Various Artists






Happy anniversary, Dream Catalogue! The hundredth release The Eternal Dream System is rightfully dedicated to the art of Vaporwave, its epistemological spectrum and multiple artists, collaborators, bedroom producers, cloak-and-dagger swordsmen and dreamers in the best sense of the lattermost term, spreading their talent over the course of a limited run of two C120 tapes available to purchase and digitally stream at Bandcamp. Originally envisioned and created by Hong Kong Express in January 2014, the label has grown into a wondrous cauldron of adiabatic craftsmanship, stratiform sound waves, clavicular circumambiences and a colloidal iconoclasm that is stronger than ever, and still much-needed. Vaporwave aka the V-genre – or whatever we may call it tomorrow – is very much alive, pulsatile and purified, a zestful zoetrope, harboring marble-alloyed mall memories, BGM artistry, 16-bit interstices, elevator erethism, synth sybaritism, fuzzy neoteny, and all of it in aposematic colors that evoke the spirit of the 80’s and 90’s by means of synthetics, Ambient and Drone, Glitch, even Cool Jazz. DREAM_100 reflects the current state of the spreading colchicine-covered genre that isn’t even seen as a distinct genre itself, the comparative maturity of its kaleidoscopic reel notwithstanding. It is still and all the more so my utmost pleasure to review the complete compilation. It’s like reviewing DREAM_31 again. Back then, I asked myself why such an odd number is "wasted" on a compilation – or vice versa – but with the magical number 100, everyone should be okay with.


Collage of the two tapes and the artworks. Photograph by Dream Catalogue.


Before I dive deeper into the complete compilation, let me quickly sum up my approach and aim in doing this. Firstly, I want to give something back to the community, but at the same time and on a grammatically related note, something’s got to give; I cannot review The Eternal Dream System in a timely manner while at the same time having listened to all of its gemstones 50 times already. I have, however, listened two times to the album, jotting down notes, imbibing the aesthetics as we call them, smiling in the wake of anagnorisis. But there’s no denial: this is basically an impulse review, comprising of two till three sentences dedicated to each and every track. Some contributions have been magnanimously sent to me as sneak previews in demo or stem form, but this doesn’t change the basic outcome of me revisiting the finished tracks, all of which I hear the way they are added to the reels for the first time as (mostly) anyone else. In addition, I am of course more familiar with certain artists and regulars who appear frequently at AmbientExotica, either in the monthly three-part song section called Vapor Vertebrae or in a holistic in-depth writeup that will make it to the Vaporwave Review Archive, and said familiarity might shine through via the power of innuendos, aspersions and overtones. But rest assured: I adore the genre, I love every artistic endeavor, I'm open minded in terms of the wide variety – or is that varieté? – of the many worlds. It is my admittedly unrealistic goal to feature all artists frequently, and at least for this very moment, this is the next best thing, so without further ado, enter the vapor zone of DREAM_100!


This, ladies and gentlemen, will always be remembered: all featured artists united.


01. Eternal Dream System – 循環: The auroral spawn point of the compilation and the genre in particular. A 16-second mirage of sinewed synths and thermal benignancy.

02. チェスマスター – 夢を入力して:  Surprisingly enough, The Eternal Dream Machine remains in Ambient waters with チェスマスタ’s cavernous dob. Medulla-emptying kick drums and bubbling aqua blebs resonate around purposefully moss-covered synth choirs and square lead reciprocations. A unity of mesozoic nature and New Age technocracy.

03. R23X – Underground Slums: After his debut OSV, R23X returns with an epicurean, but much denser injection. Ligneous but nonetheless warped strings, acroamatic haze protrusions and washed out nebulae transfigure the fundament into a surreal time capsule where present and past unite to create an annealed future.

04. Vision Girl - A Fantasy: A retrogressive crevasse of gorgeously vocoded whispers, hi-NRG gluons and processed service announcements, Vision Girl’s A Fantasy functions as an immersion circulator by caulking its industrial traits with the enthralling hue of vermillion accentuations. The textures will scythe through your synapses, remunerating the experience with their entwined polyphony.

05. VHS Logos – ノワール夜: Brazil’s vapormeister VHS Logos contributes a multinucleate and highly progressive synthorama of the jungular kind. Awash with diaphanous Rhodes/flute stacks, helicoidal blips and angelic legato veils, ノワール夜 functions as a stable aorta where found sounds, nocturnal samples and incidental presentiments float by, creating a dynamism that exists due to the interstitial energy of its contrapuntal parts.

06. Fatal Memory Error – Inner Sanctum Depths: Glaucous and crystalline, Fatal Memory Error’s Ambient antrum comprises of pluvial synths, superimposed wispy chants and a stupefying glissando that works time and again due to the various pitch shifts that alter the endemic gamut. Turn up the volume and find yourself entrapped in a salubrious cocoon of orthochromatic effulgence. And that’s not the only epithelium to be cherished!

