and roll across the mainland, kicking things off with two shows in the UK. The band's immersive soundscapes make for a pretty special live show so make sure you don’t miss out. Check out the dates below and get your tickets here.
Their latest album Psych Fuck is the third in a line of consistently incredible records we've released from Singapore Sling, you can acquaint yourself with those releases over at our Bandcamp.
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’re very happy to announce the repress of Dead Rabbits’ stunning debut album The Ticket That Exploded, originally released in 2013.
Through phaser-heavy production, storming drums and warped keys, The Ticket That Exploded captures the bleak reality of growing up in modern Britain. It’s a record that captures a time and a place, portraying brute honesty and melancholy through a talent for song writing that many artists chase. Fuzzed-up chords ring out seemingly at their own leisure and organs drone on beneath them as frontman Tom Hayes’ frustration and despair pierces through.
Looking back on the album, Hayes muses: “If the record was a film it would be a film based on my life at the time. Basically a film that depicts a man walking in the rain purposely jumping in front of every vehicle that goes past.”
Dead Rabbits were one of the earlier Fuzz Club signings and took the closing spot of the first Reverb Conspiracy compilation, where the mantra-like lyric ‘It’s only just begun’ seemed the perfect summary of both Fuzz Club and Dead Rabbits at the time.
The Dead Rabbits sound takes the Brian Jonestown Massacre-inspired psychedelic rock sonic aesthetic and crashes it head on with Lou Reed’s simplistic guitar work and Jason Pierce’s absurd yet painfully human poetry.
The album’s centrepiece, ‘It’s All in Her Head’, has never lost its place in the band’s live set, and with good reason. It stretches its way across uncontained six minutes with a hypnotically repetitious organ melody crafted by keyboardist Paul Seymour, and Link Wray-influenced raw guitars, which create a surreal backdrop to Hayes’ despairing vocals.
Perhaps the best summary of the band’s ethos, however, is the skeletal yet effortlessly ornate ‘It’s You’. The line ‘you’re losing yourself, you’re finding yourself” sums up almost too perfectly what the band are. They’re the gradual realisation that youth slips away and people change, but it doesn’t have to be for the worst. They’re the sound of finding something new by stepping away from preconceptions and old ideas: a perfect summary of a new band finding its position in a fledgling scene.
We’re thrilled to have The Ticket That Exploded available again for all the old fans and new fans alike to be able to own.
The Ticket that Exploded is now available for pre-order on vinyl in standard and deluxe edition. Standard edition is 180g heavy black vinyl and deluxe edition is 180g transparent red vinyl with gatefold cover featuring a hand-drawn illustration of the band by Olya Dyer of The Underground Youth. The album is also available on CD and cassette.
- Marty Hill
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
The band has been around for 7 years now, but for those out there that don’t know you, can you tell us a bit about the Cult of Dom Keller? I’ve seen the band evolve over that time, so from point A to point B…how did you get here?
Ryan: “I could use up a thousand words describing our days rehearsing in a church cellar in the dark, amongst electric shocks and supernatural happenings, jamming till the sun rose, followed by a long cycle of playing gigs, working and existing on no sleep, with no money & disillusioned by a world around us, but instead I’ll summarise:
We were born. We were lost. And then the pull of the universe brought us together to make music and The Cult of Dom Keller has existed ever since. There’s never been any agendas, egos or mission statement: just creating and evolving our own thing and pushing ourselves as musicians/songwriters.”
You have released 2 albums, 4 EPs and various singles, and very soon you’ll be a part of the Fuzz Club split single series. Very exciting…how did the band and Fuzz Club come together?
Ryan: “We have known Casper for years and we contributed a track for the second Reverb Conspiracy Compilation album that Fuzz Club Records put out a few years ago so naturally through our friendship with him and him liking the band, he approached us about the split single idea.”
What can you tell us about the song that will be on the single?
Ryan: “The track is called ‘Behind All Evil is a Black Hole’. I came up with the title after I had been messing around with some mixes of a track we had been working on. We fucked around with the arrangement and then Neil began to write a melody on top, and the song came together. It’s a maelstrom of sound, and a really powerful track, that perfectly captures our transitional period in songwriting at the moment and acts as a perfect precursor to the new material that we have written for the album.”
Neil: “To me, the black hole represents life without music or creativity. The evil is all the obstacles that get in the way. I guess it’s about not giving up – not slipping into that void.”
On a similar note, do you have a new album in the near future?
