Mort Aux Vaches

Mort Aux Vaches ‎/ MAV062 CD (2010)

From a session for VPRO radio comes Vernon & Burns long awaited CD in Staalplaat’s Mort Aux Vaches series. A limited edition of 500 copies in embossed sheet copper metal packaging.

This album features recordings originally produced for a Vernon & Burns special on the ‘Dwars’ radio show. The programme, produced by Berry Kamer, featured interviews and exclusive tracks by Vernon & Burns and was aired on VPRO (Dutch National Radio) on the 21st June 2007. The show is archived here.


“…with their genuinely odd and original approach to manipulating radio segments and old records, they were a perfect choice to make a radio piece for VPRO in Amsterdam. This is one of the most unsettling and baffling things I’ve heard from them, which while it doesn’t lack for a sense of humour is also deeply confusing and induces many a crinkled forehead in unwary listeners. One of the great things about these artists (who actually have experience producing conventional radio) is they are never out to shock people with crazy effects, like using extracts from interviews with mass murderers. Instead they create their beguiling effects slowly and patiently with relaxed smiles, using very every-day found materials, and gradually sapping our sense of normality. Packed in a folded and embossed sheet of copper with a sunburst emblem mounted on the centre, and originally recorded in 2007. 500 copies only of this must-have item!”

(Ed Pinsent, Sound Projector)

“… a bright spot in the lineage of the incredible Staalplaat series. Spoken and sing-song word blend with peculiar noises, rustling through silverware, vintage harmonies and aerodynamic editing, like audio-gaming, stitched together seamlessly. On this twenty-one track disc of short snippets there are discordant marriages between bombs and bloated accordians, syrupy pours and creaky doors. It’s dimensional, a very physical effort. Gangsters and ladies make shady deals, whistling as a Victrola scrapes along the edge of vinyl, output quite rustically over some weary campfire song. It’s all quite vintage, warm good fun — all packaged in raised copper with coinage and frills its imprint keeps its distance but teases of something somehow familiar”.

(T.J. Norris, Toneshift)

“Does humour belong in music is a legitimate question once asked out loud by Frank Zappa. And it is a question I would like to ask again while listening to the Mort Aux Vaches edition by Vernon & Burns. For their sessions recorded for VPRO Radio in the Netherlands they created several short pieces, sketches you could say… stories in sound, sometimes dramatic, other times funny, other times plain serious. With a sense for experiment they have worked on bringing together samples from films, TV and radio with abstract musique concrète. While every piece tells a different story still there is a big connection between the different stories in sound colour. Also, even in the pieces where no or very little spoken word is used there is a sense of fun and humour added… Great pieces of musique concrète with a huge sense of cabaret. You can hear the duo knows very well what they are doing … From their point-of-view you can indeed say humour belongs in music. Recommended listening.”

(Sietse van Erve, EARlabs)

“… sees a return to the radio play days, as they incorporate a lot of spoken word in their little pieces. They don’t make necessarily a story per se. Not inside a track, but also not as a whole. These stories rather set a mood, although it’s not a clear one. It might be a different mood for each listener. There are funny bits, sad bits, melancholic bits, spooky bits, all packed with musique concrète elements, electro-acoustic music and such like, which are placed with great care onto the spoken word material and the plundered sounds from old trash-bin records… quite fascinating stuff really. This CD – recorded in 2007 already – shows Vernon & Burns at their best… Much better to spend your time with this than watching any tube.”

(Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly)

“… organized in the form of a rather weird and chaotic radio-drama, full of spoken word and sampledelic interludes, yet delicate in the quieter insertions – the classic pieces, the exhibition of electroacoustic and “musique concrete” elements. If this metaphor doesn’t explain the complexity of this work clearly enough, then imagine an abstruse conceptual cabaret where each piece tells an independent story, but where style permeates everything with irony and subtle mastery”.

(Aurelio Cianciotta, Neural)