RedivideR is a short but gratifying glimpse into how VLMV’s 2022 album Sing With Abandon came into existence.

Release date: February 24, 2023 | Nice Weather For Airstrikes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

After releasing an album and its companion EP – Sing With Abandon and Flora & Fauna, respectively – in 2022, you’d think this cycle would now see ambient-ish post-whatever project VLMV (pronounced as ‘alma’ by the way; I don’t think I ever made that clear in any of my reviews) take to the stage exclusively in order to emulsify the vision behind those recordings into a palpable live experience. Well, not really; while Pete Lambrou has been touring behind his latest material recently, he’s not done releasing more of it just yet. Thus we’re introduced to the RedivideR EP, which is made up of five leftover tracks from the Sing With Abandon sessions. As to why these weren’t included in the final tracklist, well, they simply didn’t fit the album:

‘I explored the track order and structure for weeks and weeks and sometimes certain pieces just don’t fit in the overall structure. I’m a huge advocate of listening to albums from start to finish, zero skipping as the artist intended, and sometimes you’ve got to make decisions based on the overall landscape of the album.’

This decision must’ve been twice as hard for some of these tracks, as they were created at the very beginning of the lockdown-induced process that eventually led to what we now know as Sing With Abandon. Now, while I’m not in favor of releasing every little scrap that’s been left on the cutting room floor – things mostly end up there for a reason – I do enjoy how RedivideR affords us a rare glimpse into the genesis of its parent record, a glimpse that is usually afforded only to those who buy the dreaded anniversary re-release of any given record.

As it stands, RedivideR offers a new perspective on how Sing With Abandon came to take its final form. The most surprising revelation was that both “If You Could See Your Life In Reverse” and “We Were Landed, We Were Landing Gently We Landed” used to be longer than they are in their ‘official’ iterations. While the latter is presented as a whole, in its uncut version, the former remains divided into its three originally projected sections. As Lambrou puts it, the song ‘was written as one whole piece, but in the end I thought the opening sequence alone was the one that fitted the album best[…]’.

Another interesting tidbit is the originally intended album closer “Tape Loop for A Shielded Few”. As one of the two tracks on RedivideR that aren’t directly linked to something that eventually ended up on the main record (the other would be the EP’s brilliant opening title track, which brings together treated vocals, rippling electronics, and emotional strings), this piece clearly delineates some of the creative decisions that would come to mark Sing With Abandon, including the use of tape loops and a clear focus on electronic elements.

At 14 minutes in length, RedivideR is an easily digestible exploration into how VLMV’s recent output came together. Granted it’s not the most substantial EP, but there’s still enough to discover to warrant it being released in the first place; these songs, fragments, and alternate versions definitely don’t fall off in quality compared to what ultimately ended up on the project’s 2022 releases. If nothing else, this is simply more of a good thing, and who could say no to that?

Dominik Böhmer

Dominik Böhmer

Pretentious? Moi?

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