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VOLE – Vole Radio 1 (3-inch EP, Self Released)

Posted: October 18th, 2007, by Pascal Ansell

Vole Radio 1 is a shimmering 3-Inch EP of fun from Brighton improv collection Vole, a grand mix of electronic rattlings, flute pieces and percussive works. Seven untitled tracks which respectively share their own charming peculiarity, the next tune sounding altogether different from the one that precedes it. An interesting start to the EP with cowbell clutters and clunks pervading the sound, and then a fantastic interplay of trumpet with sitar. The ebbing of synthesized chimes in the penultimate track is utterly moving – how often is one newly greeted with a song whose genuine characteristics are nostalgic and haunting? This one surely is, with an undulating and fluttertongued flute line descanting the underpinned chimes – all brilliantly exotic. The final track displays staccatoed burst of crowd noise, weird scraped animal hollers, messy percussion, a choppy, slapped tom-tom… This truly captures the excitement of live improv.

It all seems rather cabbalistic – what with this being a live pirate radio recording, supplemented by a short press release with a secretive, awkward website. Yet it’s refreshing to hear improv music once in a while – not only is form almost entirely thrown out of the picture but you can hear decisions and manipulations in ad libitum real-time. One is inclined to think the only merit of improv music lies in watching it, but Vole Radio 1 is proof that this isn’t always true.

Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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