Velloa Fever

Velloa (MM 049) is the latest single from Meeuw Muzak, that Belgian label that apparently only releases 7-inch singles on vinyl, and not too many of them either. Don’t think we’ve heard anything since 2014’s Il Grande Silenzio. Now I’m feeling some gaps in my collection and wonder if it’s too late to start building up a complete set. Velloa was played by the team-up up of Bart De Paepe and Timo Van Luijk, appearing here as Ilta Hämärä…Timo we know vaguely as the fellow from Noise-Maker’s Fifes, he appeared on the Onde Purple record in 2009 with fellow band-members, and over the years has formed associations with many disaffected European avant-meisters, including Christoph Heeman and Raymond Dijkstra. Bart is a visual artist from Belgium and runs the Sloow Tapes label, and has played with the “dark folk” collective Sylvester Anfang II (which I never knew about until now, and apparently features different musicians to Sylvester Anfang).

Both sides of this Velloa set may have been drawn from the same session, or are two cushions from the same sofa…might be fair to describe it as far-out cosmic guitar jams with plenty of added distortion and mufflage, but there’s also a keen rhythmic edge that propels the music instantly skywards like a fire engine spacerocket, which now I come to think of it is just about everything you should expect from a 4-minute single anyway. Cover art confirms many astral signifiers, stars, planets and weather phenomena surrounding the stony visage of a holyman photographed from the side of a Cathedral. Them European places of worship sure conceal some hidden gems, that’s my device. Hopefully this is Timo rocking on the lead guitar (if such it be), fed through about a jillion FX pedals, lending an alienating non-real patina to the entire record, of which less than two seconds has any remotely familiar sound. Timo played guitar on that Purple LP too, which I seem to recall was more in the area of sluggish drone-chug meandering (emulating the movement of the ocean), but at least it went on for two side-long “jams” of monstrous dimensions. My only complaint today is that Velloa is just too short, and I’d happily lap up an LP’s worth of this continual cream-delight if I could get my catty paws on it. From 13 June 2018.