Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meet Vietgrove, from the U.K.

Mark Bailey has been excited to spread the word about some new music from Vietgrove, a two-man group from the United Kingdom that he's involved in with Vietgrove originator Norman Phay.  The excitement surrounds the June 14 release of a new collection of songs in the digital album "The Stellar Nursery."

"The Stellar Nursery" image via NASA
There's good reason for Mark to be excited.  "The Stellar Nursery" is a solid display of ambient music with enough heavier moments and guitar touches to be reminiscent of David Gilmour in Pink Floyd.  It's quiet yet engaging music.

"(Vietgrove is) really Norman's outfit," Bailey said in a Facebook message exchange today.  Phay started making music as Vietgrove back in the mid-'80s, and released numerous cassette albums long before Bailey got involved. "Our first meeting was in 1992 and involved the losing of a £2000 Emax sampling keyboard!" he added.

"We just like making music, and this is how it comes out! We both have a strong streak of romanticism that undoubtedly influences what we do, in addition to an unhealthy obsession with science and speculative fiction and a deep attachment to nature and the English countryside. I think all of these things are reflected in our music to some degree, both consciously and unconsciously."

Bailey said he thinks of Vietgrove's sound as "musical impressionism."  They're creating a picture, an atmosphere, with music and trying to present the music as something of a journey.

"Pleasingly, a lot of people seem to have picked up on that," he commented. "'X Factor' style glorified karaoke this is not!"

Bailey said he only got involved in Vietgrove by default.

"We'd been trying to put together a progressive rock band, and when that finally died I ended up becoming a full-time member of Vietgrove, as despite the fact that we couldn't keep the band together, we worked well and have always gotten along very well. In fact, I don't think we've ever had an argument about anything, which when you appreciate how volatile/cantankerous I can be is a tribute to Noman's powers of stoicism and patience!"

Bailey feels Vietgrove's music is about establishing a mood, and then using form and content to either reinforce that mood, or to deliberately subvert it, either gradually or jarringly.

"It just depends on how the muse is functioning on any particular day," Bailey added.

That establishment of a mood and then reinforcing or subverting it, as Bailey said, is what helps to make "The Stellar Nursery" quite intriguing.

"The Stellar Nursery" available at

Vietgrove's official website

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