Filed under: Northern Haze
In our continual quest for unearthing new material, it’s inevitable that we would cross paths with like-minded travelers also seeking to bring obscure music back to the masses. We were lucky enough to become friends with Canadian music producer Jason Flower, who runs the Supreme Echo label. After talking to him for a bit about his upcoming projects, we were intrigued by what he called an “Arctic Metal” record, made by Inuit eskimos! We were so intrigued in fact that we offered to pick up over half of the 657 copies he planned to make, to help get them out into stores across the United States.
Originally released in 1985 as an academic, library only release of 500 copies, Northern Haze’s “Sinnaktuq” has quite a fascinating story. Born on the land to Nomadic parents and later settled in the hamlet community of Igloolik, these childhood friends grew up learning to play on toy instruments until becoming accomplished musicians and forming a group in 1977. Their talent won success in the early ’80s with contests, press coverage, and tours of isolated Northern communities until in ’85 when CBC Radio invited them to travel 3000 km south to record an album. The result became the first Canadian Inuit Rock/Metal album ever made and first Indigenous language rock album in North America. Pressed in a tiny quantity of 500 copies for promotional use only, the LP quickly disappeared into the vortex of rare Canadiana. Over the 1990s and into the millennium, Northern Haze endured great hardship yet 35+ years on they still prevail. In 2010, a new recording and a documentary film on the history of the group was produced on location in the Arctic. Complete with traditional “ayaya” parts and sung entirely in Inuktitut, the end result is a heavy melodic rock/metal album played by veterans of the genre with a distinctly original character unlike anything heard before. For these men who live two lives, the old ways of the past meet with those of the present; “Sinnaktuq” (their “dreams”) are truly embodied within the realization of this amazing deluxe collection of original material.
Includes seven songs from 1985, one song from 2002, and three 2010 songs, ranging from tight heavy metal-rock with new wave overtones to heavy melodic doom-rock! Exclusive CBC license, 100% authorized, remastered, original cover art painstakingly restored, 12 page booklet packed with vintage photographs + art + detailed history. The true Rock Shamans of the North!
Check out the Northern Haze Documentary Here and ask for the record at your favorite local retailer!