Vlor - six-winged six-winged
CD 2009 | Silber 075
16 tracks, 50 minutes
Six-Winged is a terrific album that flits from style to style, but manages to hang together perfectly. Even the book ending tracks, ostensibly two versions of the same thing, sound nothing like each other. The first a delicate, fragile whisper of a song, the second straying into Galaxie 500 territory. It shows that surprise and variety needn’t be at the expense of consistency and flow.
~ Music Musing & Miscellany

The Silber super group returns this time featuring Brian John Mitchell (Remora/Small Life Form), Jon DeRosa (Aarktica), Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), Martin Newman (Plumerai/Goddakk), Michael Wood (Something About Vampires And Sluts), Jessica Bailiff, Annelies Monsere, Jim DeJong (Infant Cycle), Michael Walton (mwvm), Paolo Messere (6 P.M.), & more.  Sounds go from indie pop to punk rock to drone ambient. 

: Listen to the track damage the land & the sea
: Listen to the track i have left home (reprise)
: Press release
: Reviews
: Watch video for Watch Me Bleed
track listing:
i have left home, without blame, guided, never to be rebuilt, she goes out with boys, tolerate the wicked, damage the land & the sea, watch me bleed, children's teeth, statue of jealousy, will i see you again, maybe you should chew on my fist, not the one for me, young lions, boundaries of the land, i have left home (reprise)

New full-length from the Silber collective, featuring appearances from members of Remora, Aarktika, 6PM, Plumerai, The Infant Cycle, mwvm, and many others. A diverse but coherent place, standing in the intersection where ambient guitar noise, post-rock, and garage aggressiveness meet, bathed in a sweet lo-fi light.
~ The Ceiling

Although Vlor has been around since 1992 in various forms, Six-Winged is their second full length. A versatile band of musicians, dubbed the Silber all-stars, Vlor goes through several sonic territories like ambient, drone, slowcore to garage rock with ease. Impressive.
~ Undomondo

Vlor is a compilation of instrumentals sent around via snail mail to other musicians in the attempt to create a “chain-mail” approach to music. It’s interesting. Tracks drift in and out, neither ending too soon or wearing out their welcome.  Six-Winged has an ethereal quality, and its minimalism and experimentation meet to create a hybrid between post-rock and symphonics to create something genuine. The experiment is successful in its attempt to meld ambience, shoegaze, and soft electronics, but the record never really picks up. The work here is promising, but one might feel better inclined to pick up something less self-involved. Keep an eye out for them though, there are some great moments on this record.
~ Nick Gergesha, Hearwax

Following up on the previous Vlor album, A Fire Is Meant for Burning, Six-Winged acts as a similar flag of convenience for Silber labelhead Brian John Mitchell to get a wide variety of fellow travelers to jointly participate in a group effort, halfway between supergroup jam, label sampler, and remix project. The resultant 16-song collection has Mitchell's guitar and bass parts and occasional vocals as the core for each track, with various collaborators working together or separately to add vocals, beats, other parts in general. Mitchell's work is fairly straightforward -- understandable given that they were meant to be the skeletal beginnings of further work -- but they allow the often-brief tracks to flow together quite well, even as each may take distinctly different roads all together. Thus, the Seefeel-like, fall-and-rise loops of "Guided" make for a much different piece than "She Goes Out with Boys," with its suddenly charging bass shifting into a moody melody and lyric that Mitchell sings, backed by Rollerball/Moodring vocalist Mae Starr. Meanwhile, little could be more significantly different than the near-ambient, lengthy flow of "Tolerate the Wicked," one of two tracks Aarktica's Jon DeRosa appears on, the a cappella "Will I See You Again" sung by Annelies Monsere, and the backwoods/garage stomp of "Watch Me Bleed," featuring backing from Jessica Bailiff, with guest vocals from Michael Wood and Magen McAvenney. It's a wide variety of sound that still works on one album, and very well at that -- especially when showing a sense of humor by calling one of the loveliest instrumental tracks "Maybe You Should Chew on My Fist."
~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

Ambient and shoegaze music is tricky to review. How can you really do justice to a genre that by its very nature isn't meant to even distract you from day to day life? Throw avant-garde into the mix and you're left thinking that if you don't like the album, maybe it's an extremely surreal and complex joke on you after all.
Luckily for Vlor's new long player Six-Winged the job is largely done for you, as in the space of forty-six minutes you get everything good and bad about ambient, shoegaze and avant-garde wrapped up into one. On the negative side, many of the brief songs are half-finished ideas and some of them, like the utterly pointless 'Tolerate The Wicked,' seem to go literally nowhere before just ending abruptly. On the positive side, the album barrels through sixteen tracks across its runtime, which means even the weaker songs don't tend to overstay their welcome - and what's more, the better ambient pieces, like the dreamy 'Without Blame', are constantly in some kind of sinister motion, never destined to become just wallpaper. At times, the album just forgets its source material entirely and goes mental, as on the demented 'Watch Me Bleed', which sounds like a Stooges outtake. Brilliant closer 'I Have Left Home (reprise)' meanwhile is some kind of major-key battle between REM and Mogwai that ends things on a truly majestic note.
At the end of the day Six-Winged is simply a bemusing experience, a schizophrenic Frankenstein's monster that would be difficult for anyone but the most eclectic to truly love. However anyone who appreciates an MP3 player's shuffle function will get a lot out of it by choosing their favourite songs.
~ Gaz Hughes, Rock Midgets

