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CD 2009 | Silber 075
16 tracks, 50 minutes
$12 ($18 international)
~ 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
Vlor has been around since
1992 in various forms, Six-Winged is their second full length. A
band of musicians, dubbed the Silber all-stars, Vlor goes through
sonic territories like ambient, drone, slowcore to garage rock with
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.
has an ethereal quality, and its minimalism and experimentation meet to
create a hybrid between post-rock and symphonics to create something
The experiment is successful in its attempt to meld ambience, shoegaze,
and soft electronics, but the record never really picks up. The work
is promising, but one might feel better inclined to pick up something
self-involved. Keep an eye out for them though, there are some great
on this record.
~ Nick Gergesha, Hearwax
up on the previous Vlor album,
A Fire Is Meant for Burning, Six-Winged acts as a similar flag of
for Silber labelhead Brian John Mitchell to get a wide variety of
travelers to jointly participate in a group effort, halfway between
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
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
to flow together quite well, even as each may take distinctly different
roads all together. Thus, the Seefeel-like, fall-and-rise loops of
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
sings, backed by Rollerball/Moodring vocalist Mae Starr. Meanwhile,
could be more significantly different than the near-ambient, lengthy
of "Tolerate the Wicked," one of two tracks Aarktica's Jon DeRosa
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
It's a wide variety of sound that still works on one album, and very
at that -- especially when showing a sense of humor by calling one of
loveliest instrumental tracks "Maybe You Should Chew on My Fist."
~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
and shoegaze music is tricky
to review. How can you really do justice to a genre that by its very
isn't meant to even distract you from day to day life? Throw
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
release of "post rock, slow core
and indie ambient" is quite good indeed. The band is made up of a
cornucopia of established musicians from such groups as: Remora,
6PM, Goddakk, Rollerball, Infant Cycle and Electric Bird Noise among
Sixteen tracks of pure bliss on Silber Records.
~ David Carter, Pins & Cathedral Bells
this features a buncha people
from the silber roster including michael wood & brain mckenzie
the fabulously titled something about vampires and sluts, yr man from
jessica bailiff (who i love in an almost creepy sexual way), annelies
and the fella in charge of silber. among others. and this is why you
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
tracks to chow down on here. if i was to say schizophrenic
be heading in the right direction. and yet somehow manages to sound
a proper bloody album and not just a pissaround compilation where a
folks bash out a buncha stuff they like playing but couldn’t squeeze
their own records. it manages to be aggressive, odd, soothing, brittle,
massive, barely there, stupid, clever, loud, quiet and every goddam
inbetween. not meant in the pejorative when i say this is all over the
place. yet cohesive. cross-pollination and collaborative mind-melds.
what the fuck am i dichotomously babbling about? christ even i don’t
it’s not often you get to write about a record that at various points
earth, sons & daughters, swans, guided by voices, la monte
cocteau twins. what you do need to know is that this is a wild and
listen. it’ll drag you up down left right and stroke yr inner thigh
while occasionally biting yr extremities and whispering exotic erotica
into yr inner ear. oof.
~ cows are just food
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
team captain Brian John Mitchell, the tracks were all completed by
people from all over the world. Comparisons with This Mortal Coil are
Indeed, there are plenty of musical similarities – short neo-classical
instrumental sections, low key ambient pop and ethereal vocal tracks
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
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
members of Aarktica, 6PM, Rollerball, Plumerai, Electric Bird Boise,
and more. Unsurprisingly, the dominating musical vision is Mitchell’s
man behind post-apocalyptic lo-fi folk project Remora). The album
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
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
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
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,
Bailiff, Annelies Monsere, Martin Newman of Plumerai, Paolo Messere
many others). The music is, for the most part, relaxing, reverby
(although 16 features an amazing bit of beauty produced by a dulcimer
lute). 8 is the oddball, in a great way, in that it’s the only
rock song in a sea of calm shoegaze. Just the thing when you have
ambient, float-y guitar,
electronics, effects and pretty sounding voices predominately by Brian
John Mitchell. Mitchell gets help from fellow Silber Records band
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
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.
to review and/or cover bands
and artists whose music doesn't easily fit within specific categories
simultaneously time consuming, frustrating, and thought provoking.
all, it's a lot easier to simply toss out a few positive sentences
the latest rock group whose songs all pretty much sound the same.
