The OSCMOB Collective






The OSCMOB Collective is an ever-growing bunch of Vaporwave producers, with the first 32 luminaries stressing the community aspect of the genre on the inaugural release of Bedlam Tapes as run by OSCOB from his Germany headquarters. It is ennobled with an artwork by graphic designer and fellow artist Marcus32x from Ireland of Angelawave and Artzie AM fame. Since 32 artists are involved, you could call them a mob, and so OSCOB multiplies like a horny paramecium and transforms into OSCMOB, period. The compilation is called 死と音楽の復活 whose meaning can be approximated as the death and rebirth of music, and this state of affairs is also shown – and potentially reversed – in the labeled sides of the tape, side A being called The Rise and side B The Fall. A rather ambivalent theme for sure, but that's to expect from a well-known vaporwaver, podcast producer and now label owner whose back catalog comprises of cloak-and-dagger peritoneums, asbestus molecules in air conditioners high up in the sky… and one Future Funk track. The original run of 50 purple C120 tapes has been sold out in hours, but the digital incarnation will always be available on Bandcamp.

So what is there to expect from the presented material? After all, 2015 is the year of the compilation, with Dream Catalogue's The Eternal Dream System aka DREAM_100Artzie AM's Volume ONE or 30th Floor Records' beat 'em up-themed Synth Fighters showcasing that the Vaporwave and Future Funk movements are more alive than ever and not as separated as some people would think (or secretly hope). In fact, The OSCMOB Collective draws many a funk producer as well, but the whole compilation itself remains tied to the world of Vaporwave, with Ambient and Glitch sidetracks firmly in place. So without further ado, here is a closer – and still comparatively holistic – look at all 32 tracks, with one apologetic addendum to keep in mind. I'm quoting a recent and splendidly charming OSCOB/VirtualPlazaMax tweet: "I use theythem when I am not 100% sure on what the pronoun is, am I expected to go look at the bio of every1 I talk 2 or is that PROBLEMATIC?" That's Max for you, but he is right: even though I know many of the listed people and have reviewed lots of their works and singles in-depth and continually, I might have mistaken their gender or didn't spend a second thought about at all, for which I ask for forgiveness. And now for something completely different… 

OSCMOB goes woof, let's look at the tape and then sniff vapor. Photographed by OSCOB.

1. Replica Federation - Occulta Uestibulis: The OSCMOB Collective is alive and well, at least that’s what Replica Federation’s accelerating heartbeat-underlined anacrusis suggests. What follows, however, isn’t your archetypal Vaporwave opener, no: sun-dappled Dub guitars French-kiss cautiously reverberated hi-hats as the vermillion hue of the sky reaches its apex. Despite the slowed-down state in its latter half, perturbation sets in, the licks are emitted in minor before the proselytizing Blues is rounded off by a short Mallsoft endpoint. Slick and sleazy at once.

2. モールFUTURE/PAST - The Ghosts Of Crystal Valley Mall:
 From Replica Federation’s elevator into the marble-walled malls as envisioned by モールFUTURE/PAST, the presented tenor saxophone-centered circumambience is anything but lachrymose, nocturnal… and jazzy. Pink noise veils meet the gorgeously cerulean glissando of a gelid vibraphone. A hint of palinopsia wafts in the air, further augmented by a carbonaceous piano-and-bass aura. Evening erethism at its best, toned down, but with a micro-lensed focus on shared loneliness, or in short: contemplation in the big city. 

3. 「newtype」 - 地平線GLO: Sunbeams aren’t edible, no matter what Björk’s Sun In My Mouth otherwise suggests. 「newtype」aka 「サンセット N etwork❾❶」offers a salubrious mélange of incandescence regardless whose initial stage is cautiously cavernous and rhythm-driven before the aposematism turns into panchromatic colors. Somewhat celestial and sermonic, the camphene centrioles float in the distance while being in the epicenter at the same time, making the simultaneity of near-and-far a welcome chirality in the wake of an increasingly yttrium-alloyed lycopod of argentine hi-hats… a short shrapnel section included. But hey, that’s what should be expected from the artist that glorified the live of a Hired Gun with fellow henchman Replica Federation.

4. OSCOB - Clear: The ever-rational OSCOB and Bedlam Tapes head honcho enters the scenery with a thematic public service announcement and submits a fuzzy/washed out thermal immersion circulator that works really well, what with all of its euphonious frequencies completely plasticized. This is one of the artist’s traits that work so well in the context of Vaporwave: blurring the protrusions in order to create a plateau of aliphatic-lacustrine pompousness. The synths may suffer from sarcopenia, but the melody itself shines through and fights the obliquity with its MIDI brass fanfares amid the shadowy dungeon scenery, making the dubiously titled Clear a triumphant stokehold solanum.

