2021: A Year In Fuzz
That’s a wrap on another eventful year! Epidemiological hellscape aside, 2021 has without a doubt been Fuzz Club’s best yet and it’s been a privilege to work with so many amazing artists who have all year round provided a much-needed and suitably fuzzy respite to all the chaos unfolding around us.
On top of that, 2022 will also mark our tenth year as an independent label so, as well as there being a hell of a lot to celebrate about this year, we’re going into the next one with a tonne of stuff in our back pockets that we cannot wait to share with you.
As always, we wanted to extend the warmest of thank you’s to you guys for making this year so special. Fuzz Club and our artists couldn’t do what we do without you and you make all the challenges that come with running a label in our cursed times worth it a hundred times over.
Your unwavering support and commitment to independent labels and artists when they needed it most is truly a thing to behold – especially against a backdrop of disease and lockdowns, Brexit gridlocks (affecting touring for our artists on top of our ability to actually get your records from A to B easily and cheaply!) and a vinyl crisis brought on by a combination of the former colliding head-on with raw material shortages and a lack of manufacturing capacity to meet the soaring demand for vinyl.
So, pat yourself on the back, whack on our ‘2021: A Year In Fuzz’ playlist and let’s look back on the great records we were able to put out this year.
First up in January was a Fuzz Club Session from Lumerians comprised of new and old tracks. Having now called it a day, the session looks to have been the final release from the Oakland space-rockers and what a swan song it is! Then there was the sublime ‘Centre’ LP from Perth’s Mt. Mountain which was comprised of nine sublimely mesmerising krautrock jams. We also did a second pressing of The Vacant Lots’ 2020 ‘Interzone’ album which came with a now bonus 7" with a Cold Cave remix of ‘Into The Depths’ by Cold Cave.
March then saw the return of The Underground Youth who, on their tenth album ‘The Falling’, traded in their macabre psychedelic post-punk for a collection of cinematic folk-noir. In April Nicholas Wood of The KVB picked his Saccades solo project back up and soothed our ears with the blissed-out psych-pop hues of ‘Flowing Fades’ (later in the year we would release a remix EP feat. reworkings by Peaking Lights, The KVB, Theo Kottis and Modri.) That month we also welcomed French trio Veik to the fold for their amazing debut album ‘Surrounding Structures’ – an exercise in synthesised post-punk inspired by Krautrock, No Wave and brutalist/modernist architecture.
In May Nottingham heavyweights Cult of Dom Keller returned with their heaviest and most experimental record to date in the shape of ‘They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O’ (which was followed by two remixes courtesy of Liars and The Horrorist.) Then, off the back of the ‘That’s All You Got’ 7” released at the end of 2020, in June we released Night Beats’ new long-player ‘Outlaw R&B’ which saw Danny Lee Blackwell’s acid-drenched psychedelic R&B sound better than ever. The album was followed by a remix of ‘Hell In Texas’ by Mattiel’s Jonah Swilley and an EP made up of select acoustic versions of ‘Outlaw R&B’ tracks.
August saw Brian Jonestown Massacre guitarist Hákon Aðalsteinsson release his fifth studio album as The Third Sound titled ‘First Light’, as well as a Fuzz Club Session from Sicilian outfit JuJu and a new collab single from Scot psych-rockers Helicon and Will Carruthers (Spacemen 3, Spectrum, BJM) called ‘I’m More More English Than You, You C*nt’ which took aim at patriotism and nationalism in hilarious, potty-mouthed fashion. Then in September Portuguese trio 10 000 Russos returned with their great new album ‘Superinertia’, which debuted their new line-up with an album complete with both the mind-expanding motorik wig-outs you’d expect from the Russos as well as some unexpected detours along the way.
The last quarter of the year drew 2021 to a close with three killer albums. In October Milan’s The Gluts released their new album ‘Ungrateful Heart’ which found the band's explosive psychedelic noise-rock refined into an offering that primarily took cues from 70s punk and post-punk. Early November saw Norwegian psychedelic-rockers Electric Eye return with ‘Horizons’, written from a lighthouse tucked away on a tiny Norwegian island and inspired by the raw power of the sea, volcanic eruptions and aquatic exploration. And then came our final album of the year, ‘El Refugio’ by Sei Still. For this record, the Mexican group upped sticks to Berlin and swapped their expansive krautrock of yore for some motorik post-punk vignettes rooted in goth, punk and Spanish New Wave.
As well as a heap of new studio albums, we also reissued a handful of quality albums. Dead Skeletons’ landmark work of occult sonic belligerence ‘Dead Magick’ was given a special ten-year anniversary edition, the early ‘Beautiful & Damned’ and ‘Low Slow Needle’ EPs from The Underground were remastered and repressed on 10” vinyl and we also welcomed Leipzig composer Warm Graves to the Fuzz Club fold with a reissue of their 2014 debut ‘Ships Will Come’. We also put together a whole series of special King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard bootlegs and did exclusive Fuzz Club Editions of non-FC releases from Osees, Acid Dad, Alex Maas, New Candys, Dead Meadow and Acid Mothers Temple (with more Levitation x Fuzz Club Editions announced and set to ship next year from Fuzz, The Black Angels, Slift and Night Beats.)
And that’s that! What a year! With pretty much a full slate of releases already lined up, 2022 is shaping up to be even more of a crazy one. We’ve already announced forthcoming albums from Black Doldrums and Warm Graves as well as a 12" remix EP from Flying Moon In Space (feat. remixes by APTBS, Camera, Minami Deutsch, Xiu Xiu, Warm Graves & Suuns) and a Fuzz Club Session from Sei Still. Before the year was out we announced that we’d signed the fantastic Tess Parks who will release her new album next year and also launched Bad Vibrations Records, the first Fuzz Club imprint in partnership with our good friends and London promoters of the same name, which will kick off with a new Crows album in the new year.
And all of that is just the stuff we can currently tell you about! (There is some particularly major and game-changing news coming in January so watch this space…) 2022 is going to be a real special one and we can’t wait to celebrate our tenth lap around the sun with you all. With Covid showing no sign of going anywhere, we may not be able to congregate in Eindhoven just yet but rest assured that we’ll do our best to find a way for us all to come together and party once more.
See you on the other side!
All the love,
(Casper, Jack & Mathieu)
Photo: A Place to Bury Strangers @ Fuzz Club Eindhoven 2018 by Anna Louise Yorke