This release of "post rock, slow core and indie ambient" is quite good indeed. The band is made up of a virtual cornucopia of established musicians from such groups as: Remora, Aarktica, 6PM, Goddakk, Rollerball, Infant Cycle and Electric Bird Noise among others. Sixteen tracks of pure bliss on Silber Records.
~ David Carter, Pins & Cathedral Bells

right. this features a buncha people from the silber roster including michael wood & brain mckenzie from the fabulously titled something about vampires and sluts, yr man from aarktica, jessica bailiff (who i love in an almost creepy sexual way), annelies monsere and the fella in charge of silber. among others. and this is why you get a wildly eccentric mix of breathy pop and plinky noise and shoegazerry, ambient bloops and sweaty garage rawk stomp. and this is why you get two tracks to chow down on here.  if i was to say schizophrenic you’d be heading in the right direction. and yet somehow manages to sound like a proper bloody album and not just a pissaround compilation where a buncha folks bash out a buncha stuff they like playing but couldn’t squeeze into their own records. it manages to be aggressive, odd, soothing, brittle, massive, barely there, stupid, clever, loud, quiet and every goddam thing inbetween. not meant in the pejorative when i say this is all over the place. yet cohesive. cross-pollination and collaborative mind-melds. aargh. what the fuck am i dichotomously babbling about? christ even i don’t know. it’s not often you get to write about a record that at various points says earth, sons & daughters, swans, guided by voices, la monte young and cocteau twins. what you do need to know is that this is a wild and exhilarating listen. it’ll drag you up down left right and stroke yr inner thigh gently while occasionally biting yr extremities and whispering exotic erotica into yr inner ear.  oof.
~ cows are just food

Vlor are a Silber Records supergroup comprising a dozen musicians from various bands, the best known of whom is probably Jessica Bailiff. Starting out with guitar and bass lines from team captain Brian John Mitchell, the tracks were all completed by various people from all over the world. Comparisons with This Mortal Coil are inevitable. Indeed, there are plenty of musical similarities – short neo-classical instrumental sections, low key ambient pop and ethereal vocal tracks redolent of the Cocteau Twins at their most mellow.
The major difference between Silber’s supergroup and their 4AD counterpart of two decades ago is that Vlor are even more eclectic. “Tolerate the Wicked”, for example is an eight minute long dark ambient drone piece. “Damage the Land and Sea” is an instrumental based around a deep throbbing bass and scratchy slide guitar that threatens to explode into aural violence, but never quite does. However, the next track “Watch Me Bleed” injects some real aggression into proceedings. It’s a thrashing punk-pop thing that comes across like Sons and Daughters at their most bolshy. Definitely NOT very This Mortal Coil!
Half the tracks are under two and a half minutes, and many of these are little more than instrumental sketches of ideas. But they work as the glue that keeps the album flowing and not sounding like a random grab-bag of tracks. Only “Not the One for Me” grates a little, seemingly no more than an endlessly repetitive fade out whose title is the entire lyrical content.
Six-Winged is a terrific album that flits from style to style, but manages to hang together perfectly. Even the book ending tracks, ostensibly two versions of the same thing, sound nothing like each other. The first a delicate, fragile whisper of a song, the second straying into Galaxie 500 territory. It shows that surprise and variety needn’t be at the expense of consistency and flow.
~ Music Musing & Miscellany

Vlor is an “all-star” project from the Silber label. It is spearheaded by label mogul Brian John Mitchell, who records basic tracks for songs and instrumentals that he sounds out to other artists for completion. So, Six-Winged (the second Vlor album produced in such manner) features collaborations from Jessica Bailiff and members of Aarktica, 6PM, Rollerball, Plumerai, Electric Bird Boise, mwvm, and more. Unsurprisingly, the dominating musical vision is Mitchell’s (the man behind post-apocalyptic lo-fi folk project Remora). The album covers a lot of ground, from slowcore to punk-pop and drone. The instrumentals are quite fine, the songs nicely tortured. A strong indie project, and more consistent than Vlor’s previous effort A Fire is Meant for Burning.
~ François Couture, Monsieur Delire

