Black Valleys Meets OWOW photo by Leanne Crowley

Black Valleys Meets OWOW photo by Leanne Crowley


Day two is welcomed in by Statue, a Dutch six piece who offer up four guitars alongside bass and drums. They present numerous references to symphonic rock and hints of influences such as Sonic Youth shine through. It’s clear that they are really pleased to be here as they rock along happily to their own sound, feeding off one another as they go. These are a new find for me, and an enjoyable way to ease people in for the day.

Black Valleys meets OWOW is the next experimental offering that the Lab has to present, and this one should be something of a treat. Black Valleys, the alter-ego of White Hills, once again treat fans to a visual as well as audio performance thanks to a timed strut to coincide with movement activated noise. OWOW are an Eindhoven based company who have made an exclusive set of instruments for this performance. Black Valleys are joined on stage by Alex Macarte of Gnod who adds a vocal element into the mixture and the aural experience is complete. It’s experiences like this that are the essence of what Eindhoven Psych Lab is all about and this is another memorable performance to add to the catalogue.

Ulrika Spacek are a London band who have been steadily receiving more attention following the release of their debut LP The Album Paranoia in February this year and their name on the bill is a welcome addition. The room fills as they take to the stage and its clear that word has spread regarding this band and those present wait with baited breath. They effortlessly blend pop, psych and laden the whole package with tonnes of fuzz. Essentially, if Younghusband and The Black Angels had a baby, the result would be Ulrika Spacek. These are definitely one to watch.

The next band on my radar really need no introduction, however for the uninitiated, 10 000 Russos (pronounced dez mil Russos, pun intentional) are a Portuguese trio who concentrate on creating soundscapes of the subconscious. Signed to Fuzz Club Records, their debut album released in May 2015 has already sold out its first press on vinyl and these guys are hot property at the moment, having been on an extensive European tour before their performance here today. Word has spread as they take to a busy Observatory stage and waste no time on entering into ‘Karl Burns’. The crowd rock along happily and soak up their unique blend of kraut rock, heavy fuzz and purring psychedelia. ‘Baden Baden Baden’ is a crowd pleaser with its dance inducing riffs and hypnotic drum beat. The set is over far too soon for most present and they leave the stage to rapturous applause. Having secured a spot at Liverpool Psych Fest, for anyone who has not yet had this experience – I strongly encourage you too.

We’re not left wanting for long, as the bill takes us straight up to the Main Lab where Radar Men from the Moon are just beginning. With the release of their latest LP Subversive II: Splendour of the Wicked this weekend, there has been much anticipation about this performance, and with them being a local band there is no shortage of willing viewers. The quartet who approach music as an avant-garde exploration have fashioned their own genre, which is affectionately being coined ‘psych-house’ and their set today showcases this to magnificent effect. The industrial tinge to their breed of psych is catchy to say the least and ‘Splendor of the Wicked’ in particular stands out from their set. The professionalism displayed by this band and the energy they put into each performance mark them out as one of the most enjoyable bands of the day.

Copenhagen based power trio Papir present instrumental kraut psych which often encompasses improvisation when performed live. The music they create is based around the powerful drum beats and this is built on by fuzzy guitar riffs. The space drone created by the bass completes the trio of sound and the result is quite a heady mixture.

Radar Men From The Moon photo by Leanne Crowley

Radar Men From The Moon photo by Leanne Crowley

Flamingods are quite frankly, completely different to anything I have ever seen before. Using a mighty arrangement of instruments collected the world over, they offer up a somewhat calypso feel with Eastern and African flavors prevailing. They definitely move to the beat of Goat’s drum and the now well oiled crowd is really moving.

Canadian’s No Joy are one of the more mainstream bands attributed to today’s listing and it’s also the last date of their latest, rather large, tour. Since their formation in 2009, the shoegaze noisepop band has been proactively seeking higher exposure and that has led them to their current position. With new EP, Drool Sucker, due out on 15 July, the main lab is bouncing for their set and I’m sure they will be thrilled with the reception they have received.

Salfordians Gnod played the first Eindhoven Psych Lab and after their collaboration with Radar Men From The Moon on day one, they are eagerly anticipated here tonight. The release of their Mirror LP in April has attracted increased attention to the band and with another change in line-up since my last viewing of them (they now have two drummers, neither of which is the previous drummer), I take my spot and buckle up for the ride. As expected, they do not disappoint. A barrage of sound is emitted from the stage with breathtaking results, looking at the crowd it’s clear to see who has seen them live before or not; the glint of awe being only slightly dulled. With the inclusion of tracks old and new, Gnod have left their mark and the cheers they leave the stage to mark this performance out for me as the best I have seen them.

Föllakzoid are a band from Chile who have revolutionized the modern perception of krautrock, making a dent so large in the scene that the appetite for their sound is insatiable. This performance comes as part of their thirty date ‘Strob Tour’ and are another returnee to Eindhoven Psych Lab, having also played in 2012. They throw out their best loved tunes, ‘Trees’ and ‘9’, with ‘Electric’ from album III also causing a stir with its perfect delivery. They are always an impressive band to watch live, with it being almost hard to believe that just three can create such a huge sound. Once again they have left the fans sufficiently sated and only the promise of what is to come next has prevented a more rapturous response.

Goat photo by Leanne Crowley

Goat photo by Leanne Crowley

The enigmatic and ever mysterious Goat were the main draw to this year’s Lab for most, and the room is very quick to fill, with places close to the stage in hot demand. The shamanic Swedish ensemble really are a sight to behold, in their masked attire completely concealing their identity. The range of percussion instruments aligned neatly next to the drum kit gives us a hint of things to come and no sooner do they take the stage than things are in full swing. New single ‘I Sing In Silence’ is an early feature in the set and provides a taste of the new album which is eagerly anticipated, it being some 18 months since Commune, their second album, was released. The highlight of the set comes when they reel out ‘Talk To God’ from Commune, ‘Run To Your Mama’ and ‘Golden Dawn’, both from debut LP World Music, back-to-back in what can only be described as 13 minutes of pure bliss. The perpetual motion of the two female leads is mesmerising to watch and as the dancing takes hold of the crowd, the room is literally bouncing. This performance is probably the best I’ve seen from any band at Eindhoven Psych Lab over the three years since its beginning, and it will take some surpassing. The execution is flawless and the composition of the set keeps everyone entertained – Goat, I salute you.

I sympathise with the three remaining bands of the evening, having to follow such a performance was not an easy task but as the crowd come down from the high of Goat, suitable numbers stick around to show their appreciation before Eindhoven Psych Lab 2016 draws to a close.

It’s been another fantastically organised festival, despite traffic problems causing issues on day one, but it hasn’t dampened anyone’s spirit and the brilliant line-up has catered to all tastes. With the festival growing in popularity year on year, it will be interesting to see what treats are in store for next time…

Day One

Eindhoven Psych Lab  Official | Facebook | Twitter

Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.