vula viel music

Vula Viel

Vula Viel is the brainchild of Bex Burch, a classically trained percussionist whose music buzzes off the bell patterns of Ghanaian beatmakers. Don't miss her blissful balafons and rhythmic bedlam...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 27 Mar 2017
  • min read
Who? Vula Viel is the brainchild of percussionist Bex Burch.

What? Blissful balafon sounds and rhythmic bedlam.

What’s the story? Vula Viel was born out of Bex’s three year stint living, farming and studying in Upper West Ghana.

The band’s name means ‘good is good’ in the local Dagaare language, while their sound buzzes off the region’s intense rhythms.

Bex leads on the gyil, a Ghanaian form of balafon made of wood, gourds and string, throwing electronic and minimalist dance flavours into the mix.

It’s all loosely based on the bell pattern favoured by asymmetrical beatmakers across sub-Saharan Africa.

Pulling together bright new jazz talents Dan Nicholls, Dave De Rose, Simon Roth and George Crowley, Vula Viel released their debut self-titled album around 18 months ago.

Since then, Vula Viel have changed line-ups to include Ruth Goller on bass and Jim Hart on Drums, played at the London Jazz Festival and venues across the capital including Rich Mix, the Vortex and more recently the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho last week.

Their live sets, famed for their impromptu party-starting poly-rhythms, have earned the band plaudits from Gilles Peterson, Iggy Pop, The Guardian and Jazz Standard.

Don’t miss their next instalment at the Jazz Café, Camden, on 20 May, or listen out for their next record Do Not Be Afraid, currently in the pipeline and slated for release early 2018…

Sounds like? Music from the fourth world.

Must hear? Zine Donedone Zine Daa