Sunday, January 27, 2013

An Evolution of Hearts and Minds/AKA: Ronan learns to sing

I've been posting about my love of VNV Nation for years now, and after a recently successful in-person live Cosmic American get together fellow blogger Little Earl asked for a VNV playlist. Now, how could I resist a request like that?

Since there's so many good songs by VNV I had to decide what my emphasis would be. I came up with three options: A- a purely 'best of VNV' playlist, B- a mix that would emulate the style and flow of a VNV album, or C- a mix that would show how VNV Nation's sound has evolved over the years. I decided to go with C, with an emphasis on how Ronan Harris, over time, found his voice. In early works you can barely hear him growling in the background. But by the time you get to 2005's Homeward he's a regular crooner (well he still doesn't really have much range, but he sounds a hell of a lot better).

The mix also demonstrates the overall transition that VNV have undergone, how their music began in the depths of 90's EBM/Industrial music and transitioned into the "alternative electronic" (their words) of today. Ronan Harris has a real ear for production, and you can hear it in most of VNV's later tracks.

A few notes:  In order to keep this mix somewhat short I had to make a lot of hard choices. With eight albums under their belt, I started with just two songs from each album. I added a few additional songs from the "Empires" period (generally considered their tour-de-force), reduced their first album (Advance & Follow) to one song as well as 2007's "Judgement", and added in a version of Honour 2003, which was an updated remake of the original Honour, the song they are most known for. Since the mix focuses on Harris's voice, I did not include any instrumentals, something else VNV are generally good at - so no, there's no Electronaut here. I chose Youtube clips that included lyrics in the description (special thanks to user BartyMae for uploading nearly every VNV song with lyrics).



Little Earl said...

Yes, thank you Zrbo. Although I was expecting more of a simple mp3 mix than a YouTube playlist(!). But this will work too, I suppose. I'll need to set aside some time in order to give it the proper attention; I've been having a relatively busy week. Speaking of, thank you for your prolific posting to cover my rear.

Side note: are you slyly mocking my fondness for using "AKA" in my post titles?

Herr Zrbo said...

Whoops, I forgot to address that. Yes, I can make an mp3 mix for you at some point, I just realized that creating a youtube mix is faster and I could post it to the blog.

Oh, it wasn't intended as mocking your posts at all, if anything, it was meant as an ode.