5. ZOOBOOKS SAFARI - Wounded From A Heart That Burns For Love: Klumpmeister aka ZOOBOOKS SAFARI (yes, all-capitals ahoy!) injects a dangerously recondite synthwave ecomorph into the collaboration, and if the listener doesn’t understand the severity of the situation, the artist is more than happy to hammer it home. An apoplectically arpeggiated Mellotron micrometry jitters through the mephitic ether. Confessions of love and adaxial earthquakes are included, and in tandem with the echoey pressure chamber, they agglutinate hints of epiphanies and paradoxically antagonistic tone sequences, thereby linking back to the potentially grave title of the work. Whether the song is based on a real incident or not, one thing is for sure: OSCOB hasn’t rejected the staccatofied blades of ZOOBOOKS SAFARI.

6. Wizard's Treats - Sanctuary: If you think of light and cenobitism when the track title is read out aloud, think again and succumb to Wizard’s Treats whose Sanctuary is more chlorotic than a Lovecraftian arcanum. The warped guitar twangs are coming straight from Hawaii, but their luminosity is tawny at best, harmed by a striking diffeomorphism: the light these slapped strings spawn is scattered and only hesitantly breaking through the molybdenized syncytium. The two-note main theme meanwhile sounds like a portentous siren, a role call, tinting the already rubicund endemic hue in an even more insanitary light. This is a sanctuary alright… for the damned and doomed.

7. Rez - Fear No Evil: OSCOB’s frequent partner-in-crime and longtime friend Rez comes to the rescue with a seraphic set of synth choirs, fluvial-crystalline nepetalactone rhombohedrons and a tribal set of monks whose chants oscillate between R’n’B mannerisms and Angkor Wat processions. But Fear No Evil doesn’t leave it at that, as both the lead singer and the head-bopping beat are tantamount tentacles in an alkaliphilic ribcage of temple ruins, rotenone tentacles and a calcaneal gravitation. This is nearly as much Pop as the OSCMOB Collective is willed to allow on this compilation (see Rȧȋɳȝow ʗȧdȋⅬⅬȧʗ later on), a fiery nematode whose melodic cellular tissue is almost entirely reliant on the quality of the prayer. 

8. General Translator - 子どもが神: We remain in ecclesiastic waters, or so it seems, as 子どもが神 roughly translates into "children of God," but is more akin to an amethystine-industrial river than an elysian abyss. General Translator’s stacked granularity is a wondrous force to reckon with, and if headphones are involved, the many contrapuntal layers unfold efficiently, be it the crimson-red string aorta, the dissipative downbeat or the haunting screams and colloidal patterns in the distance. Pitched service announcements, harbor horns and debonair electric bass telomeres offer a superstructure that is as reliant on rusticity as it is based on orographic accretion. I sense solace and even uplifting vibes, so thank you for this lilt.

9. Lamitina - Advanced Retreat: Lamitina’s ATLAS//RADAR on Dream Catalogue is a kaleidoscopic collection of Glitch and super-polished synth slides, always on the edge of delivering overwhelmingly catchy textures and entwined melodies. Advanced Retreat meanwhile targets the overdriven state and is a surfactant at the end of the day, a substance that reduces a liquid’s surface tension. And so we receive medulla-emptying grinding guitars, Shoegaze romantics, adiabatic riffs that reach from here to nowhere until… yes, until 70 seconds have passed and a towering high-rise chime flare torpedoes its way into the – now soft-boiled – cochleae. That’s Lamitina in a nutshell, where even the most churning cryovolcanoes harbor a sensorial apprehension to cherish.

10. CHUNGKING MANSIONS - HiSaturn Navi 逆向工程: A superimposition of Sheffield Rave from 1992, multinucleate cyberpunk vitalism and calcareous pipe shafts and ventiducts, that’s the basic gist of CHUNGKING MANSIONS’ HiSaturn Navi 逆向工程. Analogue corrugated sheet metal meets a tentatively Jungle-inspired midtempo placenta and sees its ergosphere illumined by caproic Ambient airwaves. The result is mesmerizing due to the parallax fasciae and polysemous superresonance. Again, I’m more willed to absorb the – eminently hidden – exocarp of positivism than the epigenetic portent that is equally at home in this space tropopause. Your mileage may vary; the tune remains great.

