After a mind boggling day one with everyone already saying that this is an event that will go down in hisotry, people are down for the doors at the Effenaar as we gear up for what is set to be an explosive day two. The number of bodies milling already is already busier than yesterday as people take in the record fare and the venue itself before the music commences.
First up are Berlin’s The Third Sound, who were founded by Icelandic frontman, Hakon Aðalsteinsson – an ex-member of Singapore Sling. They have enjoyed the support of Anton Newcombe, who released their self-titled first album, on his label A Recordings, and chose the group to support his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre on tour in Europe. Their latest release, All Tomorrow’s Shadows was released on Fuzz Club in May. Their set is comprised of tracks from the new album such as ‘Nine Miles Below’ with its hypnotic riff and abstract vocals. Their set exudes a darkness that appeals to the crowd and they open the day in fine style.
Malmö’s Sekel are another example of the fine Scandinavian talent on display this weekend after springing to attention with the release of their self-titled debut album in December 2017. The trio play tracks mostly from that release, and despite being marred by sound issues, they preserve to deliver a great set – it can happen to anyone and these guys did not elt it phase them. They’ll be new to a lot of people here today, but with tracks like ‘Heliopolis’ and ‘Stick’, with their krautrock beats and mesmeric riffs, they’re sure to have gathered some followers.
We also have an Italian heavy bill today, and first up its New Candys, who really need no introduction after going from strength to strength with every release. Latest offering Bleeding Magenta sold out in record time, so much so it warranted a US repress on Little Cloud Records. Their inclusion here today has caused a buzz and the main stage is packed for their set from start to finish. Their set includes ‘Bleeding Magenta’ itself with its rolling guitar riffs and reverberating vocals and the evocative fan favourite ‘Aphrodite in Leather’ from 2015 LP New Candys As Medicine. They also excite live and today was no exception.
The second Swedish offering of the day comes in the form of Dead Vibrations, a four piece from Stockholm who channel dark shoegaze. They were picked up by Fuzz Club and released their self-titled debut LP in January and pleased many in the process. The stand out track without doubt comes in the form of the fuzzy ‘Reflections’ from the 2016 EP of the same name. The band perform with such passion and intensity its hard not to get swept along in it all, many do, and the packed-out room love them.
The Oscillation are without doubt one of the most prolific artists on today’s bill, with some 11 (!!) LP and EP releases under their belt and a new album on Fuzz Club set to land in September. ‘Monographic’ taken from the 2016 release of the same name is impossibly catchy with its probing bass line that penetrates the consciousness and delayed vocals that haunt. ‘Telepathic Birdman’ from 2011 LP Veils is always a hit live with its funky groove and infectious vibe that sets feet tapping automatically. The entire set is immensely enjoyable and creates a buoyant atmosphere for the rest of the evening.
Aarhus’s Tales of Murder and Dust formed in 2007 and released their critically acclaimed debut LP Hallucination of Beauty in 2012. They released the follow up The Flow in Between on Fuzz Club in 2016 and have secured strong festival slots ever since. They exude a dark beauty that is hard to match and hard for some to stomach, its intensity surpassing most others. A perfect example of this comes in the form of ‘Sisters’, which leaves a few with jaw agape and many leave the room knowing they have witnessed something beautiful.
Sonic Jesus have become a somewhat notorious band in the underground circuit, known for their insanely good first LP Neither Virtue Nor Anger released in 2015, which stomped all over everything that proceeded (and a lot of what has come since!). There set tonight sees an expanded line up to include past members as well as current and the sound is cranked up to the max as a result. Their set includes tracks from the aforementioned album such as ‘Monkey On Your Back’ and ‘Reich’ as well as latest track ‘Dead Man’. There aren’t really words to describe how on point this set is, ask YouTube to show you and you’ll get an idea. The general consensus from those around me is that its in the top three of the weekend.
The Wands caused many a tear when they announced they were calling it quits, and so their appearance on this weekend’s scheduling was both a shock and a pleasant surprise. They are quick to affirm on stage that they don’t exist anymore and so we are witnessing something special, and they don’t disappoint. They play tracks that span their back catalogue including ‘Out of Fever’ from 2016 EP Faces and ‘The Name of the Mountain’ from 2014 Fuzz Club release The Dawn. They clearly love being back on stage together, which makes it all the more sad they are no more, who knows, maybe one day…
The Underground Youth were one of the reasons Fuzz Club became, the boss Casper Dee told us in a recent interview, and with post-punk vibes this good, it’s not hard to see why. Live they are an entirely different beast to their recorded stuff, as the Fuzz Club Sessions they recently did demonstrated to full effect. The set includes ‘Hope and Pray’ from 2010’s Mademoiselle and ‘Morning Sun’ from Sadovaya of the same year. There aren’t many bands who I would walk out of an TUY set for, but JuJu are one of them.
The third Italians on the bill are the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Gioele Valenti and thrust their way to attention with the release of second LP Our Mother Was A Plant in September last year; its funky world beats capturing the hearts and imaginations of many. The entire set is perfectly executed and so its hard to pick favourites, but ‘And Play A Game’ with its intoxicating riff and ‘Samael’, from the self-titled debut LP released in May 2016 probably tip the scales. There are a lot of people in the crowd who say they haven’t heard JuJu before but are now avid converts. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.
The Black Angels really need no introduction, so I won’t try, but safe to say their appearance here today is much anticipated. Their amazing set spans their back catalogue, whilst maintaining a focus on their latest release Death Song. This band are at a stage where now they are above reproach, and they don’t disappoint tonight. Highlights come from the ethereal ‘Half Believing’ which sends a shiver down many a spine, ‘Medicine’ with its krautrock drum beat and atonal riffs and ‘Comanche Moon’ which is far too catchy to be believed. The set is perfect and there isn’t a complaint to be heard. What more can you ask for?
Concluding the dark Italian foursome are The Gluts, who despite intense competition, take the band of the day award from me. Their LP Estasi released on Fuzz Club last year took many by surprise, with its brooding post-punk mayhem condensed and neatly packaged. Their positioning on the bill is perfect for their sound, and they waste no time commencing the mayhem with tracks such as ‘Squirrel’ with its rolling bass line and pounding rhythm. The intensity of the music is matched only by the vocals and the performance put on by frontman Nicolo, take your eyes of the stage at your peril. They captivate, and the room fills quickly as curious souls seek the darkness at the late hour. The set concludes in fine style with a rendition of tracks ‘That’s Me’ and ‘I Realize That I’m Not So Dumb’ abridged before ‘Colline Blanche’ draws it all together. If you don’t know this band and you have a dark proclivity, don’t hesitate any longer.
Drawing the night to an end is Eindhoven residents RMFTM who now blend industrial edged psychedelia with electronica to create an intoxicating mix which works well in this setting.
It’s hard to sum up the atmosphere, quality of music, exceptional organisation and sheer enjoyment that this festival has evoked in words, but one things for sure, I’m glad I witnessed this piece of psychedelic music history!