Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cassette Review: Vlimmer "IIIII" (Blackjack Illuminist Records)

[€4 // Edition of 15 // https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lllll]

The fifth installment in this series by Vlimmer takes me back to what I wondered about "IIII" only with more answers.   If we were doing Roman numerals, then why not "IV" instead of "IIII" but now it appears as if we are doing tally marks and not Roman numerals.    What's weird though is that for the proper tally marks of sorts you would do the slash across (which is difficult to type but I'd try something like "II/II") but for Roman numerals you just need the "V".   This also just makes me nervous for the next EPs because it is a series of 18 and then I'm going to be making fifteen tally marks and sixteen and the such, saying "Well, '18' is like '15' but also a little more like '12' but not like '17' as much" and instead of the numbers you'll be endlessly counting.

At this point, I feel like you should either be in or out with this EP series.   Granted, there are artists out there releasing music with numbers and you can randomly pick up a cassette without having them all, and the same can be said for this Vlimmer EP series so far-- that you don't *need* to own all of them to appreciate them but you probably should.   If you've not been a fan of Vlimmer before this EP series started than I feel badly for you, but we are at the point right now as well, a third of the way through, where you could still catch up and get the previous ones (maybe) and not feel like you're too far behind to get them all and have a complete set by the end of the fifteen.

From dark rock to ambient, Vlimmer has its own sound which can be quiet but never fades into the background.   Acoustic strums make me think of David Bowie while there are also dark keys and an overall feeling of destruction to the music as well.    I'm reminded of "Pretty in Pink" at times, but I also can just think of this as being post punk, like Thursday without the -core.    At this point in this series though I feel like Vlimmer is crafting their own sound somewhere between those who came before them (which would be in the 1990's and 1980's, when you consider artists like The Cure and Joy Division) but also with that modern touch.

What I love about Vlimmer and why you should still be listening to this EP series is the fact that it's 2016 and you can still hear new genres of music in the sense that Vlimmer is carving out their own sound while having these influences still.  I mean, a lot of bands sound like The Cure, for example, and when they do they even seem to feel like they will be stuck in the decades which came before now.   But Vlimmer keeps it modern while still representing the throwbacks and it's that sort of idea which makes this music that much more meaningful now and not just for the future.   In twenty years, people will look back at other artists as more of copies than anything else while Vlimmer will be that link between artists like The Cure and whatever the future holds.

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