Stress Jingle/Station ID #25 : Edgar Breau

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Edgar Breau is a Canadian musician and the founder of psychedelic/proto-punk band Simply Saucer. Founded in 1973, Simply Saucer were perhaps the first Canadian band to perform what would later come to be called proto-punk music. Labouring in utter obscurity, they were creating something truly unique, a wacked-out fusion of Can, Velvet Underground, Stooges, Soft Machine, Syd Barrett and Hawkwind, created at a time when even those wildly influential acts were off the radar of most rock fans, especially in the Canadian factory town of Hamilton, Ontario.

The group was originally a six-piece, largely improvisational, outfit featuring Dave Byers and Paul Collili, and later they became a four-piece. In its lifetime, the band only released one 7" single, "She's a Dog/I Can Change My Mind" in 1978, before breaking up in the following year. However, an abortive recording session with producers Daniel Lanois and Bob Lanois from 1974 and a 1975 concert performance on the roof of Jackson Square were later compiled for the 1989 album Cyborgs Revisited.

The need to capture the band's unconvential sonics has also been credited as one of the first catalysts for the development of Daniel Lanois' distinctive production style, which would eventually make him one of the most influential record producers in the world (from U2's "Joshua Tree" to Dylan's "Time Out of Mind" and Neil Young's "Le Noise").

Cyborgs Revisited quickly came to be regarded as a lost classic, and it has been highly praised by everyone from Julian Cope to Sonic Youth. Bridging post-psychedelic mind-altering electronics with a buzzed proto-punk urgency, the album stands as a unique document and is frequently considered to be one of the greatest Canadian rock albums of all time. Songs like "Electro Rock" and the manic, two-part "Here Come The Cyborgs" sound simultaneously ten years behind and ahead of their time with their mix of frat-house stomp and art-house clatter.

Following the band's breakup, Breau continued as a solo artist, releasing albums that combine the American underground folk sounds of artists such as John Fahey and Robbie Basho, and the UK psych-folk songcraft sensibilities of such acts as Syd Barrett and John Cale. A new edition of Simply Saucer has been created featuring original bassist Kevin Christoff, guitarist Steve Foster, theremin/electronics/guitarist Dan Wintermans, and drummer Joe Csontos. A new album, Half Human, Half Live, was released in 2008. The band is currently working on new recordings and there's a documentary in the making.

"Cyborgs Revisited finishes with a declaration from Breau: "Thanks, we'll be back in just a few minutes." And 13 million minutes later, I ain't holding my breath. They came, they saw, they left. Oh well. Simply Saucer rocked Hamilton in the 70s, but now they're here to rock you. Better late than never."
Julian Cope, Head Heritage
 


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