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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 AmbientExotica.com.