The enigmatic Various Production will be performing an exclusive mix on the Breezeblock tonight. I recently received another 7 inch single from them, but I still have no idea who they are - once again the sleeve design is as uninformative as it is beautiful, and there's never a press release. I shouldn't complain, and of course I'm very grateful that they continue to send me these delightful little packages. I suppose I could try e-mailing them, but to be honest I'm quite enjoying the sense of mystery that surrounds them for the moment. Besides, I very much doubt they'd want to reveal themselves to me anyway.
VAR.009 once again confounds expectations (apart from the expectation that it'll be confounding!). What's happened to the delicate female vocalist? Not present on this release, I'm afraid. Instead the vocals on "Sir" are handled by...some bloke. He's quite good, but maybe a bit too breathy and stylised for my taste. Not sure if he's English or an Anglophile-American. The music's bloody great though, all pensive angular beats, sensual sweeping synths and juddering oscillator tones that make for one of the most innovative, dubstep-aware 'pop songs' I've heard in many moons. I just wish they'd let the lady sing it, then it would've been totally orgasmic!
The b-side is the real eye-opener, though. I'd been getting used to the queer little acoustic folk songs on the flip, but on this one Var. Prod. go all dancehall-bashment aggressive. Over a hyper-distressed A.S.B.O riddim, some, er, other bloke spits fast 'n' furious about urban violence with a thuggish delivery that makes Bruza sound like a choirboy. Its like a completely different act to the one that gave us the gentle contemplation of "Home" on the previous single. But then, as their name suggests, this is probably a collective, rather than a firm group/label, subject to fluid changes in line-up and approach. Presumably there's at least one person who's central to it all, though? I'd love to know what makes him/her tick. All will be revealed in time, I'm sure. In the meantime, be sure to tune-in to tonight's show, which also features some exclusive tunes from Loefah, Boxcutter and others (or, like me, listen again tomorrow), then grab the singles at Boomkat while stocks last!
Oh, and if you happen to live anywhere near Manchester, you might wanna check out this little shindig next month, featuring a live set from Var. Prod. in Room 2, along with Vex'd and up-and-coming dubstep producer Omen. Looks like a wicked night! Big-up the old Rephlex stalwarts too, of course!
Edit: Just heard from Var. Prod. that they aren't actually doing a live set, just a straight laptop/turntable dj set.