Vapor Vertebrae 01-2016 Part C








Ireland-based designer and V-artist MARCUS32X regularly strips Vaporwave down to its barest bones, and Frontmission is no different in this regard. But what do I mean by that? Basically, Marcus takes material from somewhere else and makes it the sole epicenter of his tracks in order to find the perfect loop, carefully augmenting the situation with filters and reverberations. This procedure seems to be simple, but it is by no means simplistic. This time, Marcus goes for the OST of Front Mission, a game by Squaresoft (now Square Enix, thank you very much) as composed by Yoko Shimomura which is freely admitted in the explanatory note. Now that the apexes, cusps and holes are stitched together in order to create a slick loop, the artistic magic happens if you will: rubicund, blood red and portentous, this industrial piece with its ominous melodies turns into a Mallsoft mineral thanks to the shuffling/sweeping percussion galore and an overdose of echoes. You are lost in time, if only for two minutes or so, so Frontmission never overstays its welcome and remains but a glimpse into the state of decay, debris and doldrums.

Twitter: @marcus32x





幽霊 d o p e ☁ ☁

<For Your Eyes Only>




Here we have a highly recommendable work, and I truly mean it, if one is fond of rose-tinted romantic synth hymns. Our luminary from Kansas City 幽霊 d o p e comes up with a remarkable concept album whose idea is a lot less dull than you might imagine… again, provided that the listener is able to absorb the basic saccharified gist. And that gist is as follows: For Your Eyes Only, released on Pizzabox Society in December 2015, is a collection (or so it seems) of invigorating Vaporwave songs that all have one thing in common, namely Sheena Easton's 007 anthem For Your Eyes Only. Each vignette comprises a certain hook, texture, gluon. ノスタルジア, which translates into nostalgia, is but one highlight, featuring a bokeh of vibraphone-esque glaciality, wondrous wisps and etiolated Glitch glints. The melody shimmers through cautiously, but this beatless — not rhythmless, mind you — piece enchants with the newly found focus on aerial viewpoints and an ever-oozing suprafluid that savant-fucks the cheesiness out of the original song. Vaporwave is dead? Fine, thank you for this elegy then!

Twitter: @gosutodopu   @pizzaboxsociety





ビジョン VISIONS 『私の夢』





Always on the verge, brink and grid between Future Funk and Vaporwave, PC'86 maintains the tactically clever approach of catering to both fan bases with each and every one of his songs, and the Far Eastern-Occidental polymorphous ビジョン VISIONS 『私の夢』is no different. A translucent midtempo piece which ventures from stereo-panned fir-green megacity synth stabs — accompanied by the mandatory Peazy 86 announcer, of course — over handclap-accompanied four-note crystal stalactites to AM radio frequency-filtered backing choir chants amidst a mellowly oscillating superfluid, PC'86 is in control of the material all the time, making the original material from that place called somewhere else his own. If an artist resides so firmly between both aforementioned worlds, chances are that he misses the point and alienates his diverse audiences. Time and again, PC'86 annihilates these portentous thoughts with his galactosamine-infused singles. Top notch galore!

Twitter: @peazy86





Locked Groove





Now residing in "Saigon," Nyetscape comes up with an appropriately environmental locale of elasticized 80's mannerisms and supra-spiky hi-hat helium pearls. Locked Groove is the name of the single, and truth be told, the front artwork cannot even capture a pinch of the languorous dreaminess that is so endemic to the soundscape itself. After the short-lived anacrusis of high-plasticity dawn choirs (or are they just figments of the mind evoked by compression artifacts?), the base frame is encountered in the shape of a synthetic bubblegum-alloyed 80's hymn. Slow as molasses but certainly energetic, the hooks and vocal timbre are undoubtedly lit, creating a magenta hue amidst the magnesium flares — as invoked by the cymbals — until the chromatic aberration fades out for good. Nyetscape and Vapor Vertebrae: a salubrious combination since 2015.

Twitter: @Nyetscape





doesn't bother me.





