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Sam Murdock

SAM MURDOCK TOP 2017

Wow 2017 quelle année musicale magnifique!
What a wonderful musique year it was. Everyone I love came out with an album. It’s hard to digest all this in only 12 months. We are lucky to have a soundtrack like this for the end times. Then it’s the end of the year and you click on all the Best Of lists and you discover 50 more albums to change your life.

ALBUMS:
TOP 6
Keith Kouna – Bonsoir shérif
Bonobo – Migration
Converge – The Dusk In Us
Sweat Like An Ape! – Dance To The Ring In Our Ears
Thisquietarmy – Democracy Of Dust
Rata Negra – Oído Absoluto
Red Velvet – Perfect Velvet

Can Ki – Transmutaciones
HotKid – Late Night Mornings
Eman X Vlooper – La Joie
Tús Nua – Horizons
Spoon ‎– Hot Thoughts
Tough Age – Shame
Custard – The Common Touch
Death From Above – Outrage! Is Now
Shitty Life – S/L
Oktoplut – Le Démon Normal
Jamiroquai – Automaton
Julie Aubé – Joie de Vivre
Exit Someone – Dry Your Eyes
Wear Your Wounds – Dunedevil
Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry
Un Planeta – DES
Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976-1984
Žen – jantar
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
Oh Sees – Orc

SONGS:
INVSN – Immer Zu
Wolf Parade – Lazarus Online
Jamiroquai – Automaton
Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
Spoon – Shotgun
Bérurier Noir – Chat
Annihilator – Twisted Lobotomy
Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Red Velvet – 피카부 (Peek-A-Boo)
Roger Waters – Smell the roses

(swedish) Death polka

(swedish) Death Polka talk Judith Judith and the disaster that inspired it.

November 4, 2017

Sadly, preliminary calculations for its riveted steel beams were never properly checked, and after four years of work, the weight of the bridge became far too heavy for its capacity.

Despite the fact that these structural issues were noted, construction continued. On August 29th of that year, the bridge’s south cantilever and anchor arms collapsed, killing 75 steelworkers. Thirty-three of these men were Mohawk workers from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. Then, tragedy struck again on September 11th, 1916 when the bridge’s central section fell into the river, killing another 13 men.

One hundred years later, at a cost of $25 million dollars and 88 lives, the Quebec Bridge now includes three highway lanes, one rail line, and a pedestrian walkway. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995, but Quebec City’s (swedish) Death Polka have never forgotten its tragic origins. In 2006, the duo of Sam Murdock and Guillaume Lizotte were inspired to tell the imaginary tale of Judith, an orphan killed by its 100-meter fall into the river. Blending history with fiction, (swedish) Death Polka’s concept album Judith Judith sets her story to a haunting backdrop of neo-classical music, spoken word vocals, and electronic pop.

Label Obscura and Quebec City’s P572 have now joined forces for a deluxe reissue. Originally released on CD by P572 in 2006, this edition of Judith Judith finds the album reissued on vinyl for the first time. The 12” clear LP, limited to 275 hand-numbered copies, includes a poster, postcards, CD, download, and church pamphlet inspired fanzine featuring the piano score. Three alternate versions of the album are included with different track listings on the remastered CD, LP, and download.

To celebrate this reissue of Judith Judith, (swedish) Death Polka will present a gallery show spotlighting the surrealist collage works of Paris-based cover artist Julien Pacaud on November 9th at Quebec City’s Les Trafiquants d’Art. Pacaud will be in attendance along with the band for a celebratory listening party. Read on for Jesse Locke’s interview with (swedish) Death Polka member and P572 label head Sam Murdock.

Can you start off by telling me a bit about (swedish) Death Polka? How did you and Guillaume come together to start the project?

 I’ve lived all across Canada – south of Winnipeg, up north in B.C. and then in Halifax for two years. At that point I was sort of aimless with no musical projects and no job, just bumming around and busking. I came back to Quebec City, and through a mutual friend I met Sébastien Leduc, who co-runs my label P572.

