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PLAYLIST: Castle Face Records
Christian Eede , July 26th, 2017 11:04

Matt Jones, co-founder of California-based label Castle Face, tells us about the label's motivations, their showcase at this year's Liverpool Psych Fest and how they seek out new music

This year's Liverpool Psych Fest offers an extensive list of treats as ever, with the likes of The Black Angels, Songhoy Blues, GNOD, Jane Weaver, The Bug vs Dylan Carlson, Laetitia Sadier and many more all confirmed to play across the festival's two days.

2017 marks the festival's sixth year and it will once again return to its home of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool stretching out across a number of venues in the area. The day splits have now been announced revealing that the first night will see headline appearances from Songhoy Blues, Loop and more, while the following night, The Black Angels, W.I.T.C.H. and more will head up the billing. You can find those full day-by-day breakdowns http://www.liverpoolpsychfest.com/2017/07/day-line-ups-announced/.

The first day of this year's festival will also play host to an extensive showcase from California's Castle Face Records, the label set up by John Dwyer, Matt Jones and Brian Lee Hughes in 2006. Initially founded as an outlet to release Dwyer's band Thee Oh Sees' album Sucks Blood which came out in 2007, and with early plans for a few more releases beyond that, it's still going strong more than a decade and almost 100 releases later, having released music from the likes of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, White Fence and many more.

The label has come to be known for a brand of rock that is at once psychedelic as it is rooted in the DIY, garage scene. Ahead of the label's showcase at Liverpool Psych Fest on September 22, which will feature sets from Once And Future Band, Duds, Magnetix and more, we spoke to label co-founder Matt Jones about whether he envisioned such longevity for Castle Face at the start as well as their plans for the festival in a couple of months from now. We've also got a playlist put together by the label for you to enjoy and familiarise yourself with just above.

Weekend tickets for Liverpool Psych Fest are on sale now, while individual day tickets will be available from this Friday (July 28). For more information, click here.

Castle Face was initially formed to release an album from Thee Oh Sees. Did you envision the label going strong more than a decade later when you formed it?

Matt Jones: Well... when it started I was just helping John along with layout and manufacturing. I kind of figured it would be the first of three or four records that he'd put out (I didn't know him or his work habits really at that point) but really I'd say those early days were blissfully free of foresight. Now that we've planned out the next hundred releases and we're working so far out it's not as fun. "Your record is great. How's Fall 2027 look for you?"

Does the label take an active A&R approach with regards to signing new acts and seeking out music to release?

MJ: Besides installing surreptitious web cams in practice spaces throughout the United States and Australia, we've teamed with Interpol, MI6 and local law enforcement agencies to monitor noise disturbances, psychic phenomena and impromptu backyard parties. "By any means necessary" is our A&R philosophy and we are very susceptible to gifts.

How would you summarise Castle Face's output so far?

MJ: Sometimes, when a collection of songs and some artwork like each other very much, they make a record. The artwork wraps around the music and the music plays around the art and, after a little money and a lot of emails are added to the mix, something new is born. A castle face record! Each one is unique, but they all share a certain je ne sais quois that comes from [co-founder John] Dwyer's side of the family.

You're curating a stage at this year's Liverpool Psych Fest. How did you go about pulling that together?

MJ: Well the Liverpool Psych Fest guys have been in touch for years but frankly we've been blowing it until now, haven't we? This year the stars and Irregular Orbits (see?) of our bands aligned quite nicely. Very, very pleased to see Once and Future Band in a festival setting (I missed the Tool shows sadly). Until recently they didn't even really tour so it is a grand coup that they are going to be playing this. Duds are an exciting new band with a few killer 7"s under their belt that I will be seeing for the first time here. Magnetix are the antidote to boring French bands; if people were smart there'd be hundreds of imitation acts from Montreal to Montpellier. Sunwatchers' writhing Ethio-psych rock hydra must be seen to be believed, and you will find no better last minute replacement for Interpol at a reasonable price than my own Male Gaze. All seemed natural fits, once the heavens were consulted, trade winds quantified, and tide charts thoroughly examined.

Liverpool Psych Fest takes place in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle from September 22-23. For tickets and more information, click here

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