Veins Full Of Static
Cinder and Bone
TBR: 30th November
It was way back in June that Veins Full Of Static emerged on the drone electronica scene with their debut EP Is All. Since then, VFOS has been working on something of a landmark work including a YouTube video for us all to enjoy, posted at the end. With artistic music like this, finding one's pace and feel is paramount to the branding of the artist and it looks like VFOS has applied this philosophy extremely well. Their latest release takes us on an audible journey through distortions and tones which build and grow with every passing corner. With a backbone formed from the experiences gathered while unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, dealing with dragging long days and night-long parties next door, the work brings us to a dark yet free-spirited time.
Vale of Sleep opens the album with a rush of distant water, then a sky soaring synth tone plunges down to greet us. The horizon bubbles with sampled voices, it sounds like children playing. A dreamy topping of slow moving sound wafts over in a swooping wingbeat, declining and ascending gently in graceful motions. As the track builds, the slow progression allows for sonics to mingle and join while new amplitudes and delivery mastering inflect various fractions of the whole. The music changes gear around half way in, a new energy of forlorn scope hurtles through the previous harmonic mush. As this evolves like a cake in the oven, the rising air and coalescing ingredients rise to reveal a new angle on the previous direction.
Melodious music seeps in from cracks in the silence and as it merges into ghosts, sounds of busy distances overlap and shadow the dream. Tones of metallic sounding organs push through and form a sound of deep gut-wrenching anticipation. A higher side to the flux responds more like a stringed instrument, occasional sways of quickly vibrating tension swing across the ambience. A phantomesque wind slowly blows over the quiet buildings as if they were candles, their flames flickering and crackling as the air sweeps their crowns. As static interludes support the latter bars, a building of heat and intensity lifts the piece up and into a tower of razor sharp sound. Ghosts on film takes us to that feeling of dread when confronted with the irrational.
With a title like Negating time in Tlon, track three seems to want to take us to another dimension. It does take us to a new tangent with a whistling sound opening the bottle. Harmonies with strings and choral like tones give a similar yet forked arrow, and it scoops us up in bales to greet us with a rhythm. A subtle marching beat tinkles underneath like a child's toy while wails and abstract chords craft distinct head-spaces above us. It seems that the volume builds, or perhaps each section of the sound is becoming more wholesome, as the track progresses, self-similarity and adroit adjustment work in unison to produce an interesting experience. It climaxes with a digital fill of bubbling franticness that fades along with the offering.
A new form of distant creeping static allows the silence to dissipate and more gorgeous colourful drone tones drizzle over the ample frame. The sonics gracefully hang from the corners of sea like waves of distorted white-noise which from a suitable distance, serve to give a distinct warmth to the sound. Rainy footsteps add a new quality, that of travelling from one place to another in a semi-dreamstate which allows us to move without moving. Heat and light from heavenly synths gradually dry the scene and the outside ocean through a pane of glass gives us all something to relax with. Somnambulance is a dreamy and sleepy number, drawing us further into the world of conscious imaginings which frame our everyday life.
Track five begins with a warming up of distorted tones which crackle like a fire. A pitch like feedback swells over the top with a piercing sensation. New bass drums want to appear however they keep getting shoved aside by ghostly wails and insistent strings. The drums decide to bring a cymbal with them soon enough which has the power to cut a channel through the sound which allows the percussion to flow like a river, suddenly undamned. Throwing Hexes reminds me of magical under-words, hidden within the seemingly benign, challenging our sense of purpose. Much more attention is given to the rhythm in this number, yet with high volumes of shrill and alarming notes, the atmosphere remains gloomy and laden with curdling fog.
Final track, God's Got His Plans and I've Got Mine, begins with a church bell. It sounds as if it's being chimed underwater, like so many of the sunken bells recorded around Britain. Soft and stroking tones replace the discordant peel, twined with windy moors and vocal expressions, digital sunlight breaks through to illuminate the sound. Another rhythm pokes through the scenery, once more with a resemblance to marching, plodding on regardless of what nature does, what we struggle against, and what others want from us, we do our best to remain tranquil and bright. This eleven minute finale takes us back to a seemly beginning, while abstract tones drift in and out of the peripheral sky, dreamy and dreary atmospheres manage to remain entirely human despite the glowing sides.
Watch Negating Time in Tlon on YouTube
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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