Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia: September 22 – 23

By September 15, 2017

Music. Liverpool.


lpf17-daysplit-940x600Liverpool Psychfest returns for it’s sixth iteration on the 22nd and 23rd of September. Nestled in the right angle of the Baltic Triangle, the festivities will be spread throughout performance spaces Camp & Furnace, Blade Factory and District. The psychedelic village spills out onto Greenland/Flint St and creeps right up to Constellations for an opening party (headlined by the hypnogogic pop guitar of ‘Ducktails’ on the 21st.

That said, its feels as if the kaleidoscope has already began to whirl and that its aura radiates much further out of the Baltic. You can find super-liminal advertisements fly-posted all over the city as well as emblazoned on the white walls of Bold St. Coffee. Round the corner at FACT, there’s still time to catch the last of the Pzyk Cinema programme – concluding with ‘Psychomania’ (a ‘70s cult horror classic with undead bikers terrorizing shoppers of Walton-on-thames to a fuzz-rock soundtrack), on Thursday 21st.

One of Psychfest’s greatest achievements of the past six years is how remarkably cohesively the festival functions. Far from being a festival that is ‘just about the music’ the 2017 programme is filled with perception-jamming Virtual Reality demonstrations, an immersive 4D/brain scanning installation (‘Pzykskan’) and the return of ‘Innerstring’s spectacular light show – a kind of pulsating vaporwave cloud or undulating AV curtain rippling over the heads of the Camp Warehouse crowd.

As well as the ‘Psychedelic World of Wax Wonders’ marketplace and ‘Pzykcinema’, ‘Musings in Drone’ will feature varied discussion panels. Hear about the journey of the ‘Castle Face’ label (itself curating a stage for the festival) and from ‘Songhoy Blues’ about withstanding and resisting the banning of all music in Mali by Islamic hardliners back in 2012. Also on the bill is a presentation from ‘AUDiNT’ – a para-academic research unit, apparently led by the rogue artificial intelligence ‘IREX2’ – which will investigate ‘the ways in which ultrasonic, sonic and infrasonic frequencies are used to modulate psychological, physiological and architectural states’.

Under the ‘psychedelic’ banner, Pzykfest is pushing for far broader sonic possibilities than merely paisley shirted chorus soaked guitar bands. For the 2017 congregation, there seems to be a far larger representation of electronic music. To whet your appetite for this varied festival, we’ve pulled together some of the artists to be sure to catch!

From ‘The Bug VS Dylan Carson’ (of ‘Earth’) and hot off the release of ‘Concrete Desert’ you can expect a dystopian slurry of sludge guitar, rattling skank, electronic atmospherics and a further pursuit of their shared and self-confessed ‘obsession with heaviness’.

Parisian duo ‘Acid Arab’ blend Western electronics with North African melody and vocals. With 303’s dancing alongside cascading vocal melisma, Acid Arab’s noise ranges from all out bangers to floating ambience.

Container does hard-edge, jagged techno. Rough and blunt live sets build layer-upon-layer of crushed up electro-riffs and skittering drum lines – only to collapse into harsh noise and roll back into four to the floor bangers.

Sitting on the intersection of industrial grooves and old school dub (if not his own planet all together), Adrian Sherwood headlines the Camp Warehouse on Saturday night.

The festival promises to be as good this year as ever, with the weekend veering from challenging music, to immersive art and mind-bending talks. Never one to miss on the Liverpool music calendar, this year’s offer secures the festivals place in the UK festival circuit.