07. namaste_’95 – Samsung Skyline: The bucolic pentatonicism of namaste_’95 is mercilessly umbrageous in its infancy stage, what with the eery afterglow of the slapped Honky Tonk piano and the recondite omnipresence of the nullpoint. However, once the stacked accordion sine tones come into play, the panorama opens up and transmutes into a lachrymose susurration that points leeway. Quite a metamorphosis over the course of almost four minutes.

08. Ruf Dug – Treatment 17: A cybernetic jungle and quirky marimba vesicles in front of a chirping megafauna with colloidal lavabo lights: enter Ruf Dug’s Treatment 17 whose parallax puissance is nurtured by the harmonious constituents of its homeostasis. Ameliorated with Angkor Wat panpipes and a phylogenetic boo-bam underbrush, this is Neo-Exotica with rhizomatic vapor vicissitudes.

09. Golden Living Room – tech: From the metallicity of its opening ventiducts over sun-dappled OS X start-sound-alike protuberances to aeriform beat-accentuated stokehold circulating pumps, Golden Living Room manages to fully address the title of his track, only to then propagate horticulture by turning the vault around and lifting it to the songbird-fueled surface of a richly alluvial jungle. This is thus another track where a mediation between artificiality and nature is proposed… and masterfully realized.

10. Hantasi – 11-Be: A granular moiré is grafted onto the nostalgic guitar-accentuated saffron storm that is 11-Be. Hantasi’s slowed-down desert seems stolid and phlegmatic at first, but since the magnanimous glow of the looped piano merges with the steelification of the elasticized hi-hats, the heterodyned state produces healthy energy by means of pattern-related friction. An excellent feat in the given self-imposed aridity.

11. Disconscious – Stereopsis: No filters, no mucoid wall, everything is tangible in Stereopsis by Disconscious. A proper Ambient aureole with less blatantly obvious vapor traits, the arrangement comprises of an incandescence that is aquiver with convexness and grandeur. Soothingly simmering ebows, matutinal streamlets of the vernal kind and sylphlike synths invite weathered New Age experts to follow a new dream.

12. 懐かし2002津波 – Neo-Madison 2102: With the bustling megacity in the near distance, 懐かし2002津波’s track inherits the futuristic traits of Dream Catalogue and spawns a tetragonal but plasticized fog bank whose ignis fatuus tawniness is both incredibly luring and independently droning. The arrangement is sumptuous and feels complete, creating a stasis that is quite clandestine, yet strangely suave.

13. Klakin – to f. broken: A gelid lullaby with periglacial Glitch globs and viscid chimes and whistles, Klakin’s piece feels like an aphorism: ingenious and cordial at the beginning, with a following punchline that’s harder to digest. It is only consequential that the formerly perennial majesty is then mercilessly augmented by industrial Drum’n Bass patterns, alcaloidal Manchester synths and certain bellicose edge that adds a heterodox inclemency to the physiognomy.

14. Ecosynthetics – Exoskeleton: A punctilio of crimson synth spikes and beguiling syrinxes with a reverberated magnetotail, Ecosynthetics’ ode to the karate champ is a comparatively violent paroxysm where each sound is in love with an attack and decay rate that has to be experienced to be believed. All ingredients point to a silky listening experience, but the mephitic tendrils protrude paradise and give a new meaning to the term cutting-edge. Watch your veins!

15. Lamitina – Cardinal: Lamitina is not necessarily known for tunnel visions, but with Cardinal, the artist from Norfolk, Virginia is drenched in pluvial fall foliage. A blurry four-to-the-floor beat provides the jagged base frame for viridian crystal synths, clicking claves and staccatofied acid phials that glitter through the faintly apocalyptic-ophidian dualism. A polyrhythmic vestibule leading to uncertainty.

16. Yuki – Melt Magic: The year is 1994 and one is reminded of the Future Sounds Of London’s tribal organisms when Yuki’s Melt Magic is nigh. Haunted vocals, spheroidal steel guitars and quiescent moments where exhalation and exhilaration unite in order to form a sentiment that is hard to pinpoint. A place that is narrow and wide at the same time, Yuki’s temple braiding emits a mysterious glow that is a wakeup call for yesterday’s generation of ravers, or in short: an elixir of remembrance.

17. death’s dynamic shroud.wmv – STARLIGHTボッサ: James Webster and Tech Honors form death’s dynamic shroud.wmv, with the occasional aid of Keith Rankin, but here Mr. Webster provides a solo track of over six minutes which still very much encapsulates the sample-based superstructure the project is known for. Besotted acoustic guitars, ethereal superfluids and chopped male vocals are but three cornerstones of this crystalline ctenidium. Despite the wealth of samples, STARLIGHTボッサ is a contingent affair, glistening Exotica at the end of the day, viewed through Vaporwave’s prism.

