Gig Seeker Pro


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Band Alternative EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Roland Marckwort’s anti-rock politics"

“Thank God these guys came along when they did, because I was at my wits end.” What Roland Marckwort is really saying is that you shouldn’t ignore those ubiquitous band ads stapled to billboards in the entranceways of record stores that, in some form or another, all advertise a shot at destiny.

Nondescript phrases such as “Band seeking drummer” or “Must be into GBV, Pavement, and Arcade Fire” are disguised dreams; rarely conveying the intensity of the emotions behind those hastily scrawled words.
Ads like these can grace a billboard for years, gradually becoming buried by new ones until only a sliver is visible to a discerning eye scanning the sea of possibilities.

Former member of Ottawa’s successful live drum n’ bass group Liquified and deep house producer who has remixed The Cure and Stars, Marckwort has been patiently waiting for a response to ads he had placed nearly two years ago for musicians to play in his new project Politique – a subtle fusion of electro, indie-rock and pop elements, comparable in theory to Montreal’s Stars, or Toronto’s Small Sins.
So why the long wait? – Marckwort explains that he wasn’t merely looking for musical prowess, but rather something more undefined and personal; i.e. something that wouldn’t easily fit into the formulaic “musician seeking band” ad.

“The funny thing about Ottawa is that there are a lot of people into really eccentric, avant garde stuff – but finding musicians that are actually into playing that stuff is very difficult,” he says recently over a cup of coffee.

Lucky for Marckwort, his ad finally caught the gaze of three musicians – one newbie and two others who were already established in the City’s music scene. Otherwise, as Marckwort speculates, Politique might never have been. “I was definitely ready to pack it in,” he adds.

Two of the three musicians who answered the ad sit across from Marckwort: Richard Bennett and Mallory Giles. Bennett, the band’s guitarist, is a newbie to the world of garage bands, unlike Giles who has already sung with Sadie Hell. Absent from the conversation is drummer Etienne Sylvain, who also drums for Ottawa’s rising electro-punk outfit Fight!Fight!Fight!
While Bennett represents a clean slate, both Giles and Sylvain already approach music from the fringes – an important element that Marckwort was looking for. As he so bluntly puts it, “The last thing I wanted to do was form another rock band.”

“I was trying to find people to make music that was more eccentric and leftfield. I’ve hated rock for so many years. When I was 18 I decided that I hated guitars. I cursed guitars and got into more electronic, post-punk stuff – anything that was anti-rock,” Marckwort explains about the ethos behind Politique.

Marckwort has always been somewhat of an outsider. Since rejecting the guitar (in theory at least since he plays bass in Politique), Marckwort has created music in a variety of non-rock entities; a series of decisions that have exiled him from the City’s punk, rock, indie-rock and folk rock scene and cast him out into a subculture of samplers and synthesizers.
Amidst a climate that continually neglects Canadian electronic producers, Marckwort strives to create something eccentric, yet accessible. Having finally found musicians with the same mindset, Politique quickly developed beyond Marckwort’s original backlog of material. The collection of tracks have been created with an eye towards blending electronic production with rock, punk and pop elements; a fusion that has the potential to coalesce the City’s disparate scenes under one sound.

During the 90s, electronic production was added to the rock formula as a sort of gimmick; this resulted in a brief post-millennia backlash against the use of electronic gear. However, electronic elements were subtly and gradually re-introduced. Having reached its maturity in the early millennia, electronic production is no longer considered a gimmick. Rather, as Politique demonstrates, electronic production plays a fundamental role without overwhelming the sound. In order to achieve this, Marckwort has purposefully used electronic elements in simple, understated and raw forms. Combined with Sylvain’s drumming, Politique achieves a punk feel despite having an electronic spine.

That intensity is checked by Bennett’s guitar work and Giles Marckwort’s vocal harmonies – a shared duty that grounds the unfamiliar through a traditionally beautiful pop convention.
Politique have accumulated enough material for a full-length album, aiming to release a record this spring. An unmentioned, but well-known Canadian indie-label from the West Coast is already showing interest in Politique. Until then, the band will continue their ongoing performances. Politique’s next show is at Zaphod’s on March 1 with Ladymilk and The Balconies.

“For the upcoming show, it was left up to us to try and find bands to play with,” Giles says, re-emphasizing the point that leftfield bands like Politique are few and far between in this City. “I went through about 16 different Ottawa bands, listening to their material on Myspace and not really finding anyone that had sounds comparable to Politique. It really opened my eyes to the fact that we aren’t really like anyone else.”