11. P u r s u i n g  P a r a d i s e - ˚Relationship Manual˚: Vaporwave is a style. No, Vaporwave is a genre. It’s the equivalent to the old game "I love you, I hate you“ which is brought to our attention in Pursuing Paradise’s self-explanatory manual. At least the topic itself is open to scrutiny, whereas the Plunderphonics-inspired circumambulation is not. But as every good montage of the Plunderphonics movement showcases, a good homeostasis – i.e. an equilibrium between interdependent elements – is the goal to achieve. Ask Daniel Saylor if need be. Pursuing Paradise meanwhile throws bird-accompanied field recordings, perihelic soft-pitched synth flumes, Soul sellouts vs. Metal mica and, finally, guitar perianths into a cesspool whose occasionally arhythmic gridlock-freeway dualism adds verve to the occasional orthogonality. 

12. Bonus Fruit - クラゲARCADIAEven though Deiter Hetrick has offered me insights in terms of pinpointing his two principal monikers Bonus Fruit and Gオーブ, I think that his Bonus Fruit moniker is more playfully fibrillar and chiptune-accentuated than his quasi-apocalyptic Ambient cloudlets he delivers as Gオーブ, but even if I’m mistaken on a higher level, the autochthonous-phylogenetic avulsion called クラゲARCADIA is much more friendly and benignant. Its starting point may beg to differ, what with its steel mill drone diorama, phonecall serenades and thickly wadded verglas galactosamines, but wait for the handclap-underlined second part and float in Power Rock-oriented airs, as Bonus Fruit makes a cajoling tryst out of an abstract thiazide. The hooks and choruses are then rounded off by a rotoscoped pachinko hydrazine. Gabba gabba yo!

13. death's dynamic shroud.wmv - Sugar Crystals: Please don’t let Tech Honors’ and James Webster's track title be a euphemism for a drug-related substance, I’ve heard plenty of sugar-related exclamations and lewdness. The soundscape itself, then, takes a very different direction and is only consequentially comprising of a bolshevik beef barycenter with superstacked chiptune glucans, sundown ventricles and a four-to-the-floor centrifugal force whose staggering chromophores eclipse the sun. Gyring between smoke-filled reticulations and a driving set of potassium-garnished gimcrack aesthetics, Sugar Crystals is sound-based borscht with amanitas, running through your veins like a moxie gypsy curse, hot at first, then corrosively disintegrating your innards, with the final thing you see being an old hag laughing in your face, preparing you for the last night of your life. The tape, though, continues…

14. Darksleep - 昆虫ペニスプリンセス: The following is an honest-to-goodness compliment, despite the chance that people want to misread it at all costs: I loved how Darksleep laughed his way through a recent OSCAST episode dedicated to his endeavors, I really do. I've never heard so much snickering and chuckling in an interview, but it is great. Sympathetic and insightful in the right moments, one primary message I’ve taken away is that the producer doesn’t want to be connected to the V-genre for eternity, therefore doing things as he pleases. If they happen to be compatible with the movement, all the better! 昆虫ペニスプリンセス is such a, well, thing, and I won’t translate it here in this very moment. But the title is as powerful a picture as the track itself: from heavy Jungle-driven tachycardia rhythms over pectiniform AM frequency chasms to Glitch artifacts like blebs, bubbles and vesicles, 昆虫ペニスプリンセス eventually reaches its guitar-accentuated Ambient halide while the aggrandized Drum’n’Bass gigantomachy continues unscathed. A fascinating grinder!

15. Windows 98の - 緊張とリリース: Orlando boy Windows98の’s 緊張とリリース I can indeed translate without blushing like a Japanese schoolgirl in Spring: tension and release are the elemental forces of today, and given that the track is particularly progressive, with an endpoint that differs strikingly from its gateway, the opposing pair of items rings all the truer. Of note is the viscoelastic lanthanum moiré which greets the listener: insectoid zippers and ligneous clicks eventually experience the recalcitrant aureoles of ground-loop hogs intertwined with a breakbeat cannelure before a jazzy-loungy undercurrent of clavichord-aided electric piano puissance is eventually reached which unites the abstractly Glitch-infested harbinger with the veiled world of Vaporwave. I believe that’s the happy end most of the listeners desire and deserve. I know I do.

