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Unmap CD

Price: £11.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Volcano Choir Store


Image of album by Volcano Choir


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"Shed skin/ Like a master" Volcano Choir

It's been four years since the first Volcano Choir album Unmap provided a glimpse into the collaborative mind set between a singer and the band that inspired him. Ideas were minted, written at a distance and realised in the studio; edges sanded back and flaps tucked in, the craftsmanship of the endeavour bearing evidence of the craft ... Read more in Amazon's Volcano Choir Store

Visit Amazon's Volcano Choir Store
for all the music, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Unmap + Repave + Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Price For All Three: £28.85

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Sept. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B002HMCEF8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,519 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Husks And Shells 3:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Seeplymouth 6:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Island, IS 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Dote 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. And Gather 2:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Mbira In The Morass 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Cool Knowledge 1:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Still 6:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Youlogy 3:37£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

BBC Review

Bon Iver’s beautiful, lovelorn For Emma, Forever Ago was a critics’ favourite of 2008, topping many year-end lists and bewitching the lucky few who heard it with its heartbreaking songs. It was the delicate raking-over of a relationship’s embers, the cathartic mumblings of a bereft man holed away in his Wisconsin wood cabin with a guitar and set of microphones, recovering from illness and the break-up of his band.

On its near-follow-up, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver in plainclothes) has reconvened with the Volcano Choir he and members of post-rockers Collections of Colonies of Bees formed in 2005. It’s an entirely natural combination, but a very different beast from Bon Iver. Where For Emma, Forever Ago cradled the listener, Unmap is plainly more challenging.

For starters, it’s light on words, favouring a hushed minimalism which isn’t so far from Vernon’s previous set but lacks that album’s immediacy. It’s not so easy to find a way in. Persevere, however, and rewards are plentiful, from the wind-scattered prettiness and choral interjections of Husks and Shells to And Gather’s campfire chimes, handclaps and cosy organ fills.

This is a quiet, withdrawn record, edging slowly into life with repeated, grooving sequences on Island, IS (available as a free download from the Jagjaguwar site) and the cats’ chorus of Cool Knowledge. Meanwhile, Dote’s ambient drone recalls Boards of Canada’s unsettling atmospherics and the treated vocal parps of Seeplymouth owe a debt to Laurie Anderson. These are not mainstream influences, but the parts add up to an oddly accessible whole.

It’s evident in the dreamy vocoder of the gorgeous Still, which feels like a comfort blanket after Mbira in the Morass’s creepy ghost-blues, and Youlogy’s gospel coda which happily tempers the mournful Thom Yorke-like whine that otherwise dominates the song. Difficult music offset by soulful touches.

While there’s still a whiff of the wintry woods about Unmap, it shows a more experimental side of Vernon than we’re familiar with, his occasional colleagues clearly giving him the space to express his less-charted oblique leanings. A welcome companion piece to For Emma, Forever Ago, this side-project is also a work to cherish in its own right. --Matthew Horton

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter R. Stone on 8 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Interesting album, a bit of a late night burner, that with more playing and a glass of Vino gets a lot better (the more wine you drink the better the album sounds) the playing is warm and gentle, but with enough suden changes to keep you focused, if your a fan of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes then dont think this is anything like there last long players, as this is a completely different baby, and we all need change....and this is a good one!
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By A E Healey on 24 Dec. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Beautiful. If you like Bon Iver you'll love this, slightly darker and perhaps slightly more inaccessible but incredible all the same. This is an album I turn to again and again when I'm in varying moods and it always sees me right. Saw VC live some time ago and that definitely brought this album alive for me, their passion for music is evident in this album along with their live performances and that combined with Justin Vernon's trademark vocal arrangements make for a brilliant album.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
There is somebody on the front cover image of Volcano Choir's
debut 'Unmap' standing in the snow wrapped up in a blanket.
Rather like German artist Joseph Beuys' performance piece
"I Like America and America Likes Me" (1974) in which he spent
three days in the Rene Block Gallery in NYC locked up in a cage
with a live coyote with only a roll of felt and a wooden staff
for comfort and protection, the VC image is a shamanistic bridge
of sorts to the wonderful music which follows.

This is music which does, indeed, wrap around like a sonic blanket,
bringing warmth to our bones in these increasingly troubled times.

There is a subtle magic in these nine compositions which, in a
blissfully unhurried way, worms its way into our consciousness
and before we know it we find ourselves as much inside the music as
we are outside listening to it (try this for yourself at home!)

Jump straight to 'Dote' for an immediate taste of enchantment. The
disembodied, breathy vocals and pulsing synths roll like mist through
a mountain valley, gently enveloping everything in its benign path.
Part reverie, part meditation, wholly beautiful.

'Mbira In The Morass' is a far more angular and abstract invention.
Both melody and rhythm are elusively defined (not unlike some of
Tom Waits' more wayward creations) but its disparate elements still
retain a curious coherence despite the ambiguous narrative.

