Michael C. Duguay
‘Candy Store (Jeremy Parkin Remix)
So Sorry Records

Michael C. Duguay burst onto the scene in Canada about a decade ago, a multi-instrumentalist who worked with a bunch of critically-acclaimed artists, including The Burning Hell’s breakout album.  He was also in an Eastcoast supergroup, Weird Lines with no less a legend than Julie Doiron, amongst others.  During this period, he gained a lot of credibility in Canadian artistic scenes, for his collaborative approach to music, but also as a talented singer/songwriter and poet.  He self-released his début album, Heavy on the Glory, back in 2012, which arose out of the artist co-op he lived in in Peterborough, ON.  But then the wheels fell off.  The cost of his burgeoning career of touring, working, working touring, came due, and after moving out to New Brunswick, he began to fall apart due to emotional trauma and substance abuse, and, well, he lived rough for awhile, in and out of hospitals, shelters, and living on the street in utter poverty.

By 2018, he had pulled himself together with the help of family and friends, and resurfaced in Kingston, ON (most famous as the home town of the Tragically Hip) and he brought together this incredible community that included every from his partner, Gabrielle Rekai to his grandfather, Kenneth Benninger, and he released his sophomore album, The Winter of Our Discothequein September.

‘Candy Store’ is the second track on the album, and here Jeremy Parkin’s remix is the first of The Winter of Our Discotheque (Reprise), a compilation of other Canadian artists interpreting, and remixing the album.  Parkin is a 23 year old producer from the Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse, YK.  The story of how these two came together is kinda cool, as they have formed a musical partnership and are collaborating on a series of upcoming projects as well.  Duguay reports

I met Jeremy backstage at a show in Whitehorse and was immediately struck by how everything about him radiated pure creativity.  He was wearing an outfit he made himself, he was performing far-out instrumental electronic music for a folk show audience in a soft seat theatre. We immediately started discussing and sharing creative ideas at a conceptual level that it normally takes me years to get to with other artists…I think that Jeremy is one of the most exciting and important artists coming up in Canada.

Parkin, for this part, states about his process and vision of this remix:

For my remix of Candy Store, I really wanted the track to do a complete 180 sonically. I really enjoyed a lot of ambient aspects in the details of the track; so I based the remix from those and worked from there. I wanted it to feel like you’re disorientated while at like a warehouse rave out in Berlin or London… or something to that effect It was a blast working with the textures and style of Michael’s song as I haven’t had the opportunity to work within his realm of music before I met him, so I felt like I was in a new world with this project.

The original mix of ‘Candy Store’ is in many ways, a classically Canadian track, atmospheric and melodic.  I love this track.  Parkin’s remix, however, is something else entirely.  It’s not just that Parkin is aiming to disorient the listener, he is successful, but in fragmenting the song, interspersed with brain-melting beats, he reinterprets this track more than he remixes it.  That pretty, atmospheric sound is transposed with the beat and DJ work of slowed down vocals and music.  It’s a stop and start lurching process that reinterprets the music in a basis of 00s drum’n’bass, with an updated sound.

I have to say, as much as I like the original, I am an even bigger fan of this remix which, despite Parkin’s purpose in disorienting the listener, to me, he draws the listener in just as much with the echoed whispers of the distended vocals over this phat, chugging bassline.

The Winter of Our Discotheque (Reprise) is set for release on December 4th 2020.