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Album Review: No Clearance by Vasudeva

American instrumental rock band Vasudeva release their second album, No Clearance, on 31st March via Skeletal Lightning. Written from late 2014 to late 2015 after returning home from their first European tour, it is the product of countless hours of listening, observing, tweaking, and evolving, honing an impressive spread of recording techniques and production styles, while redefining genres in the process.

Self-recorded with an array of colours in their sonic palette, effect pedals, tape players, samplers, drum machines, and a Rhodes piano were just a few of the components used in the making of No Clearance (mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden), capturing Vasudeva at their rawest, yet most refined form to date.

It’s an album that couldn’t feel more natural. Brimming with confidence and an air of a devil-may-care attitude the basis comes from unrelenting grooves, while drawing on their post-rock, ambient, lo-fi, and electronic forms all in equal measure. From first track proper, ‘Take Away’ through to ‘Katy’, Vasudeva sucker you into an idealistic and happy version of post-rock. That first groove will make you break a smile that will be intact until the end.

Imagine Minus The Bear at their most accessible post-rock stage and you’ll be in the Vasudeva ball park. The overarching feeling is of something natural and beautiful being produced without the restrictions of expectation or being confined to a specific genre. For all the post-rock dynamics there’s an equal dose electro minimalism that pushes the band towards dream-pop territory. Take the droning beat and experimentation of ‘Doner’ as example of the beautiful dynamics.

That freedom allows Vasudeva to create wonderfully beguiling and captivating sound. Take the pomp and groove of ‘Turnstile’ – pushing a post-rock structure towards something poppier and more accessible whilst retaining an emotional and beautiful sentiment to the track. Although there’s a sense of freedom on No Clearance that’s not to say the band have gone mental and shunned everything they’ve done before. There’s still a distinctive Vasudeva sound, albeit channelled through further experimentation and ambition.

You could consider it an album lovers album too. It flows wonderfully with a well thought out and refined structure. You can lose yourself in the ambience of minimalist tracks like ‘Goner’ and revel in the luscious groove of ‘6&5’ as they segue into each other.

Listen to it in full to get it’s full worth. Give it your full attention and you’ll be rewarded with a vibrant and uplifting album that continues to blossom and impress on each listen.

AD Rating 8/10

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Alt Dialogue’s 2017 Quarter 1 Review – Alt Dialogue
  2. Alt Dialogue’s Top 100 Albums of 2017 Part 1: 100-51 – Alt Dialogue

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