My friend’s dad was working for a hotline you can call if you have suicidal thoughts, and they were collecting money at shopping malls. I took a job doing that at the door of a Zeller’s for a weekend, and a woman had a heart attack in front of me. I called 911, and that experience really moved me. I always had the name (swedish) Death Polka in my head, and then I wrote 30 songs about death in a month.

I wanted to add cello to those songs, and the only person I knew who played cello was Guillaume. He’s the most talented musician I know. Guillaume taught himself how to play piano, cello, violin, guitar, and bass. At 16, instead of getting a car like most people do, he bought himself a grand piano. His parents destroyed a wall to get it inside the house. He later went to music school, and after one semester, the teacher offered him a job.

Guillaume and I have a mutual love of Megadeth, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Tori Amos. We’ve always been good at making music together without talking. I’ll record some demos, send them to him, and he’ll just play along. We started the band in 2003, around the same time I started my label, so the first release was our demo.

I understand you’ve been accompanied by a string quartet, a choir, or in your words a “mysterious diva.” What can you tell me about those collaborations?

 All of those were for our live shows. On the albums, Guillaume plays all of the piano and cello parts and I sing everything. But for every one of our shows, we make a small zine that includes the scores so people can play or sing along. My other projects have just been guitar, bass, and drums so we wanted something bigger.

We’ve played shows in all of the churches in Quebec City, so we’ve had choirs of teenagers and people from music schools that usually perform the works of famous composers. Since all of our scores are written down, people can learn them and play them. We also had a woman named Jennifer Banks from Halifax singing with us. She was the “mysterious diva.”

 For anyone who might not be familiar with its history, can you tell me a bit about the Quebec bridge tragedy that inspired this album?

 It’s the longest bridge of its kind in the world, but when it was built 100 years ago it collapsed twice. The first time the south side of the bridge fell, and then the center of the bridge collapsed right as they were putting it up. These are forgotten tragedies in a way, because people travel across the bridge every day. Now it’s the 100th anniversary of the bridge’s completion. There was supposed to be a big celebration with money put into the bridge being painted again, but that’s not happening and the bridge is rotting.

When the bridge collapsed, there were thousands of people on the shore watching it go up. Almost 100 workers were trapped inside. It was low tide, so there was no way to get them out, but they sent a priest on a boat to give them absolution. That part of the bridge is still in the Saint Lawrence River. At low tide you can see it. There’s even an urban myth that the iron ring worn by many Canadian engineers is made from steel salvaged from the collapse of 1907.

Wow, it’s almost like a shipwreck.

 Years and years ago, there was no way to take that part of the bridge out of the water. Now they probably could, but it’s still too expensive, so it is like a shipwreck. The water is brown though, so you can’t usually see it.

 What inspired you to write this story about Judith, an imaginary orphan girl who was killed by the collapse? Were there any children that actually died?

 A lot of the workers who died on the bridge were Indigenous people. Some of them were young, but I don’t think were any children. At first we wanted the album to be a musical, but it was too much. Everything felt like a puzzle. The words, images, and music all came at the same time. We were inspired by Philip Glass’s use of repetition in his

You’ve described the album as “listening to Yanqui U.X.O. and Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret at the same time,” which is actually pretty accurate!

 I love Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret as an album title, but I wouldn’t say Soft Cell is a huge inspiration for me. Some people say our electronic music parts remind them of Depeche Mode, but I’m not really sure where it comes from. I don’t like short bios that say things like “for fans of Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day.” That’s why I just use the album titles.

Because of our neo-classical elements and the fact that we’ve played in churches, some people have compared us to a smaller Godspeed duo from Quebec City. I would call our music something like “neo-classical pop ambient” because we don’t use any drums outside of the electronic beats. I always thought it was weird to describe us as post-rock because that makes me think of something like Mogwai where you have a full band.

What’s sort of striking and weird about our live shows is that we always like to dance. When I see Godspeed, I get very mesmerized by their music and visuals, but at a certain point I start to feel that it’s all very serious. Post-rock usually goes from music that’s really epic to music that’s really droney, but I’ve always thought it should also be fun. In the middle of a set, we’ll start dancing to our songs, and people in the audience will stand up and join us. It doesn’t make sense, but it works!

