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Waveforms: Halifax Electronic Music Compilation (Cognition Audioworks, caw017, 2002)
1. Andrew Duke--Pharmakoi (Steb Sly tech mx) (6:04)
2. Andrew Duke--Bass Fjord (6:00)
3. Justin Buckley--Here (3:24)
4. Justin Buckley--Rattlesnake Brushing Its Teeth With Its Tail (4:09)
5. Rotator--Our Lady Of Perpetual Arpeggio (4:38)
6. Andrew Weeks--Floatation (4:05)
7. Andrew Weeks--Sub Dub (4:47)
8. Dexter Doolittle--And His Words Resounded (5:11)
9. Dexter Doolittle--No Joke (6:37)
10. Blacker--Youth (4:23)
11. Blacker--Chasing Dragons (3:53)
12. DJ Trixxx--Fearless And Inventive (5:57)
13. DJ Trixxx--Pieyedbass (4:35)
14. 9 Volt Sound System--The Nazis Have Taken Over The Holiday Inn (4:04)
Andrew Duke's Cognition Audioworks label presents a varied compilation of electronic music from Halifax. Duke leads off the compilation with two tracks, the great tech house "Pharmakoi", followed by "Bass Fjord". The rest of the tracks range from tough drum 'n' bass to melodic downtempo electronica. Most of the artists contribute two tracks, and some of the better ones include Justin Buckley's sweet and melodic downtempo "Here" and Andrew Weeks' "Sub Dub". Steve Blacker contributes the zippy drum 'n' bass track "Youth", as well as the quiet "Chasing Dragons". The toughest tracks on the album are both by Dexter Doolittle. "And His Words Resounded" is a fast-paced drum 'n' bass track followed with "No Joke", which is underpinned by piercing high-frequency noise. A lot goes into this track, with complicated beats and fuzzy noises. Special mention should be made of the track titles, which are extremely inventive. This compilation shows that there are good things coming out of Halifax. (Philip Downey)
Nightwaves Saint John
Finally, someone has taken it upon themselves to document the exciting and vibrant scene in Halifax. Andrew Weeks and Andrew Duke should be proud of their efforts, as this is a very strong and well put together compilation. It perfectly captures the current sound of the Halifax underground; it is very propulsive and electronically pure. The first two tracks by Duke prove once again that he can muster an electronic soundscape like no one else. "Here" by Justin Buckley is a great laidback track, while Rotator is a cool Philip (A/V) Clark side project that takes its time to unfurl. The songs by Weeks are a bit more splashy and agressive, while the songs by Dexter Doolittle are very percussive. "Chasing Dragons" by Blacker is one of the prettier tracks, and DJ Trixxx gives us some highly danceable, infectious tracks. "The Nazis Have Taken Over The Holiday Inn" by 9 Volt Sound System (another Philip Clark project) is easily the funniest and best song on the compilation. Even Kraftwerk would have to crack a smile at this one. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Conceived and compiled by Andrew Weeks, mastered by Steve Blacker, and featuring design and artwork by Christina Maynard, Waveforms: Halifax Electronic Music Compilation is the first compilation to document Halifax's growing electronic music scene. The compilation received play and charted at numerous stations across Canada. In Halifax, the compilation debuted at #1 on CKDU's Top 30 and RPM charts, and went on to be the station's most-played electronic music release of 2002; it charted at #25 on the station's year-end Top 50 after spending over 15 weeks on the station's Top 30 and RPM charts.
about the artists:
Andrew Duke has been recording, producing, remixing, and performing since 1987. Wrote The Wire (UK, September 2002): "Andrew Duke creates music that sounds like it has a reason for living". Duke's Sprung album was nominated for Electronica Album Of The Year at the 2003 Canadian Independent Music Awards. As a special bonus, Duke's "Pharmakoi" is presented here remixed by ex-Haligonian Steb Sly, now an Edmonton-based video game sound designer with vinyl releases on Swayzak's 240 Volts, Dan Curtin's Metamorphic, and Victoria BC's itiswhatitis recordings.
Justin Buckley has been working on electronic music for the past three and a half years. Until recently he has concentrated on the performance aspects of electronic music, partnering with Andrew Weeks as Modular and--for a short time--Chilltronic. He is beginning to experiment with recording to create a wide range of electronic music suitable for both the dancefloor and the armchair.
Rotator is Philip Clark and James Covey on authentic period Roland synthesizers and drum machines. With two CDs (Ripples In The Brainwave, The Twelve Move-Mate) and many live appearances under their collective belt, Rotator may be one of the few Halifax electronic acts equally at home in the studio and on stage. The Rotator formula has something to do with crossing 606-beat-based retro-techno with ambient noisescape flourishes, but don't hold them to that. 9 Volt Sound System is Philip Clark.
Andrew Weeks became inspired by the innovation and attitude of techno while studying in London Ontario in the mid 1990s. He began collecting obsolete synthesizers and sound equipment and by 1996 was performing his own style of downtempo electronic music. In 1999, Weeks began composing and performing with Justin Buckley in groups such as Modular and Chilltronic. Weeks' most recent music is created using software environments he designs himself.
Dexter Doolittle appears courtesy of Endemik Music.
Blacker is Steve Blacker who hails originally from England, though he mostly grew up in the Arabian Gulf and somehow ended up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been making electronic music of various flavors since the late 80s. Blacker boasts a checkered musical past, including stints in various loud UK guitar bands as both drummer and singer. Highlights of these early adventures include opening for the Sugarcubes and Ozric Tentacles in the early 90s. More recently Blacker has produced tunes for TV shows, including Ollie's Adventures (a cartoon on Teletoon) and music for Zed TV (CBC TV).
DJ Trixxx is Craig Muise who began spinning records in the mid-80s and soon thereafter got the urge to create his own. Captured instantly by rhythm-based music, he has since primarily produced hip-hop and house music, but also dabbles with breakbeats and remixing. In 1997, Trixxx released his first house record, "Pounding Headache". In 2000, he produced a hip hop album with The Psi-ence and released it on his newly formed 12th Planet Records.