Sunday, May 8, 2011

V is for...

Hard-pressed to name 10 great Vs, so here are five:
  • The Velvet Underground
  • Vangelis
  • Nana Vasconcelos
  • Richard Vimal
  • Luke Vibert
The inclusion of Velvet Underground goes (sort of) without saying so let's move swiftly on to Vangelis... whose long career has had its ups and downs but the one constant has been the quality of his film music. Chariots of Fire, Bladerunner and 1492 are pretty peerless, but I also like his 70s documentary soundtracks L'Apocalypse des Animaux and Opera Sauvage.

Of the rest: Richard Vimal is an unsung French keyboardist from the late 70s/early 80s whom I have fond memories of interviewing with my friend Wolfgang in a tiny village near Dijon. I could have added another French keyboardist, Patrick Vian (son of musician, novelist and surrealist Boris). Or Verto, a French experimental band from the 80s. Or Video Liszt, who made one album in 1981 and kept their identitities behind fencing masks; one of them was Richard Pinhas for sure, and I think the other was Herve Picquart, the two having previously played together as Ose. I even saw them once, supporting Pinhas in Paris in '81.

Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos is easily included. Some great solo albums (particularly Saudades), fine band (Codona), and wonderful contributions to other people's work, not least Jon Hassell's.

Luke Vibert gets in, partly for music under his own name but also as Wagon Christ. Other electronica acts almost worthy of inclusion would be Sven Vath, Vapourspace, Vladislav Delay, Christian Vogel and (ha!) Visage.

And then there's Christian Vander who would definitely be included if he wasn't already under M; a couple of Vegas - Alan and Suzanne; Tom Verlaine; Andreas Vollenweider (on a good day); and a few bands like The Verve, Violent Femmes, Virgin Prunes, Voice of the Beehive, and The Vibrators. But I'm afraid I've never 'got' Van Der Graaf Generator.


  1. Saw Nana Vasconcelos live once - amazing.
    He's a bit of a one hit wonder for me, but Kevin Volans wrote the fabulous "White Man Sleeps".
    And a guitarist from Manchester, who goes under the name of (amongst others) Voice of the Seven Woods, is as they say, of interest.

  2. only 1 important omission today: Vibracathedral orchestra.

  3. Saw Nana Vasconcelos live once, amazing.
    Kevin Volans did the wonderful "White Man Sleeps" & Manchester guitarist who goes under the name of Voice of the Seven Woods (amongst others) is, as they say, of interest.

  4. no access to actual collection to check V's but here's a few u might like:
    . vidnaObmana
    . edward vesala
    . vasilisk
    . vagina dentata organ
    . VSVN (atom heart)
    . vox populi
    . wolfgang voigt (cf. gas in G)
    . voice of eye
    . vita noctis
    . virgo (adonis & co)

  5. one other v: voices of kwahn. anna homler project: great!

  6. Hm, I know Vidna Obmana but thought that might be O (although I didn't list it there either), And I think I've got sthg by Vagina Dentata Organ but probably haven't played it in 20+ years?

  7. Never heard of Vibracathedral Orchestra but have just looked them up. Sound good.