A runtime of less than two minutes but a hookline that is enormously euphonious, it is time to enter Visa aka Hayden's slightly apathetically titled single doesn't bother me. Visa's vapor veils are known for their tasteful sketches that are agglutinated to each and every one of his soundscapes, a distinction that makes his sounds recognizable within his SoundCloud page, at least at the time of composing this feature. Visa gyres around romanticism, coming-of-age and crushes, and this purified state of yearning remains a strong force in all of his tracks. The above single is a Vaportrap cornucopia loaded with soothing mid-freq bass blebs, apocryphal square lead panpipe droplets, high-pitched vocals of devotion and that certain freshness that many a listener might mistake for bittersweet laissez-faire, but is actually the force that runs through the sound-based veins of this floral flume.

Twitter: @sorriers





Mista Safwan
Girl Am Free





Mista Safwan gives Future Funk a polyfaceted face in Saudi Arabia, and the ingredients to achieve this are few and far between, residing in vintage territories of the comparatively new genre. Girl Am Free is a turquoise song that relies on the — admittedly formulaic — approach of the genre. You know the deal: 4/4 beats, a bokeh of blurry basslines that become clearer as the song progresses, and of course a much-needed dose of funky guitars, rounded off by female vocals. But this is only one side of the truth. The other is Mista Safwan's focal point lying in a cosmic core. And indeed: the clavichords and rhizomatic keys scintillate in multitudinous colors, they are crystalline and spiky, scything through the deep night. Girl Am Free ultimately works due to the high concentration of depth. It's both a playful and enigmatic shanty at the same time which consequentially puts it quite near to Vaporwave's periphery. Suitable for dancing and losing oneself. 

Twitter: @MistaSafwan



Vaporwave Review 147: Vapor Vertebrae 01/2016 [Part C]. Originally published on Jan. 29, 2016 at


Vapor Vertebrae 01-2016 Part B



Dezmo feat. Boocanan





Vaporwave is an eerie genre. It is pronounced dead all the time, and once you're riding on the wave of success, people want you dead and get all greedy, and that's kinda strange considering that the genre is dead to begin with. All harassments aside, the vaporforce rolls along like thunder, with genre veterans Dezmo and Boocanan at the helm. Realization is quite the vintage Silent Hill-esque epiphany, strictly coated in lanthanum soil, yttrium veils and asbestus plumes. Morbid to the max but not entirely crestfallen, it mirrors Boocanan's soft spookiness that graces many of her Ambient-oriented gunmetal tracks. Then again, Realization is also a household tune for Dezmo as it encapsulates tantamount molecules that lead to Mallsoft. Which, ominously enough, lead back to Silent Hill yet again, the third entry of Konami's at least. An analogue aurora to fathom, Dezmo and Boocanan have created a purposefully ambivalent piece. It is not entirely apocalyptic, but you know that this isn't just vapor anymore: it's thick fog, and beyond the mist lies everything you used to be.

Twitter: @boocanan   @corporatemodel





Memory Card

<Unity Of Souls Compilation>




Vitreous vesicles, caustic centrioles, cerulean cristae… pinpointing the pointillistic melodies of STΛQQ ƟVERFLƟ's mind is a poetic affair which always leads right to the nomological core of their aural existence: flora, fauna, nature. Memory Card is a contribution to the Lost Angles label's forthcoming Unity Of Souls compilation and could be considered an appendix or addendum — but certainly not an afterthought — to the artist's album SΛCRED GRƟVE ƟNLINE (Ailanthus Recordings, 2015). The principal character of Vaporwave fills the clear air by enforcing a symbiosis of organic entities via the software-related kind of consumerism; the hashtag #FAT32 means something after all. As is the case throughout the mentioned album, Memory Card is reliant on the magic (if you may call it that) of multitudinous Windows 7 chimes which grace the harp-like morphogenesis that bubbles in the epicenter. Apocryphal Hip-Hop cowbells, sizzling hi-hats and mid-freq bass bumps altogether ennoble the endemic innocence, with the amount of layers slowly increasing in a transparent fashion, always allowing the listener to study — or just enjoy — the parallax reticulation. This is the friendliest glade you can find around the artist's self-proclaimed heritage, the Aokigahara Forest of Japan. Suicide aborted.