You’re releasing the album on vinyl for the first time with Label Obscura, along with a church pamphlet inspired fanzine with the piano score, plus a digital download with a different track listing. What do you hope these alternate versions will offer to people’s listening experience?

 Good question! The original album was too long to be on a single LP, so that’s the practical answer. We’re essentially doing three different mixes for the digital, CD, and LP versions. I’ve always loved the idea of putting a different song on the vinyl release. That way there’s a reason to get the object instead of just buying it and downloading or streaming the music. I always include something that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The CD is even longer because of a hidden track.

How did you start working with Label Obscura for this reissue?

 Years ago, when I was 18, I went hitchhiking to get to Rhode Island but they wouldn’t let me cross the border because they thought I was an illegal immigrant. I ended up in Halifax and stayed there for two years. That’s when I started putting on basement shows for bands like The Plan and North of America. Those bands were breaking up around the time, but I learned that they were legendary. I never lived in Quebec City as a kid because I grew up in the countryside, but I also learned that a label from Quebec called Matlock Records released The Plan’s albums.

I fell in love with another Halifax band called The Burdocks. I was sleeping on a bench with some punks at the time until the people from The Burdocks let me stay on their couch. I met Tim through the albums he released for them on his old label Black Mountain Music, and would order tons of records. I always though the Sharp Like Knives 7” was a steal because the silkscreen alone is worth $5. I probably ordered 25 copies.

When I saw Tim was getting back into gear with Label Obscura, I got in touch about doing this release. I knew he was really into zines, history, and records. I’ve always loved the way punk bands have four labels from four different countries putting out their releases because I’m super into that kind of collaboration. I sent Tim the music and the artwork for our album and he was really into it too. He’s working like a madman right now on these reissues of classic Canadian albums.

 Can you tell me a bit about Julien Pacaud creating the album’s artwork?

 He’s sort of a genius surrealist collage artist for Paris. He works for Fuji, The New York Times, and bigger companies like that, but there’s no difference between his commissioned work and his personal work. It all blends into this big world he’s created, and he makes music and videos too. He’s been making one collage per day for years and years, and his work has been copied so many times. Every piece has a weird title, so he’s almost like the David Lynch of collages. If you read the biography on his website, he’s working on time travel too.

I discovered him around 2003. We exchanged maybe five emails, then I sent him a CD, and he sent me back a CD of his music. He offered to do a poster for some shows we did. At one point I sent him some high-res scanned photos of the Quebec Bridge, and wrote him maybe five lines about the project for this album. The whole thing was burlesque and weird, and he really understood it. He sent me back an email with the artwork, and that was it. We’ve never met or even talked [over the phone], so we will finally will at the album release event.

How will you present this music and the reissue of the album?

 We’re not doing a live performance. It will be an art show with Julien’s framed collages and a listening party at my friend’s gallery here in town, and Julien will be there. The project is a celebration of the 100th year of the bridge as much as the music and his art. I always have the cover art ready before I start recording.

This album was originally supposed to be released on vinyl from a different label in 2006, and Julien had prepared everything. That label backed down at the time, so now we finally get to celebrate those pieces of his art as well. I don’t know how it worked, but he liked the project enough to work on all of these things for free. Now this year he’s created three new prints of the Quebec Bridge as well. There will be postcards included with every record.

What are (swedish) Death Polka and P572 doing next?

 I have two new albums that I want to release. One will be solo piano, and the other will include brand new songs from (swedish) Death Polka.

I’m also starting a sub-label for digital releases and postcards. That’s taking the fun back from working on vinyl releases that take forever. No one else is doing what me and my friend Seb do with P572. There are no grants and no money. I don’t sleep or eat much, but I’ve been at it 24/7 for the last 13 years.

