V/Vm: The Best of the Worst and the Worst of the Best

Sometimes you stumble upon an artist that immediately grabs your attention. You want to check out all of this person’s work and you end up surfing for days on end just because there is so much to listen to. V/Vm might just be that.

V/Vm is the experimental music project of James Leyland Kirby from Stockport, England. James’ first known project under the V/Vm moniker dates back to 1996 and since then an extended variety of sounds was released. Although diverse, his productions find common ground in being harsh, highly experimental or otherwise confronting – not for the fainthearted! The V/Vm discography offers so much that it’s impossible to grasp with just one article. Still I’ve attempted to create a brief walk-through of V/Vm to hopefully spike your interest and kickstart your own research on him.

From the beginning V/Vm has produced predominantly and recurrently within the genres of noise and experimental…

…occasionally becoming more rhythmic.

…There is a clear red line throughout these releases in being hard and dark.

Since 2000, V/Vm has been venturing into “mash-ups”, revealing his (dark) sense of humor and sharing his critical attitude towards artists like Robbie Williams, Chris the Burgh and others, by butchering some of their ”pop classics”.

Later on V/Vm started creating instant classics like the very well crafted new-beat/acid-like “Sabam”. Great suspense with scary – and mostly porn – vocals, highly danceable and very surprising throughout. This album is an absolute must! The same eerie feel is heard in one of V/Vm’s first productions “Up Link Data Transmissions”, only being Detroit-electro with harsh and rapid moving sounds. (no YouTube link available unfortunately)

By his own funding, James released most of the works on his label V/Vm Test Records and sub-label Vukzid. Since 1997, he has been sharing a great number of his sounds unrestricted and for free on various V/Vm Test-associated microsites, showcasing his devil-may-care attitude towards copyright. Eventually in 2011 he had to take these microsites down in order to focus on other projects, currently only selling a very limited part of his oeuvre through Bandcamp. This adds to the mystique and quirks of the artist, as the remainder is only still shared by a very limited group of fanatics on selected platforms.

It has been quiet around V/Vm for close to 10 years, until “Between Nothingness & Eternity” was released last 13th of October on V/Vm Test Records, this time named MRS VVMILLS. Be sure to check it out!