True to form and function, vhvl is an acronym for “very high, very low,” a mantra that informed New York City musician and producer Veronica Lauren’s sound spatialization on early productions, beginning with 2013’s album myrrh. A slow burning fuse of subsequent releases composed and created on the Roland SP-303 and 404 made Lauren’s corner of the NYC cosmos a parallel dimension to the west coast constellation of beatmaking. But whereas her Cali counterparts coalesced in style and over collaborations, Lauren operates outside of context and expectations, never inside someone else’s idea of where her music belongs.
Through constant transition, Lauren avoids identifying herself as an artist. vhvl works best above, below and beyond categorization, an important consideration while experiencing her new beat tape hem/sew. Like two phases of the tide, the emotional undertow of hem/sew stirs with opposing but analogous forces, one returning to the other in a figure eight of mutual harming and healing. Formed of ten parts woven into one, hem/sew thrives in perpetual, introspective energy, shifting between brooding and sanguine, funky and restful, machinic and biotic, inky and opalescent.
hem/sew invites new listeners, old friends, back in to vhvl’s singular space, where sound does not speak but feels, and in which the listener must hear for themselves, and never for another. Like an edge, a fold, a threshold, this space is not definitively anywhere, and yet it always is there, much like Lauren herself.