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Vapor Vertebrae 02-2016 Part B



Digital Sex
Galactic Drift






This here Vapor Vertebrae edition launches with powerful engines, brought to you by Digital Sex. The front artwork fits: a pixellated Vic Viper pushes ever-forward, one of the most anthropomorphic star cruisers in video game galaxy. The starship is the real human entity, so the future's gotta be bright. Clocking in at almost two minutes, the atmosphere is certainly suave, even debonair, as warm-hearted synth flares protrude the solar-coated vaporsphere. The six-note hook is looped, mercilessly melodious, accentuated by saxophones and dirty guitars, appearing crystal-clear all at once, gyring between the cosmic-calcined coruscation of Dâm-Funk and modular Bauhaus principles. The hookline is amicable, no harm exists in this universe. Completely benignant Vaporwave songs are often considered redundant or boring, but this amount of happiness is legit after all and seems just right to me. 

Twitter: @DigitalSexual





Bonus Fruit






Pizzabox Society's main topping and everyone's darling Deiter Hetrick aka Bonus Fruit is back with another single. I can write that blurb every month. And most times, I do just that. This time, one of California's most prolific vaporwavers brings us Zun and makes a glorious return to the strikingly analogue sound of the late 70's, naturally coupled with blisters and blebs of the subsequent decades. Zun is a shapeshifting entity, ranging from its saffron-colored nutritiously flangered granular synth pads over a stupefyingly cellar-evoking nocturnal beat fusillade until the parallax peritoneum resolves itself in a more translucent but by no means less layered midtempo complex of the industrial kind. The simmering globs in the background shuttle between Santa Monica and Detroit, the static AM frequencies jitter few and far between, and an electric guitar lesson takes place on Mount Rushmore. Too much scintillating diversity in one single song? Then welcome to Planet Bonus Fruit.

Twitter: @modernsqueeze





外愛 b e y o n d

<前兆 O m e n  EP>





Florida is the melting pot of Vaporwave when it comes to the US of A, if not necessarily in terms of personnel in flesh and blood, then by means of the monikers the local producers come up with. Iacon is one of the guardians, always residing on the interstice between experimental encounters and prototypical V-outputs. This here track is called 外愛 b e y o n d, one of four tracks as collected on the artist's 前兆 O m e n EP. To be honest: the front artwork is way too cryptic and apocalyptic, for all of the four soundscapes sizzle, even though they do indeed invoke a remote, forlorn setting after all. 外愛 b e y o n d sits in-between the various schools: the robotic-vocoded wisdoms bounce amidst a Rhodes-accentuated rivulet that is quite a bit glacial and blue but certainly not threatening. Perpendicular guitar globs and stacked vocals push the black emptiness back, but cannot completely annihilate it. It's a soothing manifesto at the end, resting within itself, ostracizing the synthetic complexion and voluminous hype of eighties-oriented Vaporwave, creating a meaningful void. 

Twitter: @IaconAesthetics





Back Pain
Wait For Me

<Wait For Me LP>





No Death, Y2K, Back Pain… if you list three of Jack's monikers in this order, they admittedly advise you to think of decay and downfall, ranging from immortality over a pesky but now obsolete millennial computer problem to the highly personal symptom of one's ache. But things look auspicious after all, for a human back couldn't exist without a vertebra, so welcome to the first Vapor Vertebrae feature of Back Pain. Wait For Me is the single of the eponymous EP, and while it doesn't even make the one-minute mark, it leads you to a mellow Mallsoft mélange, short enough to not overstay its welcome, long enough to make that elevator ride worth your while. I am of the opinion that Mallsoft is one of Vaporwave's most luring branches and ancillary styles which deserves longer runtimes, but what the heck, Wait For Me proves to be a soothing pipe dream of an anthem regardless: reverberated, washed out Mellotron muons kiss coruscating crystal centrioles, softly clicking claves become entwined with hopelessly kitschy Balearic licks. Applied filters and languorous doldrums create a coherent unison. This mall, while potentially abandoned, is a sanctuary after all.

Twitter: @_backpain











Vaperror has revived Juke, DEIPHIX relives it. It is one of the great mysteries to me that the V-community doesn't embrace the positively frantic and wondrously staccatofied mentality of the Juke style more frequently. Is Juke too fast and lively a style to be considered a branch of Vaporwave? Are these clickety-clicking clave-driven dribscapes considered too complex — or worse — gimmicky in 2016? I hope not, and if I had to prove the allure of this style, DEIPHIX's Shungduke would be one weapon of choice for sure. Hailing from New Jersey, the artist injects molten concrete jungles into the pulsating aurora and augments the aqueous atmosphere with swooshing wind gusts as well as gorgeously velveteen Detroit washes. There's a Gothic trope in the air though, a claustrophobic element that serves as the tangible counterpoint to the gaseous dance of the galactosamines. It's neither crestfallen nor does it worship Cthulhu, but the sentiment is there. Shungduke is a sound-based liquid of the Ambient/Juke/Vaporwave kind, simultaneously encapsulating vast emptiness and endlessly floating superfluids. A polysemous superstructure; a superb track.

Twitter: @DEIPHIX





Vincent Remember






If Vincent Remember would simply use the little word please in the above song title, we wouldn't mind taking all of him, but that's a story for another day. In the meantime, here comes 山口百恵 which fittingly enough translates into take all of me. The persona behind Vincent Remember is known for quite a few monikers and doesn't shy away from Hip Hop-oriented productions, but the name Vincent is always reserved for good old Vaporwave in the true sense of the craft, and I'm glad it still exists in a time when the genre's either proclaimed dead or is forcefully expected to morph into something new and different 24/7. If retrogressive Vaporwave is not your cup of tea, fear not: 山口百恵 does admittedly feature its fair share of slowed down vocals and echo-coated guitars, but the synergy and tempo of the material are surprisingly vigorous. Not a tunnel vision per se, Vincent Remember's gem is still sharp and sparkling, with less muffled frequencies than expected. Over-the-top electric guitar riffs merge with high-rise Rhodes helixes straight outta Neon City, and the runtime of over four minutes thankfully makes for a superbly maintained level of immersion and awe. The hall effect hints at Mallsoft, and yet is the song crisp and clear. With the best of many worlds inherited, 山口百恵 is a valuable emerald.

Twitter: @VincentRemember



Vaporwave Review 152: Vapor Vertebrae 02/2016 [Part B]. Originally published on Feb. 18, 2016 at AmbientExotica.com.