Much rather a compilation album this. Dark, brooding and quite esoteric, the Vlor Collective most importantly comprises Brian John Mitchell, Annelies Monsoré and Paolo Messere. Brian John Mitchell stuck around on all recordings as he oversaw this project in the entirety. Who played what remains unrevealed but the question of a general director behind this release makes for a very easy guess.
A host of guest appearances marked the great difference here; listed are twelve contributors and amongst them a few reaching to the ends of their wits. Magen McAvenney, Michael Wood and Brian McKenzie disrupt the Vlor sound on 'Watch Me Bleed' with indie rock styled insensitivity - in a way that contrasts the overall moody electronica touch with buzzing, almost rock'n roll like conviction.
A cleverly unbalanced effort this, and therefore one that you're destined to keep returning to; odd, underachieving and still mesmerizing. 'Six-Winged' begs for attention, personified on 'Will I See You Again' with Annelies Monsoré in the middle of the attention. Dronetronics might be the term to throw in right here and just now. And oddly enough, pieces fall into the right place on 'Not The One For Me'.
~ Maarten Schiethart, Pennyblack Music

Vlor began in 1997 when Brian John Mitchell and Russell Halasz recorded guitar in a racquetball court. For this CD, Mitchell is joined by guests such as Jon DeRosa of Aarktica, Jessica Bailiff, Annelies Monsere, Martin Newman of Plumerai, Paolo Messere (and many others). The music is, for the most part, relaxing, reverby guitars (although 16 features an amazing bit of beauty produced by a dulcimer or lute). 8 is the oddball, in a great way, in that it’s the only fast-paced rock song in a sea of calm shoegaze. Just the thing when you have unpleasant houseguests.

Ethereal, ambient, float-y guitar, electronics, effects and pretty sounding voices predominately by Brian John Mitchell. Mitchell gets help from fellow Silber Records band members Aarktica, Remora along with Jessica Baliff, Mae Starr of Rollerball and a bunch of others. Overall, very nice stuff. Dig this if you’re into Low, most stuff on Kranky Records, Cocteau Twins, & Lycia.
((((1)))) Plucked electric & acoustic guitars, layed vocals by Jessica Baliff sounding somewhat similar to Jarboe at her most ethereal.
(((2))) Repetitve piano, vibrating feedback.
(((3)) Way too much repetition. Bass, minimal, disjointed guitar chords, female vocals warbling.
((((4)))) Glistening chords, repeating (in a good way) in a fairly psych direction.
((((5)))) Minimal bass and male & (later) female vocals-from Mae Starr of Rollerball. Very melancholic & compelling.
(((((6))))) Slow, drifting, distant ambience.
(((7))) Dramatic, tense noise vs. bass & guitar minimalism. Odd metered but interesting.
(((((8))))) Loud & rockin’ tune with dual male & female vocals. Not far from the Pixies or even Sebadoh. Well done! (Btw, near the end the girl says “Watch you bleed” NOT “fuck you bleed”)
(((9))) Distant, spindle-ly guitars and sparse piano.
((((10)))) Vibrative ambience.
(((((11))))) Trippy, airy female vocals with focus on every syllable. Pretty short.
(((((12))))) Minimal, cinematic tones & structures flowing in & out.
(((13))) Early-mid 90’s Indie guitar tone & bass. Somewhat flat male vocals with 1 lyric repeating 1000x. Alright already! I heard you the 34th time!
(((14))) Bass & mild guitar fuzz.
((((15)))) A nice blanket of orchestrated ethereal ambient drones.
((((16)))) Clean chords, mandolin, so Americana sounding you pretty much expect someone singing about blue mountains or drunk/jealous ex-lovers.

Trying to review and/or cover bands and artists whose music doesn't easily fit within specific categories is simultaneously time consuming, frustrating, and thought provoking. After all, it's a lot easier to simply toss out a few positive sentences about the latest rock group whose songs all pretty much sound the same. Around since 1992, Vlor is a band that has come and gone and shifted from one phase to another. This album presents tracks that were recorded by Brian John Mitchell who recorded guitar and bass tracks and then sent them to various artists/musicians across the country and around the world to expound upon and/or flesh out (or more accurately, as the press release states "a collection of Silber all-stars working together). The artists recording with Mitchell include Jon DeRosa, Jessica Bailiff, Paolo Messere, Annelies Monsere, Martin Newman, Mae Starr, Jim DeJong, Michael Walton, Brian McKenzie, Michael Wood, and Megen McAvenney. Not surprisingly, this album goes all over the map...and very often totally off the map altogether. When money isn't the motivation...it's amazing what can happen in music. A mind-bending blur of styles and approaches...almost completely unpredictable. TOP PICK.
~ Babysue