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
John Mitchell who recorded guitar and bass tracks and then sent them to
various artists/musicians across the country and around the world to
upon and/or flesh out (or more accurately, as the press release states
"a collection of Silber all-stars working together). The artists
with Mitchell include Jon DeRosa, Jessica Bailiff, Paolo Messere,
Monsere, Martin Newman, Mae Starr, Jim DeJong, Michael Walton, Brian
Michael Wood, and Megen McAvenney. Not surprisingly, this album goes
over the map...and very often totally off the map altogether. When
isn't the motivation...it's amazing what can happen in music. A
blur of styles and approaches...almost completely unpredictable. TOP
are many things, all of them unique:
they create an avant-garde, ambient sound with keen accessibility,
of genre expectations; over seventeen years, they’ve been reborn in a
of skins; the band’s current cross-nation, cross-continent
on Six-Winged is rare for its ambitions and success. The sixteen
waxing from drone to basement rock band, from cinematic expanse to
aggression, is warm enough to warrant repeat listens, plunging its
deep, evocative mix for new sounds. One would never know that its
spanned over six states and five continents, collecting more than a
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
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
second collaboration between Silber
chief, Brian John Mitchell and a collection of Silber artists and
continues in the same vein as 2006’s “A Fire Is Meant For Burning”.
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
Home” – like a more meditative Cocteau Twins. Across these 16 tracks,
and friends explore all aspects of the sonic guitarscape spectrum, from
the hypnotic wall of drone, “Guided” (with Paolo Messere) and the
heartbeat of the looping, Durutti Columnish “Never To Be Rebuilt” (also
with Messere) to the minimalist, glacial flow collaborations with Jon
(“Tolerate The Wicked” and “Not The One For Me”), which pass into the
snorecore realms of Stars of The Lid, Windy & Carl, Eno, Azusa
and DeRosa’s own work as Aarktica, although the latter sounds like it
been an outtake from DeRosa’s later efforts as Pale Horse &
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
in Vital Weekly 530 we discussed
Vlor's 'A Fire Is Meant For Burning'. It was the relaunch of Vlor as
for 'music by post'. Guitarist Brian John Mitchell sends out his
for other to complete. An even bigger line-up this time around,
Jon DeRosa (of Aarktica), Mike vanPortfleet of Lycia, Nathan Amundsun
Jessica Bailiff, Paolo Messere (6 P.M.), Annelies Monsere, Martin
(Plumerai and Goddakk), Mae Starr (Rollerball, Moodring), Jim DeJong
Infant Cycle), Micheal Walton (Mvvm), Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird
Something About Vampire And Sluts), Micheal Wood (also of Something
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,
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
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
for the next Vlor release. Still, altogether this is a pretty nice
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Records, run by Brian John Mitchell,
who's also a musician, is devoted to the progressive side of modern
and the 'rock' tag has a tendency to wear itself out long before
at Silber's doorstep. This collaborative effort—the Vlor "group",
by Mitchell and serially composed by a quite populated informal
of musicians in six states and five countries—occupies myriad modes:
alt rock, ambient, emo, etc. As such, it's kind of an introduction to
label itself, one release of which, Aarktica, a participant in
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
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
our minds – a collective of musicians from the various corners of the
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,
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
second album by Vlor,
masterminded by Silber’s boss, Brian John Mitchell, and involving a
of other affiliated musicians from groups such as Aarktica, 6PM, The
Teens, Rollerball and more besides. Over the sixteen cuts, everything
sombre and contemporary folk-tainted songs, through Eno-esque whorls,
and slowcore, to the kind of punk-strained garage rock Billy Childish
churned out is explored. Unfortunately, although it’s clear that there
are a lot of ideas here that Mitchell & co. are fully adept at
it’s this very same diversity that leads to Six-Winged’s undoing. If,
some of the only too brief, yet abstract, pieces, such as the
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
Whilst there’s no denying the sincerity behind all of this, the whiff
either trying to prove themselves or please everybody hangs a little
~ Richard Johnson, Adverse Effect
like the kind of concept behind this
project set up by Brian John Mitchell (known from the Remora project)
the friendship between the contributors seems as important as the
For this 2nd full length he got some help from Jessica Bailiff,
Monseré, Paolo Messere ( Blessed Child Opera), Martin Newman
Mae Starr, Jon Derosa (Aarktica), Brian McKenzie, Michael Wood, Magen
Jim Dejong and Michael Walton. The realization comes pretty close to
of cinematographic music style. Most of the tracks are definitely
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
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
“Six-Winged” hides my favorite song from this album. “Not The One For
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
vein, but the huge input of different artists is probably an
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
as cello, keyboard and percussion have been quite essential as well.
