« Vapor Vertebrae 01-2016 Part B | Main | Vapor Vertebrae 11-2015 Part C »

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 AmbientExotica.com.