Dreamy band gets the nod

By Stuart Trew

Canadian music festivals often bring to mind a succession of five-member rock acts, divided by a Celtic band here and there. But a local act’s personal invitation to Canadian Music Week ’99 shows maybe Canada wants something different.

Liquified, an Ottawa trio, uses drum machines, not drum kits, and keyboards instead of guitars, to create a mixture of dreamy atmospheric techno and jazzy drum ‘n bass.

“I think they’re great,” says Louisa Key, CMW ’99’s festival coordinator. “It’s very unusual for what’s coming out right now and I think they’re going to do very well.”

The local trio was invited to play when the Ottawa X Press submitted their name in response to a CMW request that entertainment papers across Canada suggest three or four bands they thought should be in this year’s festival. CMW chose bands that weren’t recommended based on demos sent in before last November’s application deadline.

X Press managing editor Allan Wigney’s Liquified recommendation wasn’t a big surprise. The weekly voted the band’s album, 13 Methods of Hallucination, the No. 2 Canadian indie album of 1998. Wigney also recommended Ottawa’s Jim Bryson, Meg Lunney and Dandy, all of whom got in.

Canadian Music Week ’99 runs from March 3 to 7 in more than 35 Toronto bars and clubs. Liquified will join more than 350 other bands from across Canada (90 per cent Canadian and 10 per cent from outside Canada) playing to curious music lovers and influential industry bigwigs looking for the latest sound.

In addition to the massive music festival, Ted Nugent and David Crosby will be guest speakers at the 16-year-old CMW music industry conference. As tradition goes, CMW ’99 will be held in conjunction with the 1999 Juno Awards. Toronto is the place to be this March if you’re a band looking for a label or vice versa.

Roland Marckwort, songwriter and keyboardist for Liquified, says the band isn’t too interested in all the record label representatives attending the shows. After all, their CMW invitation came shortly after signing to Los Angeles-based World Domination Records, the same label as Vancouver’s Perfume Tree, in early January.

“What they’re doing fits in very nicely with what we’re doing as a label,” says Dave Allen, owner and founder of World Domination Records. “I also like the Canadian connection. We’re doing pretty well up there with Perfume Tree.”