Vanessa Amara is the duo of Birk Gjerlufsen and Victor Kjellerup: new album You’re Welcome Here uses such majestic instrumentation as church organ and a string quartet to produce dense, grand stacks of sonics. Some distance from their previous techno dabblings. Vinyl release on Copenhagen label Posh Isolation.
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- You're Welcome Here by Vanessa Amara
9/10 Robin Staff review, 21 April 2016
Posh Isolation may well be home to the grouchy young punx and noisemakers a la Communions, Damien Dubrovnik, Marching Church and that, but I like it best when they do the drone. ‘You’re Welcome Here’ is a monolith of a record the likes of which the label has never seen: it’s an organ-screeching, bell-ringing, string-swelling ambient filibuster that makes one feel like the loneliest civilian in the emptiest square of the most ancient city.
Laying down sustained ruminations and then adding minute flourishes overtop, Vanessa Amara score vital points for minimalism in 2016. The violins in “2” recall A Silver Mt. Zion in their early days, lethargically plugging away at one stringent, straight-line melody -- it’s those bells, chiming as if from the top of an onlooking tower meeting a new hour, that make it what it is. Vanessa Amara build to their climaxes -- which might involve distortion, a synthy moment or a mere heightening of volume -- so carefully you only notice them by the pace of your heartbeat.
This record moves by so seamlessly it could be a medieval stage play, each instrument rotating like a member of a cast in a play told in one act -- the organ comes back on stage before you can notice it’s been away, the bells chime as if we’re living out a day in real time, and the synths take away none of the record’s mysteriously earthen atmosphere. It’s a thrilling record; I would even like to call it visceral. May I?
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