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VVV – Vertigo & Flames review

A relative newcomer from Austin, Texas, VVV has been a name to drop over the last few months, and someone we’ve been following closely all summer (see our “One’s To Watch” interview here). His Projects EP on Fortified Audio was a stormer, and the anticipation for this latest release on Tube10 has been palpable in the Juno Plus office.

Lead tune “Vertigo And Flames” is a deep, future garage anthem in the making – a mix of razorblade snares and hats, blissful atmospheric sweeps that get sharply delayed, sub-aquatic vocals time-stretched into weirdsville and bumping booty bass that won’t give an audience even the faintest hope of standing still. Very much in the ghostly-garage mould of Burial, Falty DL and Joy Orbison, this is really soul-affecting stuff – as heart-tugging as it is danceable – and it well and truly lives up to the hype.

“Slacktide” is also included on the release and yet again it’s a startling 2-stepper, on a more fierce and moody tip than its predecessor. Punchy kicks bolster the tune while thin 808-hats buzz in the background, as the dubby and highly menacing chords crash in and out of the tune, giving it another haunting and brilliantly subtle melody. It still bears all the hallmarks of modern funky though, with fidgety percussion laced and diced over every bar perfectly, giving it a Roska flavour but with much more of a sour times vibe. A really special release, with two fresh tunes that will get a lot of reach very quickly. If you’re not on board with VVV, now is definitely the time to start.

Oliver Keens