Label Obscura and controller.controller release new 7″ for bassist’s stroke rehabilitation

October 30, 2017 in news

Toronto’s controller.controller and Label Obscura have teamed forces for a limited edition 7” vinyl single featuring the band’s first new recordings in over 10 years. All profits will be donated to raise funds for bassist Ronnie Morris, who suffered a series of disabling strokes in 2015 shortly after the band’s reunion.

This cover of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” was assembled around Morris’s bass lines originally recorded in 2006, with controller.controller reuniting in the studio this year to add new instrumentals and vocals. It is accompanied on the 7” by a brand new remix of controller.controller’s hit 2004 song “History” by Sebastien Grainger.
A limited run of 500 copies with hand-stamped artwork will be available, with 130 of these copies signed by the band and presented with special perks. These include additional remixes available digitally with purchase by artists such as Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq) and Coins, known for his viral hit Beastie Boys/Daft Punk mash-up album Daft Science.

Label Obscura and controller.controller will celebrate the 7” with a release show on November 30th at The Baby G in Toronto. This will include performances by Hit The North (members of controller.controller, Public Animal, The Two Koreas, and Uncut), Lolaa (members of Magneta Lane), plus DJs Permboy and LinderLegs.


In the early aughts, controller.controller emerged with the eerily propulsive dance-punk sound they dubbed “death disco.” The band’s 2004 album History and its 2005 follow-up X-Amounts (both released by Paper Bag Records) made them one of the most buzzed bands in Canada, followed by a series of high-profile tours with artists such as The Cult, OK Go, and Death From Above.

When vocalist Nirmala Basnayake left controller.controller in 2006 they disbanded just as quickly as they had risen, and would not the hit the stage again until their 2015 reunion. Then, mere months after the band’s performance at Toronto’s 15th annual Wavelength music festival, tragedy struck. At age 37, bassist Ronnie Morris suffered a series of disabling strokes. For the past two years, he has worked through intense physical therapy to regain his speech and the use of the right side of his body.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan offers only partial coverage for stroke rehabilitation for patients between the ages of 18 and 65. Because Morris was a part-time musician and PhD candidate with limited health insurance, he has since been faced with insurmountable medical bills. While all profits from the 7” will be donated to raise funds for Morris’s recovery, this release also serves a wider purpose.

“This 7” is not just about raising money for Ronnie, but also bringing awareness to other people in similar situations,” says controller.controller guitarist Scott Kaija. “I’m sure there are all kinds of musicians and artists in Canada who seem to be doing well, but are they actually protected? Do they have insurance and benefits, and can they pay their rent if an emergency occurs? We live in these bubbles where we’re not always taking the best care of ourselves, and assume that we’re indestructible, but anything can happen.”

Additional controller.controller remixes from the 7” single include contributions by Mike Gonek (Torro Torro) and A. Frech. “The remixes are just as exciting if not more exciting than us recording the cover,” says Kaija. “There’s really a whole village around the band.” The first 30 copies of the 7” will also be bundled with mystery controller.controller merch such as buttons, shirts, and posters.

Finally, to coincide with the release of the 7”, controller.controller are thrilled to announce they have reclaimed ownership of their original recordings. The band plans to re-releases their classic albums History and X-Amounts on all current digital platforms.

The controller.controller 7″ will be released on November 30th by Label Obscura.  It is now available for pre-order here.

controller.controller 7″
A) “She’s Lost Control” (Joy Division)
B) “History ’17” (Sebastien Grainger Remix)

Additional Remixes
“History” (Coins Remix)
“History” (Zubot Remix)
“The Raw No” (afrech sorgbreyta Remix)
“Tigers Not Daughters” (Torro Torro Remix)

Release Show
Thursday, November 30th
The Baby G (Toronto)
Lolaa (Members of Magneta Lane)
Hit The North (Members of controller.controller, Public Animal, The Two Koreas, and Uncut)
DJs Permboy and LinderLegs

(swedish) Death Polka talk Judith Judith and the disaster that inspired it.
controller.controller - she's lost control
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By Tim Lidster

Tim Lidster started Label Obscura to help rationalize and justify his ever growing collection of records. When he's not listening, thinking, or writing about music, he enjoys getting out and exploring the city with his family.

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