Reviewed By: Matt Sever
Forthcoming on Delsin Records – VC-118A presents a double LP – Inside. This will be released as a Ltd double LP, a standard double LP and digital.
The prolific Delsin Records notches up yet another fantastic release from another quality artist. The Amsterdam based label was started in 1996 by Peel Seamus aka Marsel Van Der Wielen. A quick dig, which I always do when writing a review, as I like to know as much as I can about the artist and label as possible, does not bring up much at all about Peel Seamus.
I like that. In these days of logos, massive egos, and knowing what your favourite producer has had for breakfast, this guy has just been getting on with it. Actions speak louder than words, and Peel Seamus has certainly proven that, by consistently releasing amazing music by incredible artists. Drexciya, Claro Intelecto, Norken, Shed, Mike Denhert, 2000 and One to name a few. Delsin Records is a bastion of uncompromising quality in a sea of average and bland.
VC-118A aka Samuel van Dijk is described as a shining light of electro and I can understand why. His music has a surgical precision without sounding clinical and is intelligent without being ‘up itself’. His back catalogue is a veritable smorgasbord of quality electro, techno, ambient and electronic music. He produces and performs live and has released music since the late 2000’s.
Samuel uses three main aliases – Mohlao, Multicast Dynamics and VC-118A, these three entities walk the line between electro, techno and ambient, they are interconnected and related, and within his productions and live he can switch as needed seamlessly weaving atmospheric sonic soundscapes, into pumping peak time hypnotic techno, through to futuristic funk fuelled electro – and back again.
Inside is his third artist album under the VC-118A moniker and marks ten years since the first of these. Obviously he has released a lot of quality content over the last 10+ years and I urge you to dive in and take a look.
Thirteen tracks of electronic bliss.
The album starts with Tide, low throbbing ominous bass, simple four/four kick, spacey noises, plenty of space-like cinematic atmosphere, and then the almost militant, precise percussion. Exquisite.
PCB brings the electro, hypnotic groove, overlaid with what almost sounds like two different bass-lines dancing with each other. Its intricate without being busy. Beautiful pads add that dream like otherworldly dimension to the track.
Dither is a rougher beat, metallic sounds all around, digital drips from an electronic ocean. The blurb that comes with the release says that VC-118A used obscure computer game samples, field recordings, and a wealth of hardware tools to create this album and that his inspiration came from virtual reality and imagined water worlds. It really is cinematic in a lot of ways, it invokes thoughts of weird digital worlds and the water theme – I really feel that. But it always keeps that groove, the eye on the fact that most of this will be danced to at some point in its future.
FM walks the line between techno and electro, grooves throughout, the pads build an atmosphere of discovery, this is probably what aliens listen to when having a look around a new planet.
Time Variant delves a little into the ambient side of his character the understated kick taking just over a minute to come in and even then the focus is more on the rest of the track.
Hiss is a techno cut that you will be hearing on a dance floor near you very soon if you haven’t already. Absolute belter, driving, hypnotic, incredible relentless groove, spacey noises, an unbelievable sporadic bit of sub bass that I want to hear on Fabrics sound system!
Glow is a distorted electro cut that sounds like you are exploring mysterious VR caves. Cloak is an interesting broken beat style builder, rhythms, sonic soundscapes, plinks, abstract noises.
Channel is a chugging techno groover, one of the tougher cuts, but still has that groove and atmosphere.
Integrated Circuits, like Metric Spaces earlier in the album are quick bursts of sonic noise, quick fills of electronic madness.
Inside, the title track, is epic. An understated electro beat very slowly builds, more electronic drips dance around the beat, until eventually a drone like bass comes in. This is the sign of someone that really knows what they are doing; subtle changes and programming of the track build groove and tension without you even noticing it’s happened.
No More Words closes the album. This is an ambient track that sounds like vast alien creatures communicating with each other beneath an ocean in a distant galaxy.
This album is simply incredible. I would say my favourite album of the year, but because we are only in March it doesn’t sound that impressive. What I will say is that this is amazing.
For me, Samuel van Dijk is up there in the same category of artists as Aphex Twin, Radioactive Man and Mihail P. Beautiful, emotive music, intelligent, but accessible and with groove. Delsin knocked it out the park releasing this one, and VC-118A – thank you.