18. The Illuminati – June 2, 4009: Artist and track title make it seemingly easy to absorb the basic gist of the presented track: this is the apocalypse, right? Well, partially, yes. But June 2, 4009 is so much more, as it is a collage of various vignettes and segues: whether it is the spine-tingling dungeon bassline, the handclap banjo fata morgana in the epicenter or a power supply whiplash that leads to an amethystine oceanscape with elevator muzak, The Illuminati have fooled us all… again.

19. C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R – DREAM PACHINKO: A short interlude of a mere 22 seconds, everyone’s friend and pal C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R presents a tasteful comic relief that has heretofore been amiss in DREAM_100: saltatory japanisms of the neon kind. Feel the 16-bit bling of the coins, take a bow before the winning melodies and use the pachinko machine yourself. You know you want to, because: a winner is you!

20. Artfluids – Chaotic Wigwam: Tibetan monk chants, crackling field recordings, bit-crushed punches and horticultural harp sparks amid MIDIfied trumpets: Artfluids presents a theophany that is lacunar and stuffed at the same time. The cross-linkage between the various parts works well, making Chaotic Wigwam less turbulent than its title might suggest. Close to nature, with most of technology’s constants ostracized, we can all succumb to the cuckoo. It’s in here as well, naturally.

21. memory gateways – toshiba: The polonaise of Memory Gateways is a fun that should not be missed. It’s basically just the sample of a marimba/ukulele pairing, but its fuzzy state, stupendously catchy loop and overall exoticism make for an unapologetically saccharified vanillarama. You should replace that infamous marimba ringtone with this vitrectomy.

22. Phoenix #2772 – p o r t a l s: I would’ve never imagined that Phoenix #2772 creates such a cinematic tropical thiazide, but this is exactly what he did here: faraway hunting horns, mercilessly cataleptic gourd beats and a concept that is tremendously delightful – and murky –, portalsventures from dark alleys over temple tops to a whale song-accompanied gigantomachy, all without placing an 80’s synth in this fir-green locale. A more than pleasant surprise, totally not what I expected from the artist.

23. General Translator – ファンタジーガーデンシミュレータ (Night Edition): Birds, pianos, a summer breeze: General Translator’s beautiful garden winds down to make room for the night, and one can sense it in every note and drowsy chirp. This is part of the V-genre too, there is no conniption whatsoever, just a quiet background pastiche for that garden in your mind, with a cocktail or hookah close at – or in your – hand.

24. Wolfenstein OS X – L O S T (過去の夢): Wolfenstein OS X is the coxswain that guards the listener through a thickly wadded fog of fanfares and triumph, or what is left of these emotions. A military aura cannot be denied, but its complexion is toned down, calcined and diluted to an almost Tibetan purity. The main instrument is not even recognizable anymore; it’s most likely a flute. Below that cajoling aura: laser pulses and the mumbling of millions. An eldritch ubiquity to a caproic aurora.

25. POCARI ステューシー – for the last of our days: A two-part interlude of approximately 90 seconds, POCARI ステューシ’s nihilistic endeavor starts with a rubicund endpoint: pentatonic strings and ghostly reflections cause a sorrowful photometry to begin with. Luckily, the second part is hued in granular albumin, leading to a string-fueled flowerage that hopefully ostracizes the dark by making room for a polyfoil future.

26. WTF.FM – VECTOR [DREAMS] UNLTD.: The flanger filter is turned to the maximum, everything wobbles wonkily, but a great melody cannot be destroyed, and WTF.FM is fully aware of this adage. The presented halide is still gaseous and earthbound, the guitar is euphonious to the max, but obviously a tad senescent due to the filter. This is what Vaporwave is (also) about: testing the translucency of a melody against a falsifying wall of partition screens. The melody always wins, and so does the listener.

27. Cordless Soul Machine – Lines: A fusillade of hammering micro scythes that only augment the pellucid phantasmagoria of the formerly droning melody, Cordless Soul Machine merges the Glitch genre with the big V and creates a frilly verglas anhydride whose crystalline nucleus is all the more aurally visible due to the jackhammer approach of the artist. Lines cleans body and soul, washes the hoarfrost away and makes a glistening blueness out of a potentially parochial estuary.

28. Customer Service – Ayogi Kevalin: If you merge the cheesy sentiments of Hollywood’s adolescence movies with a dreamy epithelium, no contretemps should arise. Customer Service’s contribution at first shares the synth-heavy yearning of a bewildered teenager that has been seen on TV hundreds of times before, but then admixes the concept with spheroidal avulsions and an orthonormal guardian light in the background. In the last few seconds, the melody is killed off in a funny way, but the 80’s continue to thrive.

29. 식료품groceries – SmartShopper™ Online Installation: Similar to Customer Service’s contribution, 식료품groceries celebrates the aesthetic of the 80’s by adding synth pads to the barycenter that are both viscoelastic and unique. Everything is softly ablaze, mountainous piano leptons boost the kindness and mutual understanding the world of consumerism offers those who have the money to spend. It’s impossible to describe the V-genre in one word, but consumerism would be one possibility, with 식료품groceries at the forefront.