The daft little miniature 'Cool Knowledge' (coming in at just over
a minute long), with its slippery harmonies, hillarious "Ho Hum"
bass line (very approx!) and slap-happy four-square drum beat,
demonstrates that the band has a finely-honed sense of humour too.
Read more ›
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr Leigh Chatwin on 19 Aug. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Massive 'Bon Iver' fan and for those who understand the association will understand the disappoint with VC. soooooo let down :(
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Lush, Warm & Layered 26 Sept. 2009
By Christian D. Montone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Vinyl
A collection of songs that are as lush as they are layered and equal parts haunting and warm. Just when you think that this is going to be a sparse, finger-pickin' folk set, it turns left with a few surprising pop underpinnings and florid choruses. This album feels intimate, yet opens up to a wide expanse of "grand sounds". Trust me, this LP will keep you company (much like the cloak the album cover's subject wears) on a cold winter's day.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Volcano Choir sounds just like the album art 14 Oct. 2009
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In a great stroke of fortune, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon has teamed up with fellow Wisconson band Collections of Colonies of Bees, and as a consequence his music has never sounded better. While his Bon Iver hit For Emma, Forever Ago was a good album, it was a touch ethereal for my taste, and lacked a certain meatiness I require. But now, with a full band backing and a newfound experimentation with vocal effects, Vernon has filled the void in his music, and in the realm of dreamy-soft indie rock, Volcano Choir's music is a top pick of the year so far.

Unmap opens with Husks and Shells, a perfect introduction backboned by a meandering acoustic guitar riff that's like returning to your childhood home after years on the road and watching it poking out of ivory snow, familiarity and feeling memories flooding back, before being greeted at the door with a hot mug of cocoa and hug full of sweater. Like that,or something equally evocative and less gay. Husks and Shells sets the tone for the remaining thirty muted, roaming minutes.

Island, IS is the single and standout track, and exemplifies the gentle playfulness of the album. Lyrics, as in the rest of Unmap, are mostly fun nonsense. Here's the end of Island, IS:
Set your orbit, set your coffin
Said it's often that your "O" fits
On your old tits on your hard drive

The main difference in Volcano Choir from Vernon's other project is his use of studio tools. On Still, Vernon professes "I'm down on my mind" in punctuated serenades, each time using different layering techniques for his voice. His sung cries on the ambient And Gather are run through a similar process, this time meshing with guitar instrumentation that could fit on Bibio's Vignetting the Compost.

Unmap does have its lesser moments. Mbira in the Morass and Youlagy are almost downright unlistenable, the former featuring sparse, jaggedly mismatched instrumentation and a jarringly scratchy Vernon. But notwithstanding the couple misses, Unmap has some great tunes for those who are into the genre. And with Vernon's progress, I can't wait for what he'll put out next.

Greater than the Sum of its Parts 24 Feb. 2010
By Robert Greiveldinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Wisconsin's Justin Vernon (aka "Bon Iver") meets-up with the Milwaukee instrumental quintet Collections of Colonies of Bees for the first time on record, and the result is "Unmap", a long-in-the-making collection, pre-dating (apparently 2005) both Bon Iver's "For Emma, Forever Ago" and the CoCo Bees' "Birds" (both 2008).

With "Unmap", Bon Iver's troubadour-alternative style meets the experimental and edgier Coco Bees in a tasteful collage of acoustic bits and clever digital effects. Combined with Mr. Vernon's indecipherable lyrics and breathy, eerie, haunting vocals, Volcano Choir have created a sonic collage that is simultaneously interesting and accessible, ambient and indie, post-rock and non-rock. The pace throughout is mid-tempo or less, with the rougher edges of the CoCo Bees' sound shorn off. Overall, "Unmap" bears the Bon Iver songwriting imprint more-heavily than that of the CoCo Bees, in that the tracks are shorter and more song-oriented.

Unmap starts with "Husks and Shells", a simple guitar riff, repeating languidly. Pushing to the fore from a distance are Bon Iver's vocals, almost Gregorian Chant style. Despite its title, "Sleepymouth" picks-up the pace, with the CoCo Bees' identifiable guitar picking and repetitive stylings. Vocals accumulate and heighten, and the whole thing progresses into a surging, crushing density that crescendos into silence.

After a moment, "Island, Is", begins. With its verse / chorus / verse composition, it's clearly the radio-friendliest cut on "Unmap", and the one closest to Bon Iver's other recorded output. The snippet "And Gather" uses non-metrical time and what sounds like a plunky xylophone, Tibetan bells, occasional minor-key piano chords and Justin Vernon's moaning. "Still" uses the same vocal melody (and maybe even the same vocal track) from Bon Iver's composition "Woods" from the "Blood Bank" ep (2009). I was slightly surprised in the reviews I've read of "Unmap" so far that no one has mentioned this. Volcano Choir's take on this has dirge-like kettle drum percussion propelling Mr. Vernon's auto-tuned (or is it a vocoder?) vocals to a dramatic, grungy, single guitar-chord finale.

Throughout "Unmap", there is an evocation of both antiquity and loss; something fragile, something put in a closet and forgotten. Ultimately, "Unmap" is a success because it is a completely new sound, containing the best elements of both Bon Iver and Collections of Colonies of Bees, but not sounding like either of them.
Awesome! 18 Feb. 2015
By Bradley Portela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of Justin Vernon. Of course, I can never understand what he is saying. I listened to this CD about ten times before noticing there are no lyrics to any of these songs. None! lol. Still I ranked it 5 stars because Volcano Choir much like Bon Iver is able to create a great ambience that other instrumental and experimental artists are not able to create. I personally love listening to Volcano Choir & Bon Iver when I'm outdoors fishing, hiking, etc. There is a lot of depth to the collaboration of sounds.
Remarkably Soothing 31 Mar. 2012
By M. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This was an impulse purchase on my part, but I am quite glad I did it. Each track has incredible range. Yet, the continuity of the album is never broken. It is very soothing and I often use it to help clear my mind before bed.
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