The word “experimental” is a tad overused when describing music, almost as much as “alternative” and not least by we journos. When attempting to nail down the un-nail-downable sounds of San Diego-based duo Vákoum, it serves as a solid starting off point. But one run through the videos for “Spark” and “Airotic,” and it’s clear that we’re only scratching the surface.
Vákoum is Lynchian in it’s contrast of the beautiful with the utterly uncomfortable. The pair (Natalia Padilla and Kelli Rudick) harmonize so effectively that it sounds less like a classic vocal duo and more like a bona fide instrumental tool. The tones reach Kate Bush heights – emotional and operatic. But there are two of them, working seamlessly and perpetually complimenting each other. It really is something to behold, and something genuinely experimental.
Vákoum Unpack an Anxious Mind to Become One with the Body in “Airotic” Video Premiere...
On their debut full-length LP Linchpin, experimental duo Vákoum offer up an expansive array of rhythmic, textural, and tonal complexity, utilizing unexpected transitions between effected guitars, a blend of acoustic and electronic drum beats, and ethereal Bulgarian-inspired vocals to create a sound that mirrors the many mood swings of an anxious human mind. Though certainly relevant in these unprecedented times, these are themes Vákoum has been unpacking since their very inception
I think the most interesting, sometimes disturbing and eeriely beautiful aspect of surreal art is the notion that is is not surreal at all, not a bent reality but absolutely real. That concept, that omniscient fact is most real with so called "surreal" music. It is after all music and whether one chooses to call it surreal is really in the ear of the beholder. It is not like a movie were special effects creators manifest a false reality. Within music, the sounds are real and push a multitude of buttons. The sometimes odd (or not) experiences are happening in real time spinning off real sounds in our heads.
With its haunting, high energy arrangement, Airotic transfixes the listener from the start. Possessing the same kind of otherworldly presence you can hear in the music of Sigur Rós and CocoRosie, Airotic hints at the music of times past
The duo of Kelli Rudick and Natalia Padilla build lush sonic creations that meld elements of dream-pop and electronic music, swirling together contrasting elements.
"Spark is a lilting, ethereal take on indie and esoteric electronic sounds, sitting somewhere tonally between shoegaze and the work of Bonobo and Björk. The vocals carry a hint of the medieval about them, adding a timeless, entrancing quality to the arrangement’s cutting-edge feel"
Vákoum Debut Video: Spark
The Duo explains : SPARK
Experimental pop duo Vákoum talks to us about their gripping music video for ‘SPARK’, which champions self expression and vulnerability, free from fear of judgment and perceived weakness.
Vákoum EP Premiere : Home for Home
"Each song is mind-scrambling complex -- featuring electronic accoutrements over razor-sharp live drums, plinking pianos, spacial synthesizers, bone-dry electric guitar, and the pair's angelic vocals (which are occasionally sampled into strange glitches and often harmonized together)...
...designed with precision accuracy (if you've seen the group live, that's very obvious) but at the same time, it's wholly propelled by true experimentalism
...Traces of haunting synths, dreamy vocals, and an overall cosmic build, wrap up the electronic slow jam “Breathing Through A Straw” from San Diego via New York City duo Vákoum...
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