RU-ral Psychedelic Rock | If you are a keen follower of Phlow Magazine, you know that I regularly write about Russian and East European musicians. Up next we have got V.O.M., rather an idea than a band, acting simultaneously from (at least) three different cities, all in the name of hypnotic Krautrock.
V.O.M. again. The name stands for Magical Unicellular Music, and this strange name makes sense on different levels. Magical - something happens between the tracks, something unexpected, something one can not explain. Black magic rituals, Voodoo, call me names. Unicellular - the most simple form of life, evolutions successful all-in-one model. Reduced to the max. Music - well, yeah, music! V.O.M. is primitive, hypnotic, threatening... I'm prone to call it Minimal.
V.O.M. was born from Minsk performance collective Solntsetsvety (Солнцецветы). On this release for the Russian Clinical Archives Netlabel, Magical Unicelluar Music is V.O.M. IV and V.O.M. V, Minsk and Moscow, respectively. Two bands, united by the ideas given above.
Listening to "Камень", it is hard to distinguish who is who. Both bands play primitive, noise-driven Krautrock, repetitiv and hypnotic. Instruments are guitar-bass-drums, plus sporadic electronic gimmicks, the whole thing mainly instrumental. V.O.M. record music half-improvised, with a stunning amount of DIY/Punk-inspired energy that sets them apart from New Age and esoteric music. In my opinion, early Can, the endless songs of Neu! and 80s' Postpunk, especially Pop Group and Sonic Youth, are good references.
The whole album makes up one hour, 40 minutes. Naturally, not every single jam is excellent. But tracks "Part II, IV" (V.O.M. V) and "Part I, IV" (V.O.M. IV) will give you a good idea about the Magical Unicellular Music sound. If you dig these, you will love the album!
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About the Author
This article was written on 7.May 2009 by Bettina Rhymes. Bettina Rhymes is the journalist alter ego of Sven Swift. Swift runs the established CDr- and Netlabel 12rec.net and acts as a Netaudio DJ every now and then. Next to his job at Phlow Mag, he writes reviews about free music at RUBored.org. Read more articles written by Bettina Rhymes.