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VUM at Vacation Vinyl, Friday, October 21st, 2011 Reviewed

Their music was slowly moving, starting with sparse percussion, a windy ambiance and even a helicopter-like noise on the first song that put me right away into some Pink-Floyd-On the-Run ambiance.

There truly was a little bit of psychedelia in VUM’s music, but it was not very obvious, many of the songs they played at Vacation Vinyl on Friday night were weird dark dances, haunted by Jennifer Pearl’s cold, monotonous, PJ Harvey-meets-Ian-Curtis vocals, and driven by the three levels of wobbling keyboards, an organ, a piano, and a synthesizer, all played by Christopher Badger.

The VUM duo was accompanied by two guys on drums and percussion and even a giant gong for the first tune, bringing some exotic ambiance in their overall somber atmospheric songs. Actually, the darkest part of the story was Jennifer’s strong incantation-like echoing vocals, as the beats could even turn warmer and her discreet guitar was sometimes injecting some piercing or sliding vibrating riffs.

Their lugubrious and solemn songs sounded like repetitive and mechanical tasks executed with resilience and determination, as the slow loop-motifs of their songs were repeated over and over, in a circular trance-mode, flirting with a Krautrock sound, building up a wider sound until the whole thing would burst into something more powerful thanks to the accelerating drumming.

The two of them have been in many bands before (Jennifer Pearl was in Lion Fever and Lost Kids and Christopher Badger was in Grand Elegance) and said to have been influenced by Suicide, Moondog, Can.

On Friday, they were releasing a cassette on Living Tapes and announced that a Vinyl was coming up at the beginning of November. I just cannot get over the fact that cassettes are back!!


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