Vlor are many things, all of them unique: they create an avant-garde, ambient sound with keen accessibility, defiant of genre expectations; over seventeen years, they’ve been reborn in a variety of skins; the band’s current cross-nation, cross-continent collaboration on Six-Winged is rare for its ambitions and success. The sixteen tracks, waxing from drone to basement rock band, from cinematic expanse to outright aggression, is warm enough to warrant repeat listens, plunging its rich, deep, evocative mix for new sounds. One would never know that its creation spanned over six states and five continents, collecting more than a dozen artists from their main projects, all via mail. The names are too many to list (many of them familiar from the Silber Records catalog), often obscure, but the results are cohesive, a compelling record that once again screams for recognition.
So many of the tracks on Six-Winged would feel oddly out of place on former Vlor records, too well formed for the sparse, one-off lavish/luxate and somehow, too well adjusted emotionally for A Fire Was Meant For Burning. None of these comments or comparisons, however, should underscore that the record also possesses all the delightful hallmarks of a Vlor record. The wake-up-and-stretch strings on “Without Blame” or “I Have Left Home” tinge with darkness, a hint that overwhelms later songs like “Watch Me Bleed,” an angry shout, à la Nick Cave. The moribund quality is especially prominent on “She Goes Out With Boys,” something so unsettling in tone, so borderline sterile and hurtful lyrically, that it requires careful examination—if only for a chance for the listener to believe that everything will be alright.
It’s the dichotomy that is Vlor. One moment the sun is rising (“Guided” or “Maybe You Should Chew On My Fist”), and another, it’s slowly melting away.
~ Erick Mertz, Kevchino

This second collaboration between Silber chief, Brian John Mitchell and a collection of Silber artists and friends continues in the same vein as 2006’s “A Fire Is Meant For Burning”. Right out of the gate, we’re in the company of angels with Jessica Bailiff’s celestial wordless vocals over Mitchell’s pensive plucking on “I Have Left Home” – like a more meditative Cocteau Twins. Across these 16 tracks, Mitchell and friends explore all aspects of the sonic guitarscape spectrum, from the hypnotic wall of drone, “Guided” (with Paolo Messere) and the nocturnal heartbeat of the looping, Durutti Columnish “Never To Be Rebuilt” (also with Messere) to the minimalist, glacial flow collaborations with Jon DeRosa (“Tolerate The Wicked” and “Not The One For Me”), which pass into the expansive snorecore realms of Stars of The Lid, Windy & Carl, Eno, Azusa Plane and DeRosa’s own work as Aarktica, although the latter sounds like it could’ve been an outtake from DeRosa’s later efforts as Pale Horse & Rider, with its more traditional pop arrangement…and vocals!
Occasionally Mitchell & Co. step out of the strict guitarscape mode as on the hushed, late night duet with Rollerball’s Mae Starr (“She Goes Out With Boys”) or the harsh, punky metallic percussive collaboration with Bailiff, Brian McKenzie and Michael Wood and Magen McAvenney (“Watch Me Bleed”) which fluidly and expertly combines references of Swans, Nine Inch Nails, and the Siouxsie-led Creatures. The Annelies Monseré collaboration (“Will I See You Again”) returns us to a hauntingly ethereal headspace that hearkens back to the good ol’ days of the vintage 4AD label, particularly His Name Is Alive’s Livonia collection. Michael Walton’s “Maybe You Should Chew On My Fist” is the antithesis of the vitriolic title, as it brings us back to the lovely ambient snorecore of yore. The release comes full circle with the gorgeous guitar duet reprise of opener “I Have Left Home,” with Bailiff and Mitchell pulling out all the stops in their faithful recreation of the finest Lawrence & Maurice Deebank guitar duals on those classic early Felt albums.
Overall, “Six-Winged” is a virtual instructor’s manual in the type of sounds you can coax out of an electric guitar and a few fx pedals. It’s a challenging and enveloping experience.
~ Jeff Penczak, Foxy Digitalis

Back in Vital Weekly 530 we discussed Vlor's 'A Fire Is Meant For Burning'. It was the relaunch of Vlor as vehicle for 'music by post'. Guitarist Brian John Mitchell sends out his playing for other to complete. An even bigger line-up this time around, including Jon DeRosa (of Aarktica), Mike vanPortfleet of Lycia, Nathan Amundsun (Rivulets), Jessica Bailiff, Paolo Messere (6 P.M.), Annelies Monsere, Martin Newman (Plumerai and Goddakk), Mae Starr (Rollerball, Moodring), Jim DeJong (The Infant Cycle), Micheal Walton (Mvvm), Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise, Something About Vampire And Sluts), Micheal Wood (also of Something About Vampire And Sluts and The Wet Teens) and Magen McAvenney. This must not be understood as a remix album, but Mitchell laying down the groundwork for a piece, and his guests add their own vocals, cello, melodica, piano, or strings (or whatever else), to complete the songs. Sixteen pieces in some forty-five minutes may mean a nice average length of three minutes (pop! length), but some of these pieces are mere sketches of post rock/noise/improvisation, which is a pity. But then a piece like 'She Goes Out With Boys' sounds like a real song. One could wish there would have been more pieces like this here and leave the schematics behind. Maybe that should be instructions for the next Vlor release. Still, altogether this is a pretty nice release again.
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Silber Records, run by Brian John Mitchell, who's also a musician, is devoted to the progressive side of modern rock, and the 'rock' tag has a tendency to wear itself out long before arriving at Silber's doorstep. This collaborative effort—the Vlor "group", masterminded by Mitchell and serially composed by a quite populated informal collective of musicians in six states and five countries—occupies myriad modes: shoegaze, alt rock, ambient, emo, etc. As such, it's kind of an introduction to the label itself, one release of which, Aarktica, a participant in Six-Winged, is reviewed here.
The angelic I Have Left Home, an ambient/chant affair, leads off the anthology in a wistful repeating intro refrain dominated by female chorale (a one-woman ensemble if my guess is correct), but along the way, through the 16 cuts, you'll encounter guitars -- some heavily processed, others not—keyboards, cello, melodica, strings, and percussion. The goal appears to have been to achieve the attenuated meditative drone state currently so popular in the vanguard and keep it, nicely done here. Don't expect Lars Ulrich to be unloading concrete through the speakers or Robert Plant to be driving dogs berserk with microphone-shattering ululations.
Contemporarily, there's a good deal of Eno, Sensation's Fix, Aphex Twin, Coma Virus, Jeff Greinke, Robert Rich, and the prog catalogue of serious sound sculpturists and risk takers over the last few decades. Classical antecedents in Cage, Oliveiros, Partch, Subotnick, and the electronic pioneers and avant-garde movement can be detected as well. In fact, most of the participants here are more electro-Romantic and diode-Impressionistic than is normally the case. Even the moody pop of She Goes Out with Boys, one of only a few cuts that could even vaguely hope for any dimmest type of mainstream recognition, Watch Me Bleed achieving a better chance of that, is buttressed by a throbbingly muted factory hellscape settling into purgatorial neutrality. That said, though, within that fairly tight bandwidth, there's quite a bit of variety here, all of it well enscripted.
~ Mark S. Tucker, FAME

