Vlor was originally the guitar duo of Silber Records chielf Brian John Mitchell (Remora) and his best friend, Russell Halasz experimenting with drones, loops, and reverbs between 1992 and 1998, culminating in the ?Lavished? (1997) and ?Luxate? (1998) EPs. The project ended when Halasz moved to Florida in ?98. Mitchell decided to revive the project last year while preparing archival releases for his label, so he sat down and composed and recorded nearly an hour and a half of guitar riffs and arpeggios and farmed them off to half a dozen friends and label mates to complete. So the release is essentially prepared by a virtual band comprised of Aarktica?s Jon DeRosa, Lycia?s Mike VanPortfleet, Rivulets? Nathan Amundson, Red Morning Chorus? Jesse Edwards, 6P.M.?s Paolo Messere and vocalist Jessica Bailiff. The delicate opener ?Trust In Weapons? sets the table for a feast of minimalist guitar pluckings, drones, and sound manipulations, whereas ?Wires? is a true supergroups extravaganza, with input from everyone (but VanPortFleet). The title refers to the guitar upon which Mitchell plays his base drones which he saved from a fire and restrung with steel wire. The sonic results are akin to the ?Wire Music? collaborations between Alastair Galbraith and Matthew De Gennaro.
As a huge fans of DeRosa?s work, I?m partial to his collaborative efforts here, which are among the most sedate on tracks like ?Weakening Blows? and ?Light At The Speed Of Sound,? where he fills in the spaces between Mitchell?s original notes with complimentary strokes of glistening beauty. ?Horses In Deserts,? as expected, gallops along and, whether subconsciously or not, actually did remind me of America?s ?Horse With No Name,? as in, ?I?ve been through the desert on a horse with no name.? ?Potential New Sound? is a fluffy bed of electronic feathers?a marshmallow overcoat of Amundson?s keyboards, Bailiff?s acoustic guitar, Edwards? Indian instruments and Messere?s percussives.
The album works because, despite the rudimentary two-note riffage of a lot of Mitchell?s source material, his decision to have multiple collaborators adding layers onto his framework gives the album a full-band sound, making for an eclectic, yet exciting listen that might have otherwise languished in boxes like millions of other guitarists? personal noodlings and peripheral creations.
Bailiff?s breathy vocals on ?Suncatcher? add an element of warmth, although I?m still impressed with the soft reflective, stroll-through-the-woods atmosphere of tracks like ?Pale Lights? and ?Days Like Smoke.? Overall, a beautiful album for late night or early morning navel gazing. 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (10 July, 2006)