Wizard's Treats






The entanglement between Ambient and Vaporwave is often misunderstood, even denied, with the former being ostracized and expelled from the plazas of the world, and sometimes rightfully so: now that the power of the V has overcome its state as a meme and went to a niche and from there onwards to a multifaceted, apoplectically oscillating genre, chances are that its inhabitants, creators, bedroom producers and artists don’t want the lure spoiled by already existing genre conventions with decades of heirlooms, traditions or rules. Ambient, as luck has it, would be such a genre. An inhabitant that was – and still is, by all means – closely tied to the V genre is Norse artist Wizard’s Treats whose matutinal synthesis of high-rise buildings and molybdenized kinetics shuttles near the pulse of the megacity. North is different. It is forlorn and lost, cursed and forgotten, reliant on minimalistic stacks of scything and spiky sine tones hued in blizzards and storms. Available to purchase (name your price) and stream at the artist’s Bandcamp page, this is a fully fleshed out Ambient peritoneum in the tradition of H.P. Lovecraft. The things you perceive are more terrifying than the actual monster, and it so happens that there’s no cheap shock-and-awe tactic involved; Wizard’s Treats plasticizes your soul in a different manner. 


Fragm.1 greets the listening subject with that dualistic obliquity of pink noise. It sounds cold and remote on the one hand, than contrapuntally warm and thermal on the other, with gaseous halides washing over the cochleae. Similar sound-wise to the infamous Bunsen burner used in laboratories, Wizard’s Treats eventually picks a source of calorific heat in order to create subzero barycenters. As it turns out, however, the ebb and flow of the aeriform titration lets this formation become alive and its temperature levels ultimately diversified. Alien languages – for the anglicized Occidental ear – and a chlorotic kaleidoscope of rotatory sine tone arabesques round off the artistic circumambulation on the way to increasingly Lovecraftian abstractions. Consequentially, Fragm.2 increases the eclecticism, what with its pulsating tempestuous lozenges, the implied orogeny of cursed mountains and mis-chromosomed valleys and an overall alkaliphilic sawtooth polarimetry. The desiccated legato sine sinews are abrasive, overdriven pseudotensors which darken the cryovolcanic coruscation.


Fragm.3 meanwhile doesn’t want to hide its nasty physiognomy any longer. While the aforementioned two fragments conceived – and concealed – fluid-processed polymers of microbial excitement that became dry and frozen in the hostile but earthbound location, the third time’s the charm, sinisterly spoken. Supercharged with periglacial industrialism, fond of screeching lanthanum bars and fully equipped with cyberpunk-oriented sawtooth tread designs, this is the very calcareous-cervical shift that takes no hostages. The low frequency range is ramped up, mephitic gusts waft rhythmically, everything feels as inimical as possible. And a lot is possible in this ignis fatuus. How enchantingly mellow Fragm.4 is in contrast! This is a soothingly droning track with cautiously increased static noise fusillades, almost gregarious clicks and many analog protrusions. This finale seems more like a cesspool, a benthic swamp with a dark secret, but it is only portentous, never fully apocalyptic. Indeed, this one is for the Ambient fans, as it meanders between vestiges of Shoegaze, catatonic Drone doldrums and that plinking minimalism of the late 60’s.


Wizard’s Treats is a Vaporwave artist, but his North EP shows that this sentence, uttered with so much confidence previously, needs to be re-written: Wizard’s Treats is also a Vaporwave artist. There, this sounds much better, and if North were the first work to encounter, it wouldn’t be the worst paraquat-drenched starting point for a weathered Ambient veteran to check out. This is much more Ambient than Vaporwave. The latter genre – due to the artist’s heritage and style – is naturally hidden along the way through the four fragments, but it is not so much hidden than it is stashed away, with its sphere of action toned down to a tawny light. Some sparkling mannerisms survive: short bursts, a playful approach of sampling Middle Eastern centrioles, but as the human presence wanes over the course, so does the accessibility, whether it is timbrical, textural or melodic. North is grim, it draws from the fissured mountains of Norway and adds ill-natured elements to shape the timeless syncytium. Being so dark, minimal and ogival, Wizard’s Treats manages to make his EP suitable for nightly listening sessions close to Halloween, as a creepy enchantment while reading horror novels and as an eerie example for winter ambience. As little as it is, the enmeshment of its constituents make it larger and more hostile with every asphyxiating Tartarean note. 


Further listening and reading:

  • You can purchase (name your price) and stream North at Bandcamp.
  • Wizard’s Treats on Twitter: @wizardstreats


Vaporwave Review 132: Wizard's Treats – North (2015). Originally published on Oct. 21, 2015 at AmbientExotica.com.