Dec 28, 2014

Sundaze 1452

Hello, lot's of snow to enjoy in the countryside this weekend, downtown city centers snow tends to turn to a drab mush quickly, basically the worst of two worlds.

Bvdub is a moniker of Brock Van Wey, an American electronic music producer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2007 he has released more than 40 albums and EPs under this name and other pseudonyms including his birth name. Residing in Shaoxing, China, he produces ambient and ambient techno music that has received critical acclaim from the likes of online magazines Resident Advisor, Headphone Commute and Gridface. His first release as Brock Van Wey, White Clouds Drift On And On, was included in RA's Top 20 Albums of 2009. ......N'joy

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Brock was born in 1974 and grew up in Livermore near San Francisco. He was classically trained as a child and from the age of five he was taught violin and, later, piano. By age eleven he had composed his first piece of music for the trio of cello, violin and viola and had written several more pieces by his mid-teens. Feeling that he did not actually enjoy classical music (and preferring instead to "remix" the pieces he learned in his head) he eventually gave it up altogether. In the early 90s he heard, by chance, a deep house mix tape that would inspire him to pursue electronic music. He was soon performing as a deep house and ambient DJ and appearing regularly at raves in San Francisco, initially under his own name and later under the bvdub moniker. Van Wey composed his first electronic piece in 1993 - an industrial techno/classical track - that differed significantly in style to the music he would later produce.

In 2001, Brock moved to China, having become disillusioned with the scene in San Francisco and sought to make a fresh start in a country that had always held a fascination for him. He began work as a professor of English, teaching over 200 students. It was not until 2006 that he started to produce his own music after a friend spent time teaching him the finer details of various pieces of hardware and software. His first release as bvdub was Strength In Solitude LP in 2007, an album which comprises the first six tracks he created in the order that they were made.

In 2007 Van Wey founded the label Quietus Recordings in response to his friends' music being turned down by other record labels for being "too self-indulgent" or "too deep". Creating the label allowed bvdub and others to release their most personal compositions without fear of it being rejected. The label, in fact, encourages its artists to present only the music by which they would want to be remembered. To make each release as personal as possible, Van Wey takes the photos for the CD label and the cover art himself whilst listening to the music that the images are to accompany. The label has released bvdub's own recordings as well as productions by Quantec and Arc Of Doves.

After returning to China, following a period living once more in San Francisco, a mutual friend put Van Wey in touch with indie label Darla Records. A fruitful relationship blossomed that has seen bvdub release several albums on the label to date including 2011's Resistance Is Beautiful and 2012's Serenity.

The name bvdub was given to Brock by a colleague and is simply a shortening of his initials, BVW, rather than being intended to denote dub or dub techno music. Brock describes his own music as electronic, ambient and ambient techno (though prefers not to categorize it at all) and has stated that he has never produced anything he would associate with dub.

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With White Clouds Drift On And On, Brock Van Wey embraces the ambient side of himself. "Too Little Too Late" seems to float effortlessly,buoyed by a pianos, woodwinds and filtered vocal samples. "I Knew Happiness Once" takes a more electronic route, though the chanting takes a much more prominent role, whereas the static that starts off "Forever A Stranger" disappears into angelic tones, resting for a moment to pick up some melancholy strings. "A Gentle Hand To Hold" has some refracted guitar for a more positive mood and an Vietnamese vocal sample to punctuate the warm haze. "A Chance To Start Over" keeps that mood alive, and the title track envelops the listener in a thick layers of sound. When Intrusion gets his hands on the album, however, he presents them in reverse order, giving the "White Clouds Drift On And On" a low throb and "A Chance To Start Over" a minimal downtempo feel. "A Gentle Hand To Hold" stays mellow but has a touch of brightness with high, twinkling tones and bongos. The dub effects permeate "Forever A Stranger," and the piano of "Too Little Too Late" is given new life. An excellent album for sky-gazing.

Quote by Wang Wei (701-761),

"Dismounting, I offer you wine.
And you ask, "Where are you bound?"
You say, "I've found no fame or favors;
I must return to rest in the South Mountain."
You leave, and I ask no more -
White clouds drift on and on.