16. ArtFluids - Titanomachy (Part III): ArtFluids is on the verge of mastering the art of chiptune echopraxia, the former style being right at home with The OSCMOB Collective, the latter attempt being a meaningless imitation of a former movement. This sounds sounds harsh at first, but only in the context of the wealth of DAW, software and synth patches available. Alexander begs to differ and unites 808 cowbells, E.Honda claves and apocryphal handclaps with a solar plateau of aerose 8-bit sawtooth expectorations in Titanomachy (Part III). Their mood shuttles between noxious inconsistencies and elevated polyphony, with pitch shifts and flanger flakes already engrained in their complexion. A flashback to the early 80’s? ArtFluids has you covered.

17. ∫HYPERION∫ - Assault, Asphyxiate, Obliviate: Check out Michigan’s ∫HYPERION∫ and you will immediately encounter the darkest track titles, pretentious at best and soul-destroying at worst. Now check the above title and see for yourself: this isn’t your vanillarific floralcy alright, and even though Assault, Asphyxiate, Obliviate can be quite a bit cryptic at times, especially so with its hatched bassline that hovers over the nullspace, there are plenty of adjuvants and injections that make a sylvan beguiling ruin out of a vestige. Whether it is the artificial droplets, the twinkling wisps in the center which are cute as fog, or the nebulous legato gradient that functions as the intrinsic horizon, there is much freshness and genuine friendliness to enjoy in this enchanted place.

18. コンシャスTHOUGHTS - Drowning: Future Funk and Vaporwave united in one Scotsman to reckon with, enter コンシャスTHOUGHTS’ Drowning and succumb to a helical allure of undulation and colors. I had to check twice whether it is really a track by Chris, but yes it is. The reason for my bewilderment is the superimposition of crepuscular chimes and polar lights on the one hand and a darker pith of uproar and rumpus on the other, a style the artist is not primarily known for. Drowning keeps the pace – but not necessarily the faith – with its arhythmic-avulsing Hip-Hop rhizomes, a spiraling amount of reverberation and a holarctic susurration of the lead melody which scythes through the organ-esque ether of liquid light. Effulgent and threnodic at the same time, this sub-zero synthorama is giving me the creeps. The vortex of potential benignancy that is hidden deep within the interstitial chords only augments the feeling of hope further, a hope that is but a will-o'-the-wisp for the drowning soul. An exceptional diorama even for コンシャスTHOUGHTS' ever-changing array of styles.

19. KING QUARTZ - please dont log off: You only have to say the magic word please, and I’d do anything for you that’s covered in the small print, King Quartz. Please dont log off is a surprise whose scope is similar to the contribution of コンシャスTHOUGHTS in that King Quartz is (also) known for faster, funkier flumes. This tune, however, is epicurean Vaporwave, there’s no denial: high-pitched princesses, hibernal accentuations, looming globs of spectral/spacy synths and the laid-back backing chords of a piano amid the midtempo physiognomy are altogether cornerstones for an oneiric crescendo which exudes Dream Pop with every fiber of its annealed accompaniment. Aqueous and icy, the lucency of the applied nostalgia outshines and caulks the all too close nothingness that reigns in this little realm. A great and evocatively serious track.

20. Cobalt Road - Going Dark: Cobalt Road aka Jared is a trained pianist and songwriter in the classical sense, so if such a talent finds its way into the Vaporwave community, wonderful notions ensue. In Going Dark, Cobalt Road leaves the piano at home, but acrocyanosis is certainly not the reason, as wildly helicoidal vibraphones spawn a glacial vivacity that is only amplified further by the insouciance of the pentatonic ancillary melody. Hip-Hop beats, reverberated clicks and frozen marimba-oid synths round off both the mysticism and prestidigitation of this cavern. Going Dark admittedly doesn’t inherit the synth-fueled saturation of Cobalt Road’s recent release Purgatoryand the sunshine homebase of Florida seems indeed farther away than ever, but make no mistake: Jared is going dark with style!

21. R23X - タムズ: I’m happy to see R23X in the roster of this tape, for I love the RPG-inspired timbre the artist injects into the music. OSV is a corker in this regard and was rightfully picked up by Dream Catalogue. The local タムズ (tums) meanwhile serves as a bridge between the aforementioned album and the local tape. Right from the get-go, R23X plays the game right: bit-crushed and monstrous earthquakes meet catchy verglas jingles before a sanguine crimson synth choir-like melody paints the memories of dilapidation and debris. Wafting in the rhythm of the adjacent beat, タムズ ultimately seems like a hideous relic and forewarning herald of a near threat that only the hero of the game can solve. Video game-inspired Vaporwave is definitely no standout feature and has been there all along as soon as the genre manifested itself, but somehow R23X is ahead of the curve without being a one-trick pony. A winner is you!

