Resident Focus: Schwet
In honour of spooky season, October's Resident Focus celebrates one of Bristol's most valued promoters and a real long timer for Noods — an ever fierce force pushing the experimental scene within the city, which dare I say it, may not exist in all it's glory without Schwet. So have a little read through and for God's sake check out their radio show
Tell us a little about Schwet, how did it begin, what does it mean to you?S
Nigh-on ten years ago, I got wind that a tiny 60-cap crypt in the city centre (St. John's on the Wall, yes that tiny door near The Lanes) was open to anything-goes-shows. I emailed my fav bands at that moment (Gnod, $hit & $hine and Hey Colossus) for the first two events. They actually turned up a few months later, had the time of my life and just kept going. That was called 'Cacophonous Sarcophagus' originally. A few years later we started playing records together in the OG Noodio HQ in the Surrey attic and began envisioning more late-night weirdo-club scenarios; SCHWET was born!
We're on around 200 events and 250+ hours of radio to date now. Truly "a session where we can do what we want to do".
Top five moments from a Schwet gig/night?S
So difficult it hurts my brain to even begin trying to narrow it down.
Here's 5 highlights from just the last 2 years since we began doing shows at thee mighty Strange Brew.
Pink Siifu & The Negro '6! - This one felt like a big risk when I was booking it, didn't seem like many had heard of him before we launched the show and it was just totally beyond words. Two hours of the most slammin' hxc-hip-hop-Pfunk-trap-noise imaginable, 300+ minds blown.
RP Boo - A night of unquantifiable energy, one of those perfect club sets. Everyone was moving properly, screaming every time he blew that rave-whistle.
CS & Kreme - The absolute masters of downtempo psychedelia. Most of the set was brand new, unreleased material and it somehow surpassed all of the 'Snoopy' stuff I had been expecting/hoping for! It was overwhelmingly druggy in the best sense, rightful heirs to the throne of Moon Musick.
Bégayer - French trad-future-folk-psych fusion. 3 percussionists playing 170BPM rhythms you've never heard and a guy with a handmade electro-bagpipe and bag of unknowable attachments.
Max Syedtollan - Essentially a stand-up comedy/Powerpoint presentation/prog-folk fusion set. Easily the funniest piece of 'music' I've ever seen, never seen anything like this before or since. Can't wait for him to come back in March with a full band!
Three artist’s you’re excited about coming out of the city?S
I feel the Bristol experimental scene is peaking right now, at least since the 12 years I've lived here. Never been so excited by so many local acts! Especially the new wave of yunguns that emerged/blossomed during and after the Pandemic: Ex-Agent, Biped, Sarahsson, Robbie & Mona, Ekstasis, Monika Badly etc.
And then there's the ever-reliable omni-talent Memotone, Tara Clerkin Trio making every cool-indie-distro froth at the mouth, Jabu & O$VMV$M coming into their own, The Evil Usses keep-on-keeping with their anti-trend jazz, Dead Space Chamber Music adding some gothic high-drama to the scene, EP/64 bringing on the Death of the Cool. Plus the extended ATC schquad are continually blowing my mind with the best schit on Earth, PRAISE GORAM! We've got it p. good right here/rn.
What album do you think has been unfairly slept on this year?S
That first Bivouac EP that came out last Oct on Bliss Archive...I think I'm their biggest fan.
The Concentration opus that just dropped on ATC will fly miles over most heads, but the few it connects with, know they are they are one of a kind.
Best way you’re finding new music?S
Long, hazy nights with incalculable Discogs tabs open.
Absolute dream lineup for a Schwet night?S
A fascination with Nurse With Wound and an obsession with their List was the original impetus behind Schwet; imagining what it would be like to hear that schtuff in da club. So they're always at the back of my mind, the spiritual ideal booking. But generally, whatever I'm listening to right now is what I'm most gassed on!
What gigs do you have planned for the future, where can people find info on them?S
A few xxxclusive to-be-announced bigguns here!
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Fri 28th Oct - REDUCER RE》ANIMATED @ The Cube
Fri 11th Nov - Whitney K, Eva Lua & Quade
Sat 25th Nov - CIA Debutante & Schwet DJs
Thurs 26th Jan - Avalanche Kaito @ Crofters Rights (TBA)
Thurs 16th Feb - Shovel Dance Collective @ Strange Brew (TBA)
Weds 15th Feb - Pierre Bastien @ The Cube (TBA)
Sat 18th March - Max Syedtollan, Wormhook, Romy Danielewicz, Laf Tebano (TBA)
May 4/5/6 - 10 Years of Schwet Weekender (TBA)