Introducing Sounds from Mothland, Vol. II: The Collective Puzzle Unveiled

Delving into the label’s motto with artists Seulement and Karma Glider

Courtesy Stacy lee

Mothland, an independent Montreal-based music label, unveiled the second installment of its compilation series, titled Sounds from Mothland, Vol. II.

Featuring fourteen underground artists, this compilation, available on all platforms, showcases Mothland's evolution and the vibrant creativity within its community.

Founded by Marilyne Lacombe, Maxime Hebert, and Philippe Larocque, Mothland is a creative platform for visionary artists in psychedelic, experimental and art-pop genres. Beyond music, the label supports Montreal-based projects and organizes events like Distorsion Psych Fest and Taverne Tour, all initiated by the collective. Their mission: foster artistic innovation, break traditional music label boundaries, and craft immersive artistic experiences.

Their debut release, Sounds from Mothland, Vol. I drew inspiration from '80s punk cassette culture. Unveiled on December 18, 2020, as Mothland embarked on its label journey, it celebrated its artist community by sharing unreleased material. This inaugural volume laid the groundwork for Mothland's creative evolution, a spirit continued in Sounds from Mothland, Vol. II, marking their growth as a creative powerhouse in the music industry.

With 25 releases since its inception, Sounds from Mothland, Vol. II offers a rich soundscape. It seamlessly combines elements such as lo-fi recordings, studio gems, live renditions, early demos, and remixes, creating an immersive underground music experience crafted by independent artists.

Volume II pays homage to the past by embracing compact discs, evoking nostalgia for the tangible music-sharing experience of yesteryears. Each copy of the compilation is a collectible fragment of the Mothland universe, with meticulously crafted artwork by Petra Glynt, that sets the stage for the label's musical journey.

Offering a diverse musical journey, the compilation features alternative ensembles such as "Crasher," "Grim," "Streaker," and more alongside experimental electronic explorations by Ben Shemie, Elizabete Balčus, Seulement, and We Owe. Vintage melodies from Night Lunch and ethereal folk expressions from N Nao complete this ensemble, showcasing a delicate balance between the extraordinary and the eerie.

This compilation's puzzle-like nature mirrors the interconnectedness of the Mothland community itself.

The puzzle is an analogy used to describe the collaborative and creative process behind Mothland's music compilations. Just as a jigsaw puzzle is made up of individual pieces that, when combined, form a complete picture.

Seulement, featured with Andromède on the compilation, defies sonic boundaries with electronic and experimental fusion. His compositions craft intricate sonic tapestries, inviting listeners into uncharted auditory realms and encouraging an embrace of the unknown. Seulement's unique language is reflected in his contribution to Sounds from Mothland, Vol. II, where he explores the fusion of experimental electronic elements with songwriting, seeking a deep connection between these creative dimensions.

For Seuleument, Mothland is about human connections. His history in the music scene led to a perfect fit when he shared his album with Marilyne as she started the label.

Andromède is further described as an exploration of a softer facet of his work, bridging his existing album with upcoming material. The song's creation process involves recording voice snippets that evolve into music arrangements, with an incorporation of percussion sounds, a departure from his previous style. The song symbolizes the invisible ties people share, suggesting that if people are invisibly connected, it's essential to be empathetic. 

Additionally, Seuleument explains that his recent creative approach involves crafting loops of vocals and recorder flutes, refining them as needed. When finding intriguing elements, he adds his vocals to these loops before processing them with machines, resulting in a transformed and final composition.

Seuleument describes a two-step creative process: initially crafting loops with a human touch, then transforming them into a more electronic form. This synthesis of human and electronic elements in their work creates the desired emotional impact, giving it a unique blend of fragility and soul.

Both he and Susil Sharma, the lead vocalist of the shoegaze band Karma Glider, highlight the significance of Mothland as a platform, providing a space for independent artists to showcase their work, contributing to the diversity and vibrancy of the music industry.

Sharma, the spokesperson for the shoegaze band Karma Glider, explores the band's music, creative process, and ties to the Mothland community. Originating as a solo project, Karma Glider evolved into a full-fledged band with Charlie Neufeld on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Wes Macneil on keys, and a rhythm section featuring bassist Jean-Philippe Bourgeois and drummer Jean-Philippe Godbout.

Karma Glider finds a home in Mothland's commitment to the underground music scene, allowing them to embrace their influences while infusing a distinctive twist into the shoegaze genre. "In Deep Ocean [100 mph Mix]" resonates with themes of friendship, the unknown, and emotional depth. Their compilation contribution reflects their commitment to art for art's sake and Mothland's support for boundary-pushing artists.

Influenced by bands like My Bloody Valentine and ‘80s experimental Jungle, Sharma crafted a unique composition by layering reversed hip-hop drum loops and an enigmatic sample, possibly of a satanic cultist. After sharing the track and experiencing a laptop failure, it became apparent that this was the conclusion of the project.

“I was tryna make an ode to friendship with the song which is pretty shoegaze but also influenced by hip-hop,” explains Sharma. “When the Mothland people had asked me if I had anything for this compilation, I dug up this remix that I’d made in my room; I can’t remember why I made it but I was basically just grabbing stems and reversing them.” 

Karma Glider's "In Deep Ocean [100 mph Mix]" derives its depth from Sharma's fear of deep waters after a near-drowning experience, symbolizing both terror and beauty in the unknown. This parallels Seulement's exploration of blending machines with human emotion in music creation, emphasizing the balance between innovation and humanity.

Seulement and Karma Glider are integral to the Mothland universe, known for its visionary artists and cultural curation. They emphasize the importance of collaboration and Mothland's support for independent musicians, striving to create authentic and emotionally resonant music within the label's diverse landscape.

Mothland bolstered Karma Glider within Montreal's music scene, enhancing exposure, connections, and contributions to the label's diverse musical landscape. Likewise, Mothland facilitated Seulement's integration into the Montreal community, enabling his unique fusion of human and electronic elements to shine through collaborations, festivals, and shows.

Seulement elaborates on how much Mothland's assistance has simplified his musical ambitions: "Mothland's support relieves job pressure, allowing me to focus on shows and creations. It creates space for connections with other artists and festival participation while preserving my vision. Mothland genuinely promotes artists' work without altering it."

For more ethereal experiences and a glimpse into the Mothland universe, explore Mothland's Website, Bandcamp, Spotify, YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.