30. Incorporeal Visions Deluxe – あなたの新しいワークスペース: Network Entities  by Incorporeal Visions Deluxe is one of my favorite Dream Catalogue entries, and I’m glad the artist returns with this long-winded track. And what a crazy one it is! Ebullient square lead fractals merge with a stomping machine-like beat that is sped-up at a later point to let the bit-crushed isospins become a centrifugal force. This is Japan at its best, regardless of the artist’s true heritage, so insouciant and orthogonal.

31. Vaperror – Item Shop: Athens, Georgia-based Vaperror is the man for completely unique panoramas, having left the sample-based game behind him a long time ago. Item Shop is hence all the more salubrious, unbelievably enchanting qua its audaciously amicable mood, its fluid-processed synth plumes, debonair hi-hats, limewashed fibroblasts and rotoscoping telomeres that evoke malls, plazas, surfactants and whatever you desire. Watch out for the pitch shifts which will let you fly into cenobitism. Stroke, no, masterstroke!

32. Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza – Sun Outline: Speaking of plazas: with a moniker such as Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza, you better deliver, or else. Luckily, there is no dark cloud in sight, for Sun Outline exudes vitalism in the shape of three-note synth polymers, easygoing bass guitar pectin and various blurry filters that are applied to the arrangement in order for it to come back full force. A superionic architecture, sunlit and friendly.

33. VHSテープリワインダー – ryugyong nights: One of the most versatile artists who has seen and most importantly contributed to the rise of the V-genre from the very humble beginnings, the appearance of VHSテープリワインダ is a no-brainer in the given context. Ryugyong nights shows an affinity for purposefully added artifacts that affect the whole listening experience. The hi-hats sound as if they suffer a fovea, the piano is similarly blurry, but the intention is for the listener to distill the beautiful diorama that’s behind the suboptimal faux-encoding. And there’s aural aurum to be found.

34. 死夢VANITY – 閉鎖時間 閉鎖時間: translates into closing time, and so 死夢VANITY’s Mallsoft mica is quite a bit melancholic, but seen from the consumer’s point of view, and so everything is awash with a drowsy happiness and painted in pastel colors. The softly simmering synth drapery and electric piano accretion lessen the excitement factor in favor of a closer look, the depiction of contentment and the lucky situation of having spend another hundred bucks in an eventful shopping mall. Attrition and sarcopenia can be beautiful after all.

35. Infinity Frequencies – Dreams: One Mallsoft macronutrient follows the other, now it’s Infinity Frequencies’ turn to ennoble the fascination of this wonderworld with a liquedous piano hook that is coupled with purple Disco strings. Expertly looped, with sprinkler-like cymbals as added adjuvants, Dreams is not a reverie per se, as it also allows a meticulous analysis of one’s state in the world by means of uplifting hooks and catchy texture tessellations.

36. g h o s t i n g – Nostromo: Ghosting’s Telenights remains one of my very favorite TV-centric adventures, spanning multitudinous spots, announcements and fuzzy jingles… naturally released on Dream Catalogue. The artist offers a different approach with Nostromo, a track which is pristine and sizzling, sporting a sunset saxophone in a longitudinal high-rise valley of a megacity of one’s choice. A nostrum to cure the craving for Jazz in Vaporwave productions, Ghosting’s take may be archetypal, but extracts fidelity and plasticity from the given color palette.

37. 豊平区民TOYOHIRAKUMIN – Life: A stroll into the sunset, the rural countryside to the left, little hamlets to the right, that’s Life. 豊平区民TOYOHIRAKUMIN takes the orange-colored hue of a strictly euphonious Jazz song and, via the magic of slowing the original down, augments the phantom frequencies of the lead harmonica. The result is a stratiform centriole, mediating between the sophisticated world of Jazz and the scapegrace cesspool called Vaporwave, but without ever ridiculing the former genre’s characteristic traits. A rustic rhizome.

38. Luxury Elite - cool Radio DJ and vaporluminary Luxury Elite always plays it cool, quite literally so with the eponymous congalicious bass stomper. Juxtaposed to the Roland lo-freq nematodes is a Glow-Fi incandescence of piercing synths which illumine the colchicine-covered darkness and make for a clearer head. The best texture is probably the most inconsiderable one, namely a rhythmic guitar whose aquatic kineticism secretly drives the track’s whole suprematism on a micrometric level. And with such care of the smaller details, the larger saprotrophs can easily prosper.

39. 仮想夢プラザ – お待ちください: 仮想夢プラザ’s お待ちください translates into please wait, and while there are people out there who get goosebumps and encounter apoplectic anger in the view to waiting on the phone, this here little ditty is hued in cotton candy, its transparent chimes emitting pinkness suprème, with the flangering hi-hats adding a molybdenized momentum to the contemplative phase… the ensuing outcry notwithstanding, goddammit!

