With protests against systemic racism and police brutality dominating the news, a call to elevate the voices of Black artists has come to the fore of the cultural discourse. Montreal's Pentagon Black, the high-concept, design-focused Montreal label notable for its paper compilation series, helped further this cause through the release of Black Dots: An Afropunk Primer. The document features an essay by Halifax musician, writer, and DJ Chris Murdoch, available as printed pamphlet. The label described the project in a press release:
"In the first instalment of the Pentagon Black Information Pamphlet series, noted Halifax musician, writer, and DJ Chris Murdoch distilled his critical 2017 Black Dots presentation into pamphlet form. What's it about? When Black first met punk in the UK, the USA, and Chris' own life, and along the way its scant 2800 words catch large quantities of DIY spirit, noise, fury, skateboards and weirdness. Mentioned in the pamphlet: the Bad Brains, Death, Toni Young, Minor Threat, Don Letts, Red C, Nicky Thomas, Fire Party, Black Flag, Bubba Dupree, Void, Chuck Treece, Mike Cornelius, JFA, McRad, Thrasher mag, Ray Barbee, Underdog, Poly Styrene, X-Ray Spex, Neville Staple, Lynval Golding, the Specials, Ranking Roger, Simone Thomas, etc. Released in June of 2020, this eight-page pamphlet includes five illustrations by Raymond Biesinger. Mandatory reading."
Murdoch's history as a Black musician in the Haligonian punk scene includes a stint as the frontman of the hardcore group Word On The Street, tours as a part of Weekend Dads, and a current gig behind the drum kit of the trio Souvenir. The pamphlet, available through Pentagon Black's store for all of a toonie, is raising funds for Nova Scotia's Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund. As of this writing, the label reports nearly 900 copies sold. You should grab one.
Pentagon Black's run by Raymond Biesinger and Drew Demers of the noise-punk duo The Famines. Word On The Street last released Street Spirit in 2014 on Sewercide. Souvenir released the Beating Into Dust EP in February.
Dirty Nil bassist Ross Miller recently debuted another Hamilton-based hardcore side-project. When I Move comes on the heels of several recordings shared as the posi-punk outfit Blue. Complementing Blue's aggressively uplifting vision, When I Move shouts its way through similar sentiments:
"Recorded with love for all people and for the hope of peace and unity through progress, action and change. End of hate, End of Racism, End of fear to be who you are. Peace, love and unity."
All proceeds from the online sales of the three-song When I Move EP are due for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. As Blue, Miller last released 2020 Vision in May. A new Dirty Nil single "Done With Drugs," drops tomorrow - so look for more on that next week.
I missed the new video from Zoon earlier this month, but please don't make the same mistake! The debut full-length from Hamilton-based Ojibwe musician Daniel Monkman arrives this Friday, and it puts a heady Indigenous spin on some classic psych and shoegaze sounds. The title track to the 10-song Bleached Wavves can be found below, and it's awash in My Bloody Valentine vibes. Speaking to Post-Punk, Monkman commented on the song's John Smith-directed video:
"Writing Bleached Wavves I put a lot of effort into creating sound loops and textures within the song, the reversed sounds are supposed to be a nod to the fantasy of going back in time... Experimenting with John on the Bleached Wavves video was very satisfying. I was a bit nervous but after seeing all his gear and how he created textures I knew that it was going to be a colourful video that matched the vibe of the song. John knack for experimentation really shines throughout this video and I couldn't be more happy that we teamed up together."
Bleached Wavves arrives Friday on Paper Bag Records.
Zoon also recently contributed to Warrior Down Remixes, an EP that reimagined several songs from by London folk/sludge rockers WHOOP-Szo. If you haven't heard Monkman's dramatic reimaging of "Cut Your Hair," head on over to Bandcamp and check that out.
Cody Googoo and Ben Radford of the Halifax D-beat group Fragment recently shared an isolation-recorded demo under the name Mutated Void. The duo's seven-song set is as searing and low-fi as you'd expect, given the personnel. It clocks in at all of five minutes and eight seconds. A download of the full release is available now.
Fragment recently released a brutal little EP titled EP Serial Mass Destruction on Sewercide Records.
The Halifax festival Everyseeker recently shared a video from the St. John's twee-pop outfit Lo Siento. The quarantine-filmed clip features the song "Despierta-aahhh" (originally from their 2019 record Brujas), along with a previously unreleased tune titled "Quién soy?" The footage features the band's four members recording in isolation, spread between St. John's, Newfoundland and a family farm in Waterloo, Ontario. The clip premiered as part of Everyseeker's online programming Emergent Response, which runs through the end of the month.
Lo Siento, lead by the Buenos Aires-born multidisciplinary artist Pepa Chan, last released the nine-song Brujas in March of 2019. The band features Chan backed by bassist Andrea McGuire, Burning Hell collaborator Jake Nicoll on keys and synth, and BBQT's Allison Graves on drums.
Toronto concert promoter and Odonis Odonis co-founder Denholm Whale recently shared a new single as his quarantine alter-ego Scratch. "Melt" is the first track from an upcoming four-song EP titled Something To Do, a four-song collection that follows-up on demos released in March and April. The full set drops Friday via the Sepsis Record Club.
Speaking to Post-Punk, Whale commented on the origins of the anxious and angular new single:
"In late 2019 I was diagnosed with panic disorder. I wrote this song as an ode to my internal dialogue during bouts of extreme and unavoidable panic. The music serves as an analogy to the waves of feeling that carry alongside. It's about the urge to melt away."
The industrial/electronic trio Odonis Odonis last released the EP Reaction in 2019 Felte, preceded by the full-length No Pop in 2017.
London, Ontario's Yeah Right Records has a new compilation out to benefit the Black Lives Matter movement. Directly titled Black Lives Matter, the collection features 31 bands from 15 cities, with most of the label's regular roster making an appearance. The company commented:
"There's a common saying that goes back centuries which states that evil prevails when good people do nothing. We're witnessing the culmination of years of outrage at a lack of justice as it spills out into the city streets. Things have to change. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and we step aside so that their voice may be more clearly heard."
Along with catalogue selections from some Some Party favourites like Red Arms, Sweet Dave, Ancient Shapes, and Dboy, the set features previously unreleased material from Ian Blurton's Public Animal, Future Now, and Vancouver's Black Halos (among several others). You can dig into the whole collection and support the cause at Bandcamp.