We in the extreme metal scene are sometimes impressed by a drummer hopping on a plane to collaborate with some guys a couple of hours away, so ambient act Vlor are pretty much going to blow our minds – a collective of musicians from the various corners of the Silber roster, this eclectic project relies on the mail to share and build its beautiful outpourings, spanning countries and continents. “Six Winged” is the second Vlor album since their 2006 relaunch, an involving, imaginative, questioning kind of a record with loads of hidden angles to explore.
It’s hard to characterise what we’ve got here, simply because the collaborative working method has clearly thrown up a whole world of ideas – some tracks are slow-burning, film score affairs, whilst others work around shoegazey guitar ideas, some are earnest rock, others are snarly garage recordings. It sounds wrong but it’s weirdly right, founded on the strong, shared interests of the group, whose musical bond makes it all ok.
I’m most fond of the cooler ambient compositions, for example the keening, delicate, sultry, slow-evolving “Without Blame”, or the gorgeous, blunt-edged acoustic work of “Never to be Rebuilt”. “Tolerate the Wicked” has a warming calmness in its echoey drones and simplistic, expanding-ripple notes, whereas “Damage the Land and Sea” is far more melancholy, a creeping bass and a despairing guitar picking their way through drones that sit on the edge of your nerves. These four tracks especially show just how beautiful Vlor can be using the minimum of components. Not languidly, detachedly beautiful like the sparsest ambient music, but evocatively beautiful, reflecting the infinite richness and lovely sadness of human beings rather than machines or icy landscapes.
The tracks that explore other ideas are surprising, for example “Watch Me Bleed”, when it shimmies and roars into life, but it’s like the same characters on a different stage, fitting in well with the diverse, earnest feel of the album as a whole. While this is definitely way out in the left field, a highly individual work, at the same time I could think of a number of people to whom I would have to recommend it as I let it spin around my head.
~ Ellen Simpson, Hierophant Nox

Collaborative second album by Vlor, masterminded by Silber’s boss, Brian John Mitchell, and involving a host of other affiliated musicians from groups such as Aarktica, 6PM, The Wet Teens, Rollerball and more besides. Over the sixteen cuts, everything from sombre and contemporary folk-tainted songs, through Eno-esque whorls, progressive-ambient and slowcore, to the kind of punk-strained garage rock Billy Childish has churned out is explored. Unfortunately, although it’s clear that there are a lot of ideas here that Mitchell & co. are fully adept at handling, it’s this very same diversity that leads to Six-Winged’s undoing. If, perhaps, some of the only too brief, yet abstract, pieces, such as the fantastically titled ‘Statue of Jealousy’, had been allowed to take up more room here instead of the indie sensibility, I’m sure things would’ve been different. Whilst there’s no denying the sincerity behind all of this, the whiff of either trying to prove themselves or please everybody hangs a little too heavily…
~ Richard Johnson, Adverse Effect