40. Nmesh – Occasional Flames: Before Vaporwave was pinpointed, there was Nmesh. Alex Koenig’s project from Louisville, Kentucky is therefore a must-have entity on DREAM_100. The presented track oscillates between the drum/punk roots of the artist, but only in terms of the bedazzlingly scything cowbell-snare-cymbal trifecta that breathes faint industrialism. The polyphonous vocals, vitreous bells and vincristine guitars in the distance, however, point to the 80’s and thus leeway, making this one of the vaporwaviest attributions on the whole compilation, despite a harder samarium-alloyed edge in the latter third.

41. 2 8 1 4 – アルカディア: 2 8 1 4 is the launch year of Dream Catalogue and the collaborative moniker for Hong Kong Express and telepathテレパシ, easy-peasy. This technical description doesn’t doアルカディア justice though. A mucous handclap-infested rotenone riverbed with unforgettable two-tone emerald oxidants in its epicenter, the track’s baroclinic boundaries are hued by a nebulous sea green-colored ergosphere which keeps the sensorial apprehension and enthralling humidity in their place. It’s an old saying, but still: the polished surfaces have to be heard to be believed.

42. Triad Research Laboratories – Depression System: Artist and track title form a pernicious symbiosis, but Triad Research Laboratories shy away from the a complete destruction of the world and rather create a semi-hatched hall that isn’t even crestfallen. Yttrium swooshes, laid-back flaring, the pleas of mixed choirs and glassy pipes altogether create a reserved conniption that can never become destructive due to the lilting downbeat.

43. Renjā – Listen Closely: Renjā, an ogival organist and wrathful foe? It is here, for once, where the glissando of the circulating chiastic organ evaporates darker undertones. Mysticism and portent are poured in equimolar parts into the superresonance, and the bewilderment only grows when the closeness on a surface level approximates the timbre of Calypso! You see, Listen Closely cannot be pinpointed, it is Gothic and chlorotic, but also plasmatic and warm. What an intriguing chemotaxis, again completely unexpected when previous works of Renjā are considered.

44. Chungking Mansions – 3D Printed Skyscrapers: A cavernous tropopause is the starting point of Chungking Mansions, but 3d Printed Skyscrapers lightens up, cautiously and tawnily. The galactic light is prone to circumambulation though, and so the lucency is fragile and almost mesozoic. During the track’s apex, aliphatic gluons of the nomological kind add another light source that make the spacy perihelia more livable. This track works great in technical surroundings, when precision and prestidigitation need to be exposed and underlined.

45. 회사AUTO – Boneli Reflex Arc Test [AREA–6700]: The wittiest track title is probably delivered by 회사AUTO, you only have to read it out aloud to make up your mind. The attached soundscape meanwhile is a periglacial solanum, an ice flower whose interim petrified state is mobbed up by a midtempo velocity and gorgeously pulsating preons, pips and patterns. Oscillating between hibernal haze and cylonic chromodynamics, Boneli Reflex Arc Test [AREA–6700] hasn’t forsaken the down-to-earth basis within its futuristic physiognomy.

46. Dreamcoat Fantasies – AzureSector: The wideness of an industrial complex, blurred steel-alloyed isospins from a nearby harbor at dawn: enter Dreamcoat Fantasies’ AzureSector with its Ambient-based core that is slowly accelerating into a panchromatic wave of intriguingly crafted breakbeat permutations and bleepy xylophone-esque illuminants. The amount of layers increase, but nothing prepares the listener for chromaticity in the last minute which suddenly proposes a cinematic cannelure and the realization that all parts function in tandem.

47. 「fluence」 – I’ll Be There: 「fluence」 ‘s track is aquiver with excitement, catenae and ctenidiae, sporting the weathered shape of breakbeat blisters, apocryphal gourd reticulations and embroidered chorales. The principal undercurrent, however, is industrial, mechanistic, enigmatic. Against all odds and in view to the track title, the subject feels forcefully drawn into something, efflorescence and quandaries are evoked. This is a dark dream alright, and it won’t be the last.

48. GreyscaleSound – Ashes Ashes We All Fall Down: Sitting between the interstices of bass-heavy Vaportrap and a more purified mystique of the landmark formerly known as the Orient, GreyscaleSound presents a diffeomorphism that breathes dark Sheffield guitars, turbulent snare protrusions and a certain hollowness in its principal drums. That the whole undercurrent is comparatively laid-back allows the listener to submerge into the short nuances, overtones and shades that reside between the stop-and-go flow of the presented plant site.