Jason: “We’re going into the studio to record for 7 days straight after we play Eindhoven Psych Lab on June 6th. We whittled down about 30 song ideas to 12, and I’m quite confident it’s going to be the best thing we’ve ever done. We’re hoping for a release date sometime in Autumn, but that really depends on just how fast we can finish the mixes. We’ve been kind of joking that this is our ‘Smile’ (the Beach Boys one, not the Boris one; although if I’m being totally honest it’s probably a bit of both). For a while it was looking like it would be our White Album, but I’d say we’ve got a couple more records, at least, before we have the audacity to attempt that…”
Ryan: “I’ve been listening to the demos of the album and it’s a real experience. Definitely our most creative, dynamic and evolved work to date. I cannot wait to get into the studio and fulfil the potential of these tracks. We have sculptured a great collection of tracks that take you on a journey. Radically different from our first two albums.”
You mentioned playing Eindhoven Psych Lab on June 6th. Some amazing bands coming together to play this 2 day event. Sure wish I had one of those teleporter things to catch it. You must be thrilled to play there. Which of the bands are you most excited to meet up with there?
Ryan: “For me it’s all about meeting up with like minded people and checking out the music of bands I haven’t heard before. With such a variety of bands playing it’s difficult to pick out one or two bands I’m excited to see. To me, it’s more about meeting up with like minded people & bands and immersing myself in the music.”
Jason: “I really want to check out Kikagaku Moyo, they’re on just before us, then I’ll most likely just wander around aimlessly after we play and see what happens. The Telescopes will be great as always, so I’ll definitely be down watching them.”
Neil:”Black Bombaim. We met some of the guys at Milhoes De Festa last year when Paolo sat in for us on drums. Be great to finally see them play.”
Speaking of live shows, do you have any plans for others this year?
Ryan: “After Eindhoven we’re going to be concentrating on recording album number 3 and then we have a few shows in July in Leeds, Manchester and Kozfest ( in Devon). We’ll be having a short break while I’m away in South America for most of August, but when I return we’ll be back in business to get ready for Liverpool Psych Fest and in October we play the Rockaway Beach festival in Bognor Regis alongside The Fall, Pinkshinyultrablast and Spiritualized. Lots of exciting shows to look forward to and even more so now we have so much new material to play live and hopefully we’ll have the new album out as well.”
I know this is a tough question to probably answer, but do you have a few favorite songs you’ve recorded that really stand out from the rest of your songs.
Neil: “The new single is probably one of the best things we’ve recorded, in terms of studio quality. It’s less low-fi than some of our previous work.”
Ryan: “I’m proud of our whole body of work. We still play ‘Swamp Heron’ from the first album live. I have a special place for the odd little tracks like ‘Killed in my Sleep’ from Second Bardo and ‘Ghost Bones’. To simply choose a favourite track though is much too difficult. We have some tracks I prefer live than on record and vice versa. But to be honest the new material we are writing/written is just another level now, as we are pushing ourselves, both as songwriters and musicians, with no musical boundaries, evolving and twisting and turning all the time.”
What’s been playing on your turntable lately? Old or new, what’s been filling your ear space lately?
Neil: “This week… Grinderman, some Super Furry’s, The Velvet Underground and Joy Division are always on my playlist. I’ve also had MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular & The Flaming Lips Sgt Pepper’s album on repeat for some time now.”
Ryan: “Liars, Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers and John Lee Hooker have been getting a good blast over the last few weeks.”
Jason: “West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Faine Jade, the new BJM record ‘musique de film imagine’ is really cool. There was this radio show that Dangerous Minds posted recently from the early 80’s, celebrating 40 years of women in electronic music, which was incredible. Oh yeah, I went to see GNOD play in Rugby a couple of weeks ago for the last night of the tour, and they were mind-blowing. They’ve got a new record out called ‘Infinity Machines’ and it hasn’t left my car stereo since, other than to switch between the two CD’s. Brilliant.”
This is a question I like to ask every band I interview, because I’ve always been interested in the stories people have about their first major music encounter, and what set them on that path to musical love and discovery. What started the journey for you?
Ryan: “Ever since I can remember I’ve been in love with music. I used to ‘play’ a two stringed electric guitar that my dad had ‘retired’ to the cupboard and became fanatical over T-Rex, The Beatles, The Stones etc and as a teenager I was always looking for the next record to blow my mind. Over the years bands like 13th Floor Elevators, Red Krayola, Butthole Surfers, Chrome, Birthday Party, The Fall became bands that I became obsessed with. Outsiders doing their own thing at the time and creating unique music.”
Jason: “I’ve always been immersed in music of some sort, though none of my family were ever really musicians as such. My dad borrowed a guitar off a friend and learnt a few songs. He played me ‘Scarborough Fair’ and told me he wrote it, I was so impressed I took a chord chart away with me and taught myself ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ on a broken, out of tune guitar I’d bashed away on in frustration since I was 8. That was pretty much what kicked me off. I was about 14.”
Neil: “I have fond memories of listening to T-Rex and Hendrix as a teenager in an abandoned railway shed. The shed was next to an old Cold War nuclear fallout shelter. We’d skip school, have a smoke and sing along to a tape player while the world went about its business.”
Interviewed by Nathan Barrett