Tom Vek - We Have Sound - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tom Vek - We Have Sound

by James Briscoe Rating: Release Date:2005-04-04

Tom Vek's album, We Have Sound, was released at a time when electro was well in the throes of a comeback. The Klaxons had just come on the scene in Britain as well as Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem. However, there is something about We Have Sound, whether it is the imagery Vek uses or its enigmatic simplicity, that makes it a timeless piece of music. Listening to it, it lives and grows between your ears as of the present moment as the blood running through your veins.

Independent music had made it to a position of dominance in the UK charts in 2005 but forays of genius from Kanye West and System of a Down had left gaps open for different types of creative musical expression. We Have Sound was one of these.

We Have Sound is a prime example of using the solo artist medium to the full. In Vek's music, you hear so many different sounds from drums, keyboards and guitars but only one man's voice next to all of this eclectic noise. Vek directs his music with his voice and non-complex but profound lyrics. Simply, We Have Sound gives you everything you want from songs and without the sometimes messy nature of a whole group of singers. Vek learned how to be a one-man-band at his childhood home where his guitarist father had rigged up a makeshift studio in his garage. He then learned how to use an eight track to record whole songs, including drums, bass, guitar and microphone.

When listening, there are very few clues that it was created in a relatively rag-and-bone fashion, if anything, We Have Sound has the aura of music made on the moon in the year 3000. Maybe it is the futuristic sound of the eighties coming through. Vek said that he had help from DJ/ record producer/ wallpaper collector, Tom Rixton to 'do some things, mainly with computers, that I've never been able to do before. It was like using it as an instrument, only to do things that only a computer could do'. Moreover, in what I see as the album's headline track, 'Nothing But Green Lights', as a listener, you are taken away to a barren and peaceful landscape with warm, comforting lights, green of course. Vek calls out: 'I can see your eyes from here, I can't see nothing in between... there's nothing but green lights from here.'

'I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes' is more upbeat and determined. The song begins with a repeated, robotic guitar riff, which leads in to, 'There is still so much to see, there is still so much to do, I can't be more than half way through', 'Don't get upset, It's not my time yet, I ain't saying my goodbyes'. After the first two verses, we only hear the drum beat and a sci-fi whirring sound until Vek's clear and harmonic voice returns.

Vek is unlike other men, other solo artists from the noughties but, at the same time, shares the same maverick image and use of different genres of music as the American multi-instrumentalist, Beck. Tom Vek and We have Sound are Outkast-ice-cold-cool. We Have Sound will stroke and chill your ears and leave you lying, motionless on the floor. If you want to meditate in musical bliss, like Jesus in the wilderness, wrap your head around We Have Sound.

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