Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 28, 2006: V/VM

May 28, 2006: V/VM

Its been a pleasant week here in Lake Wobegon... er, I mean the increasingly warm attic offices of Post Consumer Productions, here in Minneapolis. Summer is definitely here and the wood paneling up here is starting to suffocate. I was gushing about it a few weeks ago (the warm weather, that is) and now I find myself looking forward to Fall. Ah well, such is life...

So, the featured artist this week? When I first heard V/VM I had them pigeonholed right away, and I'm not afraid to say that I did not like it. However, one or two of the artist's tracks were on a mix CD which I was listening to a lot, and so I was forced to sit through a couple of songs enough times to start appreciating the madness behind the method. I know - its "method behind the madness," but in this case... Well, I think you'll see what I mean. Stay tuned for this week's podcast of Some Assembly Required (episode 87) to hear over a dozen tracks by sound collage artists from across genres, including one by V/VM.

V/VM started out as a duo in England, in the 1990's. The recording project now has over a dozen albums, and looking it over I'm suddenly reminded of how I was first introduced: Illegal Art sent me a copy of "Sick Love," which just happens to be one of the fine recordings featured on this week's podcast. They have their own label (V/VM Test Records) which was founded in 1996 and has issued over 80 releases! I haven't heard much of those 80, but what I've heard of V/VM I've learned to like - I hold V/VM in high regard for the simple fact that they are a noise band that somehow won me over. There's only a few artists like that in this world.

OK, there's probably a lot more to say, but I'm not going to embarrass these guys any more than I already have. V/VM is definitely that breed of artist who would hate for you to call them "artist." You know the type - some of the most talented people in the world (not to say that...) are also the ones most loathe to tell you anything about what they have to offer. So, without further ado, here's what V/VM had to say, via the SAR Q&A...


*Name: V/Vm

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: People certainly call V/Vm names, not sure I record as anyone else though. My part time work is to collate memories which appear as Caretaker audio.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes, I record as Aphex Twin, Kid606, U2 and rather bizarrely, Divine.

*Members: If you ever made a noise you are part of the group because I am free to use your work thanks to my copyright loophole system of abuse.

*Founding Member: I refer to myself as James Leyland Kirby. I started V/Vm with Animal Macgregor back in 1996. I am still in contact with the Animal who is now living the high life in Madrid where he can be found fishing in the Spanish backwaters. These days, I run it all alone but have the support from many glorious women around the globe, so life is good.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Definitely digital, ever since I saw a friend’s calculator watch back in about 1984, at my junior school, I knew that digital was here to stay and offered a way forward for sure.

*Another genre descriptor: I often refer to the things I do as being "the best of the worst of the worst of the best.” That makes little sense, but for some reason V/Vm output really does divide people into making the choice of either loving what is done or hating it. It's always been like that fortunately. I try to force that opinion rather than being nice and having a lot of fence sitting people. It's great to be loved and great to be hated, to not be noticed is like being a roll of wallpaper.

*Location: Stockport which is about ten minutes away from Manchester in England.

*Original Location: Stockport which is about ten minutes away from Manchester in England.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I don't have one. I failed art at school, miserably, because the teacher was shocking.

*History: The ten year point passed just recently. The label was set up early in 1996. We were working before that date on a few unreleased projects so we probably started back in 1990.

*Born: I am a 1974 boy. Animal was 1973. We were both delivered in Stockport, I think.

*Motivations: Boredom of an insipid scene is an inspiration these days. There are too many yes men about who lick a*** to just try and make some cash. It's nice to be opposed to such people sometimes and can give you some energy. Also, the label exists to break rules and try new things. Years ago, I was really abusing copyright and now everyone does it, so it's not that important to do it. Nowadays, the challenge is in making music free for everyone, rather than putting a price on it, which too many people do. It's important for more people to say "F*** Off to iTunes, MySpace and all these other so called “cool providers of music” and just go it alone and make up their own rules. Times are changing for sure and only the brave will not buckle to these big services and to the lure of the musical dollar. You know things are f***** when you see old warhorses like Throbbing Gristle selling their old tunes on iTunes. I mean, they wouldn't have done it when those tunes were fresh, as they were against this style of system and this also goes against the ideal they sold; so the only reason they are now on there is to make money, so really they are f****** over all the people who bought into their work. It all stinks because you owe it to yourself to be true to your ideals. Let’s rip up the rule books and create a new one. It sure as hell isn't gonna come from one of the majors, so people need to think more about ripping up the blueprint and creating a new one.

*Philosophy: Mainly to try new things and to get the response from people "you can't do that!" when it's already been done and is available. There are too many restrictions out there, but only if you think about them. More people should push audio and themselves more and push themselves out of their comfort zones.

*How would you like to be remembered: As being deadly serious about what I do, despite outer appearance and the fact that the press dress it all up as being some kind of f***** prank. I'm in debt here for my years (of) service and it's no laughing matter. They cannot work it out, so it's a prank you can't make it up.

*Web address:


Thanks to V/VM for participating in this week's SAR Q&A - be sure to download episode 87 of the podcast to hear their track. Its just one of 14 sound collages presented in this week's podcast of Some Assembly Required. Be sure to visit V/VM at their website, but do not visit their myspace page, or ours for that matter...

Check back in next week for a blog feature on DJ BC. Until then, enjoy episode 87, which is being uploaded as we speak. It features a color theme - Part One, of which we heard Part Two a month or so ago (episode 91)...

ALSO - if you're in the Twin Cities - be sure to check out a CD release party we're sponsoring this Friday, June 2nd at the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown. Some Assembly Required is pleased to announce the release of "I Love You Talk Bird" -- the debut CD release by Minneapolis based (sonic lovebird duo) Beatrix*Jar! Their CD Release Party will feature performances by ELECTRONIC ARM and FITZGERALD. The event will be MC'd by LOLLY POP and is sponsored in part by Some Assembly Required. Hope to see you there!

Until then - thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson


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