Features Music Year End 2013 Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Year End 2013

Music: Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Eric Quach (TQA Records/ thisquietarmy)

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2013? (In order 1-5)

I honestly didn't listen to many new albums in 2013, which doesn't mean that I haven't listened to much new music in general. I mostly discover new bands on the road, or through news feeds or/and Bandcamp - which is somewhat unfocused in a way. I'm sure I've missed out on a lot of stuff but there were also quite a few disappointments. Of the few that I've actually grabbed, here are those who got repeated listens - in no particular order:

  • Esmerine - Dalmak
  • Year of No Light - Tocsin
  • Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
  • Sigur Ros - Kveikur
  • Haxan Cloak - Excavation

2. What band did you discover in 2013 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

I discovered Destruction Unit when I got asked to open for them in Montreal. We both really liked each other's set and we found out we were touring Europe at the same time and tried to book some shows together - in the end we played again in Milan a couple of months later, and it was a blast! Also I discovered Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats at Amplifest in Porto - I've only heard of them prior to that point and I really got to enjoy their set. And not discoveries but perhaps re-discoveries: Colin Stetson's performance at The Rialto in Montreal was mindblowing, as were Jerusalem In My Heart's at the National in Montreal for their record launch. Also Low in Leuven, Belgium - which I've been waiting to catch again since forever.

3. How will you remember 2013? (In terms of music)

Personally, 2013 will be the year I have performed in Brazil, Turkey, Greece, and Texas, and also a lot of the southern European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, and south of France. I played more than 60 shows all over, on top of releasing my latest album, Hex Mountains, a split record with Labirinto and a Live in Sao Paulo, Brazil DVD. It was a great year for me musically, lots of cultural experiences and travelling related to music, which in turn makes it fun to abandon your house for a few months to go out and play shows.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2014?

Collaborative records with Noveller & Syndrome (Mathieu from Amenra) are in the pipelines for this spring. I'm also working on a release for a Japanese label in hopes to do a Japan tour later this year. I'll probably work here and there on the follow-up to Hex Mountains - although it's a bit daunting since it's been pretty well received, might take my time. I'll also be returning to Europe in April 2014 to play the Dudefest in Karlsruhe with Church of Ra, Locrian, True Widow, and more, also the Dunk Festival in Belgium with Nadja among others - currently booking the rest of that spring tour, which will probably turn out to be another crazy one.

As for the TQA Records micro-label activities, I'm currently working on the full-lengths from Sequences, Mains de Givre, and Le Chat Blanc Orchestra, and also a new one-of-a-kind thisquietarmy release series project that has been in the works for over year now called "I Heart Drone" - which will probably piss off collectors, but it's really meant to be an art project rather than a product.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2014?

Looking forward to the new Silver Mt. Zion and Mogwai records actually. And not records - but looking forward to two nights of Godspeed You! Black Emperor & Neurosis co-headlining at the Metropolis in Montreal in a few weeks.

6. There is a lot of debate over streaming sites and royalties, namely with Spotify. What is your stance on the economic policies behind the current streaming services? Do you have a preferred one?

We don't have Spotify in Canada (or do we yet?) but for the sake of giving an opinion, I'm not a fan of those sites as I don't like to listen to music that way. I also don't believe that any of those services can provide any kind serious money for artists/bands of our caliber, if at all. So I choose to focus on other things such as hard touring, selling physical merch in person, provide a mailorder service and having a Bandcamp available in case people with a bit of common sense can choose to support the artist directly without going through all those middlemen.

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 11, 2014, 4:46 p.m.

Photo of vinyl records by Dan Machold.

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