Daniel Saylor
Youtube Music






Planned coincidences and accidental contingency are both the war-and-peace and oxymoronic omnipresence in the world of Plunderphonics aka Vaporwave’s big mis-chromosomed cousin. Comprising the same wealth of 80’s memorabilia, BGM infestations plus net memes and potentially augmenting this halide with literally every possible avulsion that can be carried by sound waves, Plunderphonics relies on exogenous ascriptions in order to let the intrinsic characteristics fall into place. Orlando, Florida’s Daniel Saylor isn’t a plunderjack per se, but what he has developed here against all odds is more than just a bunch of phylogenetic contretemps. Believe it or not, but as a Vaporwave fan, you will know Saylor, mark my words. The anagnorisis will hit you at a later point (in time, not in this review), so in the interim, let me carve out his skills and prestidigitation: being a composer, percussionist and new media artist, he is part of the Central Florida Composers Forum which makes multidisciplinary performances their elixir of life. Plunderphonics is prone to this attitude, and so Saylor succumbs to the majestic width of the genre. All the frequencies, words, performances, samples, music bits, glitches, jingles and sounds are channeled however, and their exclusive source is revealed in the title already: Youtube Music. Self-released on Bandcamp where it is available to fetch and stream, it comprises of three longform suites, the last of which is sliced into two halfs – or is that calves? – as the current of multitudinous playthroughs/let’s plays, advertisements, plucking sessions, flute flumes, Occidental ornaments and amethystine amanitas disintegrates into a mucoid anhydride. A closer look? Sure, see below. A meticulous understanding? Sad trombone.


There are Plunderphonics albums that throw you into a gutter right from the get-go. Daniel Saylor’s approach is more subtle, at least during the infancy stage of the 21-minutes moloch YT Music No. 3 (No. 1 and No. 2 are interestingly amiss) which comprises of a bonfire guitar aorta onto whose rustic decay gazillions of bit-crushed bleeps and ignis fatuus aureoles of static light are grafted. The spirit of AM radio frequencies is in the air, of tunnels and bridges that scythe through the already questionable clarity of the material, causing hiccups at best and complete nullspaces at worst. In addition to this sentiment, grunge guitars, bustling announcements and chopped adages are superimposed, resulting in the very positron granuloma that fans of the ebullient genre crave for. Heck, there’s even instances of German and Dutch anchormen thrown into the cauldron, making the album’s first outing an international affair, for better or worse.


Daniel Saylor’s collage doesn’t run on all cylinders though, even in the cases it seemingly does just that. The reason is twofold: there are euphonious instances of beautiful melodies and crafty chords spanning from Vaporwave-oriented lift muzak over advertising jingles to centrifugal glucans on the one hand. And on the other hand, there are those interstices and lofty pits of aeriform nothingness where the phantom frequencies, afterglows and magnetotails can radiate the titration of their buildup. The orthonormal YT Music No. 4 doesn’t differ in this regard and offers more of the same archetypal arbitrariness: Rave rhizomes, shuttering cameras, Xbox dashboard sounds, Eminem’s words of wisdom (yeah, right), pectin-coated prismatic loops and referee whistles amid banjo-fueled Arizonian porch soundscapes. It is a mess, a plethoric apocryphal cesspool, spanning the macronutrients, truck engines and icosahedral jitters of everything that crosses the paths of Saylor’s omniscient gluttonous YouTube player.


YT Music No. 5 serves as the longwinded two-part endpoint to the volatile-violent interferometry, but there’s no cause for sentimental feelings; the orographic accretion of the waveform and its aesthetically fulfilling angular momentum augment the sensorial apprehension in tandem, breaking the baroclinic boundaries of this thermal immersion circulator. Part 1 of the finale caulks the micro pauses and lacunar alcoves with a whitewashed haze of yttrium-alloyed drones. Inaudible voices protrude the lanthanum lake, there are classic drum kits on the ground, it’s not that there aren’t some cases of punctilio or shrapnel. But the almost fluid-processed physiognomy of the legato layers – as well as their elasticized, sustained state – offers a superionic viewpoint. It is only after five minutes that the stuttering engine runs out of gasoline, leading to a birdsong-infested open world peritoneum of calcareous vestiges, apocrine blebs and lilting cytoplasm which eventually leads to the country side of life. Afterwards, YT Music No. 5 Part 2 seamlessly connects to the former part’s debonair telomere and rounds off the principal verbiage with Manchester-oid breakbeat fibroblasts, colloidal phragmoplasts, vincristine Synth Pop melodies and Ultra Street Fighter IV injections. KO indeed.


Daniel Saylor’s Youtube Music is the concestor of the Plunderphonics movement, its pastel-colored hue of the front artwork hiding both its gigantomachy and aposematism. This anthocyanin nematode crosses the cochlea, injects an alkaliphilic zoetrope and leaves the befuddled listener with a maelstrom whose hapticity is much more tangible and immediate as I’d even imagined when the humble beginnings of the opener evaporated their richly alluvial phytolith-scattered soils. Naturally, Youtube Music offers too much, paints too grand a vision that is pestered by prosopagnosia and palinopsia, blurred states and aliphatic phototropism. This circumambulation, however, is the key to the album, a key which shouldn’t be equated with a holistic understanding of the album, by golly! All nuts and bolts, constituents and scintillae point to the direction of chirality though: everything is purposefully blurred, overlaid, jointed and enmeshed. No shit, I have just explained the basic gist of the Plunderphonics movement, thank me later, but the dimensions and the make-it-extralarge conception of Saylor’s album initially boggles the mind and then annihilates it. This is a varied patchwork too ultramafic to digest for the innocent bystander. It needs a trained connoisseur, a person who can distill, decompose and divide the magnanimous stratiform stream. In short: it needs a classically trained composer who doesn’t shy away from nutritious net art, vapor ventiducts and aural anathemas. Enter Daniel Saylor. At the very end of this review, letting it come full circle.


Further listening and reading:

  • You can fetch and stream Youtube Music at Bandcamp. Alternatively, you can check all of its superficial fissures at YouTube, isn’t that a great idea? 
  • The artist’s website and Twitter handle: danielsaylormusic.tk & @Dsaylor_perc


Vaporwave Review 096: Daniel Saylor – Youtube Music (2015). Originally published on Jun. 18, 2015 at AmbientExotica.com.