Saskatoon’s Sound & Silence Collective celebrate first anniversary

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Weekend celebration features 14 acts in addition to nutso after parties

Located in Riversdale between the Remai Arts Centre and the Salvation Army is the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. And if you wander through the same building you’ll find RAIS, the city’s first government registered audio engineering school. Inside the studio, students tackle audio engineering courses and are introduced to production and mixing techniques.

It was here, amidst microphones and mixing boards, that The Sound and Silence Collective, a fledgling record label, was born.

Formed between RAIS alumnus Muskwa LeRat, Duncan Pickard, and Josh Robinson, along with Nguyen Dinh, it was a way for the graduates to keep learning and working within the Saskatoon scene.

“The industry can be really cutthroat, especially for a young audio engineer with little experience,” says Robinson, who also writes for review blog Weird Canada.

“It was a way for us to continue once we graduated from RAIS.”

The group formed almost one year ago with the goal to promote local music, and released several albums from Saskatoon artists including Loser Surf Death by the Wizards, Ded Lake by The Faps and Z0RG C1TY by Jeans Boots.

“Here we are a year later and I think we have it narrowed down to what we want to do as a label, in terms of cultivating and incubating with the musicians of this city,” continues Robinson.

“There is so much here, it is limitless.”

And with their first milestone nearly behind them, the group has designs on throwing a massive party this weekend to celebrate.

sound and silence poster

Starting Friday, Jan. 17 and stretching out to Saturday, The Sound & Silence Collective will be hosting their one-year anniversary show at Vangelis. Each night will feature seven bands at the venue as well as three electronic artists performing at the after party.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, which is get all of these bands together to show people what we have all been working on,” says Pickard. “Plus there are some people in the community who are familiar with these acts who might not know much about the collective as well.”

With acts such as The Faps, Pandas in Japan, Slime Street, Wolfen Rabbits and the Wizards, the shows feature a diverse range of genres, with sounds traversing between acoustic to weirdo punk rock to electronica.

“We really wanted to generate some excitement for some of these acts that haven’t been touring or playing regularly,” says Robinson.

“And the after parties are going to be crazy,” adds Pickard. “It’s going to be a house party so it’s probably going to get pretty nuts.”

And after a successful inaugural year, the collective also has plenty of releases to look forward to, including a split 7” release between the Wizards and The Faps.

“It’s a precursor to both bands having full-lengths out – hopefully both of those will be on vinyl,” says Pickard.

The label also hopes to have some material coming out from Pandas in Japan, a full-length from Alissa Arnason, an EP from The Northern Light and the debut full-length for Apollo Cruz. Robinson notes that several acts, including those playing at this weekend’s festival, are in the midst of the recording process.

“Fern is finishing an EP and there are so many other projects on the go as well,” he says. “I know we are forgetting some in there, which always seems to happen whenever someone mentions projects.

“We are hoping to do some different formats as well. Pandas in Japan have some back catalogue recordings that might be released on cassette.”

– Tickets for each show at Vangelis will be $10. The after parties cost $5. There will be a limited number of wristbands on sale for $20, available at Vangelis Tavern and Beaumont Film & Record, that will get you in to both shows at Vangelis and both after parties.

– For more information, including the full line-up click HERE.