VHS Head – ‘Persistence Of Vision’ 2LP [Skam Records]

There’s a tragic school of thought that properly composed electronica (specifically music often tied to that horrible term IDM) essentially spearheaded downwards when Richard D. James stopped releasing as Aphex Twin. These beliefs can only belong to those people who’ve slept on the ever-wonderful Skam catalogue, and more importantly the work of VHS Head.

VHS Head is the moniker of one Ade Blacow, Blackpool based artist and, as you might expect, video cassette collector. Crafting his tunes from VHS samples, Blacow’s method of music making has done nothing but serve up uniquely brilliant sounding works that take us to a mind-blowing place, and for us Persistence Of Vision is nothing short of audio orgasm.

There’s something about the VHS tape chopping and edits that retains an all encompassing warmth when the samples are played. People say you can’t hear tape saturation, and maybe you can’t, but it’s been a long four years since the debut LP Ribbons Of Gold appeared, sandwiched by EPs in the years either side, and in that time no one has appeared with a sound similar to VHS Head. As is the way, a lot of imitators, but nothing nearly touching the top.

Everything about his work is instantly grabbing, and it goes full-throttle on Persistence… on almost every cut. Fifteen tracks across two-plates, mostly under three minutes, which is enough tiem to get lost in each one, even piece together your own stories from the half-second samples of movies long-forgotten.

It’s total immersive listening, something to put on and get lost in. The beats hit-hard, the synths wrap around you while changing direction super-quick, and VHS Head has managed to balance out his fast-paced style with a couple of terrifying slower-jams and even layered drone moments.And this is where you truly wonder about the time gone in to it. The layers are so thickly hammered together from countless samples that you’d be forgiven thinking he’d need another four years to have made this complete. Nothing on this record has been phoned in.

Great album, pick it up while you can on wax. The artwork is done by Michael England who’s realy knocked it out of the park as an individual art frame as well as capturing what’s on the vinyl. On a separate note, VHS Head has definitely landed in the top ten artists I need to see live asap.

via Skam
VHS Head continues in his exploration of emotive sketchbook electronics, cutting up and sampling reams and reams of old school VHS tapes to create a baffling, arresting and nostalgic trip into the world of twisted, lo-fi, tape compressed electronica.