VHS Head’s Trademark Ribbons Of Gold was one of 2010’s most unexpected leftfield masterpieces. With their contorted ’80s VHS samples and punishingly hyperactive IDM, they lashed together a genre of mutant electronics all their own. About a year after their last offering they have now released Midnight Section, a generous seven-track EP full of gems like Jager that confirm them as the very best exponents of, well, whatever you want to call this uniquely mangled genre of EDM.
The real genius of VHS Head lies in their sampling. Their material is plucked from obscure ’80s sci-fi videos and aging newsreel footage. They spot minute fragments of melody and rhythm where others would see nothing, and their idiosyncratic choices create an atmosphere that bears resemblance to the surreal ambience of Ian Hodgson’s work as Moon Wiring Club. The samples are also utilized fantastically, always seeming to flow well despite the nearly constant barrage of pilfered audio which could easily appear bloated and ungainly.
As well as the aforementioned Jager, I’ve also added The Murder Cycles from last year’s Trademark Ribbons Of Gold album, the track that is perhaps the best overall representation of VHS Head’s singular style. Bear in mind, however, that this pair of tracks represents only a tiny fraction of their work. Along with the seven tracks on their new EP, last year’s album was packed with no less than twenty tracks, each of which deserve your headphones.