Bvdub
Serenity


2.5
average

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
April 4th, 2012 | 9 replies | 3,096 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It shows when something is rushed.

Bvdub is a machine. With three albums in just three months (and seven in 2011), there really is no other explanation; the man cannot be human. This is irrelevant in the quality of the music, of course, but it does beg the question of how good the music can actually be if it’s produced so quickly, and whether it’s stamped out mechanically or produced in a more organic fashion. In a review of the recent Ulrich Schnauss collaboration, I suggested that the missing element for his music has always been that human touch. Insofar as his very calculated and measured style produced an undeniably beautiful, though nevertheless sterile album. On learning about the sheer quantity of bvdub’s discography, I expected something quite similar. If nothing else there’s a limit on how much inspiration and vision one man can possess in such a short amount of time. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. Serenity is full to the brim with emotion and ambition, only it could use a slightly more restrained touch.

The style of the album walks the line of washed out, reverb heavy ambient. Short, soft rolls of ambient tapestry gently fold over themselves; permeated by equally fazed-out vocal samples that swell and sink with the music beneath them. This coupling is perfected in “Love”, where the vocals drift off just in time to be overwhelmed by the music surrounding them. The treatment of them as a whole flows beautifully, as well as being something very rarely seen in similar musical excursions. Likewise, the loops at the beginning of “Unite” that slowly creep higher and higher are very well executed: it created a sense of anticipation as well as the relaxed giddiness that you’d expect. Cracks start to appear, however, in the joint between the two-part structure bvdub employs. After unanimously good starts, tracks will at some point escalate into something more loud and, some might say, engaging. This comes in many forms: from the simple addition of percussion and bass to string-led arpeggios, but the problem lies in the fact that the tracks are rarely ready for this change. For anyone paying close attention, the transition can be a little too sudden - which becomes a slightly larger issue when you consider that all but one of the tracks break the ten minute mark relatively comfortably. It’s a shame, because the brief loss of immersion tarnishes what is otherwise an incredibly solid and enjoyable release.

Moving past this slightly, bvdub has succeeded in matching the tones he set out for himself. “Energy” is, of course, the most vibrant. Choosing to indulge itself in the extra drums and melody sooner than expected. “Beauty” is more bass driven: taking on the personality of a dance song while remaining slightly too uniform to actually dance to. One can’t help but feel, though, that with just a little more time Serenity could be something more than an exercise on mirroring themes. As is, the album strikes me as unfinished: with ideas left as threads and tracks sometimes clumsily glued together.



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user ratings (7)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's been way too hard for me to review stuff lately. Words are coming so slowly and it all seems so... weak. I don't know, whatever. Wish I could find the energy to review some of the better stuff that's come out recently. Loscil, Desolate etc. even maybe the classics. Will get a list up tomorrow or something.

http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

*collapse*

ThroneOfAgony
April 4th 2012



3485 Comments


I have some of this guy's stuff, but overall I find it bland and boring

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeh he was introduced to me as really good but I'm not really feeling it.

ThroneOfAgony
April 4th 2012



3485 Comments


Yeah, his music just leads nowhere whenever I listen to it. I kind of like that Tribal album though

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

He also charges $2 for each track. So I'd be surprised if anyone except from the guy who leaked the album actually bought it.

He lives in Holland, but w/e. He does need to slow the fuck down, though. Gaining infamy as an ambient artist is hard to do but he's managing it.

ThroneOfAgony
April 5th 2012



3485 Comments


Wow that's ridiculous.

ThroneOfAgony
April 5th 2012



3485 Comments


And good review too

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It is a bit, yeh. I'm trying to tell myself it's simple naivety but I doubt it.

mindleviticus
August 18th 2012



8201 Comments


One Last Look At The Sea and We are the Sun are amazing. I find with Bvdub you just have to be in the right mood



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