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Go to the V/Vm website  V/Vm - Sometimes, Good Things Happen [V/Vm Test Records - 2002]

Sometimes, good things happen. Sometimes, bad things happen too. But what is good and bad? What is right or wrong? V/Vm strikes again with a very odd and confusing release, described as being like Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms" without Mark Knopfler...

The Northern England based V/Vm and its label V/Vm Test Records have been teasing the world with their strange releases; V/Vm is probably best known for its noisy reinterpretations and mutations of well known popular songs. "Lady In Red" by Chris De Burgh was one of them, but also Robbie Williams' "Angels", Boyzone, Barry White, Joy Division, and among the releases are even tribute albums to Borussia Dortmund and The Queen Mother. Everything that is totally out of the ordinary is fitting to V/Vm and V/Vm Test Records, releasing most of all his own work, but also The Caretaker (reviewed here) and other various unusual artists.

"Sometimes, Good Things Happen" is presented in a format I haven't seen before. V/Vm claims there's only one right disc, and the other is wrong or doesn't exist at all. Still, there are two jewel cases with a CD inside, one with the correct image of a wheat field, the other one the same image in negative format. But that's the only difference from the outside. Musically however, they are very different yet they are the same, also considering track titles and so on. Now is this confusing or what?

I unintentionally started with the album with the "normal" cover artwork, the yellow one. This shows a side of V/Vm we've never heard before. No samples or harsh noises, but soft and melodic ambient. Sometimes a beat comes in, but nothing really significant. So this disc comes more close to Aphex Twin's more laid-back tracks than V/Vm's older work. Quite surprising indeed, but nowhere near wrong for me; the spacey ambient tracks are very pleasant to the ear and have a lot of atmosphere. But I guess since this is not like earlier V/Vm stuff, most fans will find this the "wrong" release. Mainly because the negative (blue) album is V/Vm for what they are known for. If you want to scare you neighbours away than this is definitely the right one. Extreme noises and out-of-control rhythms makes this very intense but hardly listenable. Except for some tracks, like "Everybody Is Going Downhill" (not to be mistaken with the same track on the yellow disc), this is too "over the top" for me, although everything is actually very structured, appearing after a few close listens.

I doubt that there is a real "right" and "wrong" release, since both seem fitting for "Sometimes, Good Things Happen". If you like more ambient you might want to check out the yellow one, if you like ear-splitting noise you should choose the blue one. I'm still confused, and I doubt anybody will ever know what is the good disc or the wrong disc. And that's good. Or bad? Oh well... Whatever, good things happen for a reason.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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