V Vecker Ensemble – Acedia Phase (Hotham Sound)

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Hailing from scenic Vancouver, Keith Wecker is a prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist active for almost 2 decades now, and the V Vecker Ensemble is the expansion of his solo project, taking several forms from octet in the mid 00’s to its current lineup consisting of V Vecker on synths and saxophone, and David Rogers and Luke Rogers Requena on synths. Acedia Phase is their last work of 2023, an album consisting of 5 tracks that we really enjoyed analysing piece-by-piece.

‘Atonement’ has an eerie introduction, with a mystical whistle that resonates in thicker frequencies and serves as a sonic mattress for V Vecker’s signature saxophone to stretch its melodic splendour on. As the cinematic background turns atmospheric and immersive, the whole sonic canvas blends in a smooth way thanks to the seasoned dialogue between synths. A drone stripped down serves as an interlude until the tribal sections of ‘Cold Storage’ form a structure. There are melodic echoes too, panned around the crescendo energy before everything fades in a cathartic ambient voyage.

‘Torpor’ has, as its name suggests, a lethargic and slow sound processing while its sci-fi intentions turn into kosmische waves of complex yet cohesive shifting textures. ‘Contours of Wear’ brings in all the space and stillness that we’d like to reach after such a mood alteration; it’s soothing, evocative, and paced with the organic rhythm of a drifting landscape.

‘Acedia Phase’ goes back to some of the features found in ‘Cold Storage’, as a sequel that digs in deeper realms, to rummage around and find glimpses of beauty in the shape of hypnotic melodic motifs coming from V Vecker’s instrument, or sonic digital howls that dissolve into segments of rising keyboards, all leading towards a climax that’s sustained in time enough for us to contemplate its elements breathing in and out until they vanish.

V Vecker’s solid back catalogue features many collaborations and live improv sessions, yet there seems to be a constant in their artistic search, and we felt really comfortable with the feelings explored in this release.

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