Although Moncton has certainly earned its stripes for having produced a fair share of musical acts across diverse genres including jazz, indie rock, heavy metal and bluegrass, as well as the burgeoning Acadien music scene, the city’s electronic music scene has grown immeasurably during the same time, albeit in more of an underground fashion.
One of the city’s purveyors of electronic-oriented music, Paul Goguen, is getting ready for the release of two projects over the course of the next month. The first release will arrive under the Maximalade banner before 2015 is out, while the other project will be issued under Goguen’s long-running Paranerd moniker.
One of the most interesting aspects of Goguen’s current place in music, however, is that it is a completely different world from the music he grew up listening to.
“I grew up listening to the likes of Big Star, John Hiatt and Graham Parker,” Goguen begins. “On a local level, [defunct Moncton band] Eric’s Trip proved to be rather influential as well.”
Gifted his first keyboard at a young age, Goguen says he initially wasn’t that interested in writing music as much as he simply liked the sounds emanating from the instrument. Inspired by the classic English power-pop band The La’s around the time he became a teenager, Goguen picked up the guitar and would go on to play with a myriad of bands as a high school student.
It was the discovery of a program called ReBirth in the latter part of the 90’s that would set Goguen on the path he travels today. Although he had flirted with listening to electro-inspired acts prior, ReBirth opened Goguen’s eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.
“ReBirth was this all-encompassing program that I could use to make music, which I completely fell for. I had grown tired of being a part of a band where some members weren’t necessarily as eager as others to practice and be creative. ReBirth effectively allowed me to do exactly what I wanted.”
Inspired by the potential that ReBirth offered him, Goguen began eagerly posting his work on various internet forums, communities that were dominated by like-minded creators with whom Goguen identified.
“It was at the time, 1997 and 1998, that people were openly sharing their tracks and ideas. It was also the turning point for me in terms of fully immersing myself in electronic music. I effectively left the whole indie-rock world behind,” he says.
Fast-forward more than a decade and an estimated half-dozen releases, Goguen is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to share his latest creations with the world.
Despite being at the helm of both projects, he illustrates a couple of key differences between the ambient-techno-inspired Maximalade album Post Mortem (out now) and the new Paranerd release, the Writ EP.
“Maximalade is very much a return to my roots. Over the course of a month, I accumulated about 10 hours of recordings, music was made from a collection of Korg Volcas, a Roland TR8 and Roland TB3,” Goguen says.
“When I began composing original music, it was with hardware similar to what I’ve got featured on Post Mortem. As years went by, I had begun relying less and less on the hardware aspect of creating music. This release brings me right back to where I came from.”
“The Paranerd release is very much the same in terms of what I’ve done under that name in the past; it’s got the same electro-pop direction that I have had prominently featured on prior efforts.
Goguen says despite the lack of mainstream press afforded to the electronic scene in Atlantic Canada, he estimates there are upwards of 500 artists producing music in the same realm in which he creates. He encourages all budding electro artists to share their music and help the community grow even larger, although he does understand the reluctance of some to putting their music online for public scrutinization.
“I truly don’t think artists should worry about whether your song is terrible. Just put your music out there. As far as I’m concerned, whether people love or hate it, it’s good to hear those differing opinions.”