49. The Editor – DETROIT 3000 (ft. Milk Opus): The Editor and Milk Opus venture the site where modern electronic music was started and perfected a long time ago. And it is a really long time ago, given that it is the year 3000. The rectilineal beat multiplex ecomorphs through an aerose echopraxia of deeply vertiginous synth flares, with Detroit characteristics oozing out of every pore. The second phase is initialized by a low drone layer which leads to an expectorating quasi-Ambient polyhedron with bit-crushed BGM visuals, letting DETROIT 3000 come full circle. What a ride!

50. Mighty Pupil – LEAP (ft. JVDH): We stay in Detroit a little longer, as Mighty Pupil & JVDH’s 4/4 beat stomper is eminently club-compatible, a common remark that becomes curious when the Vaporwave context is applied. The beats are thus a sensation on their own, but make no mistake, the purple periphery of the synth bokeh is not to be underestimated either. Harboring the depth of field that is key to Detroit and rounding the erbaceous synthetism off with pianos of aeriform light, the shady twilight has just become much more less recalcitrant.

51. HyperGanesh – Lovely Night: Followers of Dream Catalogue eventually succumb to HyperGanesh’s command Stay Awake, and no surprise, he’s back with a nocturnal sparkler in the true sense of the term: Lovely Night is aglow with glistening prongs, gaseous blebs and royal blue synth jets. All ingredients are held together by a stable 4/4 beat (I sense a trend), which enters a hammering phase at a later stage. Effulgent and erudite at once, HyperGanesh’s night ride hits all the right synapses.

52. IMMUNE// – Blue Roses: IMMUNE//’s track flickers like an undulating thunderstorm, but one might elbow away its erected void due to the perfectly stabilized and unvarnished tin can beat. However, while this coherent layer gives the listener a fluke to hold on to, the adjacent complex is supercharged with calamitous whooshes, incisive laser pulses and many other fulminant complements. This track might be low on the melodic side, but it is eminently cool and mercurial, a real head bopper.

53. Windows 98の – C_YTH_E_RΞA RΞMIX: A spellbinding moiré of rapturous steam injections, heating control systems, ethereal gridlock phases and partially clicking beat accentuations, Windows 98の comes up with a particularly fuming scintilla that rightfully puts the vapor into the wave. The granular frequency alterations of the backing fogs, the sudden Gothic shift during the track’s apex and the entrancing simultaneity of the multiple abyssal strata make for a shapeshifting, ever-surprising profusion… one can almost smell the methylbenzene.

54. Subaeris – Glitch_2: Entering proper Vaportrap realms with Glitch_2, Subaeris worships the warm hue of pitch-shifted basslines and intermixed snare ribcages, showcasing the art of topiary with a well-balanced track that is less glitchy than it is phragmoplastic. Chopped vocal bursts, incredibly soothing stripes and callisthenic coils provide a listening experience that is highly accessible and open to scrutiny, against all odds that are awoken by the track title.

55. Taspo – Energy Cycles: This is not the first time we have entered the jungle, neither on this compilation, nor in an exogenous situation, but Taspo’s ophidian snake castanets and doubled handclap nepetalactones fuel the twilight state of the Congo. Biomorphic flutes, desiccate guitars and fluvio-lacustrine synth backdrops are equally important parts of the depicted syncytium. Clandestinity ahoy!

56. CVLTVRΣ – 56k Memories: CVLTVRΣ’s track is fueled by nostalgia and an aural footprint that is about to be lost as future generations use a so-called silent internet to which they are ubiquitously connected. Isn’t that crazy? In the world of 56k Memories, it certainly is. After an anacrusis of the famous ambient noise which reappears from time to time, a celestial/glacial dualism unfolds, with floating synth plasms and dissipative beats. Despite the nostalgia, there is no warmth included. The track is about the cold harsh reality and offers the meticulous look of a technician.

57. Internet Goddess Shinatama – Sala Park: The sky is deep-red, ruddish and rubicund, a blurry woodwind-like melody rotates in the distance, all the while xylophonic blips and inimical strings make sure that everyone understands the following: Internet Goddess Shinatama’s Sala Park is so unlike the tryst known as mall that it is quite a shock. Said park is loaded with pressure and immediacy, and when the velocity is revved up in the last 30 seconds, there is only conniption. A dark brute.

58. Lotus Flowers – दरेंओफ़्थेफ़ुतुरे: Lotus Flowers’ track is a standout genre-wise, for the artist absorbs the oriental lure of Bhangra and makes an Ambient track out of an alienating style, at least when Occidental ears are involved. Not necessarily hostile per se, there is a darkness walloping in the elasticized pool, and even though the sermon-infused ambience is droning ad infinitum, a secret waits for the adventurer to be uncovered. One of the realest dreams in lack of a better term.

59. 猫 シ Corp. – Hiraeth III (最終電車の駅): No fucking way 猫 シ Corp. gives us Hiraeth III! I’m overblown! Hiraeth is one of my favorite Vaporwave albums (not released on Dream Catalogue for a change), and an appendix of four minutes is a fantastic present! I know I’m biased, so in short: mesmerizingly acpocrine station announcements echo through a cyan-colored cytoplasm flooded with light and good mood. Ambient and Vaporwave reunite, with no interference whatsoever, and the result is audible bioluminescence.