- Dharma Arts

"Get ready to (electro)swoon"

Politique emerge to swathe the senses in sound

It starts with a simple, video game-esque undulating beat, which gets layered with other electronic sounds. Then the vocal harmonies begin, easily bringing to mind the luscious romanticism of Stars and Metric. It's just detached enough to make you interested, or at least want more. But since the song She Makes My Mind Smile is only available at www.myspace.com/politiquemusik, Ottawa and the rest of the world will have to wait for the self-titled debut release from Politique this spring to feel the full brunt of the band.
Though Politique is a newish group, it has been a long journey for singer/bassist electro-mastermind Roland Marckwort. As he explains, "I kind of put the feelers out about two years ago and went through many, many different variations of lineups just trying to find the right people to complement the music. It took a long time. We actually didn't come together until summer 2007."

The move to a full band was quite a change for Marckwort, who had previously been dedicated to electronics in the band Liquified. Yet, change is a fickle mistress. "Before I got into electronic music, I was into stuff like New Order and The Smiths," he notes. "But then I thought, I never want to see another guitar again, and I got into purely beats, programming and twiddling knobs. After a while that gets pretty boring - hanging out in your basement or in a DJ booth, doing that all by yourself. Playing live with real people
that you really dig and love, there's no comparison."

Those people? Mallory Giles adds counterpoint vocals, Richard Bennett the guitar, and Etienne Sylvain, also of F!ghtF!ghtF!ght, the drums. Moving beyond being a simple electro-pop band, Politique want you to be entranced live. As Bennett says, "There's a certain passion you can't really capture with electronic music that comes out when we play live. It flows from the energy of playing in a band, like the drums and having a PA cranked up and all kinds of stuff."

In the end, the intrigue of Politique is actually quite simple and Giles puts it perfectly. "When it comes to other bands in Ottawa, there's no one else who's really doing anything else like this, that's for sure."

- Ottawa XPress

"Torq / Stars"

"The sounds are beautiful... well done!"

Torquil Campbell, STARS, 2007 - self

"Fateema Sayani"

"Politique play whipped, frenzied rock-bot electro with style!!" - Ottawa Citizen


"Politique" - digital zen, 2008.
available on iTunes and select indie shops (End Hits, CD Warehouse, Compact Music)



Politique has wrapped a busy 2009 playing festivals and an August Canadian tour!

Politique recently played alongside Young Galaxy, Hey Ocean, Winter Gloves, Hexes+Ohs, Small Sins, and Ruby Coast.

We are busy writing and recording album#2!
A sordid love-triangle of bittersweet indie, synth punk and electro conspire to wrap you up in this debut...

With respectful nods to the past and wide-eyed optimism to the future in songs like "Drifter", "She Makes My Mind Smile" to the sexed up electro-nihilism of "Old War, Cold War", the ironic, jangly guitar pop of "Young, Fast, Stupid", this definitely aint your daddys new wave…

The focus of “Politique” was pure pop bliss - quick, in your face melodies, indie energy without too much gloss, and dance punk rawness.

Mallory makes the vocals swoon. Etienne pushes the beats into the red. Richard layers on angular, wire-y guitar everywhere, and Roland whips up the Moogs and bass.

We are a sordid / torrid love triangle between electro, indie, and angular synth pop. We sincerely hope you love it!

Roland started this whole thing in 2005 - previously playing synth and producing with Liquified(www.liquified.org) , a deep house project that used to tour as a live PA. We released our debut "13 Methods of Hallucination" on US label World Domination to much success and campus airplay; then came "Maintainin" in 2002, and most recently, a 12" vinyl remix of the Cures' "Same Deep Water As You" in 2005, and a whack of digital releases avaiable via the website.

Politique is our collective take on electro/indie/post-everything sounds, injected with adrenaline, heart, and soul. The same sentiments people had in 1979.
But with new twists.
Our plan was to take years of experiments with synths and samplers and apply it to a more 'song' based medium than club-based tracks allow.

Politique has been tearing off the roof with sell out shows recently, and in the past, members have played NXNE, CMW, and venues like Lees Palace, the Rivoli, Zaphods, Barrymores, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Available June 24, 2008 online and at indie record stores everywhere.

Related Artists: Metric, Bloc Party, the Smiths, Ladytron, YSP!WSD!, Postal Service, Small Sins, Buzzcocks