Introducing Tilvera. That’s how the press blurb written by DMT Tapes begins. It’s the most basic of introductions, a mere anacrusis, grammatically correct, syntactically conventional. But the semantics must not be underestimated, for this is an unexpectedly strong debut even from my point of view! Digitally released in July 2015 on Port Richey, Florida’s stellar vapor lighthouse and consequentially available to fetch and stream at the label’s Bandcamp page as always, Luis from Germany aka Tilvera comes up with nine lactic-caproic chromophores which are gathered on 深夜の議論 (translating into late-night discussions). DMT Tapes can be proud about this debut as much as the artist himself, this much is clear right from the get-go. The feeling is only slightly night-based though. In lieu of a crestfallen solanum, Tilvera comes up with a panchromatic evening star emanating rubicund-crimson light. Time seems to stand still, but it is decidedly not the creepy kind of stagnancy or cessation but the most healthy and bewitching one! No, Tilvera allows his tracks to bloom and gloom, to literally evaporate. No conniption, no histrionic synth cataract is ever encountered. 深夜の議論 makes the blissful state its orthonormal guardian and severely deserves a closer inspection.


Coincidence or providence: I recently hand-picked a lot of incidental openers for the Vapor Vertebrae writeups, among them 自信, Tilvera’s mutual mica of trust and confidence. A closer look at its stratiform telomeres aqueous shapes and gently slapped strings reveal a potentially petrifying state of pondering and missed chances. It is only the silkier tones in major that make this more about a positive phototropism. Adjacent to this gateway is フローティング感想 (floating thoughts), and the wind chime-interspersed Rhodes megafauna is magnanimously hued in a rhenium-alloyed syncytium of gracious lozenges, arid lo-freq rhizomes and glinting chord progressions, complete with a short pause for reflection during the track’s apex, after which the phytolith threshold is crossed and a wonderland is reached. Even the juxtaposed Interlude inherits the silvery-argentine translucency, although Tilvera places it in an uplifting ribcage of Third Stream Jazz saprotrophs, helicoidal electric guitars and ultramafic afterglows in the mephitic air, making the track both slick and twisted at the same time.


With アフリカの雨 (African rain), Luis leaves the high-rise concrete jungle for the chlorotic counterpart, succumbing to a heavily elasticized laser interferometry with dry adiabatic lapse rates guitar-wise. The chords are sunset-colored and dreamy, the female vox-accompanied classic drums similar to whiplash phragmoplasts. One of the strongest circumambient coruscations! While 真冬 (Winter’s death) oozes right into the pseudo-paraphyletic periglacial puissance and enchants with crystalline corkscrew chords and alkaliphilic-angelic aureoles in the distance, the nocturnal solanum トリッピン (trippin’) relies heavily on bass guitars, hazy centrioles and plasticized cotton candy hi-hats amidst prolonged vocals. One could also say: this is Tilvera’s Vaporwave blueprint, the most clear-cut cowbell-fueled nod towards the standards. Don’t miss out on the gregarious synth washes regardless.


The final three tracks round off the neutraceutical cocktail that is the debut of Tilvera, willfully placing sarcopenia and efflorescence against salubrious sunlight and effulgence. The long-winded 我々は待っている上に保ちます (we’ll keep on waiting) offers a hieratic-holarctic rain pad punctilio whose textural viscoelasticity is still simmering through the microscopic magnetotail. Not mercilessly slowed down, the male vocals even maintain their human(e) qualities in this purposely attritional lilt. The penultimate follow-up Honey takes the cake though, as it is Luis’ only true-bred venture into a Mallsoft melange, and a healthy and uplifting one it is too. The tempo is of course residing in the lower mid-region, but the echoey decay of the volatile/violent hi-hat phantasmagoria is hued in vermillion colors. In addition, the stop-and-go/gridlock dualism of the tenor saxophone is way less cheesy than you might imagine from the outset. A consumerist’s paradise alright. トワイライト (twilight) puts a thermal gauze to its endpoint, comprising of curiously hollow drum vesicles which are agglutinated together by means of yttrium cytoplasm and pectiniform synth polymers. A warm, life-affirming apotheosis for sure.


With 深夜の議論, Tilvera has erected a proselytizing phoresy that encapsulates the sense of movement and travel within the standstill of pristine purity. The magic of the moment is cherished throughout the nine tracks, no matter how cheesy and tacky a description this might be at the end of the day. I am particularly impressed with the perfect runtime of each track which allows the listener to absorb and adjust to the principal chord titration, the various patterns and textures and polymers. The most important epigenetic part of Tilvera’s silkened debut is the balance: neither plethoric nor apocryphal, the simultaneity of sound, sustain and silence creates a vitalism that is almost audaciously laid-back, but not necessarily easygoing. There is no laissez-faire attitude in 深夜の議論, no egalitarian erethism. You don’t have the feeling – not even as a diehard vaporwaver – to have encountered the locales and textures before. Naturally you have, there’s a battery of Rhodes pianos in here, and the concept of a guitar shouldn’t be entirely unfamiliar to you either, but the focal point or barycenter is genuinely isothermal, connecting the dots that all have the same enthralling collection of positrons. Tilvera has created a chromogenic perianth with his debut, and whether this will be his forte or the steppingstone to tilted ventiducts is for the artist to know and us to find out.


Further listening and reading:


Vaporwave Review 108: Tilvera – 深夜の議論 (2015). Originally published on Jul. 7, 2015 at AmbientExotica.com.