LAND OF GIANTS - Cannibal Dolls/Seven Men 1982-1985 (2008)
New Wave, Synth-pop, Minimal, Experimental, Goth Rock
Anya Varda - Vocals
Henryck Jesiak - Synthesizer
John Tucker - Programs and Synthesizer (1983)
Marc Wonnacott - Synthesizer, Back. Vocals
Artwork By [Cover Design] - Land Of Giants / Artwork By [Layout] - David S. Faris (http://www.wavelengthtoronto.com/back_issues/00_06.html)
Engineer, Remastered By - John Tucker
Performer [Additional Musician] - Chris Tate (aka H.U.N.C.H) (tracks: 7, 8) , Dorgen - Back. Vocals (tracks: 7, 8)
Photography - George Whiteside (http://www.georgewhiteside.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/georgewhiteside)
Synthesizer, Clavinet, Programmed By, Vocals, Guitar - John Tucker (tracks: 1 to 6, 9 to 11) Synthesizer, Vocals, Programmed By, - Henryck Jesiak , Marc Wonnacott
Vocals - Anya Varda/ Whistling, Backing Vocals - Kenny MacLean (Platinum Blonde, see: http://www.kennymaclean.com/) (track 06)
Bass Guitar - Dave Nemeth (track 10)
Percussion - Jeff Packer (Boys Brigade, see: http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2007/12/boys-brigade-boys-brigade-1983.html) (track 02)
Written By - H.Jesiak, J.Tucker, A.Varda, M.Wonnacott (tracks: 1 to 9, 11), Sonny Bono (track 10)
Recorded By - Henryck Jesiak , Marc Wonnacott (tracks 07, 08)
Manager - Toronto Sun rock critic Jonathan Gross
"Room With A View"
01 Cannibal Dolls
02 Seven Men
03 Thing Called Love
04 Fountains In The Rain
05 Security Squad
06 Fire With Fire
07 Room With A View
08 Key To Your Heart
09 Just Yet
10 I Got You Babe
11 I Will
Link to download (192 kbs):
If you need a better quality, you can order the CD here:
Hey synth fans, you won't stop to listen to this amazing stuff which was laid hidden in the vault of Land Of Giants until 2008!
There are many brilliant songs on the CD, some of them should be all time classic indeed! The music of LOF doesn't date at all , it's just pity that most of the songs were not released until now. It is still sounding as fresh as it was over two decades ago, and preserves that kind of "cool", intelligent sound and original magic of synthpop that marked that era of early 80s.
I don't know why are they still not mentioned among the best synthpop bands. Perhaps one reason can be that they never played live. Another reason could be that they are from Canada, and i think if they had been in England at that time...now they would have been on a pair with other famous stars of 80's synthpop.
The Siouxsiesque vocal of Anya Varda supports the effects of these dark and cool tones in a very fine way. They invite us to enter into the unrepeatable wonderworld of Human League, Yazoo, or Soft Cell on the highest quality...there are certainly some uplifting catchy ballads too - check "I Will" for example- on the album you shouldn't miss.
It is a sensational material. At once delightfully complex and gruesomely good. Thanks to LOF, it is now available for everyone. (saltyka)
"One of our first projects under the ebk-ink creative service banner, is the release of the long awaited land of giants re-issue cannibal dolls / seven men. Originally released as a 12" single in 1982, it has appeared on bootlegs at least twice, and has gathered a loyal following of fans - particularily in Europe. The re- issue is a completly remastered for CD version that includes the original single along with nine previously unreleased demo tracks recorded between 1982 and 1985; including exclusive to the CD, the Sonny and Cher classic... I Got You Babe!"
"When NOW Magazine’s food critic Steven Davey (who really knows his music) told me about this 1982 CD album reissue of the very obscure ‘minimal wave’ act Land of Giants, it brought me back to my days dancing in ’80s clubs like Nuts and Bolts with my foot-high spiked orange hair, feeling all new wave and cool. I bought the 12” single of Cannibal Dolls in the mid ’80s but didn’t know a thing about the band. When the band sent me this full album reissue I was shocked to discover that they are Toronto based despite having fans all over the world. For those still discovering early ’80s cold wave or minimal wave sounds - Land of Giants is an all-time classic and further proves that Toronto had an electronic dance scene in the early ’80s that was world-renowned. Rating: 8/10" (http://www.fabmagazine.com/tunes/archive/379.html)
"Canada's Land of Giants offer the somewhat less severe but no less engrossing "Cannibal Dolls". The 1982 single features a playful, pinball rhythm that hints at the new wave movement that would follow even as Anya Varda's tense, strained vocal keeps it squarely within minimal synth's darkly paranoid tradition"(http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13843-wierd-presents-cold-waves-and-minimal-electronics-vol-1/)
"This is the sound that a ton of contemporary bands are trying to emulate. And if they did it this successfully, I’d fully support them. As it is, “Cannibal Dolls” was the a-side on the one record that Land of Giants ever released… in 1982. It’s paranoid ‘n’ eerie synth lines match its lyrics: “Lock up your children/Devils in disguise/Lock up your children/Devils in their ey-eyes.”
