Back when he didn't have a mane of bubbly curls and called himself James - Leyland Kirby was better known for his insane project V/Vm a kind of cross between experimental and sound collage/comedy act that couldn't be more different from his later solo and the Caretaker work. Here is a vinyl pressing of his experiments into 'new beat' an unacknowledged part of Manchester's dance music canon.
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- Brabant Schrobbeler by V/Vm
8/10 Ant Staff review, 20 July 2017
James Leyland Kirby returns as V/Vm. Well sort of - these tracks were actually produced in 2006 but have been mixed by Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare into a Megamix - just like all those old Belgian New Beat compilations that used to be around. If you’ve yet to discover this amazing sleazy, dark, Belgian rave stuff, then those records are pretty useful.
As V/Vm, we’re used to hearing the butcher slaughter music, but with his New Beat tracks, they’re more of a love letter - an affectionate tribute, where the essence of his samples remain intact rather than obliterated. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Kirby doing New Beat - in 2005 he released the ‘I Wanna Fuck Miss Nicky Trax’ EP and in 2006 the ‘Made In Belgium’ EP on WeMe, plus the ‘Sabam’ CD. It’s been a long time since I’ve played those records so whether the tracks included on ‘Brabant Schrobbeler’ featured on those, I have no idea. The record is an enjoyable collage of samples that really captures the spirit of this late 80’s/early 90’s sound - he’s filtered out some of the more cheesy elements with an emphasis on the chugging, grinding, sweaty, raw and sludgy sounds, all with a smattering of acid here and there. It all leaves me feeling like I wish I had been born a few years earlier, in Belgium, to experience this stuff at the time at the Boccaccio club.
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