This album is a reissue, but it’s sort of like a new album as well because it’s a new mix and master, and a lot of people have never heard it. Everything Label Obscura is releasing comes from a nostalgic place, but I think there will be a lot of things people discover for the first time, like The Nils. I’m really happy and proud that we’re the first band Label Obscura has released from Quebec City. There’s French Canada and Anglo Canada but I find it weird that even with the Internet people don’t know what’s happening in the music scenes of different provinces.

(swedish) Death Polka’s Judith Judith will be released on November 3rd. The album is now available for preorder from Label Obscura and P572.

By Jesse Locke
Jesse Locke is a writer, editor, and musician based in Toronto. He is the author of Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer, published in 2016 by Eternal Cavalier Press. Jesse currently plays drums for Century Palm, Tough Age, Chandra, and Simply Saucer.
(swedish) Death polka

P572 automne 2017 !

P572 automne 2017

P572 AUTOMNE 2017
L’automne est bien arrivé et tout virevolte. La pluie, le vent et le bricolage. C’est toujours la folie, mais cette fois ci c’est vraiment la saison la plus intense des 13 dernière années pour P572. En l’espace de quelques semaines à partir de novembre vont sortir consécutivement en vinyle quatre albums sur lesquels on travailles depuis des années. En ordre: (swedish) Death Polka – Judith Judith, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres – Bile Automobile, Les Goules – Les Animaux et Fabien Cloutier – Scotstown. Tout est numétoré à la main et assemblé avec vraiment beaucoup d’amour. Disponible dès maintenant en commande postale et dans les lancements en compagnie des êtres extraordinaires qui forment certain des groupes les plus marquants de l’histoire de la ville. Merci de la confiance!

P572 FALL 2017
Fall is finally here again and everything is twirling. The rain, the wind and the everlasting workshop; this is the label house. It’s always been crazy, but this time it’s truly the most intense season of the last 13 years for P572. Over the course of a few weeks, starting in November, we will be releasing four vinyl records that we’ve been working on for years. In order of release: (swedish) Death Polka – Judith Judith, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres – Bile Automobile, Les Goules – Les Animaux and Fabien Cloutier – Scotstown. Everything is hand-numbered and put together with a lot of love. It’s also all ready for mail orders now. It’s beautiful to get to work with such extraordinairy people. Together they form some of the most memorable bands to ever grace this city. Merci.

Les Goules

Les Goules – Memories LP

Les Goules – Memories vinyle 10 ans

Les Goules, le groupe culte mort, célèbre un autre 10 ans avec le premier pressage vinyle de MEMORIES. Les 400 copies numérotées à la main sont disponibles en beer-bottle-transparent ou noir et accompagnées de surprises. C’est l’objet rêvé pour les fans nostalgiques de Baleine ou de Montagne Sacrée. Keith Kouna en parle ainsi : « Memories… Sous ses allures de sombre champignon humide agrippé à une souche pourrie se cache une grosse colonie de fourmis ailées à la moelle bien juteuse de vie et d’audace. D’ironie et d’urgence. De liberté, man ».

Les Goules, le groupe culte mort, célèbre un autre 10 ans avec le premier pressage vinyle de MEMORIES. Les 400 copies numérotées à la main sont disponibles en beer-bottle-transparent ou noir et accompagnées de surprises. C’est l’objet rêvé pour les fans nostalgiques de Baleine ou de Montagne Sacrée. Keith Kouna en parle ainsi : « Memories… Sous ses allures de sombre champignon humide agrippé à une souche pourrie se cache une grosse colonie de fourmis ailées à la moelle bien juteuse de vie et d’audace. D’ironie et d’urgence. De liberté, man ».

SHOP ICI

Oromocto Diamond

Oromocto + Bigpants = S H o O o O U T

This is a lo-fi-proto-punk-comedy souvenir single. Secretly recorded on a phone in Paris on June 5th, 2015 while Oromocto Diamond was on their Opo Europe Tour. It’s live, raw, energetic and funny. The first track is SHOUT by BIGPANTS featuring OROMOCTO DIAMOND as a powerful backing band. It was recorded with a stroboscope on during sound check at the Pop In. It’s 12 hypnotizing minutes of improv. The second track is OROMOCTO DIAMOND practicing O O O O with BIGPANTS in his apartment. That is, until the neighbours come knocking and interrupt the music. Then plans are made for the afternoon before the nightly show. These 20 minutes of glo-fi wonder come with a digital booklet full of tour photos.