Brock Van Wey - White Clouds Drift On And On  (flac  494mb)

01 Too Little Too Late 11:12
02 I Knew Happiness Once 16:17
03 Forever A Stranger 12:30
04 A Gentle Hand To Hold 14:56
05 A Chance To Start Over 15:32
06 White Clouds Drift On And On 7:12


The intrusion mixes complete the works perfectly although they are a touch away from that which you would expect from Hitchell. I would say a slight break away from his basic channel inspired echospace sound and more of a very worthy re-interpretation of Brocks awesome work.

Brock Van Wey - Intrusion White Clouds Drift On And On  (flac  420mb)

Intrusion (Stephen Hitchell) Interpretation
201 White Clouds Drift On And On [Intrusion Shape I] 24:15
202 A Chance To Start Over [Intrusion Shape II] 11:18
203 A Gentle Hand To Hold [Intrusion Shape III] 17:12
204 Forever A Stranger [Intrusion Shape IV] 11:08
205 I Knew Happiness Once [Intrusion Shape V] 9:20
206 Too Little Too Late [Intrusion Shape VI] 6:23

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Brock Van Wey has amassed a quietly rabid following for his muted output on the Quietus label. These recordings remain separate to his dancefloor productions for Meanwhile and Styrax, instead exploring beautifully tempered zones of twilight ambient and drifting electronica comparable to his peers like Stephen Hitchell and Rod Modell. As the label states in its manifesto it's " that represents their true voice... not just that which they feel others will accept", meaning Quietus music is lovingly crafted with a personal touch, made to communicate with the few who understand it, as opposed to the masses who either don't, or are too cynical to fall for its charms. Aside from the final track, each composition has a lengthy average time of 15 minutes, giving Van Wey space to calmly develop majestic cloud-like structures of droning synth tones with hazy washes of reverbed harps on 'It Mattered Once', or billowing dub chords stretched to the horizon on 'You Will Know Where To Find Me'. 'Live To See The Day' is guided by the cinematic reverie of composers like Harold Budd, and the ebb and flow of 'Time Will Tell' will appeal to anyone familiar with Eno. As ever, these copies are in very short supply and once they're'll need a digital copy. Gorgeous.

Bvdub - We Were The Sun (flac  406mb)

01 It Mattered Once 14:08
02 Will You Know Where To Find Me 17:04
03 Live To See The Day 17:27
04 Time Will Tell 12:16
05 I Knew You Then 12:48
06 Lest You Forget 4:16

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There's something about Brock Van Wey's music that makes me connect to nature, to consciousness, to being, through sound alone... Brock serves the highest sermon to all the listening gods in my church of music. The repetitive passages of sound create a blissful mantra, imploring you to erase all thought, forget about the past or future, and just stay in the present. The titles of the tracks, give me even more reason to believe that Brock's message is indeed reflective on the nature of our short stay in this world: "Descent to the End", "To Finally Forget It All", and "No One Will Ever Find You Here". The release includes the following message: "We all die alone, but some make it their last work of art." Released on an Italian ambient label, Glacial Movements Records, the album was written and produced by Brock in Shaoxing, China, where he currently resides. On The Art Of Dying Alone, Brock returns with ethereal atmospheric pads, seamless loops over frequency saturated sonic soundscapes, with distant and delicate voices, gentle piano, and acoustic guitar. At the center of the album is a theme of contemplation on life, isolation, detachment, and inevitably, death. Be sure to pick up bvdub's We Were The Sun releases on his own, Quietus Recordings.

Bvdub - The Art Of Dying Alone (flac 427mb)

01 Descent To The End 8:08
02 Nothing From No One 8:48
03 To Finally Forget It All 21:20
04 No More Reasons Not To Fall 11:19
05 No One Will Ever Find You Here 9:18
06 The Art Of Dying Alone 19:13

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Chris said...


I would like to thank you again for your work in 2014. It was a great pleasure to listen to the many good Music you posted.

Unfortunately, yesterday, I accidentally deleted the Feelies you posted in fall. Would it be possible to re-up it?

Happy New Year!


Rho said...

Hello Chris, thanks for the compliment. As for the Feelies any album in particular or did you undo all 3 i posted at that page? That said i prefer you do your requesting at the page itself so others can pick up any relevant communications. As it happens i'm rather busy as i'm away some days and being busy posting scheduled postings before i leave so any re-up Feelies will be next year.

Happy New Year

Chris said...

Hi Rho,

yes, I deleted all three. I will post my request at the page you mentioned and wait until "next year" for your re-ups. Thanks!


Cass said...

Greetings, Rho. Please could you re-up these titles when time allows?

Cass said...

Many thanks for the re-up