UNDER CONSTRUCTION (as always!) but stay tuned for links and stuff concerning my own selfish and self-centered tasteful preferences and references!
In the meantime:
First song I remember noticing was in 1974, Blue Swede’s cover version of “Hooked On A Feeling”. My father purchased the 45rpm single for me, which I colored the “A” side to make sure I knew which song to listen to, seeing as how I was unable to read at the age of 3, but already knew how to operate a Fischer-Price toy record player! In the 70s I also discovered the whole Star Wars thing, including the disco re-make of the theme song which was a billboard hit. In 1982 I discovered Eurythmics with the song “Love Is A Stranger”, and then “Sweet Dreams”, and this turned me on to the world of electronics. The “B” side of “Love Is A Stranger” featured a non-album cut called “Monkey Monkey”, a highly experimental hypnotic piece for the UK duo, which was my first real introduction to unconventional electronic music. In 1983 I discovered Howard Jones in his “Human’s Lib” era when he opened up for Eurythmics at the Montreal Forum, and this opened my eyes as to how someone could be their own one-man-band using electronics. This is around the time I started dabbling into making my own music using little toy synthesizers offered at Radio Shack and Sears stores, back in the day.
In 1984 I discovered Depeche Mode which pushed beyond my appreciation of electronic music by showing me one could also do intriguing things while not necessarly having to follow the conventions established by commercial pop music. This was a highly influencial moment in my musical development, and that is around the time I was seriously thinking of starting a band based in electronic roots. But in 1986 my half-brother ZC brought a tape of recorded radio shows of underground “alternative” music, which featured the piece “Dig It” by Skinny Puppy and this once again opened my eyes to a world which existed outside the realm of the common. From that moment, my musical hunts and purchases took a whole new turn and direction, and I was more serious than ever about being in an electronic band with experimental/industrial/
aggressive tendancies. It was also around the same time
I discovered such non-electronic bands as The Sisters Of Mercy and Killing
Joke, which also contributed to my appreciation of the underground movement of
the 80s. It was also around this time I discovered Kraftwerk which made me
realize that electronic-based bands and music have been around for quite a long
time and that we owed so much to these pioneers of robotic-based music. The
late 80s was when I got into the whole post-industrial phase with such bands as
Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, Ministry (pre-guitar stuff), Severed Heads, Frontline
Assembly, and literally hundreds more.
EARLY CREATIONALISM/STARTING THE MUSIC
In 1987 I wrote my first official song which was the first piece my very first band learned to play. In 1988 I bought my first real synthesizer (which I still own today) and also started working on my first solo recordings. By 1989 or so, playing in bands had exhausted its utility as I discovered too many egos and compromises affected my contributions. That year I released my first official solo cassette, which was followed by a few more in 1990, when I collaborated with a speed-core-death metal band on break; the gents were in-between guitar players and wanted to do an experimental cyber-metal-like project. In two days of non-stop jamming, we recorded a six-track EP complete with a bonus out-take song at the end. That year I also started collaborating with a guitar player met in college, where we performed two “music-fests” as the only electronic-based outfit, billed alongside the proto-grunge guitar-based bands of the era. People either loved our uniqueness or booed and walked out during our 20 minute sets. In 1991 I recorded my most popular and often referenced as most perfect industrial album, and performed again with the guitar/keyboard player met over a year prior at the college music-fest, a performance which led him to quit doing this kind of music due to poor audience acceptance. Funny thing is, a year later he showed up at my doorstep with his own solo album which literally sounded like a watered-down and simplified version of what I had been doing for years now.
In late 1991 I discovered that industrial band FrontLine Assembly also recorded material under the name Delerium, which was more ambient oriented. This once again influenced me to explore the rhythm-less oriented experimentations and I recorded between 1991 and 1992 my first ambient-experimental album, which would become one of numerous to come. In 1992 I also met with another guitar player, and throughout 1993 and early 1994 we recorded and performed as a band/project which was more eclectic and experimental than ever, mixing my love for electronic experimentalism with his more grunge-oriented song-writing appeal. Unfortunately our venture did not last long but did have a few highly experimental albums released on cassette. This was also the era when I was seriously abusing alcohol and started taking massive amounts of drugs. I was also asked to join to play bass with a Montreal combo which led to a small series of tours as well as recording a second album on CD for them which featured a lot of my own contributions to their own themes and sensibilities but which were mashed and transformed in the final mixing and mastering stages, which eventually led me to leave their combo, as my own solo outings proved to be more satisfactory.
