Friday, July 20, 2018

Record Review //
"Soul To Skin EP"
(Dream Diary)

The minimal electronic sound of VTR is one which is not easy for me to place.   It's not quite Garbage and it's not quite PJ Harvey, but it's along similar lines to where if you enjoy those artists you will enjoy VTR.    Dark electronics make the songs feel like a cross between Kimbra and Fleetwood Mac.     The first song, which is the titular track, describes being soul to soul and skin to skin and that seems to set the pace for the entire record.    It's quieter in the way that it can be described as chillwave so it never really opens up like you might expect electronic music to do with big beats.

On the second track, "Dreams", there is a sense of jungle electronic percussion which I can only describe as pleasantcore and can compare with "Everything But The Girl".   One of my favorite lines says that "Players only love you when they're playing".    Yet somehow "Whisper", the third and final track on Side A, opens with a bit more of a vocal manipulation which reminds me of how you can fast forward or rewind a CD while it's playing and there is a bit more soul/R&B in this with claps.     Though it maintains that steady pace of chill and overall when you're listening to the song you will hear the vocals above all else.  

The flip side opens with the song "Find A Way" which has this sound more like soul to it in a way which reminds me of Janelle Monae or someone along those lines.   It's just odd to me that this has all the makings of a soul/R&B singer and with how many there have been over the years it should be enough to say "This sounds a little bit like Fiona Apple" but it's not nearly as simple as that.    The electronics add a bit of darkness to it as well.  "It was easy to love when you put that vision in my head" is an example of the theme of this record as well, as it isn't sad in the sense that you'd put it on and cry but it certainly isn't upbeat either.

INXEC remixes the titular song to end out this album.    Drops of electronic water, claps and drums give this a much more electronic feel than the original.   There are organs as well, and yet, it still feels somewhat minimal and there is still a strong focus on the vocals overall, but it's a nice remix where it doesn't stray too far from the original source but is also not just the feeling of listening to the original and wondering what exactly was done to it.   You can see what was added and that makes it a reminder that though there are four VTR songs on this record they are more powerful than what other artists have as ten or twelve songs.  

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