I like the kind of concept behind this project set up by Brian John Mitchell (known from the Remora project) where the friendship between the contributors seems as important as the music. For this 2nd full length he got some help from Jessica Bailiff, Annelies Monseré, Paolo Messere ( Blessed Child Opera), Martin Newman (Plumerai), Mae Starr, Jon Derosa (Aarktica), Brian McKenzie, Michael Wood, Magen McAvenney, Jim Dejong and Michael Walton. The realization comes pretty close to akind of cinematographic music style. Most of the tracks are definitely moving into this style, which seems to mix ambient and experimental elements. A few vocal parts have been injected now and than. I like the lazy kind of vocals running through “She Goes Out With Boys”. Another essential piece is the kind of experimental rock piece entitled “ Watch Me Bleed”. The male-female duo in the vocals is well-produced here. In the last part of “Six-Winged” hides my favorite song from this album. “Not The One For Me” reminds me a little bit to the mysterious soundtrack atmosphere of the famous “Twin Peaks”-series. It’s just pity we don’t get more songs in this vein, but the huge input of different artists is probably an explanation for the diversity of the songs. Guitar and bass guitar both take a very important part in the writing of this release, but other instruments such as cello, keyboard and percussion have been quite essential as well. We’re just not used to get several guitarists and vocalists on the same album, which give it a little compilation form. To conclude I would say that Vlor doesn’t always sound like the most accessiblemusic, but true adepts of experimental releases will be pleased here!
~ Side-Line

Four years after A Fire is Meant for Burning, label owner Brain John Mitchel is back with Silber all star band Vlor. Again a dozen of musicians are invited to contribute to the music. Brain has created some bass lines and guitar melodies and send them around to friends who add their ideas to the music. Among those friends are Jessica Bailiff, Brain McKenzie from Electric Bird Noise, and many more. A Comparison with 4AD all star band This Mortal Coil is easily made as they were making music in the same breakable vein as Vlor Does nowadays.
Six-Winged starts with moody and breakable “I Have left Home” an ethereal pop song redolent to the Cocteau Twins. Other tracks are more towards ambient with droning guitars or repetitive bass lines. There are many short songs that sound like musical sketches and ideas that have to be worked out but in the whole concept of this album this works well and creates a wallowing atmosphere of melancholy. The sketches of sober ambient soundscapes and drones go together with melancholic songs. After breakable “She Goes Out With Boys” you get “Tolerate the Wicked” an eight minute droning ambient piece in the vein of Stars of the Lid. Tense is build up slowly in dark threatening “damage the Land & the Sea” with a throbbing bass, scratching strings and a minimalist melodic texture. Nearly felt asleep “Watch Me Bleed” woke me up rudely. This garage rock is breaking the album and will leave you in surprise. The are many style variations including ambient and shoegaze on this album but however its eclectic nature Six-Winged sounds as a whole and even stomping “watch Me Bleed” is not falling out of tune. Lush musical textures are weaving this album together with some surprising tracks such as a cappella “Will See You again” and tender “Not the One for Me”.
Vlor has made a very moody album with beautiful ethereal musical pieces. A very moving post rock album with mesmerizing sounds and touching melodies.
~ Gothtronic

Brian John Mitchell has put together a second full-length album as the amorphous entity Vlor.  Six-Winged, for which Mitchell provides bass & guitar, spans a range of styles; form slow & soft, to really slow & soft.  Vlor's mood is a matter of perspective.  If You're exhausted, it's a sleepy assemblage.  If you've just woken up, it's a blossoming garden of petals.  If you're in full gear, it's a meditative exploration.  The 16 arrangements pass by in quick succession -- most only a minute or two long.  The sole exception, "Tolerate the Wicked," allows ample time for languid dronescapes to break, roll onto shore, & retreat into the sea.  It's too bad "Damage the Land & the Sea," "Young Lions," & "Boundaries of the Land" weren't similarly treated.  "Watch Me Bleed" & "Not the One for Me" offer an awkward, indie rock gesture -- thankfully they're brief.  The full band reprise of "I Have Left Home" at the end of Six-Winged is a more approptiate execution of the rock idiom.  The highpoint is unfortunately named "Maybe You Should Chew on My Fist."  Here Vlor offers shimmering horns, not unlike Eyvind Kang's arrangements on Sunn O)))'s "Alice."  The songs on Six-Winged are singular, content to float in musical purgatory.  Still, they're quite pretty, assuming they don't put you to sleep.
~ Nick DeMarino, Outburn

The DeRosa theme is continued in this next offering from Silber “super group” Vlor, also featuring among others, main man Brian John Mitchell. “Six-winged” (Silber 075) is a strange bird to be sure. Ploughing a similar furrow to the “In Sea Remixes” (Silber records pride themselves on ”drone, love,honesty, sound”), this has a more unsettling vibe to it. “Guided” is a particularly effective fusion of cloying bass and a loop that rises and falls like some ghostly parody of a police siren. The rumbling bass then ascends/descends to another level on one of the few vocal tracks here (and one of only two with a discernable narrative).“She Goes Out With Boys”, shows that the lyrical subject matter is just as left-field and dysfunctional as the music. Mitchell and the ever-reliable Mae Starr from Moodring sound as though they are about to descend into the arms of Morpheus, or something much worse, as they detail the dating and mating habits of an insecure, control-freak woman who can’t have children and targets emotionally weak and vulnerable younger men. The other “conventional” song is the completely bonkers and way-out-of-character “Watch Me Bleed”, a withering relationship putdown, retro post-punk rant featuring Jessica Bailiff on co-vocals. The rest of the album is very much “as you were” - all very singular, experimental, mind-boggling and curiously enjoyable.
~ Ian Fraser, Terrascope

