Tuesday, July 11, 2006


A Fire is Meant for Burning
Brian John Mitchell (the friendly chap who is behind the excellent Silber record label) decided to resurrect his old project Vlor which he started in 1992. Vlor had released a few EPs in the late 1990s, but has been dormant for a few years.

Instead of working as a duo as Brian previously had with Russell Halasz, he decided to record about ninety minutes of random riffs and arpeggios and send them off to his friends. The friends just happen to be a who’s who of the droney end of the underground. The folks he collaborated with are Jon Derosa (Aarktica), Mike Van PortFleet (Lycia), Nathan Amudson (Riverlets), Jessica Baliff, Jesse Edwards (Red Morning Chorus) & Paulo Messere (6 PM). With so many cooks in the kitchen, this might have turned into a sonic mess. Surprisingly, it sounds wonderfully organic. The collaborators really don’t draw attention to themselves. They only add to the expansive whole.

The first track “Trust in Weapons” really reminds me of Mick Turner’s (of the Dirty 3) solo album Moth. Like Mick, Brian uses simple, at times endearingly fumbling guitar line loops that he plays off of to build more complex sounds. “Wire” has a claustrophobic rockist sound. “Weakening” feels wistful with weeping guitar lines cascading over one another.

Out of all the collaborators, the star that shines the brightest is Jessica Bailiff. Her gorgeous vocals are stunning on the too short “Suncatcher.” Over the entirety of this mostly melancholy disc there are shifts and surprises that make repeated listening most enjoyable. (Silber Records) (Dan Cohoon)