V/A – Dove Project No. 9 (No Label, 1970)
The Dove Project No. 9 compilation is one of the most obscure artifacts of Canadian psychedelia. The main individual responsible for this excursion into the remote recesses of rock’s underground was a young and aspiring musical businessman named Doug Wong. In 1969 Doug was a leading member of the student newspaper published at his high-school. Unlike many student rags of the time, Doug’s paper was able to turn a profit at the end of their 8th issue by writing atypical articles about the local and foreign music community; articles people liked enough to purchase. Initially, the newspaper volunteers wanted to blow their profit on a huge party at the end of the year but their plans were thwarted when the principal of the school demanded the money be used for next year’s paper. To hell with that, thought Doug! We’ll blow this money on the last issue of the paper. But how? Ideas such as a glossy, colour newspaper were thrown around before the ingenious Doug stated “why don’t we package the newspaper with a record!”
Finding bands for the record was a bit of a struggle before they realized there was a hot-bed of musical talent next-door at the student folk club. And thus they recruited other high-schoolers and friends and encouraged them to record songs for this compilation. 500 copies of the 7″ were pressed at Imperial Records in Vancouver, BC and Doug and a friend made 100 screen printed picture sleeves (of the two other known copies neither have a picture sleeves, but apparently it featured a black and red two tone back-ground with a white dove printed on top). The last issue of the paper (it’s ninth issue – inspiring the name of the record) was a success and the students walked away from their creative endeavor proud and quick to forget it all as they moved on with life. Doug used his new musical experiences and connections to book bands while working at a Chinese restaurant and eventually settled as a successful record producer and pressing broker and is still active today in the CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray manufacturing business. Many, if not all, of the bands featured on the compilation retired from music to pursue a variety of other careers (one of the members of Wrinkled Pumpkin is now a famed publisher of Science Fiction novels).
And the music? Blistering fuzz-guitar basement shred fests. The songs by Wrinkled Pumpkin and Dusk pound the listener with intense, distorted squall and punchy un-mic’d drums. To contrast the aural intensity, two nice Dylan-inspired folk songs by Tim Johnson mark the last vestiges of Tim’s musical career (unfortunately). Meanwhile, sprinkled inbetween this audible diametric is Sundance Reunion with their a-few-years-too-late garage-punker “I’m Leaving” and Mace’s sunshine-pop inspired “I Can Not See.” All of these sounds are drenched in the lovely and soft sounds typical of lo-fi / DIY recordings.
I’d like to thank Doug Wong for his hospitality and kindness as he hosted my stay in Calgary to look through his storage in an attempt to uncover more information about the elusive Dove Project No. 9. One day we hope to uncover the original newspaper and pic-sleeve but until then, here’s the sounds:
(Wrinkled Pumpkin – Hello)
(Dusk – Three Thirty Two)
(Sundance Reunion – I’m Leavin’)