Title: The Royal Treatment
Artist: VYVCH
Release Date: April 2014
Genre: Downtempo / Hip-Hop
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: blocSonic


Getting the royal treatment of VYVCH in my ears seems to be continuing a trend that I’ve been on lately: listening to Russian electronic music. ¬†Only there’s one surprise here: this release isn’t from a Russian netlabel. ¬†It’s from blocSonic here in America. ¬†So, how does this release stack up against some of the other Russian releases I’ve listened to? ¬†Well, read on.

The Royal Treatment of VYVCH

I have to admit, the opening track of The Royal Treatment didn’t quite match my expectations given the title ‘Bubblelicious’. ¬†I would have thought this would have been an up-tempo, light and bouncy tune. ¬†But it isn’t: it’s a down-tempo tune, with slow-moving bass drum / hand-clap rhythm, and sustained guitar lines with deep echo / reverb. Not what I thought of as bubbly at all, and not a sound of bubbling water anywhere to be heard.

If anything,¬†I think this title should have been flipped. The third track is ¬†‘Stoner Party’ and has a much more bouncy synthesizer line that sounds a lot more bubbly to me. ¬†And, the first track with its slow rhythm and drawn out guitar lines sounds more like a ‘Stoner Party’ to me.

But, what makes this release a little different and more interesting that some of the recent releases I’ve listened to is the idea of fusing shoe-gaze guitar lines with down-tempo jazz samples for a bit of a twist on a style that’s becoming too common these days.

A good example of this fusion is found on the track ‘She’s Not Home’ which starts with a twangy, deep reverb guitar before heading off into electronic land. ¬†The track also features the same vocal sample as used on ‘Bubblelicious’ only on this track the tempo is faster, and the sample is manipulated to fit the track. ¬†It’s almost as if these two tracks are complimentary to each other: They share a similarity of sound texture, but are contrasted by difference in tempo: one slow, while the other is medium tempo. ¬†(Although the vocal sample takes on the quality of being a recurring motif as it is used on many more¬†tracks: ‘Frozen Bong’, ‘Smoking On The Shore’, ‘Barely Baked’, and ‘Stonerville’ .)

And that’s what seems to be the point of this release. ¬†Using a dark pallet of textures, VYVCH moves between deliberately down-tempo pieces, and up-tempo. ¬†He moves from twangy guitar sounds, to completely synthesizer driven pieces (like on ‘Stoner Party’). ¬†Yet no matter how he has chosen to arrange or instrument any given piece it is fitting within this style.


VYVCH seems to be on a path to re-invent down-tempo music. ¬†He’s blending elements of several different styles of music within the framework that we’ve come to call down-tempo’ music. ¬†This may not be¬†a revolutionary concept, but it is an evolutionary step: a way to move the music in a new direction, without losing the identifiable parts.

The only thing that I can actually criticize about this release is the electronic drum and bass sounds.  I thought many electronic artists had moved towards acoustic sounds in this area to make the music sound more authentic and add an earthy quality to it.  But, that is just a stylistic choice.

VYVCH: The Royal Treatment




Posted by George De Bruin