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FEATURE: “What Statement?” – A Profile of Alien8 Records

Article by Richard Capener.

In my day, I say in an old man’s voice, there was a teenage ‘war’ around Gloucester: the individuals snobbily referred to as ‘chavs’ verses the punks and grebos. Verbal abuse and muggings ensued on both sides and blah blah blah.

Moral:

Musical communities, usually based on the clothes people wear and cliques, seem silly to me, who opts for a “Lets create whatever the hell we want, respect it and lend each other a helping hand” kinda mentality: communities defined by genre borders augment segregation.

What if a community was defined by its differences? What if viewpoints shifted from class ethics, clothes and cliques to what each individual believes to be music?

Montreal based label Alien8 Recordings “was founded in 1996 by Sean O’Hara and Gary Worsley, under whose operation the label continues to this day,” (www.alien8recordings.com/info). While their original focus was Montreal’s vangard, they’ve more or less dipped into every genre. And my oh my, I’m going to babble on for bit about some of their releases.

Far from the structureless jibberjabber (not that it’s bad – more on this later) most experimental communities offer, the last five years have seen Alien8 put out rock and roll. More or less. Take Anthologie Des 3 Perchoirs, the debut by the now defunct Duchess Says, and its rather indescribable track, AEAE (open.spotify.com/track/5MujNpEpKEfRrVBAfS7Bre). It’s made all the more exciting because the band believed, “Their goal was to insure a faithful representation of the message of the Duchess (or spiritual budgie) through a precise artistic dialog”. I don’t know what it means either but budgie-message sure makes for good tunage.