Oliver Marchant, AKA RKB Vitesse, is otherwise known for his work with electronic outfit SDF Collective. SDF were a group who embraced the avant garde as much as they did euphoric dance music.
Stepping out on his own, Marchant has just treated us to his debut outing as RKB Vitesse. On the wordily titled “The More You Love Yourself The More You Will Be Loved” Marchant has fully embraced club ready party anthems and dreamy-yet-focussed electronic dance and pop music.
With guest appearances from the likes of Capitol K, Serafina Steer Jason Buckle and Charlie Stock of Bas Jan this isn’t your average club music.
It’s well studied, sure, but Marchant has a character all of his own.
“Can’t Stop Feeling” opens with a short repeated distant vocal sample from the mysterious Bitter End Records release “Can’t Stop”. It features some great clanging percussion and strange wet sounds mixed with ambient swirls and disco drums. This truly deserves to be heard in a huge club.
Marchant embraces gorgeous lap steel guitar (played by James Garzke) on the transcendental ballad “Pledge Psychodrama”. It’s a slow, icy and beautifully constructed pop song that just begs to be remixed.
The thumping, trancey “Aquagel” follows. It’s brilliantly produced frantic bassline, distorted snare sounds and euphoric synth chords marry perfectly with Marchant’s deep, southern-Jarvis Cocker-esque, vocals.
Despite the constant shifting of styles the album retains a consistent atmosphere.
“Keep On Going” is a party anthem that brings 80s drum sounds and a twinkling synth line reminiscent of Animal Collective’s “Brother Sport”.
Perhaps the highlight of the record is the title track ”The More You Love Yourself” on which Marchant offers salient advice through sloganeering life lessons. It’s almost like a therapy session set to the lush timbres of fizzing oscillations and sweeping synths. Some of the advice, of course, is also hilarious; “Don’t buy the cheapest bin liners” and “Don’t be a cunt”. It’s a beautiful piece.
This is followed up by the 11 minute epic “Dancer At The Edge Of Time”; a slow burning four to the floor beat increases in clarity amongst a sea of synths. There are many satisfying layers of sound. Marchant’s dead pan vocal delivery is effected with tapped delay, a great crunchy percussive sound like people clapping with crisps in their hands. Charlie Stock adds viola that mixes seamlessly with the swooning synths.
The combination of acoustic and electronic instruments throughout the record is mixed in such a way that you don’t immediately pick them out.
Serafina Steer, also not a stranger to electronic music, provides vocals to add another dimension to the clubby, in parts New Order-like, “Tunnel Visions”. This provides a huge contrast to the wide open spaces of the instrumental “Place Beyond Worry”. It’s full of slow string synths and windlike swirls, which lightly pitch bend in the bleak aural terrain. Moments of controlled feedback, rumbling bass synth and strange backwards vocal samples complete this hypnotic closer. It brings a completely different dimension to the album, yet feels completely in place.
This debut from RKB Vitesse is gorgeously produced and orchestrated throughout. An exciting and unique listen.