Item 06: Songs for God [Vol. 01]
“He will cease because you will cease.”
The musical prudence and sensibility that the Santa Fe, New Mexico experimental artist A Virtual Memory has developed over the course of his previous releases is unmistakable and evolving. Jagged soundscapes made from melodic and industrial loops and samples but arranged to progress : harbor memories both personal and cultural. The surfaces are uneven, and there’s a multitude of weird, hyper-specific detail to get lost in; the overall effect, though, feels like searching—for sounds, for workable forms, for lost or hidden selves.
A Virtual Memory has released quite a number of experimental albums, ranging from the eccentric to the absolute ingenious, the albums he typically constructs are very reminiscent of old-school experimental music, relying on original source material and re-works of ‘Christian Rock’ songs, everything is constructed beautifully as it leads you through caverns of kaleidoscopic soundscapes and ever-evolving percussive sequences, lifting you to the stars of the expanding cosmic entity.
A Virtual Memory always constructs music “solely meant for solitude”, AVM says.
Originally began in late April of 2017 as an EP and created in Audacity, each track only uses elements found in the original source material with no outside additions. Each original composition is created using only manipulated field recordings and no digital instrumentation [except for contributions made by Uunslit and Ori]. “All credit is due to the members of DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, and The Newsboys responsible for the source material used for this album’s reworkings.”
I’ve long associated this type of music with the distorted grain of digitally collaged sound. Instrumentation, however, comes more crisply to the fore here, drawing our attention away from the record’s crackling interstices and toward a set of classical sounds perhaps more confidently invested with representational power.
A terrifying expanse of the unknown. Dance beats skittered here and there but more often than not are worked as texturing tools against the rest of the ambient AVM nebulous compositions.
“Matriculated” the first song from the album, is a wonderful concoction of electronics, found sounds, industrial clatter and all kinds of location recordings. At times it sounds of light hybrid electronics melded with the dark ambient energy and dilapidated musical structures while at others it’s almost pure industrial, forged with metallic drones and mechanical noise. “Blood Moon” consists of environment that are both inventive and mysterious. Drawing the listener closer to an auditory landscape, AVM strings together expansive and other-worldly sounds which suggest his compositions were taken from a dream.
You may stream the album SONGS FOR GOD by A Virtual Memory HERE