Vuneny and Chang Ffos…
Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 @ 11:40am » permalink
"V2" is the sophomore full-length from Bosnian trio Vuneny, a band that I wasn't familiar with beforehand, on the great Slovenian label Moonlee Records. This lengthy affair (14 tracks in about an hour) proves to be an incredibly unique and intriguing set of songs that superbly mesh all sorts of electronics and programming with guitars and sparse vocal manipulations to create a vastly experimental and atmospheric tone that really does defy categorization in my opinion. Despite the heavy use of electronics as a central element, there's something about the pieces that feels much more organic than one might expect, and to my ears this doesn't come across as typically "electronic" at all. I love the ethereal qualities often achieved by the textures and the melodic attributes, especially when the tracks start to lean towards a really hypnotic sensibility that sort of takes hold. Despite the bulkiness of the total running time the album actually passes by quite fluidly, and that's always a plus. Some of the compositions are remixes or re-workings of tracks that were originally performed live or written for films (the final four tracks on the disc were originally intended to be the soundtrack for a yet-to-be-completed film), which further indicates the artistic rationale of the group. "V2" also boasts an excellent recording and odd yet appropriate design work, so… another curious release from the always interesting Moonlee roster. Very cool, I'm really diggin' this…
Vuneny "Lullaby (St. Etienne Version)"
Vuneny "Ideal Panic Density"
If you really want to, you can buy this album on iTunes thanks to Moonlee's increasing distribution, but in the interest of keeping the tangible format of the album alive, I have to encourage you to purchase a hard copy of the disc if you enjoy the tracks. Either way, please support the efforts of the band and the label:
Also new from Moonlee Records is the latest from Croatian outfit Chang Ffos. Even though these guys have been around for over a decade, I wasn't yet familiar with their work because "Trust This Arcane Device" is actually their first full-length. The label describes the band's material as "Neurosis' heaviness, Converge's energy, Today is the Day's craziness, and the atmosphere provided by Kyuss", which does give you somewhat of a hint as to where they're coming from, though I'd leave Converge and Today is the Day out of it myself. Vocally and in terms of the density they're shooting for with the natural warmth of the recording I can definitely pick out a Neurosis influence; and I could see the pulsing, fuzzy grit of the textures and the subtly rocked out vibe of some of the riffs tied to a Kyuss sort of sound; but they're tossing around so many influences that it's not that simple – which is of course a good thing. It's not that rocked out, for example, and the moody heaviness isn't particularly over the top – it's the kind of "heavy" that's both sonic and suggested, as far as the overall aesthetic of the album's concerned. There's a good dose of relatively straightforward rhythmic pounding and repetition, with ample shifts within the compositions that do at times roam into slightly more discordant or chaotic territories, but the end result feels quite unified. Much of the explosive energy comes from the drumming, which I have to mention is absolutely badass – the dude just thunders away and cuts loose into wicked fills and grooves all over the place, so you can tell he plays based solely on the feel of the surrounding elements. I dig that cover art as well: I can barely read that fuckin' text and it still looks totally rad!
Chang Ffos "Iron Icon"
Chang Ffos "The Throne of Sasquatch Ascending"
As stated above, you can go the iTunes route if you're into that sort of thing, but for my money the good ol' fashioned CD itself is always the way to go. Pick one up if the music suits you:
I've got a few more from Moonlee Records that'll be popping up here in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. It's always so cool for me to get the chance to check out bands and labels from "obscure" countries that a lot of us don't get exposed to very often, so I hope some of you appreciate it!