Twitter: @StaqqOverflo





Dan Mason ダン·メイソン

<Miami Virtual 2.0>




Welcome back to the sandy shores of Miami, the virtual one that is pieced together by a wireframe of Sega memories, arcade memorabilia and filtered Funk flumes. Consequentially, 帰りなさい!! translates into Welcome Back, and the artist to make it possible is Dan Mason ダン·メイソン, one of our boys from Orlando  — also known as Aokigahara Forest — who brings the sun-kissed soul back to the interstitial nexus in-between Vaporwave and Future Funk, not entirely unlike コンピュータサイバー魂PC'86. Taken from the album Miami Virtual 2.0 that is to be released on Vito's DMT[REC] label in January, Dan Mason goes all-in on the peculiar (or perpendicular?) standards of both genres by moving them upside down. Sure, this track sports a 4/4 beat, and a saxophone that is true to form. That's the spirit of Future Funk, but the concept doesn't end here. 帰りなさい!! turns out to be a very vaporwavy Funk critter. Whether it is the diamantine cowbells, the lactic magenta-colored Rhodes chords or the lofty pitch shifts that ennoble the dreamy melody further, Mason knows how to caulk the gap between the two genres and comes up with a paradisiac beach scenery. A superb polymorphous synthesis!

Twitter: @DanMasonVapor





J Λ V Λ . E X E
R E A D — O N L Y 思い出





Wherever you look, Vaporwave is proclaimed dead, it is now a fad despite the cavalcade of new artists and works that are all around us, including all the future works that have yet to surface. Why the negative outlook? Well, it's only quasi-negative, I'm only playing the spoilsport here. Vapor veteran J Λ V Λ . E X E's EP Ruins might invoke connotations of vestiges, decay and debris, but his actual tunes are much more euphonious, if a bit melancholic at the same time, sob sob. R E A D – O N L Y 思い出 is the single and third track off said work, functioning as the saffron-colored peritoneum of that sentiment called yearning. After the dualistic wonkiness at the beginning and constantly shapeshifting pitch levels, J Λ V Λ . E X E leaves the proscenium in favor of depth and profundity, presenting a Synth Pop anthem in slowed-down form, with simmering male vox of devotion. The prolonged scenery carves out the echo of the hi-hats, thereby boosting the looming cavernous nonentity further. Business as usual, but it's a great business nonetheless. And it is still thriving. Death rejected.

Twitter: @JAVAEXE





L. John Hubbard
Clear Country





If I had to explain the pun and backstory regarding the moniker L. John Hubbard, I'd be "doing it wrong." The title Clear Country is an even cheekier hint at the endeavor of clearing one's mind in order to reach a better state of bliss… presumably. However, a stasis of enchantment can be reached indeed if you ask the man behind that name, New York-based webdesigning all-rounder Johnny McIvor who branched out from the Vaporwave circles in 2015 in order to create the subgenre — or yes, maybe even genuine genre — called Metrosong. He branched out indeed, but is still rhizomatically connected to the vapor tree, at least in my book. So what is Metrosong? That's for the artist and runner of the Cardboard Future label to know and us to find out. In the meantime, Clear Country has you covered. While Vaporwave is (also) fond of the blooming 80's and neon-illumined 90's, Metrosong is all about the here and now. Therefore Clear Country evolves from a collage of field recordings in order to inculcate a New Age-oriented sequence of diaphanous synth chimes until it tries a one-eighty on the listener by turning into Future Funk fusillades, chopped staccato marimba bursts and nomological timeless dawn choruses. Monsieur McIvor is one artist to cherish, Metrosong a genre/style/idea to absorb and Cardboard Future a label to watch.

Twitter: @LJohnHubbard   @CardboardFuture



Vaporwave Review 145: Vapor Vertebrae 01/2016 [Part B]. Originally published on Jan. 15, 2015 at

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