Thursday, 2 February 2012

Review: Bvdub - I Remember

Bvdub - I Remember
Bvdub is prolific. That's the first thing you can say about this guy. He released something like 10 albums in 2011, which is absolutely ridiculous, and this is the only one of them available on Spotify. That's probably just as well, because Bvdub perfectly exemplifies my oft-stated theory that pleasant droney laptop ambient is seriously easy music to make. I haven't heard his other albums, but this one doesn't sound too different to last year's The Art Of Dying Alone, the only other Bvdub album I've heard. In fact, with one notable exception, it sounds almost identical. Now, he's obviously had a vast splurge of other music out this year so it's impossible for me to definitively state things about his overall sound and technique, but everything I've read online says these other albums are all pretty similar too.

I Remember is a lot of ultra-long, ultra-repetitive, loopy and droney pleasant laptop ambient. Sound familiar? Bvdub's one speciality seems to be in notably angelic, ethereal, transcendental sounds - he loves densely layered choral samples and other angelic light sounds, even though the overall mood of both the albums I've heard are extremely sombre. The Art Of Dying Alone was, obviously, an album about death, which explained the eerie transcendental sound and melancholic mood. I Remember isn't obviously themed around anything, but the musical content is pretty much the same, and the track titles are all pretty downbeat. Most of his albums appear to be pretty miserable, looking at Discogs. Brock Van Wey is clearly a bit of an emotional bastard, it seems. Cheer up man! Then maybe you'll stop remaking the same bloody record.

The one track that stands out from all this achingly beautiful but overall very samey sadness is We Promised, simply because halfway through you start to notice a distant techno throb behind all the choral tears-of-angels shit. Bvdub does also do a lot of dub techno (hence his name) and this track is the one thing I've heard from him so far that fuses his ambient and techno sounds together in this way. He's probably done this loads of times on other albums, because the idea appears here almost at random - halfway through the second track and never again on the album. Still, it impressed me because it's such an obvious fusion and yet it still works really well.

So yeah... yet another pleasant ambient album that probably isn't getting into the end of year list. Last year I put The Art Of Dying Alone in, because I was still fairly new to the world of blogbient, but you can't repeat the same trick and just throw a dub techno beat in at one point and expect me not to get a bit weary of the formula. The best stuff this guy has made is still his collaborative EP with ASC from this year, which was absolutely awesome.

Genre: Ambient
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 7/10


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. so you say his formula should be more beat related? It makes sense to me (and it may not to some people) that there's two very distinctive sides, the people that listen to a track and can hook easily with it (music can sit in the background) and the ones who need more throbbing bass, beats and sharp sounds included in order for it to carry their attention span throughout a track. his methods are changing on both sides of this producing spectrum more rapidly than you and maybe some others may think. His newest work (under the name "earth house hold" I'll take a guess and say you'd probably enjoy that side of his style most (if ambient is a type of music you're hearing often on top of that)

    I'll admit that some of his tracks (mostly his 2011 work) can drag out longer than I'd like to stick with... but that's his personal judgement of the timing it should build up a climax to, not mine. regardless though, I really enjoy his work very much as do many others. he did release about 7 (not 10 if you wanna include the single tracks he did for various compilations) cds in 2011 most of which contain at around four, sometimes five tracks on each of them. I can't say he's making music too fast because I get done with an album fairly quicker than i want to be (most of the time :p) the reason for the response, my advice is just try to be a bit more detailed without jumping to conclusions of how Brock is limited as an artist. that's all