Experimental Beatmakers Sanctums Talk New EP and Their Modern Math Record Label

Experimental Beatmakers Sanctums Talk New EP and Their Modern Math Record Label
Earlier this month, Calgary electronic duo Sanctums released Tongue, Teeth, Lips via local label Close to Modern. The release, a quick three-song follow-up to their 2012 effort Truth Lifting Up Its Head Against Scandals, is just the first of many plans this year from the duo. Up next? Another EP to be released on their brand new record label.

The new label is called Modern Math Recordings and was founded by Sanctums' Dan Solo, along with Sandro Petrillo and former Crude Records boss Matt Hali. The label's named after the fabled Calgarian club night Solo and Petrillo cofounded in 2007, which hosted acts like Pinch, Mala and Scuba, among others, before the city shut it down due to noise complaints in 2011.

Modern Math Records will kick off its first year with planned releases from Sanctums, Michael Red, Taal Mala and Sergio Levels. There are also plans to get some big-name producers on board for remixes, though they won't divulge who just yet. The plan is to release digital EPs throughout the year, then compile the best tracks on a vinyl LP.

The first release on the label is fittingly titled MM001 and offers up six new songs from Sanctums. Opting to answer questions as one entity, Solo and Sanctums bandmate Evangelos Typist told Exclaim! about how these songs are different from their past work.

"The next Sanctums EP is a big evolution for the project," they explain. "The sound is more polished and complete than previous efforts. We've put a lot of emphasis on filling the spectrum with ghosty white noise and subtly crafted sound design. Our music has slowly shifted into a slightly more dancefloor-minded approach while still maintaining the shadow play moodiness we've become known for."

They go onto explain that they've chosen to toy with more four-on-the-floor patterns, embracing techno and house while still maintaining a focus on melody. Ultimately, the EP format works in their favour with experimentation.

"We approach the format of an EP as a chance to explore a certain milieu of sounds," they say. "Compared to an LP, which may have a more well-rounded mixture of ambient songs and beat-driven songs, the EP allows us to create a short story of song ideas and play them out in just a few tracks."

Furthermore, the new release was driven by separation.

"This EP was written in the midst of Dan's journeys through Mexico and Belize, while Evangelos was locked down in harsh Canadian winter. Both of these juxtaposed settings influenced our writing process and are apparent in the sound we created."

MM001 will be released on May 31. However, Sanctums will join Taal Mala, Sergio Levels, Piranha Piranha and Crimson for a label launch party on the Hifi Club on Saturday (May 4).

The duo also have a busy year of festivals coming up, with sets confirmed at Sled Island, Bass Coast, Shambhala and Motion Notion.

Check out the tracklisting for MM001 below, along with a video for the track "Satellite Past Tense."


1. Thirst or Land
2. Tympanum
3. Satellite Past Tense
4. Magnum Opiate
5. Jaguar
6. Pyramid Scheme