Emerging from the fertile soil of the Liverpool Psych Fest, PZYK 2020 is billed as 16 hours of immersive psychedelia, and if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, a line-up featuring the likes of Snapped Ankles, The Lovely Eggs, Black Country, New Road and Nuha Ruby Ra might just do it. Taking place within a complex of interconnected, industrial recesses in and around Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory on 16th May, the organisers promise “visual happenings and life-affirming interventions” alongside a stellar roster plucked from the cream of the international psych community.
Intrigued, we asked festival organiser Chris Torpey to fill us in:
PZYK has always been a global concern: the event has grown into a coming together of the neo-psychedelic community that is spread across the four corners of the globe. It’s a sub-cultural movement that connects artists in Santiago with musicians in Tokyo – and it’s those moments of realisation, where people from different cultures and backgrounds find a commonality through music, that really make PZYK come to life. After all, finding some kind of transcendence in music – or even just being transported somewhere else – is a collective experience.
This playlist pulls on the international strands that are represented in the line-up for PZYK 2020; artists whose music crosses borders and boundaries, and is, simply, really fucking good.
Headliners Altin Gün are a prime case of this: Amsterdammers with Turkish and Indonesian roots, their music exists in the adventurous no-man’s land between Turkish folk songs and fuzz-laden analogue rock. Fellow Dutch explorers Yīn Yīn fuse multiple influences in their sonic slew, taking in world music, disco, funk and electro for what is an immersive, deeply psychedelic live presence.
The USA has been the spiritual home of blissed-out psych for years, taking the phased guitars that were popularised in the Summer of Love and warping them beyond imagination. Our trio of US imports at PZYK 2020 all exhibit different areas where the rampant experimentalism of ‘psych’ music can take you. Legendary free rock outfit Sunburned Hand Of The Man return to the UK for the first time in 13 years, with new album ‘Headless’ showcasing the spontaneity of their weird psychedelia; the prolific Eric Copeland takes his electronic experiments even further on his ‘Trogg Modal’ series for DFA Records, proving that the deconstructivist streak that defined his previous outfit Black Dice still runs strong in his solo work; and Jackie Lynn – the new outfit of Circuit Des Yeux’s Haley Fohr and three Bitchin’ Bajas – thrums with the quicksilver energy of post-dancefloor indie.
The rest of our playlist takes us on a whistle-stop tour of outernational sonic deviance.
Kel Assouf’s African trance rhythms melt into the energy of vintage rock in a significant new vibration in desert music, while the interplanetary energy beams of shamanistic Finnish musician Timo Kaukolampi thump inside your head like an internal soundtrack to the highest highs. 工工工 (Gong Gong Gong) is a rhythm-oriented guitar and bass boogie unit which was formed in Beijing in 2015 by Tom Ng (The Offset) and Joshua Frank (Hot & Cold). Gong Gong Gong reshapes and deconstructs blues, rock n’ roll, and folk storytelling, using repetition and percussive playing techniques to draw out “phantom rhythms” between instruments.
London-based but hailing from all over (Uruguay, Australia, Sweden and the UK), Los Bitchos’ Cumbia-inspired instrumental groove can be described as The Shadows on a Tequila-fuelled field trip to South America. Glaswegian duo Free Love manage to be simultaneously ancient and futuristic, with their utopian dance pop missives released via the consistently impeccable Optimo Music.
PZYK 2020 will be a truly immersive experience, a 16-hour journey for your ears, eyes and soul. Climb aboard.
PZYK2020 takes place at The Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool on 16th May. Full details and tickets, priced at £50, are available from liverpoolpsychfest.com