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Wisdom and Woe on Spencer VH’s ‘Acceptance’

Funzone Founder Creates Ambient Beauty

Peacefully plaintive and softly somber, Spencer VH’s new ambient EP, Acceptance, makes a welcome companion for all times meditative, mending, or even mournful. In three instrumental, entirely electronic songs, the Funzone founder/former manager unearths his more reflective facet, a serious side that may surprise those who recall his mirthful moods at his now-defunct all-ages East Beach Batting Cages music venue. But just as well, Funzone (rest in peace) encouraged many an ambient, drone, or experimental set; on Acceptance, VH stands in line with the best of them.

The opening, title track is a truly beautiful modern classical piece that slowly and gracefully unfolds with gentle piano and crackling static. The second tune, “Spiral,” stabs and jolts with dark, buzzing synths, landing lastly in the indeterminate drift of “Igyl,” which closes things out in a spacey bittersweetness lightened by dreamy chimes. The work on a whole is perfectly sculpted for the glooms and grays of spring and early summer, and in its textures one will hear wisdom and woes.

VH says the songs reflect “a difficult period” in his life and that the electronic explorations have allowed him to flex multiple creative muscles. He was largely inspired by the community he helped to foster here. “We’re all complicated people out here trying to be creative, and Funzone was a place where I saw a lot of people in our community come together and embrace each other’s art, even if it wasn’t what they knew they enjoyed before,” he said.

There is much to embrace in this small but powerful release. Find it on Bandcamp, digitally or on cassette.

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