The guitar is familiar. This type of delay effect can be heard across a few notorious ambient styles. But its obvious clarity is perhaps a little uncharacteristic of the master beginning the proceedings. A beautiful vocal is introduced; an approach we've come to expect from Brock Van Wey across his extensive catalog. But this particular lullaby is different. It's clearer, more pronounced, more powerful. A soaring synth follows suit, but this time it's raw, it's electronic, more synthetic, and untamed from its output.
Brock's new album, Safety In A Number, is the latest build on his distinguishable style. For a man that averages a couple of albums a year, we often wonder where he'll end up, how he'll grow, and how he'll adapt a style that so many of us have come to love. His recent uploads on Bandcamp are just a taste of his styles, ranging from break-core as East Of Oceans, to house and pure ambience.
It's more often than not the subtle changes that define a bvdub album from the next. But sometimes it's more obvious, deviating across his guises to bring complex beats or straight-up techno. But it's always identifiably Brock. Safety In A Number is a very obvious evolution to those that follow him closely. Brock's familiar vocals are here in full force. His euphoric breaks and progressive builds are more obvious. Instruments are more defined. But what struck me most is the rawness of the album.
Brock breaks down the six tracks into a similarly repetitive pattern. A beautiful melody, touching guitars, pianos and of course, feather-light vocals, surmounting to a crescendo of enigmatic drones. You're used to this if you're a Brock fan, but these are different. It's a repeated assault. They're straight up, no messing, in-your-face powerful.
Brock's taken the time to gently caress the beginnings across the album with some beautiful piano work, often creating ambient masterpieces within the first 3-minutes of each track. His notorious ten-plus minute pieces leave you hooked after the first third, guessing the ingredients, but never quite the formula. In classic Brock style, they progress, digress, egress and evolve into a familiar, yet powerful wall-rattling melancholic drone. More powerful than ever before, and stemming from a seemingly new inspiration. It's undoubtedly one of his most epic productions yet.
Safety In A Number will be released November 2nd, through his newly opened Bandcamp page, so keep a close eye. Unfortunately, we won't be treated to any samples or streams, but any Brock fans who are willing will be rewarded when taking the leap. 365 CD copies will be hand-numbered and signed, with an additional 100 Japanese edition copies available through Linus.
01. Warm Tears In Three Colors
02. Safety In Numbers
03. A Human Letter From The Air
04. No Glory For The Risen
05. Crushed Under The Wait
06. Closeness Makes The Heart Grow Colder
Listen to Brock's 50th isolatedmix here.