Super excited to share with you the topfive from Derek Duncan aka DJ D.DEE. Releases on his excellent Pacific Rhythm label was an entrance point into Canadian scene for us. Artists like Flørist, Slim Media Player, Cloudface, Neo Image, D.Tiffany really has their own vibe united under the “sound of Canadian Riviera” term. DJ D.DEE is one of the best Vancouver’s deejays frequently touring in Europe. Here, Derek selected specials, uploaded some his own rips on Youtube, and there’re a lot of personal stories behind each record, so enjoy!
Melodic Energy Commission – Stranger In Mystery LP [1979, Energy Discs]
I first discovered Melodic Energy Commission through two ambient LPs released by a Vancouver artist named Paul Serret on a Vancouver based label called Energy Discs. I took them both home and didn’t really think much of them until I started to look into the label that put them out and from Energy Discs, I eventually stumbled across the Melodic Energy Commission website.
At the time I didn’t know much of Vancouver’s musical history outside of the punk and industrial scenes. I was elated to discover something so wonderfully original and esoteric that truly embodied that “Vancouver Sound” everyone likes to talk about. As it turned out one of the members is my friend Heather ( who often helps out at the door of Pacific Rhythm parties) Dad and apparently they’re working on new material for release sometime in the very near future. Too good!
It’s just too tough to pluck a single track from the LP so I’ve recorded the entire A-side of this record and put it up. Enjoy the audio.
Donn Tarris – Party LP [1977, Remembering Records]
Absolutely beautiful soft (but not too soft) rock recorded in North Vancouver in 1978 that I came across at Beat Street Records here in Vancouver a few months ago. I got in contact with Donn and we spoke on the telephone a few weeks ago and he told me he only pressed 300 copies of this LP and most of them were scattered across Canada to radio stations for promotional purposes. Apparently, it had very little FM play but got a bit of shine on local AM radio. Strangely enough, this LP ended up getting reissued on CD by a South Korean label in 2010. If you can get your hands on it don’t hesitate, this is right up there with the finest rock LPs from the era and deserves to be heard.
Junior Dan – A House Is Not A Home 7″ [?, Danites]
A positively gut-wrenching reggae cover of a Burt Bacharach tune from 1967 that many of the greats went on to cover and perform live (though, this version is the best). I ordered a copy of this from a Jamaican seller on Discogs years and years ago and he was supposed to send the reissue but instead, he ended up sending me a super busted OG. The sleeve is a repurposed margarine container with pot leaves silk screened on it and I’m pretty sure the record was pressed on some old tires (at least that would explain why there are tread marks on the vinyl). I have a very personal attachment to this song and this record, it’s something I know I’ll hold onto forever.
Bernardino Femminielli – Plaisirs Américains LP [2016, Mind Records]
I found out about through my friend Josh Stevenson who mastered it at his studio here in Vancouver. Generally when you hear contemporary music from Montreal it’s made by an anglophone who moved there to dodge the oppressive rents you face in the rest of Canada but this is a true Francophone masterpiece. The LP reminds me of Yves Simon’s more obscure moments at times but it’s very much so its own thing. If he’s playing in your town sometime soon you should try your hardest to make it, it’s a memorable experience, to say the least.
Davidson – Going Back To My Roots 7″ [1989, French Riviera Production]
The story goes that Davidson’s parents funded the recording and pressing of this record as his 15th birthday present. Safe to say very few of us will ever end up hanging out in studios on the French Riviera recording Lamont Dozier covers, let alone at the tender age of 15! The best part is his version is genuinely brilliant and a ton of fun on the dance floor. S/O to all the parents out there who take chances on their children’s strange dreams.
Text & pics DJ D.DEE