The Wire


Listen: Volcano The Bear tracks

August 2015

Listen to tracks from a forthcoming five LP set, Commencing, collecting rarities, unreleased material, live recordings and tracks from early cassette-only releases celebrating Volcano The Bear's 20th anniversary. Selected and annotated by VTB's Aaron Moore

"Velcro Symbols"
Recorded in early 1997 and issued on our second cassette release Vol Tu in 1998. This track features Paul Warrener and Sarah Cawkwell who were members of the group in the very early days. Paul had put together a loop of a groove from a session we'd done on his eight-track. His studio was set up in the basement of a house Daniel Padden and Sarah shared with a bunch of old Uni mates. Me, Paul and Sarah added the vocals and synths one night. Paul had bought a bunch of old BBC tape stock and the reverse sound at the end of this piece was already on the tape so we decided to keep it. This was destined to be on The Inhazer Decline album but due to the upheaval in the group when Paul and Sarah left we chose not to include it.

Recorded sometime in 2004 and issued on a compilation CD from the Italian magazine Losing Today. It's a different version of the track "The Merry Potter" which appeared on the Classic Erasmus Fusion album in 2006. Nick Mott played a massive wooden organ pipe that my mother had bought from a local church. It took so much breath to play it that he'd be close to passing out every time. The screeching pipe sounds before the end part are multi-tracked drinking straw saxophones.

"Asian Speedway"
Taken from three different recording sessions. The vibes and balafon part were recorded in 2001 and had been laying around for ages but never got used. The horns came from a part of an unreleased track from The Idea Of Wood album sessions in 2001. The final plucked part was from a four-track tape we used when performing live in 1999. In compiling Commencing Clarence Manuelo and I mixed these three elements together to make "Asian Speedway". The title is from a long forgotten track I found listed in an old VTB lyric book.

Recorded live at Kev Reverb's Memphis studio in 2003. We played this track live for a couple of years. It came from a plucked cello line Padden had recorded onto a four-track tape. By the time we got around to recording it Padden had moved to Glasgow so it was just Manuelo, Mott and myself at the session. Unknown to us Padden had recorded a version himself for a One Ensemble album so this version was shelved.

"Did You Ever Feel Like Jesus? (live)"
This was recorded at a festival in Düdingen, Switzerland in December 2007 on the tour promoting the album Amidst The Noise And Twigs. It was the last night of a month long tour. Mott had left the group earlier that year so we were playing as a trio. We were exhausted and not getting on too well but still managed to create something beautiful and Bear like. A studio version of this piece appears on the Classic Erasmus Fusion album.

Commencing is out on Miasmah in late October/early November.


nice, this is my first listen to this band and their music and i am quite pleased and can't wait to buy their music!

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