Side Projects #4 – Flag Air Base

In 1987 dWM resumed his assault on the airwaves of Toronto with Flag Air Base, broadcast live on CKLN-FM. The premise of FAB was to invite different guests for each episode to create a set of improvised sonic mayhem. Depending on who was guesting, any given episode might be concerned with politics (Nicaragua, atomic weapons), found sounds, live instruments or pure noise. Here’s how dWM describes it:

Flag Air Base operates as a collaborative airwave-space playground for myself and other artists in Toronto. Some are seasoned audio and radio artists and for others this was a new experience. Mixing sounds, “playing” the studio equipment, resonating at different points all over the City.Rippling the plasma of the electric environment.

We get together prior to the broadcast to figure out what we want to do, what to focus the show on (if anything). The night of the broadcast we bring in tape decks, instruments, sound processors, pre-edited tapes and records. Each show was mixed live to air for one hour.

In total there were 20 shows produced between 1987-1990. Here’s some choice excerpts:

FAB #1 w/ PnrH – Sept 4/87

Sound Earthquake in Toronto, 9 Richter scale. We jam the signals and mess the frequencies in this free-form display of sonic chaos

FAB #2 w/ Karen Young – Oct 2/87

A child is having slug problems with his lettuce. Karen brings in her big beat blaster to express her profound funkiness. Then we show our respect for facts.

FAB #7 w/Greg Hermanovic – Apr 8/88

Spine-tingling chills! “I thought you knew, civilization ended miles back”. Greg mixes his recordings from China and Southeast Asia until it gets too racy at the end. “Hello Baby, want a kiss?”

FAB # 12 w/Heidi Schaeffer & Cathy Devlin – Oct 7/88

Recordings from Nicaragua and the AMARC 3 community radio conference. What is it like to do radio in a warzone? Cmdte. Borge tells about the liberating aspects of revolutionary radio. An enthusiastic bell-ringer at Ocotal signals the end.

FAB #14 w/ Dan Lander – Feb 2/89

Happy groundhog day. Dan replays an audio letter and learns how to dial long distance from Banff. “Repetition is the key to learning”.

FAB #17 w/ Jon Christian & Gary Keller – May 5/89

We bring tribalism into the studio. Jon and Gary have their junkyard percussion ensemble in tow. “Don’t near the edge”.

FAB #20 w/ Claudio Cacciotti – Mar 2/90

The topic tonight is mind control. Hey-hey diddly dum day. Wayne pays a visit to the local Church of Scientology for their unsuspecting input. Can you afford to be clear?

Each show was released as a limited-edition cassette. Here’s the artwork for FAB #1 (by PnrH)

FAB #1 cassette tape cover

Two ‘best of’ FAB cassette compilations were also issued. Here’s the artwork (by dWM)

Best of FAB Volume I

Best of FAB Volume 2

Side Projects #3 – A Performance

In November 1986 PhrH and dWM put on a live performance, once again operating under the name Security Operations Consultants. The performance took place at Artculture Resource Centre, a Toronto arts performance space located on Queen St. West. The full title of the show was:

A PERFORMANCE (As In Apostacy) or… I’d Rather Be Killing Communists

Phrh and dWM each produced their own halves of the show separately. PnrH’s  was titled “Wrecked Baby Killers”and dealt with the military-industrial complex. dWM’s was titled “Dial ‘M’ For Monkey” and dealt with the psychiatric-industrial complex. Prosthetics and make-up were by William T. Francis. Glitter-ball headpiece was by DJ FunKY.

Here’s a gallery of promotional material for the show

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The show included the other members of SCW as well as many of the people who had participated in previous SCW shows.

Here’s the booklet that was handed out to the audience

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Here’s some backstage images from “Dial ‘M’ for Monkey”

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Although the performances were recorded to video and digital audio, all the tapes have long been lost.

Only a few still images from the performance were preserved, captured from video monitors during the show

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Side Projects #2 – Why Pay More?

In April 1986 PnrH and dWM wrapped up their weekly Building Balanced Children radio show on the Toronto community radio station CKLN-FM. dWM promptly started a new weekly radio show; the groundbreaking culture-jamming Why Pay More? The premise of Why Pay More? was to create a meta-radio show by sampling bits of all the previous weeks’ shows broadcast on CKLN, and then slicing, dicing, processing and regurgitating the content into a weekly 30 minutes of radiophonic mayhem. The show lasted until September of 1986. Check out the Best of Why Pay More? compilation:

Best of Why Pay More? Side A

Best of Why Pay More? Side B

Side Projects #1 – Building Balanced Children

In January 1986 PnrH and dWM began a weekly radio show on CKLN-FM, a Toronto community station. The show was called Building Balanced Children and the premise of the show was to perform a live improvised mixdown using 100% sampled material. They used turntables, tape loops, digital delays and the first affordable digital sampler – the Ensoniq Mirage.

They performed the  Building Balanced Children show under the name Security Operations Consultants, which they would also use for a live performance in the fall of 1986.

The  Building Balanced Children show lasted until April 1986, and during its run  produced some of the most extreme music being broadcast on the Toronto air waves at the time. Hear for yourself – here’s both sides of the BBC compilation tape release:

Best of BBC Side A

Best of BBC Side B

The original PnrH artwork for the Best of BBC cassette tape