Samuel Van Dijk aka VC-118a unleashes his 3rd LP ‘Waves of Change on Delsin
VC-118A is an artist fascinated by contrasts – a man with a mission to explore the sonic boundaries of tension and release that arise through the thoughtful construction alchemy of atmosphere, texture and groove.
His well travelled trio of aliases VC-118A, Mohlao and Multicast Dynamics are a testament to his dedication to his craft, having also composed under his name Samuel van Dijk over the last 15 years or so. There’s much to admire in his richly layered tapestry of treasures, having released his first EP courtesy of UK based Meanwhile back in 2009. He has since turned his hand to collating an impressive discography for the likes of Frustrated Funk, Astral Industries, AC, Acid Test and also includes a collection of albums for Lunar Disko, Tabernacle, Silent Season and Delsin.
Forever focussed on musical dynamics, shot through expansive yet subtle effects. Van Dijk likes to immerse his thinking in how sound moves within a space as much as it can engage within: carrying listeners into a world rich in detailed sonic design. With 2021’s Spiritual Machines LP, he presented a new approach which took his established vision into downtempo and experimental pastures.
Following on from this, his latest missive ‘Waves Of Change’ seemingly hones in on this creative vein even further with a clear-sight that focuses on the idea of change. As forces and factors in our present accelerate states of flux within our lives. He places the emphasis on sparse broken beats, dub-heavy bass and hazy aesthetics all wrapped in intoxicating atmospherics and wistful sounds that glide at a chugging tempo. All expressed with unerring grace over 10 tracks, he may well have just exceeded himself in the process and we do not say this lightly. From the opening suspense of ‘Heat’, to the fluid synthesis of ‘The Deep’ and the metronomic quality of ‘Stream’. Tracks like ‘You’ and ‘Replace Image’ might well be a metaphor for the ever-shifting flux of the universe. The crisp rhythmatics that feature on ‘Glub’ and ’Elektri’ have a steadfast quality. Whilst ‘Motherboard’ and ‘Echoboard’ courses through vivid soundscapes guided by elegant, probing drums.
Whatever he chooses to make, van Dijk never fails to translate his exploratory approach to music into something with its own sense of beauty, narrative and magic. Balancing the discipline of machine-sequencing and hand-shaped sound, to render his ideas into form, ‘Waves of Change’ is another point in the the continued evolutionary trajectory of VC-118A. The result is another mesmerising record steeped in craft and loaded with intent.