GooglePlex Bionetwork






From the 4th dimension of Haiti hails a guy who has the power to implant the seeds of the jungle into your brain… and if this fails, a vapor vitrectomy will do! What sounds like the start of a gruesome freakshow is in fact the noble endeavor of introducing Pyravid and his green artifact called GooglePlex Bionetwork, a sixteen-track polyhedron gem released in September 2014 on the international committee for oneiric visions aka Dream Catalogue. The album can be streamed and fetched at Bandcamp as usual. The front artwork promises much, and Pyravid lives up to the trains of thoughts that build within the listener. If you think of the archetypical array of field recordings and sample libraries that are all tied to a rain forest, then yes, you obviously will receive these treats, as they are intrinsic forces in GooglePlex Bionetwork. But there is more to the work than just this ambiance: Pyravid has created the album from scratch! This is not necessarily the case with a lot – probably the majority – of Vaporwave albums where curation is king and creation an inferior servant. But here, on this album, the synthesizers are ablaze, spawning marimbas, harps, pianos, jungle fifes and plinking arabesques in order to seduce the bystander and make him or her an adventurer. Since I am unsurprisingly a huge Vaporwave and Exotica fan with all of its niches and side effects, I cherry-picked this album for an in-depth review the minute I knew about it… and it hasn’t turned into a cactus.


When the verdured GooglePlex Bionetwork opens its doors, its gateway reveals a striking New Age albumin that is spread all over Respiration. Fluttering synth swirls, angelic wordless vocals, a crystalline rain pad decortication as well as synthetic flutes and harps whirl through the jungle in a purely beatless, blissful Ambient track evoking various sessions on retro keyboards in one’s dungeon. The adjacent Ethereal harbors the same aesthetic driving factors such as the emaciated plinks of shepherd’s flutes, short jungle blotches and savage shouts. Two things, however, strongly ennoble this sparkler: there is on the one hand a rotatory breakbeat fusillade injected which revs up the rain forest, and on the other hand a careful injection of a small amount of Italo pianos. The jungle is a living entity in this dichotomous soundscape that is withdrawn and uplifting at the same time. The follow-up Eden Project is close to my heart as well. As an Exotica aficionado, I love me some marimba, and all the better that Eden Project has this half-ligneous main instrument as its lead force. Actually shuttling between the textural range of a kalimba and an apocryphal synth patch, it is surrounded by bubbly beats, frog swamps and kaleidoscopic chord progressions.


The call of the coppice grows ever-louder as Pyravid’s album progresses, even though there are moments of contemplation, withdrawal and office spaces scattered all over the thick thicket. Forest Simulation vaporizes a wondrously reverberated copse via vesiculating marimba globs, saltatory faux-guitar rainbows, shuffling maraca grooves to keep the forest clean, and short but hyper-oneiric synth protrusions whose legatofied aggregate phases serve as technicolor flickers in a livid yet lively place. A moonlit duo follows: while Nightfall juxtaposes granular Detroit patterns with wind chime-underlined laser beams amid a long field recording collage of nightly critters, Nocturnal Celeste embraces a MIDI brass extravaganza and ennobles this gustatory aura with a Lover’s Rock downbeat that resembles more of a Japanoid tryst in a concrete jungle rather than a grove of besotted, er, action. But it is a glorious interstice alright, one of the feistiest, fullest songs offered in the titular network.


An equally outlandish – though perfectly familiar – locale is invoked with Office Scenery, which is mentioned here for contrastive reasons, as it circumvents the green jungle, or so it seems. However, it is only the title itself that nurtures such notions, for the soundscape itself is a gorgeous antrum of whitewashed humid synth cataracts, rattling snake-like hi-hats, a reverberated laid-back beat and even the occasional monotonous chord of a Funk guitar. Uniting the plastic jungle with a technodrome, it is one hell of an easygoing clandestine corker! Neo-Geo-logy is also worth a mention, as it places a relatedly soothing beat near a pitch-black background. Synthetic cowbells and woodblocks are further constituents, but the cajoling ingredient is undoubtedly the cascade of glacial synth strings whose dubious portent lets the stroll through a back alley of New Jersey come to mind. It’s a good stroll, though, and pretty harmless. The eponymous title track that lent the album its name meanwhile tries to unite the Japanese jumpiness in regard to the chords with pentatonic synth kotos gone wild while an argentine breakbeat holds the glistening simulated twangs together.


While I neglected to mention each and every track that is harbored here, I don’t want to run to the conclusion as of yet, for there is another tidbit too incandescent not to mention. There are times where the album really, utterly crashes and annihilates its carefully set tropical hue, and listeners who are already aware of the whole package know that I can only speak of Sony, a superior, unapologetically euphoric intercommunication of bubblegum harmonies, iridescent bell layers, square lead stabs and the processed allure of a drum kit. That’s the reason I dedicate a whole, albeit small, paragraph to its luring mélange. The beats are bumping, a syringa veil lies in the air, agglutinating the Flamenco guitar pericarps with the appended keyboard zoetropes. The result sounds like the quirky end credits music of a video game that was never written. It is a gorgeous piece alright, one that can perfectly stand on its own, but naturally, the price for such single-worthy material is a purposefully – and artistically intended – emancipation of the self-imposed thematic corset. The jungle is farther away than ever. Those who adore concept albums may likely raise a brow or two (or four, I don’t know), but heck, Sony is the lighthouse, the monolith, the lavabo of GooglePlex Bionetwork, and it is not to be missed!


As a whole, GooglePlex Bionetwork is a sophisticated sapphire that does not belong to the Vaporwave genre per se, but is obviously close enough to its characteristic traits and superimposed visions to be included in Dream Catalogue’s roster. Pyravid nurtures, fuels and maintains its jungular aura most of the time, and once he shies away from doing so, he does it in such a bold, self-assured way that these instances are undoubtedly parts of his plan rather than, say, accidental missteps. Big props to label owner Hong Kong Express for mentioning a similar artist, for if he didn’t include Manitoba-based Telozkope and his approach on works such as Equanaimo and Frozen Prism (both 2014), I would have celebrated this comparison as my achievement, grrrumble! But seriously: both Pyravid and Telozkope are reliant on planned senescence. Their soundscapes usually take place in the tropics or nearby, and even if they don’t, their willfully thinned synths exude a New Age mannerism that is closely tied to the 70’s… and we all know that the common Vaporwave artist doesn’t look farther back than to the early 80’s. And best of all, as mentioned in the opening paragraph: Pyravid has created a unique work (as has Telozkope). All the synths, patches, textures and stems have been chosen by him, there is no slowed-down Pop artifact hidden in the rain forest, at least none that I’m aware of. The quasi-field recordings off the BBC library then ennoble this creative process with preconfigured surroundings, but hey, this is, after all, the missing piece, the justifiable pillar to joyously push GooglePlex Bionetwork into the Vaporwave cesspool.


Further listening and reading:


Ambient Review 375: Pyravid – GooglePlex Bionetwork (2014). Originally published on Sep. 17, 2014 at