Vial Of Sound- Substance Organique Volatile EP


When I discovered the first Vial Of Sound EP it was the weirdest and consequently, most alluring, thing I had heard in a long time. Now, months later, after watching their live shows grow continual amazing momentum they will release their second EP this month with an amazing event at Crescent Ballroom on April 13thSubstance Organique Volatile takes the plan outlined on their debut, which was an exciting drawing board of esoteric ideas, and fleshes out their sound into a three dimensional sonic groove machine. Now the crazy thing is, I can’t even describe why I love these guys so freaking much—maybe it’s the use of ancient analog synthesizers, maybe it’s the mindbending groove that is growing more impressive with each release and every show, maybe it’s the vocoder vocals or maybe its simply that no one is doing anything like this at all, anywhere as far as I can tell.

The opener, “Ghost Ditch”, is as amazing on record as it is live and  you can practically see the projected visuals on your eyelids if you close your eyes when you give it a listen—“Dance…don’t stop” the robotic voice commands, and it’s damned difficult not to, honestly. At a recent show at Crescent Ballroom, this was one of the most impressive numbers and I don’t think I had heard it before, it was embedded in my minds heavy rotation for quite some time after that. This was the perfect selection to open the EP with and definitely one of my favorite songs by this duo.

“Shadow Hills Goth” gets even more of a groove on and explores further psychedelic territory—sure their sound is all swirling synths, handclaps, vocoder brilliance and drum machine, but it comes off like Kraftwerk on acid.  Fast paced and multi-layered, I have a feeling that if Vial Of Sound could play Berlin, they’d be smash sensations. It’s the shortest song in the collection, but space and time become easily confused within the world of Vial Of Sound. Meanwhile, “The Day We Day We Both Died,” is even spacier and more thought provoking–the lyrical content is quite interesting while the ever accelerating musical backdrop has endless remix potential. “New Dance” the albums soul instrumental stands as supremely fascinating, handclaps and madness all around, it is music for your mind to get into other states of thought and perception–I think they new it was a musical gem in and of itself and thought rightly to leave off vocoder contributions. The finale, “Michael”, may be the best of the bunch, it’s robot music for robot times, it’s music performed today as it would have been in the 70s when they thought this is what the music of the future would sound like. Oddly, because of Vial Of Sound…it does.

I urge everyone that isn’t at Coachella Saturday, April 13th to head to Crescent Ballroom and catch this amazing duo—with support from Peachcake, Wooden Indian, Spirit Cave, Treasure Mammal and a DJ Set by The Holy Coast, you simply can’t go wrong. There will be ten track CDs at the show included with the price of admission that contain both EPs by Vial Of Sound, as well as limited test pressings of SOV on Vinyl upon which hand-stenciled cover art will be created on the spot. The even more amazing thing? They have another EP ready to go, so look forward to some new material, even newer material than what’s on their new EP! This should be exciting.