60. ローマンRoman – さよなら日本: Funkmeister ローマンRoman is the chameleon of the scene, covering as many styles he possibly can. This applies to a lot of his friends as well, sure enough, but whenever he releases a track, you cannot even tell from the waveform what genre is targeted. さよなら日本 is Ambient with a capital A, stripped to the bones, with no curlicues or ornaments whatsoever, just a huge dose of matutinal zen as the flute-like synth greets the last sunrise before the country is left behind.

61. Digital Sex – Pessimistic: Digital Sex and OSCOB will succumb to OVERGROWTH, but this is beyond DREAM_100, so first things first: the former artist’s solo work may be called Pessimistic, fair game, but it is its nondescript disguise that makes it a retrosternal hit. Dew-sprinkled piano dust, icosahedral galactosamines and a mellowly surging synth precession make the contribution an obvious progenitor to New Age and secret jewel of the Atomic Age. Similar to ローマンRoman’s song, the arrangement is streamlined, the focal point being the nucleus, not the cellular tissue.

62. Broadcast - Falling Through Dust: Another Ambient gemstone, another delightful tensor, brought to you by Marcel Foley aka Broadcast: his coruscating organ kernel radiates legato light to the max, slowly flickering, occasionally seething, always unfolding in a pompous way. The enclosing wind gusts add an audible marker in regard to the concept of the age-old observation that time flies. The perapsis to classical Ambient is willfully maintained and offered as another chance for a certain clientele to not miss the symbiontic bandwagon any longer.

63. intedjekt – The Ache Of An Artificial Heart: Raging storms, pouring rain, a meltdown whose ongoing aftermath is luckily transfigured by means of frequency-plasticizing filters, intedjekt’s presumably crestfallen track is indeed self-centered, but also prone to adhere to orogeny and fold the Earth’s crust. This isn’t just achieved by a spectacular oomph of the staggering bass that reverberates in the distance, but also via the power of lachrymose chord progressions and a sinewed photodissociation. For cinematic connoisseurs, but open to scrutiny for the bystander with a real heart as well.

64. Shima33 – Sleeping City: Erin Y. Shima is another or whatever he’s called tomorrow is another shapeshifter genre-wise, and Sleeping City is one possible case in point that’s also close at hand. The Track seems to depict a metropolis in the earliest morning hours, as a certain plinking freshness and positive aura is induced. Supraglacial sine zones, their reverted afterglow and the interconnection between sound, sustain and silence form the picture of a lilac concrete jungle before the inner eye, and both that picture and the aural driving factor are the actual payoffs.

65. Pyravid – Opius Of Guru Formality: It is my pleasure to assert that Pyravid is still entrapped in a company-guarded jungle. After the deliverance of the green biodome GooglePlex Bionetwork on Dream Catalogue of course, the producer from the 4th dimension of Haiti is now trapped in the very surrealism he invoked himself. Frightening synth choirs, cacophonous positrons, demonic Doppler effects: Opius Of Guru Formality is the last Lovecraftian torchlight in an increasingly spectral temple, and you’re the last witness.

66. Rez x OSCOB – Slipping Awake: I love capitalizing OSCOB’s moniker, I can’t help it. His project Rez x OSCOB encounters an abysmal resurrection before the New Age jungles of Overgrowth showcase what is beyond DREAM_100. Slipping Awake is a military march disguised as an anathema, with superficial church organs, ill-colored lights and orderly foot stomps leading to a sensational second phase of a much more benignant robotic phase with rhenium-alloyed percussion and staccatofied fields of vision. Sophisticated Vaporwave with a bold fooled you-factor.

67. Vince Dolphin – Song For The Dead Whales: The song title is declamatory and quite dramatic, the agglutinated soundscape is no different: Vince Dolphin’s subzero/subaqua hybrid is a deep and empty world, with elasticized echolots and tungsten-coated tentacles reciprocating between mis-chromosomed plankton whorls and crepuscular kelp movements. All of this, I must add, is achieved without the use of bubbles or other radiophonic workshop elements. A great feat with an almost tangible moisture.

68. SEGA VR – hORizoNTe: From its droning low frequency river over semi-metallic constituents forming a 3/4 rhythm kind to the sumptuously blurred decelerated wisdoms of a soulful singer, SEGA VR’s offering addresses one typical Vaporwave formula, namely the process of slowing down a song. But the icing on the cake differs due to the high plasticity, the perceived wideness and the mood that is hard to grasp. Is it solace or chagrin, lovestoned feelings or horrible heartache? I sense a gracious core, and this is the sentiment I take away from SEGA VR’s wide skies.

