New music duo VTR make their mark at Brixton launch

South London duo VTR

They say opposites attract, and that is certainly the case when it comes to the music of upcoming south London duo VTR.

This creative pair offers up tracks on their first EP Soul to Skin that veer seamlessly from the melodic to the abstract, from digital distortion to the real-life vocals that reach the inner soul.

Expect an entrancing and intoxicating blend of electronic effects and haunting vocals with a multi-layered feel, all of which draw the listener in and grabs their unconscious imagination.

Clash music were quick to premiere Soul to Skin, describing VTR’s sound as an “entrancing mixture – reminiscent of those early James Blake EPs, or even the hushed intensity of Portishead”.

VTR is singer-songwriter Kristy Clark and producer Olsi Rama (pictured above), who merged their respective skills after several chance musical encounters in their shared Brixton Artspace studio.

Clark’s sensual lyricism occupies a distinct space amidst Rama’s spectral sound design, striking a balance between haunting depth and inviting warmth.

Throughout the EP’s five tracks, moments of pop clarity twist subtly into abstraction; vocals and sonics interlace and deviate much like the layered experimental films from which the duo draw inspiration.

Although not a literal acronym, the name VTR pays tribute to the invention of the Video Tape Recorder, the first technology to offer simultaneous recording of audio and video. This retro-futuristic quality has already captured the imagination of tastemakers like Gilles Peterson, who opened his BBC Radio 6 show with the EP’s title track.

At a recent launch party at Dream Diary’s studio in Brixton, the invited audience was treated to the first ever live performance by VTR. It had each and every person spellbound from beginning to end, the experience enhanced by a mesmerising laser show and specially commissioned arthouse-style video.

Soul to Skin was co-produced by recent R&S Records signee Afriqua, whose SLAP EP and Chronic Cool 12” on Dream Diary brought considerable attention to the label. For the past couple of years, Dream Diary’s limited vinyl editions have earned a reputation for both musical quality and club-readiness.

Soul to Skin marks two of the label’s firsts in a new chapter: the EP is Dream Diary’s first digital/physical release, as well as the first to feature prominent vocals and songwriting.

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