I’ve been listening to the new album from Various (aka Various Productions) a lot recently on my iPod and on my computer at home. But somehow I feel I’m missing out on an extra dimension of their music, because I remember back to earlier in the year when I first encountered the Various crew. They were DJing at an XL Records party, and I had my innards rearranged by the bass. It was quite something.
But their album The World is Gone is something even better. Various (known to their mothers as Adam Phillips and Ian Carter) have potentially confused unaware record store employees across the land, as well as thrilling the rest of us with their heady mix of thundering dub, swirling beats ‘n’ glitches, twisted strings and gorgeous vocals. It’s kinda like Mezzanine-era Massive Attack, but without the celebrity vocalists, and updated for the 21st century whilst being given a shot of folk melody. The production is amazing for sure, but what elevates this record way above its peers is that at the heart of all the special effects, there are great songs.
Dance-store vinyl heads have been onto these guys for a while. They’ve released a slow but steady stream of 7 inches on their own label (they’re now on XL) – most notably the menacing dub of Hater – complete with their own unique pencil-drawn artwork. They’ve also been described as dubstep, though apparently they’re not part of that (mainly) south London scene. In fact, they transcend dubstep and all other genres, to make something so current and essential that if you had to make a time capsule which contained a representation of music in 2006, I’d skip way past the skinny boys with spiky guitars and head straight to The World is Gone. I reckon that when listening to it in 10 years time, it’ll still sound as fresh as it does today. Unless the skinny boys trade in their guitars for turntables and studio trickery and copy the formula.
Now it’s time for me to put Various on a proper stereo system, turn up the bass and enjoy The World is Gone the way it should be!
Download: Various – Circle of Sorrow
Download: Various – Sweetness
And it’s not just a review and tracks you get today – you get a Various poster giveaway! Yep, I’ve got a few posters featuring their own original artwork to go with the album – that’s what’s in the picture above. I’m not going to bother with a proper competition – just email me at daily dot growl at yahoo dot co dot uk (or click on the link in my profile). This competition favours the swift!