Vapor Vertebrae 01-2016 Part A



コンシャスTHOUGHTS x Shou






Sparkle enlightens, delights and lightens up. This could well have been the last sentence and a fitting summary, but it is only the anacrusis to the bridge that caulks the frontiers between Scotland and Belgium. The former country's コンシャスTHOUGHTS is an illustrious Future Funk luminary that ventures into the world of 4/4 rhythms more often than not, all the while the fondness of pentatonicism and dreamy Vaporwave is still in the air. Belgium-based – and formerly mysterious – Shou is brought into the limelight through this collaboration as well; both artists ostracize the artificially sugared tropes of Future Funk in favor of a more balanced, matutinal lycopod coppice. Sure, the keyboards spawn yttrium slides and the vocals are pitched accordingly, but there's a bosky moiré, a dithered nebula filter on top of the otherwise crisp track, thus allowing for an intriguing dualism. Oh, and watch out for that cool "oh-aw" break! 

Twitter: @ChrissyCray1  @TheRawestOtaku





Crime Suite

<Virtual High End™>





Virginia Beach kisses the south of Germany, the bromance experiences a sunrise, welcome to Crime Suite by US-based post-vaporwaver Rez and Bedlam Tapes' very own rapscallion OSCOB aka Virtual Plaza Max. The first single of their third and presumably final release of the Virtual High cycle, called Virtual High End™ and released in January 2016 in a limited edition of 55 multicolored cassettes at Bedlam Tapes, sees the gents succumbing to the triptych of Jazz, Funk and that V-genre. While the title is potentially ominous and portentous, both the whole album and Crime Suite is a (G)Low-Fi cataract that is supercharged with spermatocystic wind chimes, electric piano fermions, a saxophone that is as drugged as it is droning, and an oscillation between sleaziness and slickness. The mellow fuzziness is never left out of sight, a trademark that is mutually shared between the real-life BFFs for 10+ years. Max doesn't grow tired of explaining the importance of a great cover which provides the initial context to the listener after all, and he's right: the gouache gallimaufry glistens gorgeously, music and artwork form a unison, and a panchromatic one it is too. You can read the review of Virtual High End™ including everyone's favorite frilly topic — the death of Vaporwave — here.

Twitter: @virtualhighrez  @VirtualPlazaMax





Sinusoidal Wibbler






Saccharified Acid from our boy Vaperror, that's the logical consequence and current follow-up to the artist's summer blockbuster Polychromatic Compiler, released on Dream Catalogue the past year. Whether it's the (interim) single My Secret House or the above Sinusoidal Wibbler, pointillistic stabs are still the forte and driving factor, presented in a multitude of colors no less, with some sort of EP or even LP on the horizon if I analyzed the hints and tidbits of Vaperror's tweets correctly. But for now, back to the song: the tradition of Acid demands a gnarly 303 and heinous breaks, but Vaperror begs to differ and coats the scything spikes with euphonious textures, elating pitch shifts and purple reminiscences from Motor City. Weathered veterans of 20+ years of listening experience might remember this genre differently: that's not Acid, kid! The infamous Vaporwave community may beg to differ too, as it constantly does. But the Athens-based artist's benignantly apoplectic shrapnel is still oh so cherrylicious and catchy to the max. Acid with a focus on melody, Vaporwave that shakes off the petrifying nostalgia in favor of cavalcade of blisters, bliss and blitz: knock, knock, Sinusoidal Wibbler.

Twitter: @VAPERROR





This Moment

<Red Light District>





The lady from the virtual outskirts of Pyongyang is back, and yes, that pun is intended, for you cannot spell outskirt without skirt. It all fits together on VHSテープリワインダー's tape Red Light District, released on Dream Catalogue in November already, but finding its rightful place in this inaugural Vapor Vertebrae writeup of 2016 no less. As the topic suggests, the official single This Moment provides that certain context even when it is detached from the full album. This is proto-Vaporwave alright: jazzy saxophones, fittingly bouncy clavichord centrioles, soulfully slowed down vocals as well as argentine wind chimes and spirals create an adiabatic cocoon of fervid lust. The beat shuffles and schleps itself forward only reluctantly, true enough, but these ingredients only augment the actual – albeit, er, bongo-accentuated – core of this single: good old Funk. Even though one track doesn't necessarily reveal the complete soul of an album, This Moment serves as a blueprint to the lascivious, partially dangerous but always neon-illumined microworld that is Red Light District.

Twitter: @VHSTapeRewinder



Vaporwave Review 143: Vapor Vertebrae 01/2016 [Part A]. Originally published on Jan. 6, 2016 at


Vapor Vertebrae 11-2015 Part C



Chinese Hackers
U n d e r g r o u n d

<( w i r e t a p )>





If a Vaporwave artist or collective goes into the underground, chances are that hilarity ensues – at least the naysayers will have a field day or two: ”why going underground if you have to leave it first?” Thankfully, AmbientExotica is not the primary place to go to for doubters of the movement, and so it is my pleasure to review the official single and public preview U n d e r g r o u n d, a prominent part of Chinese Hackers' ( w i r e t a p ) LP to be released on OSCOB's German headquarters label Bedlam Tapes in December 2015. While I cannot review the whole albm due to an upcoming CMS change, server movement, and whatnot, I wouldn't want to miss the chance to absorb the hazy vibes of this cerulean corker before the 30-day quasi-hibernation hits me. Said corker is rotten to the core and stokehold-based, but the realization of this mélange is splendidly achieved. Be it the purposefully hazy classic drum kit that is seemingly played live, the Spartan/Saugerties two-note Hip-Hop bassline, the joyless glints and chimes in the epicenter or the cautious isospin-loving asbestus particles, Chinese Hackers' self-proclaimed Vaporgoth ignis vanishes without a trace… for one track only, as the remaining tracks ought to consitute a behemoth for sure. 