The band recorded a number of other demos throughout the 80’s, which, in response to overwhelming requests, are now being released together"
"Even among the mostly European proponents of the early-'80s genre called "cold wave," this act stands out, and not because of a mere geographical anomaly (they're from Toronto). While anyone casually versed in the music of that decade will be able to pick out traces of everyone from Neu to Gary Numan to the Hot Butter novelty hit "Popcorn," this is one of the few English-language tracks here that couldn't be characterized as brooding. Hell, you can practically hear the glint in singer Anya Varda's eyes."
Minimalist electro pop band from Canada. The original press release from June 1, 1982, announcing the release of land of giants debut single Cannibal Dolls/ Seven Men. "Their debut single is a rarefied and effortless blend of technology, timing and great height".
LoG was founded in 1982. How would you call your style of music and which bands were an influence?
"Actually, Land of Giants kind of came together in '82. It was actually started in '81 after I retuned to Toronto from the UK. Henryck had heard some of my solo recordings and attended a couple of my solo gigs (most notorious - opening for Jayne County and the electric chairs) prior to my sabbatical in London.
We went through three singers, four if you include me; and a number of other musicians in an attempt to put a band together. Nothing was working until John Tucker who I knew from his days in a band called Keen Modern Units came over to hear what Henryck and I were working on - and about a bottle of whiskey later we were playing a whacked out version of The Girl form Ipanima (I think).
John then suggested we pick a couple of songs and come over to his studio and record them. As we started recording them I realised that it made far more sense to get someone else to sing them - my dilutions of a sort of Bryan Ferry grandeur were proving unfounded. That's when Anya became part of the band. Those first two songs were Cannibal Dolls and Seven Men.
As for influences - besides the usual Eno, Roxy, Bowie - I listened to a lot of Ultravox, John Foxx, Kraftwerk, Harmonia (Connie Plank being one of my favourite producers), Sparks. We were also listening to Visage, Bauhaus, OMD, Simple Minds, DAF, Joy Division/New Order, etc as well as, forties film songs, Nona Hendrix and some of the crossover funk. I was spinning tunes at a couple of clubs at the time as well, so there was a lot of music going through my head that spring.As for style, electrobeat was how we described it back then."
Jeff Packer of Boys Brigade made a guest appearance providing extra percussion. That summer, the single was a top hit in Toronto's alternative clubs and receiving regular airplay on alternative radio. That July in Germany, there was a review of the single in Guerilla Beat and that opened the door that made the single available in small numbers through Polydor Germany as an import that Christmas. In New York City the single made it on to the turntables of some of that cities hippest clubs. In September, they recorded Thing Called Love, Fountains, and I Will and a video was shot for Cannibal Dolls (unfortunately now lost).
Supplies of the original pressing of the single had run out by Christmas and since the band was talking to record companies the decision was made not to press further copies. Instead the band concentrated on recording further demos.
Shortly after that, rumour has it that John Peel played the single on his BBC radio show early in 1983.
How proved is it, that John Peel played a song from you on his famous radio show? Did you ever get personal response from any other place in the world?
"I know Henryck dropped off a copy and met with John Peel's staff in London in November of '82 while he was on holiday. As I said, I got a call from a friend who lived in the UK the night it was played. I don't know if that information is in the BBC archives. It was probably Dec of '82 or early in '83 it was played. It would be interesting to find out.
Most of the response that came from outside Canada, at the time came from places behind the old iron curtain. We apparently were featured in a book on 'western' rock and roll that was published in Budapest. If I remember we got more fan mail from eastern block countries than anywhere else. Five years ago, and the person who started me on this journey to release the material, Jens from Sweden tracked me down through my art site on the net. At the time I was flattered but when I started getting emails from other Swedes, and then France and Germany it all started to gather momentum. But it was Jens who got it all started, and I guess he is the one who should be thanked."
The next recording session early in 1983 brought a rocky Security Squad, featuring John Tucker on guitar, and an early rap fusion Fire with Fire that had John Tucker rapping alongside Anya's vocals. Music historians might find it interesting that Kenny McLean of Platinum Blond fame joins in on the backing vocals. Later in the spring of 1983, John Tucker became one of the first in Canada to own a Fairlight CMI (computer musical instrument) and land of giants started experimenting with the new technology, which resulted in Just Yet.