just not used to get several guitarists and vocalists on the same
which give it a little compilation form. To conclude I would say that
doesn’t always sound like the most accessiblemusic, but true adepts of
experimental releases will be pleased here!
years after A Fire is Meant for
Burning, label owner Brain John Mitchel is back with Silber all star
Vlor. Again a dozen of musicians are invited to contribute to the
Brain has created some bass lines and guitar melodies and send them
to friends who add their ideas to the music. Among those friends are
Bailiff, Brain McKenzie from Electric Bird Noise, and many more. A
with 4AD all star band This Mortal Coil is easily made as they were
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.
John Mitchell has put together
a second full-length album as the amorphous entity Vlor.
for which Mitchell provides bass & guitar, spans a range of
form slow & soft, to really slow & soft.
Vlor's mood is a
matter of perspective. If You're exhausted, it's a sleepy
If you've just woken up, it's a blossoming garden of petals.
in full gear, it's a meditative exploration. The 16
pass by in quick succession -- most only a minute or two
sole exception, "Tolerate the Wicked," allows ample time for languid
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" &
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
Six-Winged is a more approptiate execution of the rock idiom.
highpoint is unfortunately named "Maybe You Should Chew on My
Here Vlor offers shimmering horns, not unlike Eyvind Kang's
on Sunn O)))'s "Alice." The songs on Six-Winged are singular,
to float in musical purgatory. Still, they're quite pretty,
they don't put you to sleep.
~ Nick DeMarino, Outburn
DeRosa theme is continued in this
next offering from Silber “super group” Vlor, also featuring among
main man Brian John Mitchell. “Six-winged” (Silber 075) is a strange
to be sure. Ploughing a similar furrow to the “In Sea Remixes” (Silber
records pride themselves on ”drone, love,honesty, sound”), this has a
unsettling vibe to it. “Guided” is a particularly effective fusion of
bass and a loop that rises and falls like some ghostly parody of a
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
Goes Out With Boys”, shows that the lyrical subject matter is just as
and dysfunctional as the music. Mitchell and the ever-reliable Mae
from Moodring sound as though they are about to descend into the arms
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
song is the completely bonkers and way-out-of-character “Watch Me
a withering relationship putdown, retro post-punk rant featuring
Bailiff on co-vocals. The rest of the album is very much “as you were”
- all very singular, experimental, mind-boggling and curiously
~ Ian Fraser, Terrascope
assaporare del tutto il gusto onirico
dei Vlor bisogna necessariamente spegnere la luce. I gesti sono
e genuini, ci si lascia depositare sul pavimento nudo e si ascolta
le note di "Six-Winged". I suoni sono volutamente lenti e drastici, non
c'è il sole in questi elaborati. Nessun raggio solare pervade queste
canzoni. Sono devastanti e spettrali, il loop della chitarra ti
la mente. I neuroni vanno per conto loro come acqua piovana. Il sound è
acerbo al punto giusto, tutto è alquanto ostico. Dentro questa musica
non c'è possibilità di salvezza, le anime si assiepano per
ricevere ristoro. La sete è tanta e Vlor cerca di dare un significato
perenne a questa perdurante agonia. Occhio per occhio, questa è
la filosofia sonica di questi musicisti che cercano di trovare "il
della vita tramite l'arte del loro oscuro lavoro.