Twitter: @chinesehackerz   @BedlamTapes





Inevitable Praise From Above






Inevitable Praise From Above is a potentially diffeomorphic track by Lynnwood, Washington-based Vaporwave artist e—ra, and its track title alone should make for an ambivalent reading alright. Who is praising whom? Is the man from above even a man, and if so, is the presence of God implied in this particular sanctuary? The title – in tandem with the lexical discourse on the artist's SoundCloud page – is auspiciously portentous, but the soundscape itself annihilates eldritch thoughts and brings you the kind of Mellotron/Mallsoft enchantment that ostracizes any discourse or higher suave laissez-faire attitude, mon frère. This is a gorgeous V cocktail with high levels of insouciance and life-affirming chord sequences to be cherished and cherried by the devoted fan. Right from the get-go, the wonky stop-and-go notion of the beat leads to faux-pentatonic tones, feisty beats, rhenium Rhodes and soulful vocals. The whole track proposes the amalgamation of R'n'B and the enchantment that tunes from that place called ”somewhere else” can give us, but again, the short micro jitters and arhythmic interstices let e—ra reside above the clouds. The gridlock endeavor isn't as apoplectic and over the top as the one that is applied by 悲しい ANDROID - APARTMENT¶, but the track is delightful regardless and one of the genre's many examples where accessibility doesn't translate to an awkwardly poppy fad.

Twitter: @dumboldpeople





Stevia Sphere
Elevator 8

<Elevator Relaxation Tape 3>





As stevia becomes quite important a source of pseudo-nutritious energy, it was about time for the Vaporwave genre to experience a different kind of saccharified view. Enter Stevia Sphere from the town of Lund in Sweden, otherwise known as a student bubble and eclectic biosphere of great music. Elevator 8 (This Love Is Lightning) is the track to cherish at this moment, or rather an unmixed version thereof. Being the opener of the album Elevator Relaxation Tape 3, it serves as the ever-crucial first contact of the whole endemic aural locale: if Stevia Sphere fails to enchant, chances are that the elevator won't lift off, metaphorically speaking. Luckily, the artist and Metrosong mage knows how to furnish such a narrow place. Auspiciously artificial clave clicks, bubbling MIDI trumpets, an apocryphal bassline in the veins of Crime Jazz and a delightfully over-the-top lead melody complete with a mellow Italo piano accompaniment make this one a laissez-faire lariat whose auroral sunset phase illumines the whole elevator in a rose-tinted magenta hue. If insouciance is your elixir, Elevator 8 is the small room to accommodate.

Twitter: @steviasphere





Bonus Fruit
Pineapple Blast






My guy Bonus Fruit aka GALAXIANオーブ aka Deiter Hetrick and owner of the Pizzabox Society label – let's leave it at that for now – carves out scrimshaw artifacts, baubles and potpourris aplenty when the synths start to smoke, and where there's smoke there's fyre with a "y". Pineapple Blast is such a dense diorama where sinewed sine saprotrophs are thrown into the cochleae of the listener. Serving as the official single of his album 銀河TOMAHAWK, it rightfully and fittingly exudes vigor, voluminosity, victory. Whether it is the cautiously exotic bongo and boobam beat, the birds of paradise that chirp and squawk in close proximity to the rotoscoping rhenium rhizomes or the tastefully ridiculous Rave patterns that are perfectly pitch-shifted in order to throw you into the second Summer of Love in a Sheffield glade from 1989, this here piece is an apoplectic wheel of fortune, a viscoelastic retinue of industrialism, stokehold stomps and that other kind of plant, you know, the one where smoke plumes and large chimneys fill the air with particles of inimical iridescence. Abrasive and tetragonal, shuttling between spiky Shoegaze and juggernauty Jungle, Pineapple Blast tastes like poisonous pixels, and that's good enough for me!

Twitter: @modernsqueeze











I have written hundreds over hundreds of reviews for AmbientExotica, and my endeavor of this site originally was – and still is – to capture the perfect loop by means of colorful language, sometimes overly ornate, sure, but described from deep within my heart. This loop doesn't need to be thrown through Fruity Loops, Reason or Logic… it can occur in handmade Jazz music, Exotica sparklers or Drone dioramas. But chances are good that the Vaporwave community can capture the caproic circumambience and vivid vigor best. Wyoming's VIZION would be your guy, thank you very much, for his single E/I, also known as Educational Entertainment 2003 promises, advertises and – here's the boon – delivers a next to perfect loop if you're up to a susurrant, smoothly mellow elevator engine. The loop is played through a metallic filter, it is slightly compressed, fragile and emaciated, but the fanfarous epiphany and mercilessly uplifting nucleus radiates through the purposefully decreased frequency spectrum. It seems as if it is played through the radio of a bodaciously equipped secretary, but the various synth lozenges, magenta MIDI brass blasts and prolonged northern light that glows and emanates throughout the runtime make this one potential pinnacle of Vaporwave… and Ambient. Runtime and loop form a symbiosis, and now it's everyone's turn to shine!

Twitter: @virtuastep



Vaporwave Review 141: Vapor Vertebrae 11/2015 [Part C]. Originally published on Nov 30, 2015 at

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