"One of my discoveries for the 2015 London Jazz Festival.. Good is Good" Gilles Peterson
"Beautiful" "Dance to it, Make Love to it, Consume it, Listen to it, Stare at the Clouds to it.." Iggy Pop
"They were the unexpected stars of a glitzy show " John Fordham
"One of the most exciting young UK groups I've heard this year, Vula Viel" Jez Nelson
Bex Burch is percussionist and composer, specialising in the Dagaare xylophone or Gyil. Following a series of chance encounters and a keen interest in groove based music / minimalism Burch was invited to be the apprentice to master Ghanaian xylophonist Thomas Segkura and lived in Dagaare Ghana making and playing Gyilli for 3 years. On passing out of the apprenticeship, she was given the name ‘Vula Viel’, meaning Good is Good and shared the name with her own group on returning to the UK where she continues to forge her own unique sound.
Forming Vula Viel in 2013, acclaimed releases ‘Good is Good’ 2015, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ in 2019 and ‘What’s Not Enough About That’ in early 2020, Bex continues to build on that success with worldwide touring and a constant unique freshness: continuously stretching out the band’s sound, at times delicate and at others moving into raw post punk soundscapes.
Burch has performed on Gilles Peterson's BBC6 Music show live and in London’s most revered alternative venues such as Café OTO, Total Refreshment Centre and Vortex Jazz Club. Touring further afield includes WOMAD, Moers Festival, Bezau Beatz, Willisau Jazz Festival and Artist in Focus at Music Meeting. She has hosted a number of shows on Worldwide FM including a guest mix for Steve Reed Foundation Day (https://worldwidefm.net/show/steve-reid-foundation-day-bex-burch/).
“My journey with the gyil began in the Dagaare traditions and Thomas Sekgura's teaching”, explains Burch, “but through playing live and developing my own sound and voice, I am pushing my own boundaries and drawing on all my influences to find out what it is about music, percussion and the gyil that truly resonates with me.” The result is something new with every release. Expect an expansive, spacious album and live set which winds effortlessly from reassuring pulse, soaring melodies, to strident leftfield improvisations.
‘What’s Not Enough About That’ marked another major step in the evolution of Vula Viel. The album was recorded at London’s Fish Factory and was mixed by Dilip Harris (Sons Of Kemet, Joe Armon Jones). Bex continues to develop her strong voice with collaborations in 2020 and beyond, including working with Hector Plimmer (2 minute switch Bex Burch remix featuring Max Hallett), and duo collaborations with Emanative (Disrupt #4 (Shapes of Rhythm)), Tamar Osborn and Leafcutter John. She is also developing a solo project, focused around going deeper into her own improvised and compositional voice.