Vlor è il supergruppo di casa Silber. Una sorta di This Mortal Coil degli anni zero. Per registrare “Six Winged” Brian John Mitchell ha raccolto una lista di musicisti straordinari tra i quali Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), Jon DeRosa (Aarktica), Nathan Amundson (Rivulets), Jesse Edwards, Paolo Messere, Jessica Bailiff e Annnelies Monsere. Proprio le voci di queste ultime caratterizzano la parte iniziale del disco, tra nenie sospirate (“i have left home”) e sussurri post-shoegaze (“without blame”, “guided”). Poi il disco prende a seguire percorsi più cupi, in sintonia con quell'ambient-folk crepuscolare che è il marchio di fabbrica della maggior parte delle pubblicazioni della Silber. Risplendono in scaletta le lente trame alla Labradford orchestrate da De Rosa (“tolerate the wicked”) e così come il folk circolare della conclusiva “i have left home (reprise)” con McKenzie a supportare la voce angelica di Annnelies.
~ Roberto Mandolini, Losing Today

Im Unterschied zu einem festen und aufeinander eingeschworenen Bandgefüge gibt es in der Musikwelt immer wieder Konstellationen, die geradezu angelegt sind auf überraschende Wirkungen. Das Remixen zählt natürlich dazu, ebenso spontane Jams eigentlich unbekannter Kollegen, und nicht zuletzt auch die sogenannten All Star-Bands, die meist aus dem Umfeld eines bestimmten Labels oder Freundeskreises stammen, und sich durch den Zusammenfluss unterschiedlichster Qualitäten auf die Probe der Kompatibilität stellen. Das vom Sänger und Gitarristen Brian John Mitchell nach einer albanischen Hafenstadt benannte Projekt VLOR ist so ein Phänomen, bei dessen aktueller CD man in exzessives Namedropping zu verfallen kann, wenn man sich an eine Beschreibung wagt. Dabei existiert der eigentliche Kern als Band schon viel länger, denn Mitchell operierte unter diesem Namen schon in den frühen 90ern, löste das damals eher dreampoppige Duo aber bald auf und belebte die Gruppe mehrfach neu unter immer wieder geänderten stilistischen Vorzeichen und mit jeweils neuem Lineup. Auf dem aktuellen Longplayer versammelt er eine ganze Reihe von renommierten Exponenten des Silber Media-Labels um sich, und stellt ein verrauscht vor sich hindröhnendes und fiependes Shoegazer Pop-Album auf die Beine, das gemessen am Puzzlecharakter der Beiträge sehr stimmig geraten ist und dabei gleichzeitig nicht wie ein Werk aus einem Guss wirkt. Den Reigen eröffnet die flämische Sopranistin und Experimentalmusikern Annelies Monseree, deren doch sehr heißeres Fiepsen mich bei „I Have Left Home“ bedingt überzeugt, vielleicht noch am ehesten wegen des Kontrastes zum monoton schleppenden Gitarrensound, der in seiner Langsamkeit weder bedrohlich noch entspannt wirken will und so in seiner Unbestimmheit Konzentration verlangt. Ich bin vor allemein Fan von Monserees Klavierkompositionen, bei ihrem Gesang finde ich, dass das Gelingen von bestimmten Melodieführungen und dem Hintergrundinstrumentarium abhängt. So überzeugt mich das entrückte A Capella „Will I See You Again“ schon deutlich mehr, ebenso ihr Duett mit Mitchell in „She Goes Out With Boys“. Zu einem im Hintergrund auf- und abebbenden basslastigen Ambientteppich tragen die beiden einen Text vor, dessen alltägliche Tragik durch die fast gemurmelt-beiläufige Vortragsweise eine Wendung ins Surreal-Artifizielle bekommt und so seine eigentliche Größe offenbart. Wenngleich die verhaltene Dröhnung den Löwenanteil des Klangbildes ausmacht, erschöpft sich der Charakter der Platte keineswegs darin. „Watch Me Bleed“ besipielsweise ist ein handfester Garagenrocksong, bei dem die Riot Girl-artigen Vocals von Magen McAvenny Lust machen, alte (aber auch wirklich nur alte) YEAH YEAH YEAHS aus der Mottenkiste zu holen, wenngleich der Refrain dann doch etwas zu sehr nach Unifeten-Beschallung klingt. Das Gros der Songs bleibt einer Midtempo-Gangart treu und dankt seinen Charakter der Keyboard-, Gitarren- und Drumarbeit von Musikern wie Jessica Bailiff oder Jon DeRosa von AARTICA. Immer wieder schaffen es kurze und weniger kurze, wohlklingende und raue Interludien, bei denen auch Streicher zum Zuge kommen, den Hörer zu bannen und laden ein, die zwischen angedeutetem Stonerrock und cinematisch anmutendem Ambient angesiedelten Soundscapes vor dem geistigen Auge zu visualisieren. Alles in allem ein durchaus gelungenes Unterfangen, welches den Beweis erbringt, dass das Gegenteil von “kurzweilig” beileibe nicht “langweilig” heisen muss.
~ Michael Göttert, Black Magazine