Voici un étrange single souvenir lo-fi-proto-punk-comédie. Subtilement enregistré sur un téléphone, à Paris, le 5 juin 2015. Pendant la tournée Opo Europe d’Oromocto Diamond. C’est vrai, électrique et Frou-Frou. Le premier morceau c’est SHOUT, de BIGPANTS, accompagné d’OROMOCTO DIAMOND comme backing band. Douze minutes hypnotisantes d’improvisation Krautrock enregistrée pendant le soundcheck au Pop In. La suite, c’est OROMOCTO DIAMOND qui pratique O O O O avec Bigpants dans un appartement. Le jam est coupé de moitié quand le voisin un peu violent vient cogner à la porte. La musique vient avec un livret de photos numériques. 

Oromocto Diamond Bigpants S H o O o O U T Digital Booklet-page-003

Oromocto Diamond Bigpants S H o O o O U T Digital Booklet-page-007

Fanzine

P572 Summer 2017 Fanzine

P572 été summer 2017 Fanzine

P572 ÉTÉ 2017
L’été c’est un peu les vacances. C’est pour aller voir des concerts et aller à la plage. Prendre le temps de faire des expéditions à vélo et ratrapper la lecture de l’hiver. Il s’en est passé des choses depuis ce printemps. Juste Robert a remporté le Prix de la chanson SOCAN pour sa création « Il tombe des cordes » lors du Festival de Petite-Vallée. Oromocto Diamond a joué un record personnel de 24 shows en 20 jours pendant le Flin Flon Euro Tour, en plus de sortir Atlantis, un nouveau EP en cassette. Lesbo Vrouven a terminé la tournée Grifff Pifff un dimanche de juillet, lors du Festival d’été de Québec. Sans oublier les parutions inédites et étranges sous l’étiquette Punkest Tardo. Mais l’été, c’est aussi la saison du marathon pour préparer l’automne. Après des années à planifier des parutions en vinyle, tout sort en même temps. Les Goules, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres, (swedish) Death Polka et Fabien Cloutier. Bricolage forever.

P572 SUMMER 2017
Summer is for vacations and road trips. It exists for outdoor concerts, to go to the beach and to catch up on all the winter books. So many things happened since the springtime. Juste Robert won the important SOCAN prize for best song at the Festival de Petite-Vallée. Oromocto Diamond played a record 24 shows in 20 days on their Flin Flon Euro Tour, and they released new music on the Atlantis EP tape. Lesbo Vrouven ended their Grifff Pifff tour on a sunny Sunday at the Festival d’été de Québec. There’s also always weird random music on our sub label Punkest Tardo. But summer is also the infinite marathon to get ready for the fall. After years of hard planning to put together vinyl projects everything is released all at once: Les Goules, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres, (swedish) Death Polka and Fabien Cloutier. Very, very soon it will be turning on the tables!

OROMOCTO DIAMOND
Le Flin Flon Euro tour 2017, c’était 24 shows en 20 jours dans des endroits improbables comme des sous-sols, des apparts, sur une ferme ou sur une péniche. Les amis magnifiques se sont cassé la tête, encore une fois, pour organiser des soirées dans des patelins magnifiques. Le nouvel album a été composé sur la route entre un train manqué et un souper devant l’océan. Il reste à l’enregistrer pour remercier tout le monde de l’inspiration infinie. Merci pour les histoires et voici quelques photos souvenirs.

OROMOCTO DIAMOND: The Flin Flon Euro Tour 2017 was 24 shows in 20 days, booked in unlikely places like basements, apartments, on a farm and on a boat. Wonderful friends put so much energy into organizing unforgettable nights in the best cities. The new album was all composed between shows on trains and by the ocean. Now we have to record it, in recognition of the infinite inspiration we get. Thank you, we will be back soon, and here’s some tour photos.