EDIT: It seems that Velure has withdrawn Songbox, which is a shame. But if you'd like to hear some of their more recent music, please visit their website. CTW offers a cheery but tear-stained, handkerchief-waving goodbye from the end of the railway platform.
After a hard day fighting crime and introducing green-skinned women to the Earth custom known as "kissing", I needed to hear something soothing wafting across the foyer of CTW Towers. Fortunately, my secretary was playing Songbox by Velure, and its appropriate opening track, Walk Home, did the trick. On hearing Dale Arden batting her eyelids at Flash Gordon over a bass line with white-noise overtones, CTW's ears immediately tucked themselves in for the night with a nice cup of cocoa. All was well.
Velure are Australian purveyors of dubbish trip-hop electronica. (The internet: ears love it.) The quintet crafted Songbox, a five-track EP, in 2003 and recently decided to let we're-not-worthy uber-netlabel Ideology have the album in a splurge of Ocker-Teutonic McLovin. This is what's known as a Very Good Thing.
Throughout the second track, What To Do, as in the rest of album, Lynelle (Nelly) Moran's voice is set to "tickle". It brushes up close to the listener's ear and flirts with the dubby, bouncy bass and lonely-sounding harmonica.
Dub permeates Do You Feel Right? thanks to its soporific vocals, skanking guitar and a refusal to explain why such a lethargic track feels up-tempo. It's catchy. You'll be singing the chorus in the bath. Actually, there's not much echoing and endless reverb going on here. Perhaps it's better to call it "G'day Reggae".
There's something wrong with Birdy, the fourth track. The symptoms: slooow, meaty drum beat, vinyl crackles, simple accompaniment, slurred strings, noises off, and breathy are-we-there-yet vocals from a young lady. My diagnosis: Birdy has a nasty dose of trip-hop and the only cure is to listen until dawn. The track finishes with birdsong and should be sponsored by hypnotists worldwide. Three thumbs up.
The drum 'n' bass of Resonate does what it says on the tin (or the songbox), and feels as though Velure are all sitting on the lid to stop it getting out, only for the beats to pop out and have their say. It's singalong, dinner party drum 'n' bass. And that's Another Very Good Thing.
In-depth review: sounds great; catchy; suitable for all Homo Sapiens; eminently satisfying to fondle; free.
Velure have another album, Care For Fading Embers, available from iTunes and other music corporations via Velure's website. Let's hope the generous gesture of releasing Songbox for free is rewarded by sales. Go on, feed and clothe some talented musicians and further the cause of free internet music.