|THE ALMACANTAR PROJECT
Welcome to the Alamacantar Project
The Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Almacantar Project ? - The Almacantar Project is an unofficial attempt to generate interest in the re-release of Almacantar on Universal Music Canada's "Heritage Masters Series", a new program announced in April 2002 created to re-issue Canadian albums from the label's catalogs. Or a compilation including the bands most known works.
What is Almacantar ? - Almacantar is a ten track album by Eight Seconds that was released in 1986 on Polydor Records, a label now owned by Universal Music Canada. Known primarily for singles "Kiss You (When It's Dangerous)", "Where's Bula" and "Sincere", this was the band's first full length album and their first international release. This Rupert Hine produced album was released on compact disc (831 119-2), cassette (831 119-4) and vinyl (831 119-1).
Who are Eight Seconds ? - Eight Seconds was a rock band founded in 1982 in Ottawa, Canada by Andrés Del Castillo (vocals/guitar), Frank Levin (keyboards), Scott Milks (drums), March Cesare (bass) and Mark Parent (guitar) that released three albums, two of which were released internationally.
What are the band's three albums ? - "Ottava Rima", a five track EP released on independent label Apprentice Records, "Almacantar", a ten track album released on Polydor and "Big Houses", a ten track album released on Atco and distributed by WEA. A discography can be found here.
What is the band's history ? - The band first hit the airwaves in 1983 with single "Where's Bula" after winning the Chez 106 Sharechez '83 Homegrown contest in Ottawa, resulting in an award winning video for this single and the recording of a five track EP, Ottava Rima, on independent label Apprentice Records in 1985. This EP, sponsored by Allan White, the owner of the production company responsible for the "Where's Bula" video, was sent to producer Rupert Hine by Chez 106 music director Greg Torrington and the EP's two most popular tracks, "Where's Bula" and "Kiss You (When It's Dangerous)" were re-recorded for Almacantar, which was released the following year on Polydor. After a few radio hits from this album, the band released a third album, Big Houses, on ATCO. But after this release, the band's new label filed for bankruptsy and the band eventually faded into Canadian pop rock history.
What is the Chez 106 Sharechez Homegrown contest ? - The Chez 106 Sharechez Homegrown contest was a "Battle Of The Bands" contest sponsored by Chez 106, a local classic rock radio station in Ottawa, Canada. Eight Seconds won in 1983 with "Where's Bula"
What other awards did the band win ? - The band won a Best Video Award from the Canadian Film And Television Association for "Where's Bula" in 1984 and a PROCAN Award for " Kiss You (When It's Dangerous)" in 1987. They were also nominated for one Juno Award (Most Promising Group) and six Casby Awards (Best Single, Most Promising Group, Best Group, Best Video, Best Album Art) in 1987.
Can Almacantar be found anywhere ? - Almacantar can easily be found on vinyl and cassette from the used music dealers in Canada but the compact disc version is harder to find, though it occasionally appears on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, and Musicstack. The album is available to download in Canada and the United States and I've heard a re-release on compact disc is in the works.
What are the band members up to these days ? - Andrés del Castillo is part owner of audio/video production and multimedia company in Ottawa named R+D Creative. Frank Levin managed his own studio in Toronto and was previously involved in the production of Alanis Morrisette's 1991 debut on MCA Records Canada. Scott Milks is currently an IT manager for the Canadian Government but is still active in Ottawa's music scene with Bigger Than John. Having toured with many popular francophone artists, Marc Parent remains active in the Quebec music industry and founded a rock r&b band named Wang Dang Doodle in Montreal in the late 80's.
December 1st, 2017 Update - I am saddened by the news that Frank Levin had passed away in China due to a deteriorating health condition. I offer my sincere condolences to his family and former band mates. RIP Frank Levin.