Jamie McCue

ASIP Wantlist #2 Jamie McCue (Silent Season)


Our second dive into the Wantlist comes from friend and label-head, Jamie McCue from the well respected Silent Season. I had anticipated these lists to throw out some obscure digs, bringing to life hints of personality from each person featured, and it looks like we're on track to fulfill that ambition. Some lovely hard-to-find selections from one of dub-techno's finest curators. 


1. The Future Sound Of London ‎– Lifeforms. 1994. [Discogs

In 1994 while I rolling around on the floor with my punk band screaming about teenage angst I completely was overlooking a genre of music that would later be hugely influential on life. I probably never heard of FSOL until the late 90’s which was maybe a good thing because this album is a masterpiece that deserved my more mature attention. My mom used to listen to Enya in the late 80’s and while it seemed cheesy at the time I think it’s what subconsciously implanted an interest in new age / ambient, which was literally the opposite style of music I was listening to at the time. Anyway, for better or worse I made it out of those years a little wiser and more open minded to downtempo and experimental electronic music. I hope to find this record in a dusty old record store one day.


2. Modern Art - Circuit Lights (1982-1986). 2011. [Discogs]

Growing up I was a huge fan of new wave, synth pop and 80’s music. I loved regularly tuning into the local radio stations and I remember hearing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, The Cure, and similar music. It felt so right given I was listening to punk and ska at the time. It was like this gritty danceable punk influenced sound that still to this day gives me goosebumps when I hear the right song. I first heard Hello/Goodbye in a Silent Servant mix from a few years ago and it really hit home when I hear this track specifically. The Modern Art original was released on tape in 1982 but was re-released in 2011 as Circuit Lights (1982-1986). It’s on my wantlist and I hope to blast it one day.


3. Cymande - The Best Of. 1972. [Discogs]

Hey you can’t go wrong with this classic Cymande record from 1972! It’s a perfect BBQ beats record for those summer afternoon backyard parties. The record is loaded with roots, reggae, funk and soul. Not sure why I never owned a copy. I think maybe I preferred when friends play it while I puffed a spliff and got tipsy on rum. One day I’ll own it, one day. Classic!


4. Murcof - Martes [Discogs]

I completely missed buying Martes on vinyl when it first came out in 2002. I’ve regretted it all these years later until recently when the Leaf Label re-released it as a 3xLP set with Martes + Utopía. Murcof has a sound of his own that is one of a kind. As noted on his Discogs page, Murcof works with orchestral samples, microscopically detailed textures, sounds and rhythms. I”m happy to be a proud owner of the latest vinyl. Check it out!


5. The Dub Syndicate - The Pounding System (Ambience In Dub) [Discogs]

After crawling out of the 90’s with a massive hangover it was time to chill out. A trip to Central America was in order to smooth my rocker edges. What I found while down there was beautiful beaches, cheap weed, and beach bars that played some pretty cool reggae and dub music. Since those hazy days I’ve become a bit of a head for dub. A few years later I started following artists like Bill Laswell, Twilight Circus, Sly & Robbie and Pete Namlook. I loved their use of the studio to create some magical dub and ambient vibes. I first heard of Adrian Sherwood and his label On-U Sound from the Kid Hops radio show on KEXP Seattle on Saturday mornings. Instantly I was hooked on the experimental reggae/dub sounds from the label which led me to the The Pounding System album by Dub Syndicate. I still don’t own a copy, and it’s been on my wantlist for years. Once I own it you can put me in a beach chair with a spliff in hand with this playing out of the tiki bar speakers. 


Up next on the Wantlist, we ask another great friend, Mike Cadoo (of n5MD) for his crate digging targets. 


A Silent Season showcase in Seattle

I had travelled about an hour out of Vancouver last Friday morning to meet up with Jamie McCue and Dan Anthon. Jamie is the founder and curator of Silent Season, a small ambient and dub techno imprint based in Canada’s Comox Valley and Dan is the mastermind behind the label’s visual aesthetic. Drawing from the seemingly endless beauty of their immediate surroundings they’ve been presenting a discography that has helped recognize emerging artists and garnered genuine interest in the geography that inspires it.

They were both invited to host a showcase at this year’s Decibel Festival alongside two of the label’s most prominent figures: ASC andSegue. The show was a collaborative effort with Secondnature, an ambitious group of young minds helping develop context for some of techno’s more obscure outputs. It was the first time Silent Season had ever been presented on a festival stage and the first time all of them would be in the same room together. It was the kind of situation that drew equal parts support and disapointment from an international community that were largely unable to attend.


Jamie and Dan were making their way over from the island and we had agreed to meet at an appropriate checkpoint early that morning. The drive down was as cloudy and wet as they come, but it seemed to clear up as we approached Seattle. Traffic didn’t leave us much time so a brief check into the hotel, where a towering Marcel Dettmann had also just arrived, had us quickly off to the EMP for sound check. After a warm bump in with Communikey founder Kate Lesta we were whisked away through a number of back halls to the green room at Sky Church. Realizing we still had about a half hour to kill we reveled in the impressive setup and enjoyed a taste of the set Simian Mobile Disco had planned for that night.

Soon after we hurried to level 3 and the guys got straight to work. Jordan Sauer (Segue) and James Clements (ASC) arrived with minutes to get their gear on stage and plugged in. Jamie had already been teasing the speakers with sub frequencies. They had all originally been slated to perform in a more intimate space, but a last minute program change had them enjoying the benefits of a larger sound system. After everyone got the clear we took 15 minutes to get in our last meal of the night.


Doors opened and lights dimmed as festival goers made their way into the venue and respectfully took their seats. Jamie set the tone with calming field sounds and airy pads. His set had a satisfying arc, moving through a wide range of the Silent Season catalog, as beatless ambience patiently blossomed into deep pulsating rhythms.

Dan was situated at the back of the room getting aquainted with a setup he had pieced together just days earlier. He had spent the last two and a half months combing Vancouver Island for material to help him bring the Silent Season world to life. The visuals were stunning. Time lapse scenes showcased much of the surroundings Jamie and Dan have been championing and they would blend into beautiful fusions of geometric shapes and soft colors. It was a treat to see it in motion and while I regret not bringing a SLR to get more appropriate video, I’m certain we’ll get to see more of it in the future.