VVV: Across The Sea (Fortified Audio)


Posted on Mar 1st 2012 01:22 am

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VVV: Across The Sea

Across The Sea
Fortified Audio 2011
12 Tracks. 47mins42secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

VVV is the project of Shawhin Izaddoost, an Iranian-born musician who currently resides in Austin, Texas, yet sounds like a regular of the London club scene. His foray into garage and house dates back almost ten years, yet he only released his first EP, The Projects, quickly followed by a second, Vertigo & Flames (Tube 10), barely two years ago, and held out until the tail end of 2011 to unveil his debut album, Across The Sea.

Although the Burial-esque Jade Mountain, with its haunting cut-up vocals, woody percussions and pulsating bass line, would instantly place this album firmly in the dubstep ranks, Izaddoost pushes into much more varied and colourful terrains with consequent tracks, blending various strands of garage, 2step, dancehall or techno together throughout.

Despite also relying quite heavily on treated vocals samples, Falling Low takes its syncopated groove up a notch or two towards a more incisive form of garage, echoed later on through the sparse structures of Dolven or Among The Whispers. Here, Izaddoost pushes his fragmented beat patterns, propped up by little more than heavy bass pulses, to the front, leaving strips of vocals floating downstream at the mercy of the groove. Elsewhere, Traverse, whilst fuelled by a similar urgency, appears slightly more poised and contrasted, and when the pace drops somewhat drastically on Stuck Between, it is a rather different blend of atmospheric set up which Izaddoost exposes.

Perhaps one of the strongest pieces here, although also one of the most straightforward, is the techno-infused Retreated, which crystallises around a particularly effective hook. It is supported by a typically jerky beat, but Izaddoost establishes here an interesting contrast between the underlying stiff electro structure which forms the backbone of the piece and the extreme fluidity of its more atmospheric components.

What sets Across The Sea on a slightly different path to much of its contemporaries is the regular injection of funk. From the acid jazz chord progressions of Aisle Seat to the hints of disco of Duration Of Light and All That We’ve Been Through, Izaddoost regularly steps away from clinical ‘bass music’ to indulge in more hospitable grooves and strip his vocal samples out of much of their atmospheric coating to drag them to the fore and expose them in much rawer forms.

With Across The Sea, Shawhin Izaddoost doesn’t set any new agenda or trend, and his approach  may at times be slightly too close to that of Burial for comfort, but there is no denying this album’s extremely polished appearance, sheer energy and warm sincerity which all contribute to make it a thoroughly enjoyable offering.


VVV | Fortified Audio
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

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