Tuesday, December 18, 2012

VS' "Somewhere.Overthere" - Debut Album

Vibration Sequence

We met Tom Moore and Cole Hopfenspirger  when they were EVS (Eternal Vibration Sequence), spending an evening at their studio in Wazee Union and marveling at their impressive array of instruments, recording equipment and inspiration.  We listened to  the Drink More Tea EP on repeat on SoundCloud for an entire week after first meeting these talented musicians…hooked.    When the fellas announced a new name and a new album we knew it was something to anticipate. The duo have dropped the "E" from their name, switching to the more sleek VS.  Their sound has similarly been streamlined on their debut album Somewhere.Overthere. All of the elements we loved on the EP are still there, but the sound is  tighter and notably more mature.  The album is a diverse offering, which the Westword's Tom Murphy called "fascinatingly eclectic". From the ephemeral to the primal and tribal to the downright funky glitched out dance party, VS has just the vibration sequence you need. 

The last time we saw VS live,  a conversation with another local musician brought to light a key part of the group's appeal.  As we remarked "There's something special about their music, it's like when you're listening….", John jumped in to finish the sentence: "you're remembering something!" There are strong elements of ancient rhythms in VS' tunes.   The opening track of the album, "Dreama", is an excellent display of these elements.  This jungle soundscape is lush with dreamy synths and whirs and trills. It reminds us of the Deep Forest ambient collections that our hippie parents played around the house….and of something much much deeper.  This kind of song "reminds" us of our true essence and of our connection to nature.

"Somewhere.Overthere", the title track of the album, is the most reminiscent of what we've heard from VS in the past, a solid fusion of EDM and jam rock styles with an impressive range.  Many elements from the  Drink More Tea EP are present, but this track sounds deeper, more layered.  We could groove all night on that cosmic boogie feel that VS  does so well.  The guitar on the track is a simple but profound balance to the synth elements, providing a digital experience that doesn't lose touch with the simplicity of live instruments.  

"Saxual Healing" is a dose of funkiness like  we've heard before from the boys, again with tighter production. These days most  electronic groups with a sax draw some  comparison to Big Gigantic.  We'll just say this…this is how Dom used to sound in sweaty little clubs before Big G veered towards spectacle over soul. The sound is smooth and jazzy, with  passionate blowing and a funky underlying groove. We love that elastic moon boot bounce sound.

For that funky glitch dance party, turn to tracks like  "To The Unknown" and "Come Over (Party Yeah)". These'll 
get you tribal stepping. On the former, VS announces "We'd like to capture your minds right now, take ya a little bit higher....". VS has a capacity to elevate the dance party and bring you to a higher vibration.  They certainly capture minds with tracks like "COMPLX", which sounds almost like a hymn. VS succeeds in creating a spiritual sonic space infused with psychedelic rock. The bubbles are a tad distracting and could stand to be scaled back, but the overall feel is uplifting and dynamic.  The album closes with a bang with "TSTFTM".  With its whooping vocals and haunting, captivating melodies, this track is begging for a slot on your powder day or chill-out playlists.

VS held their album release party this weekend at Larimer Lounge, playing the new album in its entirety as an introduction for listeners.  In anticipation of the release Tom Moore remarked that 
"We're as ready as we're gonna be.  That's the thing about art, you know, there's always something more you want to do".  We cannot wait to see what more is in store from VS as they grow.   If you missed the album release, don't fret,  you can catch them live again this month!  VS will be part of the Tipper and Random Rab dual venue show this December 30th at Cervantes.  

Listen to and Download the Album on SoundCloud

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