Volor Flex
Unlit


3.5
great

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
February 26th, 2013 | 30 replies


Release Date: 02/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Volor Flex begins to transition from Burial worship to a sister-scene.

If the name Burial were to be dropped at the very beginning of a review, you’d know what to expect from the album: female samples covered in those comforting clicks and clacks to the dull gloom of bass. For Volor Flex’s first two LPs this would be apt, considering his self description as a Burial tribute-come-worshiper act. Many found these two releases to fall too close to the tree: dissatisfied with the sheer degree of imitation regardless of Volor Flex’s growing sense of self within this framework. Unlit arrives fresh after a small, not very well received EP on Apollo in which Volor Flex attempted to branch out with less than mixed success. This new LP sees him reign back his style to the sort he’s comfortable creating, with a keen eye on developing the staple sound rather than replicating it. Any Burial comparisons, especially at the beginning of a review, would therefore be unfair. I’m sorry I mentioned it.

First impressions can be deceiving, however, as under the watchful eye of Liar and Jesse Somfay (Borealis), Volor Flex seems to be moving from one scene to another instead of displaying much of himself. More specifically, he’s moving from the dark, depressive indulgence of London to the colourful depressive indulgence of Eastern Europe. Both styles hark back to shared origins, so a coupling of the two births a remarkably coherent tone, albeit with extra unnecessary additions in places as is often the case with inbreeding. As a result, the album becomes more about the interaction between the two and when they show themselves rather than any individual style brought by the producer.

Unlit introduces itself in a much more playful and creative fashion than its predecessors. Springing basslines and off-beat samples make “Venus” progress more dexterously than previous work would lead us to expect, though it clings to London dubstep’s arm tightly for these first few steps. The same could be said for the title track, although it chooses to echo the muffled-dance vibe instead. Mainland influences are difficult to catch until the second half, with “Better Believe” and “Golgotha” fully embracing them to form the two highlights of the album. The former sports heavily layered, polyrhythmic samples opposed with the typical bass gloom to push for a powerfully bittersweet mood. The end result catches the strain of serene desperation typical of the scene perfectly, as well as being morosely catchy. “Golgotha,” on the other hand, attempts to suffocate a dreamy, swirling melody with fluctuating bass and percussion. It will slowly move in and out of frame, at times submerged and other times clear in a tidal fashion, and ends up being quite beautiful in a twisted, Eastern European way.

Elsewhere Unlit struggles to bring much in the way of anything new to the table. As solid as the album is overall, a couple of tracks -especially in the midsection- can feel a little lifeless and unexciting. There remains plenty to explore with tracks like “Wasted Years” and “Tales From the North,” but the small hindrances prevent Unlit becoming his own Untrue. While Volor Flex certainly seems to have a strong grasp at how to imitate both sides of the dark garage sound, the album shows how it works best when he combines them into a beautiful, webbed-footed whole. Any attempts to do so without the foreplay would be more than appreciated.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

The curse of Eastern-European artwork strikes again!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2013


10269 Comments


Well hay cutie

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hai

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2013


10269 Comments


i gawna point out just a few things, honey. very nice review, for starters - good kick-off into Contributordom. =]

"If the name Burial were to be dropped at the very beginning of a review, you’d know what to expect from the album"

I can't help but think, "oh, but Burial IS name-dropped here." While I know you weren't referring to this review, it does feel implied, so maybe you could change it to something more concrete, like, "By name-dropping Burial at the beginning of this review, I've given you a pretty good idea of what to expect here." This is just a stylistic thing, and it certainly isn't something you need to change. You're just at the point where I can only recommend things like this, and you can do with it what you will.

"Many found these two releases to fall too close to the tree: dissatisfied with the sheer degree of imitation regardless of Volor Flex’s growing sense of self within this framework"

The colon here makes this really choppy. Consider adjusting the sentence for brevity's sake.

"a coupling of the two births a remarkably coherent tone, albeit with extra unnecessary additions in places as is often the case with inbreeding."

This also reads a little wonky, ma' boy

Overall, very nice though, man. You've always had a firm grasp on writing, and it's nice to see a tangible title honoring that.




StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't help but think, "oh, but Burial IS name-dropped here." While I know you weren't referring to this review, it does feel implied, so maybe you could change it to something more concrete, like, "By name-dropping Burial at the beginning of this review, I've given you a pretty good idea of what to expect here." This is just a stylistic thing, and it certainly isn't something you need to change. You're just at the point where I can only recommend things like this, and you can do with it what you will.


The intention was to inspire the kind of meta realisation of "wait, didn't he just..." before coming back to it at the end of the paragraph to dance around it a bit more. Didn't seem to have worked but oh well :/

Will take the edit hammer to bash out the kinks in a bit, thanks bro.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2013


10269 Comments


I actually missed how the end of the paragraph sums it up. That makes a lot more sense.

bloc
February 26th 2013


34915 Comments


Looking forward to listening to this

wanderlust
February 26th 2013


305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I liked their past albums, so i hope this is as good as those.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I prefer this to the older stuff, so you should like it.

Casablanca
March 4th 2013


262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is actually really good. the burial comparison is very easy to throw, but the guy does enough things to keep himself separated from the burial-clone factory.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the main reason it's so easy is because he uses it himself. I still feel as if Volor's still got his best in front of him.

Casablanca
March 5th 2013


262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh yea, the first couple of tracks definitely, but by reborn you can tell the guy's trying something different. though the last track is definitely a call-back to ashtray wasp

Casablanca
March 6th 2013


262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the more i'm bumping this, the more i'm liking it as it's own thing. venus is so damn sexy

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I kind of dropped it after writing this review since great releases are literally pouring in - might give it a couple more listens now...

treeqt.
March 8th 2013


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first track is swag

treeqt.
March 8th 2013


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

third track is swag

treeqt.
March 10th 2013


9704 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

how does this get barely any attention?

Casablanca
March 11th 2013


262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have no clue. this has grown on me soooo much. woo bi made me jizz! this album really needs to be
showcased more.

mindleviticus
March 11th 2013


8292 Comments


my story was pretty good, will check this out soon

mindleviticus
March 25th 2013


8292 Comments


this is seriously really good, I might like it more than My Story



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