The underground has always been powered by the DIY spirit, where in a world of consumers, some dare to participate. Ever since the days of ‘Sniffin Glue’ and ‘Spiral Scratch’ the urge to create and take matters into one’s own hands, enduring the papercuts of progress has permeated the subcultural landscape.
Where some moan about the state of things whilst endlessly fixing their hair, others get their hands dirty and push things forward, creating a beacon for believers and ensuring the existence of the scene amidst the scent of glue, inspiration and industry.
One such individual is Tomasz Woodraf from Batcave Productions. Hailing from Wroclaw Poland, his label and distro are one of the genuine articles in a sea of dodgy fly-by-nighters. Home to acts as diverse as Scotland’s Twisted Nerve, New Zealand’s Disjecta Membra, Poland’s Schrottersburg and Australia’s Howl, the label spans a myriad of sounds, spidery and splintering in all directions, yet unified by the vision of Tomasz’s curation.
In addition to offering an outlet for musicians throughout the world to release their homespun anthems, he has also thrown his weight behind what has grown to become one of the premiere European festivals for dark post punk, gothic and industrial sounds. Return to the Batcave takes place over 4 frantic days from the 11th to the 14th of October and now in its tenth year has secured an enviable line-up that features Pink Turns Blue, Screaming Dead, Altar De Fey, Miguel and the Living Dead, Jacquy Bitch (ex-Neva), Silent Scream Helsinki (ex-Varjo), RENDEZ-VOUS, Date at Midnight, Bootblacks, Ötzi, The Creeping Terrors and more.
With the pressure of organising such an endeavour continually mounting, Tomasz has hinted that this years’ shindig may be the last, but plans are already tentatively underway to keep the flag flying in successive years which you can support by pledging your commitment via crowd funding.
Next time somebody tells you “I’m staying home tonight, there’s no good music anymore”, slap them hard and point them in this direction.
Tickets for the 2018 affair are available here.
Send me a postcard.
– Andi Lennon