THE RECORD LABEL/NETWORKING BEYOND
In 1994 I was already knee-deep in some of the most experimental and unconventional forms of anti-music out-there; illbient, dark-wave ambient, noise, power electronics, musique concrete, electro-accoustics… Inspired by a local one-man electro-indescribable project which opened my eyes in terms of what the local talent was actually capable of, I recorded my first multi-track album, a most experimental and multi-layered exploration, which also was the first official release of my DIY (Do It Yourself) record label. During the time I was also asked to contribute on a local radio show where I was able to basically do whatever I wished, which often resulted in sonic ventures of multi-layered soundscaping, which was enough to draw some attention to the radio show by not following any trends or pre-determined structures. I continued to release material, usually more noise and experimental in nature, and in 1996 released the first of three local-based compilations (followed by a volume 2 in 1998 and the final one in 1999) which also began my work as producer for other people. Between 1996 and 1999 my label was releasing albums from numerous projects worldwide. It was without a doubt one of the most prolific periods of my own so-called musical career. There was a lot of networking pre-internet, helping to contribute and promote the now infamous tape-culture of the 90s, which was again an eye-opener in terms of just how many independent projects existed outside the spectrum.
The transition to the Y2K was a difficult one, plagued with numerous substance abuse problems and difficulty juggling personal musical ventures and professional bill-paying options. As the internet grew and web-based music was becoming the standard, I “folded” quietly and without fanfare after a few CDr releases on my label, allowing the next generation(s) of internet-based musicians to carry the flame. I continued to do sound explorations but nothing official ever came out of the next few years, although the equivalent of dozens of albums’ worth of material was accumulated. Throughout the 90s and up until the Y2K, I also contributed numerous soundtrack works for independent films and unproduced TV series, as well as collaborated with a local Montreal noise artist but as a “band” we never officially released anything (although our incalculable jam sessions would offer a choice amount of recordings). My love of music and noise became mostly that of a consumer than a producer, strictly based on time restrictions and monetary reasons, but my appreciation and intensity for DIY and non-commercial music was always strong, and never faded, even if my own musical tastes kept morphing and evolving; by the 90s, my love for industrial music had changed to more techno-oriented pre-house music as well as the non-linear non-rhythmatic ambient stylings. By the Y2K, I had discovered Crooklyn and Dirty Philly stuff, amongst numerous more emerging variants of the so-called murkier commercial spectrum, which let to mash-ups and the art of the remix as a way to keep conventions stimulating.
In 2012, sober and awake, having cleaned up my act and gotten rid of old equipment which was faulty and broken (which couldn’t be repaired by this point after years of neglect), I contributed a soundtrack to a short film which gained significant positive reviews and renewed both my brother’s love for film-making and my own experimental film soundtrack work. I also started working on new material for two of my main musical/experimental projects using a new format and new technologies, and have accumulated enough new material to release two full-length albums, both of which are the result of live jams and performances, which only need to be recorded to be thoroughly enjoyed by others. These two “albums” will be dedicated to strong influences of mine, Kraftwerk and Panasonic (the Finnish band, not the electronics conglomerate). In February/March 2013, inspired by having participated on the set of another film written and directed by my brother, I began working on possible soundtrack ideas which have resulted in (so far) 45 minutes’ worth of dark-toned experimental thematics, even though the film has yet to be edited and has an estimated length of 15 to 20 minutes. For the moment the previous concepts of being a band or playing and releasing material in the traditional sense has changed more into the desire to allow my creativity to surface when it does and if it takes years between tracks or releases, so be it. I enjoy music so much as is that I do not wish to burden myself by turning the creation and releasing aspect of it into a chore as it once almost became.
Favorite BAND: Pan Sonic (formerly Panasonic)
Favorite COMPOSER: Ennio Morricone
Favorite MALE vocalist:
Favorite FEMALE vocalist: Amanda Blank
Favorite STYLE/FORMAT: Experimental ambient & Tech-noise
In the meantime: