Jan 11, 2015

Sundaze 1502


Bvdub is 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, Brock Van Wey. 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.


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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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The most engaging and lushly complex album to date from Brock Van Wey aka BVDub. Drifting slightly away from the vast dub scapes he's reputed for, 'Tribes At The Temple Of Silence' is a sumptuous suite of drone/loop-based ambient electronics with a keener sense of pop sweetness and taste for tempered beats. A first sign of things to come occurs on 'A Quiet Doorway Opens', setting the four walls of his sound to a more intimate environment. 'The Past Disappears' gives the first convective flush of emotion with a slow blur of symphonic strings and 13.5 tog ambient tones opened out with richly padded but deeply discrete basses. The keys and crystalline melody of 'Sanctuary' are more New Age positive, recalling some later Roedelius wanderings, but 'These Walls Will Always Remember' succumbs to that comforting loneliness that defines the best of his work, with chilly synths condensed into heaving, harmonious sighs. 'Morning Rituals' introduces even rarer elements to his work with what sounds like Native American ululations woven into waves of static and gently buoyant, icily clear electronic soul rhythms, whereas 'We Move As One' smudges fluttering dub house patterns into the background, foregrounding his powdered snow-crunching synth textures. 'Towers Rise To The Sky' renders his gauzy veils of ambient shimmer with breathtaking delicacy. Highly recommended.

Bvdub - Tribes At The Temple Of Silence  (flac 418mb)

01 This Place Has Only Known Sadness 16:08
02 We Said Forever 14:40
03 The Promise (Reprise) 14:40
04 Would It Be The Same 13:28
05 There Was Nothing But Beauty In My Heart 13:20
06 A Taste Of Your Own Medicine 6:25

Bvdub - Tribes At The Temple Of Silence  (ogg  166mb)

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This is Brock's masterpiece of an album. A mixture of Ambient and Deep Techno with amazing soundscapes which bring the ocean directly into your headphones. Brock manages it to create a soulful, peaceful and thoughtful story in 7 pieces. This is profound electronic music at its best and like I've never heard it before. It may seem to be close to his albums "Tribes at the temple of silence" and "The Art of Dying Alone" but at the same time it completely stands for its own and leads into another world.

Especially the title track "One Last Look At The Sea" gives the listener an idea of a yearning, the yearning standing at a certain point at the shore and watching the majesty of an ocean. Incredible experience. The fact Brock gave it to us for free shows his great heart for music and the sense of music, far apart from profit and reputation, another outstanding album!

Bvdub - One Last Look At The Sea  (flac  383mb)

01 No Love Lost 15:30
02 My Only Friend 8:16
03 The House Above The World 8:00
04 Just You Wait 11:12
05 A Sisyphean Silence 13:12
06 One Last Look At The Sea 12:16
07 The Wall Between Us 7:02

Bvdub - One Last Look At The Sea  (ogg 157mb)

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Brock's trademark slow evolution from beauty to all-enveloping misty-eyed sonic wonder is on full display here. Among the many gifts Bvdub offers is the great care and patience with tune development, the capacity to lose oneself in the majesty of the music and the depth of sound which leads to many interpretations of each and every song, depending on where your focus lies at the time. Much of his work is steeped in melancholia and while this is no different, there is a distinct sense of wistful affirmation. The sheer scope, depth and beauty here ensures this is a release you'll be going back to again.

Bvdub - Songs For A Friend I Left Behind (flac  384mb)

01 If I Could Do It All Again 10:43
02 I Would Have Waited 12:31
03 Instead I Left You 10:57
04 Without A Chance To Say 13:01
05 A Final Goodbye 20:02

Bvdub - Songs For A Friend I Left Behind  (ogg 134mb)

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Chris West said...

Hi there, any chance you could re-upload 'Songs For A Friend I Left Behind' in FLAC again? Been looking for this release everywhere, nowhere has it, not even to buy as a download. Would be much appreciated!

Rho said...

Hello Chris sounds as if this release has some personal meaning..as for not being for sale yes Brock seems not very interested in money hhhmm or he's making enough as it is..likely.anyway despite the fact that i posted this page not even six months back i will re-up here..aren't you lucky...wink wink

Chris West said...

Thanks Rho, very grateful! Big bvdub fan but a lot of his older releases are harder to track down now. :)