69. Nyetscape – Welcome To The Machine: Nyetscape is another veteran, long enough in the game to carve out the parallax vision that occurs when multiple layers are stacked onto each other with a certain twist: the ability for each sound and emotion to breathe and disintegrate if need be. Welcome To The Machine is hence the technocratic titration as expected, with droning stokehold pipes and ventilation shafts, but the juxtaposed melody is Caribbean and sun-kissed in its infancy stage and later glistens and glints like a crystal palace. The song comes full circle with the machinery ultimately winning, but this is part of the obliquity. Maybe the machine is our friend. A look at the actual title of DREAM_100 might aid you in finding the truth.

70. Remember – 銀ボタン: The mysterious Remember will collaborate with Hong Kong Express in a forthcoming post-DREAM_100 release, so this complete review cannot possibly be a swansong. In the interim, Remember offers a solo pastiche that is strikingly gaseous and aeriform, with a soothing flanger injected to the endmost layer so that the chromogenic ventiduct appears bleary and ambiguous, as if seen through a heat haze. Despite the warmth, the synths spawn bluish formations, plinking ice floes are in close proximity, and a ukulele-like melody adjuvant sounds less cheesy or rustic than you might think. A fittingly silvery lapis lazuli.

71. DARKPYRAMID – Test Model: A Drone track that needs to be listened to at higher volumes, Test Model by DARKPYRAMID enshrines a lacunar density that is breathtaking. Adding the principal photometry of gamelan bells to a surprisingly magnanimous hydrazine that is less recondite than expected, the built hangar only comprises of incidental melodies and short hookups, but what it purposefully lacks in chord progression, it gains in a proper atmosphere. Enter at your own risk, you will be enthralled by the bosky equanimity.

72. Hong Kong Express – The Vision Beyond: Back to the cityscape with Hong Kong Express, and not just from a bird’s eye perspective, but right into the dark alleys: The Vision Beyond places a mildly acidic three-note melody in a peritoneum of illuminating appendices. Footsteps or rain droplets below an arch, who can tell in this Tartarean thiazide of the hopeless kind. The listener itself seems to be the focal point, surrounded by potentially supernal but ultimately asphyxiating synth washes. This is indeed the oft-cited vision beyond, and on a micronuclear level, arcana reign… until the button is pressed.

73. t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 – 一緒に、常に: The finale is delivered by t e l e p a t h テレパシ, Dream Catalogue’s curator and busy fellow. That he is able to produce longform pieces such as 緒に、常に is for him to know and us to find out. A conciliatory Vaporwave spark at the end of the day, t e l e p a t h テレパシ decreases the tempo, lets the phantom frequencies take over and boost the incandescence of the mauve-tinted chimes. Elasticized vocals and chord-evoked epiphanies provide that kind of happy end that is willfully cheesy, but true vaporwavers obey and absorb this scintillating saprotroph.


If you have a moment for a little apotheosis, this would be it: I love Dream Catalogue! No shit, Sherlock! The label has given Vaporwave a home during a time where few people were sure whether sarcasm or truism would take over. Now the label is exposed to the limelight while still remaining in the umbrageous underground, the latter of which is so utterly important in each and every art form, for as we all know, once the threshold to a critical mass is crossed, subject X, label Y or genre Z jumps the shark, has lost their mind, betrays the spirit, et cetera. I cannot project how this will turn out for Vaporwave in general and Dream Catalogue in particular, but I know that the label runners and curators have big hearts, Hong Kong Express, telepathテレパシ and pals are in it for the tremendous fun. I can only imagine how hard it is for them to turn projects down. On a much more positive note, however, I wager that the occasional turndown reverses into a consideration sooner rather than later. DREAM_100: The Eternal Dream System is the best example, bursting at the seams, mesmerizing with its viridian void, featuring vapor veterans as well as promising startups who will be watched closely by me. DREAM_100 furthermore shows the vastness of the multinucleate emotions, gamuts, filters, approaches, locales and, yes, even that certain amount of craziness that is so deeply engrained within Vaporwave. After the hundredth release, nobody can rest on his laurels, neither the curators, nor the creators, and least of all your clumsy reviewer. But what we can possibly do is trying to succumb to a more benignant laissez-faire attitude in terms of proselytizing naysayers, haters, mockers and nihilists: those who don’t get Vaporwave or its juxtaposed constituents might soon get it in a different manner, or maybe never at all. That elixir of life cannot be drunk, let alone brewed by everyone. Spread the V, and let others mock the effort if they so desire. DREAM_100 is above the cesspool… and beyond.


Further listening and reading:

  • You can purchase and fully stream the digital release at Bandcamp, and that's good news, as the physical tapes are sought-after rarities.
  • Dream Catalogue on the Twitters: @dream_catalogue


Vaporwave Review 090: Various Artists – DREAM_100: The Eternal Dream System (2015). Originally published on Jun. 4, 2015 at