MV & EE – Root / Void (Woodsist, October 7th, 2016)


No doubt in considering this new album released by the Vermont-based duo MV & EE (aka Matt Valentine and Erika Elder) among the best records I listened this year. Not at all, I guess that frankly this time we are talking about also one of the highest point reached by this project, because ‘Root / Void’, their last album, out via Woodsist (actually the Woods’ label), it’s what I wanna define the finest job they have released until this moment. Because of the quality of sound, because of the vocal performances of Erika, because the experimentalism in the arrangments and because they finally built what I could definitely consider a their own dimension, something different from everyone has done before in music. So, apparently, not something so easier to realise, I guess. What about if to describe this album I would use the definition, ‘cosmic country’? Yep. No better definition, definitely, would fit to the sonorities of an album which at the same time could make you think to Galaxie 500 (obviously), the garage of Velvet Underground and at the same time to Neil Young and Howe Gelb, desert rock and psychedelia and with the usage of a lot of reverb of the voices and loops and dubsteps. Anticipated by ‘Feel Alright’, probably the most conventional song of the album, a folk psych ballad with country atmospheres amplified by the useof the harmonica and ending with a disturbed transmission of a radiotelevision message about an attack of alien from another remote world, ‘Root / Void’ has got not a songs that it’s not needed to be mentioned. ‘Love Lemma > Herb Slang’ sees the voice of Erika on a substrate of psychedelic remote sonorities. A feed guitar slide in the style of Ry Cooder went on playing on desert atmospheres in the style of Giant Sand or of the wildest Neil Young. ‘Much Obliged’ also pays homage to Galaxie 500 at the same time winking at the lysergic drone sound of Spacemen 3. In ‘No $ (Shit Space – It’s All About the Coin / Corn)’ and ‘ I Wanna See U Far Away’ there’re a lot of experimentantions in the reverberation of the voices. In the first track there’re a lot of electric fuzz guitar playing, in the second one no really substrate it’s actually under the voice, that in practice dectate the structute of the entire song, in which every note following and with a result that I would define very new age. ‘Yr My Jam’ it’s made up with repetitive sounds and a lot of use of loops. The song starts with a guitar arpeggio and later explodes into a slow cosmic epsychedelic trip with the sound of the solo guitar claiming of a garage rhythm guitar in the style of The Velvet Underground. Very hynotic! Finally, ‘I’m Still In Love With You > Void’, where our trip ends into a psychedelic evocative ballad and in a final explosion of the rays of the sun that will make our eyes completely blind. Believe me, this is really a great album. If we want to talk about freak folk psychedelia, Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, really know how to play it and this is probably one of the most example of the genre of this decade. Don’t miss it.

Vote: 8,5/10

Emiliano D’Aniello


You can also read this review at machchapuchchare

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