Voldo Blanka is a musical puzzlebox. A musician with experience of over a dozen instruments, interestingly it was the mechanistic washes of sound of electronica that attracted him rather than the squalling muso noodlings of modern jazz or metal. His presentation is restricted to a handful of monochrome photo shoots of him archly peering into the middle distance, and he is absent from the “Go Your Way” video, delegating visual intrigue a troupe of plain-clothes dancers and the decaying underpasses of Los Angeles. Rather than avidly marketing himself, his work is a process of withdrawal and retraction from the public eye.
This is also reflected in his music, which strikes an uneasy balance of melancholic emotion and glacial detachment, exemplified literally in the robotic vocoder vocals that underlay his own. “Go Your Way” is a surprisingly coherent hybrid of various styles: Philip Glass-esque piano arpeggios, glints of post-rock outfits like Hammock (particularly their song “Tonight We Burn Like Stars That Never Die”) and Explosions in the Sky, clicking percussion reminiscent of Björk’s “Vulnicura” and those synthesised vocals which evoke modern hip-hop and R&B. This impersonal and clinical genre cherry-picking dryly underlays the song’s wistful positivity—“today’s the day”, “you’re on your way up”—as does the grand, shoegaze-influenced production.
If the “Go Your Way” has flaws, they are primarily derived from its anonymity. Voldo Blanka is playing one-handed, afraid to fully commit, and thus the air of stately detachment which pervades “Go Your Way” punctures genuine emotional involvement. However, it is an intriguing introduction to a new artist with a distinctive sound and compelling aesthetic. CO
Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16ddIO5u4BQ