Thursday, April 15, 2021
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VV.AA.: First

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: First
Format: CD
Label: Operative Records (@)
An excellent debut for this London-based label, run by people behind Knifeladder and Shining Vril. The cd is quite varied, but with a constant high quality throughout and a kind of underlying cohesion – which is rare in a compilation. Antichild League (featuring Gaya Donadio of London's premiere industrial venue Hinoeuma) and Antivalium respectively open and close the cd with their abrasive power electronics/industrial. Along with Muffpunch (ear-crushing harsh electronics) they're the noisiest projects here. Leisurehive offer an ok dark-wave track, while Naevus are a noir-folk duo in the vein of Death In June and Sawns; nothing new from both bands, but they're good at what they're doing. Knifeladder impressed me with a menacing mix of tribal drumming, free-jazz sax and bleak vocals/noises disturbances. John Murphy (SPK, Death In June etc.) at drums is a warranty of good quality. Knives present an interesting improvised instrumental, leading to the core of the cd, which is more or less isolationist ambient with remarkable soundscapes by Ruse, Shining Vril (Murphy's solo project) and Andrew Liles. Emblem's "Azazel", instead, is recited lyrics over a tranquil electronic background leading to an orchestral crescendo, which reminded me of some Current 93 or Coil moments. All in all, a very pleasant selection – I'm now curious of listening to some full-length releases by these acts...

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