Superskupinou bychom mohli nazvat sdružení Vlor, které obsahuje všechny d?ležité persóny Silber records a ?adu dalších muzikant? navíc. I na druhé desce Six-Winged se smíchávají vlivy domovských kapel jednotlivých protagonist? (Remora, Aarktika, Jesicca Bailiff, 6PM, Plumerai, Infant Cycle Electric Bird Noise ad.) jak pomalu se plavící a roztávající kry v jarním ?e?išti. P?edstavte si jamující Low, Joy Division a kteroukoliv pomalejší kapelu vydavatelství Kranky, a máte rámcovou p?edstavu o tom, co m?žete od Vlor na nové desce o?ekávat.
~ Pavel Zelinka, Radio Wave

Dietro il nome Vlor c'è un ambizioso progetto, composto da una dozzina di musicisti provenienti da varie band e da varie parti del mondo, tra cui Brian John Mitchell (Remora/Small Life Form), Jessica Bailiff e Paolo Messere (6PM).
“Six Winged” è il risultato di quest'eterogeneo sodalizio artistico: composto da ben sedici tracce (ma molte di esse sono di brevissima durata, quasi dei bozzetti di idee sonore), l'album propone un dark ambient fortemente etereo ed evocativo, in gran parte strumentale – ma con alcune eccezioni, come ad esempio la tetra nenia “She Goes Out With Boys” - dai toni variegati, a tratti fruibile, ma spesso di ascolto non immediato.
Innegabile la suggestività di alcuni brani, tra cui “Tolerate The Wicked”, tappeto sonoro ambient estremamente cupo che si dipana in ben otto minuti di lugubri echi rumoristici, o “Damage The Land And The Sea”, altro brano interamente strumentale carico di tensione, tutto incentrato sul basso, e sorprese stilistiche, come l'inaspettata “Watch Me Bleed”, che con la sua aggressività quasi punk si discosta profondamente dagli altri brani.
I Vlor sono un progetto interessante, con una vena ambient/ethereal che ricorda un po' i This Mortal Coil o i Cocteau Twins, ma con una maggiore – e forse anche eccessiva - eterogeneità stilistica e con una creatività ancora in fase di sviluppo, che rendono “Six Winged” un lavoro inaspettato e interessante.
~ Alone Music

Lasciati alle spalle i loro trascorsi pop/shoegaze degli anni novanta, i Vlor sono riemersi come supergruppo indie nel 2006 con “A Fire Is Meant For Burning”, primo capitolo di una seconda - e mi auguro più longeva - vita discografica. Brian Mitchell, il boss della Silber, ha lavorato a distanza con un “online collective” di una dozzina di artisti, tra i quali Jessica Bailiff, Mae Starr dei Rollerball e vari membri di Aarktica, Goddak ed Electric Bird Noise: si rischiava il sovraffollamento di idee, invece i sedici brani di “Six-Winged” scivolano senza eccessive sbavature tra lo slowcore amarognolo di “I Have Left Home” e gli scenari dronati di “Guided”, il garage rock rabbioso di “Watch Me Bleed” e le tipiche contaminazioni post+ambient+avant che sono la specialità della Silber. Un esperimento riuscito che smentisce la regola del “less is more”.
~ Raffaele Zappalà, Rockerilla

Vlor Six: il loro Winged sembra un minestrone fatto da mile persone con mille influenze ed infatti è così.
Vlor Six è la versione di Usa for Africa della Silber Records e cioè un megagruppo composto da molti artisti sotto contratto per questa etichetta. Il metodo di composizione utilizzato è quello per corrispondenza: Brian John Mitchell, chitarrista dei Remora (e deus ex machina della Silber Records) ha inviato per posta alcune sue basi ad altri artisti sotto contratto della Siler Records (non manca Jon DeRosa, remember him?) raccogliendone poi in seguito i vari contributi. E’ un disco minestrone con pezzi che spaziano dal Drone al punk, dal pezzo slow core a lontani echi di un brano garage. Sembra il campionario di un agente di commercio specializzato in musica alternativa d’avanguardia. Un’antologia di musica varia, unita dall’unica caratteristica di sembrare composta superficialmente: sembra quasi che sia nata da diversi contributi raccolti per corrispondenza.
Niente di che, a parte “She goes out with boys” pezzo interessante, ma rappresenta il classico Jolly in una mano sfigata.
Di sicuro in mezzo a tutto questo fermento creativo e a questo humus di musica senza alcuna concessione all’easy listening e senza alcuna logica commerciale, qualcosa di estremamente interessante dovrà pur attecchire, mi son detto, guardando le mie occhiaie allo specchio, durante una pausa in bagno dalle lunghe sessioni di ascolto.
~ Black Milk