Glaswegian vaporwizard コンシャスTHOUGHTS aka Chris Cray is a regular of AmbientExotica’s Vapor Vertebrae editions where he appears every month, enchanting with the polarimetry of sampled drums and material from somewhere else that’s extrapolated into a pipe dream. In those song-based cases, I call the artist Chrissy, but here in my in-depth review of such an enthralling EP, he shall be named Sir Chris (at least in this opening paragraph, don't spoil the fun). Virtualization is a five-track phototropism about the slow assimilation of reality, the elasticized moment where realness and consumerist fakery blur the line and make it a grid… just look at the front artwork or my stylistically related header image, they say everything in this regard, as do the similarly themed works System Delight by Vaperror (self-released, 2014) and the crimson computer-aided sunset of Fatal Memory Error's Cherished (Dream Catalogue, 2014). Virtualization is released on Florida’s Vaporwave central DMT Tapes and available to fetch and stream at their Bandcamp page as usual, and granted, コンシャスTHOUGHTS goes all-in on the melodies, writes the presented material from scratch, comes up with marvelous Ambient scintillae as well as pyroxene-crushing Rave rhizomes that are tamed in order to delude the listener and lure him or her into a synthetic abiogenesis. Here is a meticulous look at a sound-based perianth, mercilessly based on Vaporwave, intriguing to the max.


The nights in コンシャスTHOUGHTS' cosmos are always aglow, saprotrophs and solanums at the same time, prospering and blooming via the aid of the tawny moon. Tranquil depicts such a situation, and splendidly so. Crystalline phytolith synths right within the centrioles of the flora, the uplifting haze of the ligneous beat patterns always in close proximity to the five-note piano paraphyletic, the arrangement eventually sees its lycopod augmented by artificial flute flumes. Rounded off by the nearby vitreous galactorrhea veil, Tranquil exudes prismatic hapticity. You can touch the apocryphal markers, the transition from truism to realization is a beatific one. The adjacent Blue Lagoon meanwhile addresses the expectations of the listener 100%, so the technical description cannot do its recondite satiation justice. And yet: the billow-underlined quasi sun-dappled marimba polyphony emits the purest circumambience, only accentuated by a handclap-accompanied downbeat, delving into nostalgia and yearning via the cries of seagulls and spherical coils. Even the doldrums of コンシャスTHOUGHTS are exciting!


Coming up next: Petrcane Beach, and it’s something entirely different! Targeting the peculiarly twisted and warped Rave timbre by means of hyperstacked vesicles made of chiastic yttrium cytoplasm and a helicoidal corkscrew unfolding, the ensuing industrialism is still awash with colors. In lieu of grey or silver stokehold pipes, the thermal immersion is ablaze with a reel of high-chroma vincristines and fueled by the euphony of the chords. A showstopper amid the Ambient-focused endemics, but as holistic a part of the EP as every other aural inclusion. The following Summer Of ‘86 sees コンシャスTHOUGHTS collaborate with Under Two Palms in a mellow piece of almost five minutes. High-decay macula synths, a debonair drum apanage and rotoscoping aeriform halides create a simmering locale of insouciance and mutualistic cenobitism. Once the primary synth aorta is doubled and creates a parallax perithecium, the lilting ergosphere swallows the listener as he or she absorbs the track-based epistemology, becoming one with the accretion. The portentous – at least title-wise – tonality of the finale Unhandled Exception Caught… Simulation Aborted reaches back into the night, surprising with clandestine cloak-and-dagger chords, cavernous droplets and flangered telomeres. However, make no mistake: this is コンシャスTHOUGHTS on top of his own game! Actually healthily mysterious and softly affirmative of life, this duology makes for a fantastic closer, apocrine and volatile, but superionic nonetheless.


Virtualization is a magical entity of five parts, splendidly depicting the slow progress – or for many a naysayer: regress – of the virtual grid taking over, mesmerizingly intertwining reality with falsehood. The baroclinic boundaries of コンシャスTHOUGHTS’ EP are hence oscillating between the freshwater waves and tropical breeze that is closely linked to both the physical location of Port Richey in general and the transformed mindset of DMT Tapes in particular on the one hand, and a technocratic circulation of the multicellular kind on the other hand. Comprising the energy of electric current without the use of buzzing sine tones, the artificiality of Virtualization is always omnipresent, but more of a macronutrient than foreign antimatter, constitutive for the morphogenesis that takes place over the course of five tracks. The standouts are incidentally the very tracks whose physiognomy overcomes the pectin-coated polymer arrangement: Petcrane Beach is a sumptuously layered feel-good track with a fluid-processed polyhedron as its nucleus, whereas the closer Unhandled Exception Caught… Simulation Aborted sells the dawning apocalypse – and hence the albums time-related endpoint – as a phantasmagoric phoresy where the virtual constituents glitter through a oblique moonlit Ambient antrum. Whatever your poison my be, the Vaporwave adventures of コンシャスTHOUGHTS offer a precision – or is that precession? – that magnifies all the enchanting parts of the genre. All the time, again and again. A winner is Chris. And thanks to him, the listener.


Further listening and reading: 


Vaporwave Review 094: コンシャスTHOUGHTS – Virtualization (2015). Originally published on Jun. 11, 2015 at AmbientExotica.com.