~ Claudio Baroni, Musica
è il supergruppo di casa
Silber. Una sorta di This Mortal Coil degli anni zero. Per registrare
Winged” Brian John Mitchell ha raccolto una lista di musicisti
tra i quali Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), Jon DeRosa
Nathan Amundson (Rivulets), Jesse Edwards, Paolo Messere, Jessica
e Annnelies Monsere. Proprio le voci di queste ultime caratterizzano la
parte iniziale del disco, tra nenie sospirate (“i have left home”) e
post-shoegaze (“without blame”, “guided”). Poi il disco prende a
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
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
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
All Star-Bands, die meist aus dem Umfeld eines bestimmten Labels oder
stammen, und sich durch den Zusammenfluss unterschiedlichster
auf die Probe der Kompatibilität stellen. Das vom Sänger und
Gitarristen Brian John Mitchell nach einer albanischen Hafenstadt
Projekt VLOR ist so ein Phänomen, bei dessen aktueller CD man in
Namedropping zu verfallen kann, wenn man sich an eine Beschreibung
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
neu unter immer wieder geänderten stilistischen Vorzeichen und mit
jeweils neuem Lineup. Auf dem aktuellen Longplayer versammelt er eine
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
der in seiner Langsamkeit weder bedrohlich noch entspannt wirken will
so in seiner Unbestimmheit Konzentration verlangt. Ich bin vor allemein
Fan von Monserees Klavierkompositionen, bei ihrem Gesang finde ich,
das Gelingen von bestimmten Melodieführungen und dem
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
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
bei dem die Riot Girl-artigen Vocals von Magen McAvenny Lust machen,
(aber auch wirklich nur alte) YEAH YEAH YEAHS aus der Mottenkiste zu
wenngleich der Refrain dann doch etwas zu sehr nach
klingt. Das Gros der Songs bleibt einer Midtempo-Gangart treu und dankt
seinen Charakter der Keyboard-, Gitarren- und Drumarbeit von Musikern
Jessica Bailiff oder Jon DeRosa von AARTICA. Immer wieder schaffen es
und weniger kurze, wohlklingende und raue Interludien, bei denen auch
zum Zuge kommen, den Hörer zu bannen und laden ein, die zwischen
Stonerrock und cinematisch anmutendem Ambient angesiedelten Soundscapes
vor dem geistigen Auge zu visualisieren. Alles in allem ein durchaus
Unterfangen, welches den Beweis erbringt, dass das Gegenteil von
beileibe nicht “langweilig” heisen muss.
~ Michael Göttert, Black Magazine
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
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
il nome Vlor c'è un ambizioso
progetto, composto da una dozzina di musicisti provenienti da varie
e da varie parti del mondo, tra cui Brian John Mitchell (Remora/Small
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
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
e vari membri di Aarktica, Goddak ed Electric Bird Noise: si rischiava
il sovraffollamento di idee, invece i sedici brani di “Six-Winged”
senza eccessive sbavature tra lo slowcore amarognolo di “I Have Left
e gli scenari dronati di “Guided”, il garage rock rabbioso di “Watch Me
Bleed” e le tipiche contaminazioni post+ambient+avant che sono la
della Silber. Un esperimento riuscito che smentisce la regola del “less
~ Raffaele Zappalà, Rockerilla
Six: il loro Winged sembra un
minestrone fatto da mile persone con mille influenze ed infatti è
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