Vula Viel Live Saturday 30th March
We’ve been following these guys for a while and it’s with great pleasure that we have the opportunity to host forward-thinking trio Vula Viel at Mount Pleasant Eco Park.
Celebrating the release of their new album, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ on 25th January 2019, and continuing their unique musical journey centred around the Gyil (Ghanaian xylophone) this gig will be one to remember.
The band’s new set confidently weaves sparse polyrhythms and intricate rhythm structures around bandleader Bex Burch’s Gyil lines and take the instrument’s sound into new territory, with bassist Ruth Goller and drummer Jim Hart introducing a rough, post-punk edge to the band’s sound.
In Bex’s own words: “I have loved making this music. The incredible Dagaare systems which form the foundation have given me the structure on which to write tunes, craft grooves and choose my own meanings. I’ve gone deeper into what moves me in the Dagaare music, the fundamentals – asymmetry, space and chaos. I love how Do Not Be Afraid feels – a totally unusual and unique groove. As musicians, Ruth and Jim are incredible: They bring passion, talent, intuition and a depth that I wouldn’t have access to without them.”
Vula Viel was formed in 2013 by Bex Burch. After studying at Guildhall and training as a classical percussionist, she embarked on a life-changing three-year period living, farming and studying with xylophone master Thomas Segura in Upper West Ghana; the band’s name means ‘Good is Good’ in the Dagaare language. After being mentored in the deep traditions around the Gyil, a large African xylophone made of sacred lliga wood, Burch began the journey to bring the instrument into her own music.
The acclaimed debut Vula Viel album in 2015, ‘Good is Good’, was the first realisation of her vision and ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ is the first set of Burch originals, written on traditional Dagaare forms.
Described as “Ghanaian minimalism”, with the unassuming ability to blur the lines between atmospheres – Vula Viel’s sound may nod to Steve Reichian jazz, but influences don’t stop there: one can hear echoes of Bill Laswell and the irresistible energy of Arthur Russell.
All About Jazz ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Evening Standard – Album of the week ⭐⭐⭐⭐ “punchy, danceable… Vibe-tastic”
Guardian – “Geometric African minimalism… Goller’s fuzz bass adds a thrilling post-punk edge to proceedings.”
Sunday Times – Essential Release: “Unconventional band who can take you by surprise… There’s a punk energy to some of the more frenetic performances”
Songlines: “Fearless.. Vula Viel are a live sensation.”
Rhythm Passport: “Vula Viel are a blessing for a music scene like the London one, obsessed with coolness and what being cool implies. They simply play what they like, how they like it. Paraphrasing the title of their album, they’re not afraid, … dancier and captivating…. a unique music experience.”
Iggy Pop “Dance to it, make love to it, consume it, listen to it, stare at the clouds to it!”
Gilles Peterson “One of my discoveries for the London Jazz Festival… Good is Good”
John Fordham, The Guardian (UK) “They were the unexpected stars of a glitzy show”
Read an interview with the talented Bex Burch by Rhythm Passport HERE
Get your ticket HERE