Sunday, October 20, 2013

P055: Cabeza de Vaca – The Mole

It wouldn’t be surprising to find the Colin de la Plante aka The Mole in Japan one day. His musical road trip has taken him steadly eastwards from Vancouver to Montreal and now to Berlin where we find him for this weeks special on Cabeza de Vaca and Scanner FM. Te focus on the show is his new material, but we have a bit more space and time here to chart in detail is journey.

Colin de la Plante started off recording with Danuel Tate, Mathew Jonson and Tyger Dhulathe, three individuals who would go on to form Cobblestone Jazz. But as a quartet the group made a single EP called “Babyfoot” for Canadian label Wagon Repair who would later be home to some de la Plante’s solo material as The Mole.

Legend has it that all four migrated to Montreal when it was the centre of the electronic music universe, the city kicking off Mutek and also stimulating the legendary “Montreal Smoked Meat” compilation on Force Inc back in 2002.

But Cobblestone Jazz eventually returned to British Columbia and The Mole stayed put, launching his solo career with a number of 12”s on labels like Philpot, Arbutus and Kompakt Extra. His Canadian links were always strong and he not only collaborated further with Mathew Jonson

But released a lot of material on Canadian labels like New Kanada, Musique Risquée and the aforementioned Wagon Repair who would publish his seminal debut “As high a the sky”. Clearly the standout track was “Baby you’re the one" which we use this week to close the show. The album and single versions differ a little, with the former being shorter and sequenced into the albums continuous flow.

Such success that the album received made it inevitable that The Mole would eventually move to Berlin and the company of electronic music’s elite. The highlight of his post-album singles was featuring a track on the split “Panorama 04” release of exclusive tracks on Ostgut Ton.

However, much like Deadbeat who formed his own BLKRTZ label to control his own releases once in the German capital, de la Plante too started up Maybe Tomorrow with Jon Berry, the marketing manager of Kompakt. The inspiration behind the label comes from The Littlest Hobo, a Canadian TV show about a homeless dog wandering around and helping people. The theme song is called "Maybe Tomorrow".

Sadly this type of export made it as far afield as Australia as did the Degrassi High school series

As did the completely random The Beachcombers whose theme song is forever stuck in brain where it will stay forever without permission. Ohh, Canada…

Indeed, one of the criticisms of The Mole’s recent material is that maybe he stepped too far from Canada, forsaking his disco, funk and soul records and incorporating perhaps too much of Berlin’s techno soul without quite producing bangers either. However his recent album “The Caregiver” works well because of its collage feel and its indifference to the dancefloor. Here it seems more an option than an obligation; The Mole is easy going enough to let you decide.

Fred P
A Harmless Deed
The Mole
History of dates
The Mole
(When) Monkey punches Dog
Maybe Tomorrow
The Mole
Special invitation
Maybe Tomorrow
Gerry Read
Forth Wave
Anthony Collins, Distant Phase
Come down
Natural History
Marcello Giordani
Comin' down
Endless Flight
The Mole
Baby your'e the one
Wagon Repair

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