Rusty Egan of Visage, and Midge Ure of Ultravox fame both expressed an interest in producing the album, but talks with the record companies fell through later in 1983.
John Tucker's commercial music business Keen had started to blossom and he left to concentrate on that. The remaining members took some time to regroup and re think things. A new member (Jon Andrews) was brought in to attempt to put together a live show. This didn't pan out although Jon, Henryck and Anya recorded a three-song demo, under the land of giants banner in the spring of 1984.
Marc Wonnacott returned to the project at the end of 1984 and later that winter he and Henrych built a studio in Henryck's dining room where they recorded Room with A View, and Key To Your Heart in early 1985. Again the tape was well received by the industry, but again, they wanted to hear more. Unfortunately, time had run out for land of giants and everyone decided it was time to move on to other ventures.
And then, like just about every other band in the history of the Canadian music industry, nothing happened. It’s taken almost 30 years for the world to catch up to Land of Giants.Unfortunately, time had run out for land of giants and everyone decided it was time to move on to other ventures.
Today Anya lives in Los Angeles, Henryck lives in Toronto and is involved with the film and television industry and renewing his interest in music, John now resides in Canada's west and remains active in music scoring and production (still utilizing his faithful vintage Fairlight CMI Series III). Marc is an painter/artist who still writes music from time to time, as well as owning a decorating business in Toronto. John Tucker has re mastered all the material and it sounds amazing.
"When we started the Land of Giants project, we never thought we’d be a foot note in a greater musical history, or have a part in creating a genre," says LOG’s Wonnacott who’s also put together a compilation of the band’s never-issued tracks.
"It's nice to know that my misspent youth continues to inspire a new generation to misspend theirs."
(http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/story.cfm?content=174057 and http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=127264197&blogId=412429137)
Photo: The original installation of the “Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion”, 1980. Anya Varda manning the desk. (http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?p=377398&page=5)
Anya Varda now lives in Los Angeles
What else i found is:
"she is a longtime doorperson at the Standard Hotel on Sunset" (http://stevenba.blogspot.com/2003_08_01_archive.html and http://books.google.hu/books?id=ySfgH36imU4C&pg=PA229&lpg=PA229&dq=anya+varda+Standard+Hotel+on+Sunset.&source=bl&ots=Kf-V5mTqRo&sig=lx5KJf-QjuUJ9o9FqsswH4LgydM&hl=hu&ei=RYDES-uVJZuJOJa4maMP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=anya%20varda%20Standard%20Hotel%20on%20Sunset.&f=false)
She made a roll in Colin Campbell's 1980 film "Bad Girls" (http://www.colincampbellvideoartist.com/videos/bad-girls.php)
and also worked with David Buchan (http://www.mercerunion.org/archive95/062.html)
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=62000841&albumID=0&imageID=1749155 (an old photo: "The New Music" photo spread '79 with Miss Anya Varda)
http://killingavidor.blogspot.com/ (..The fashion world reached Crash 'N' Burn ( Canada's, first punk club ) when Anya Varda, managing the club..)
He lives in Toronto and is involved with the film and television industry and renewing his interest in music
He was a member of the Biss between 1977-1980 (http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Pop_Encyclopedia/B/Biffs.html)
Marc is a painter (our services include: colour consultation, interior painting and renovations, custom design, and art consultation and instilation.)
"They say the sum of the whole is greater than the parts, or something to that effect... and it's true - however I created THE LOG COLLECTIVE... a collection of songs in part because of the re-release of land of giants Cannibal Dolls/Seven Men, and in part because I had started making music again. I was a founding member of the group (land of giants) who wrote and recorded those songs between 1982 and 1985 and over the years I have written and recorded songs on my own and with other amazing musicians."
More info for Land Of Giants:
NUKLEON - Earth Rising
DAVE STEWART & BARBARA GASKIN - Up From The Dark (1988)
SWEET CONNECTION - Maxi singles collection
Colony 5 – Within Me (2002)
FILMS - Misprint (1980)
WHEN IN ROME
Promises & Devotion
FRICCIÓN - Collection
Living my Life
Slave to the rhythm (2CD)
I will post some more...
FIVE GUYS NAME MOE DEMOS (1986) first time on the web!!!! Don't miss!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!Check my new posts!!!!:
RAH BAND (RICHARD ANTHONY HEWSON BAND) http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2010/04/rah-band-richard-anthony-hewson-band.html
ESTACIÓN VICTORIA - Estación Victoria (1983) http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2010/04/estacion-victoria-estacion-victoria.html
And Oingo Boingo (3 parts)...