22. HKE - LostThe personified anthropomorphism of Vaporwave HKE has willfully vaporized his former Hong Kong Express moniker. HKE now stands for everything and anything you can imagine. And I for one can imagine a lot, oh yes! Lost is, I believe, the first officially released HKE song with the new moniker in mind, not counting previous SoundCloud uploads or previews. It is certainly the first song I encounter, and I’m glad that the founder of Dream Catalogue created a belter: from the emerald Mellotron crystals in the initial stage over a mumbling but seemingly erudite resonation of magnanimous vocals – is it V I R T U E by any chance? – to a bokeh of blurred phragmoplasts, Lost sports a threatening title but is actually a salubrious soundscape itself where the weight of the big city doesn’t crush the individual anymore. A retinue of synths and organic lifeforms prevents the downfall, making HKE’s metropolitan kineticism a tangible, mutualistic one.

23. Renjā - Ethereal Sequence: The greatest cinematic melodies, even if the pitched vocalists are drowning in their yearning, hopes and dreams, come from our boy Ezequiel aka Renjā, and his Ethereal Sequence is no different and offers more of the same hypnotic lozenge sporophytes, albeit vocalless this time. After the sunrise phase with an increasingly orange-yellowish hue as radiated by slowed-down saxophones and trumpets, the artist’s topiary skills shine through, pushing the brass to the left- and rightmost place of the mix, allowing an outlook over the warm, saffron-colored chrysanthemum steppe of the mind. The trick, if you may call it that, is based on the simultaneity of the layers which don’t work in tandem all of the time, but their cautious time lag and ever-shifting strata allude to orographic fragments and figments, adding landmarks, towers and warmth to the baroclinic boundaries.

24. Rȧȋɳȝow ʗȧdȋⅬⅬȧʗ - プロザック商業: Dreams from Detroit reaching through the heterodyned nether regions when Rȧȋɳȝow ʗȧdȋⅬⅬȧʗ is up for a visit. Their cheekily titled track プロザック商業 translates into Prozac commercial, and this is what the listener shall receive, all hippocampal rainbows included for free. But don’t hold your breath for Dutch bubblegum hardcore helixes, for Detroit is far far away and the transmission is willfully pestered by static crackles and a tawny, limewashed sepia hue that surrounds the soulful singer and his backing choir. The formerly pristine classic drum kit is subverted by colchicine, the frequency spectrum is narrowed down to a chloroderivative nebula, and even though Motor City doesn’t suffer from amoxophobia, there is a super easygoing attitude embroidered throughout the runtime of less than two minutes. Calm the fuck down and inhale these biomorphic cristae.

25. Boocanan - A FILM OF YOUR LIFEBoocanan is back! Which is a meaningless and furthermore wrong observation, for she never went away. However, in A FILM OF YOUR LIFE which has to be screamed out aloud for the best possible effect, it turns out that this here vision isn’t necessarily a commonplace locale for the producer either, at least when the mighty Jawbreakers is taken into consideration. An ogival aura is in the air – let’s call it ayre and roll the letter "r" for a more dramatic effect – and there is no beat in sight, making Boocanan’s offering a colloidal Ambient piece. Microscopic particles are dispersed through a second substance alright: while the midnight wind howls over the wastelands, a frequency-bent organ manifests itself in these weathered surroundings. It is actually quite graceful and solemn, but several alterations, pitch shifts, ring modulators and other effects penetrate the Tartarean megafauna and lessen the inimical purgatory. Make no mistake though: this is much closer to the Hauntology subgenre than Vaporwave, but this, in the end, makes Boocanan’s ogre a filthy standout brute.

26. witch1990 - 凝視: Even though witch1990 aka Geneva Satellite wants us to gaze in 凝視, this is easier said than done, for the artist connects and juxtaposes several vignettes and smaller segues in his contribution. Kicked off by strychnine-coated whispers, it is the omnipresence of alkaloidal thunderstorms, Roland lo-freq cataracts, neutraceutical hi-hats and other clavicular sounds which prevents a focal point or a macula and rather causes a nervous visual snow, or even worse: a momentary death, or so it seems when the track’s lotus flute enters le legato lore, monsieur. 凝視 works best at higher volume and with headphones, even though your doctor begs to differ. The reason is the great plasticity and depth of field in every sequence. The abstract pseudo-melodies might be a letdown for followers of glistening Vaporwave, but the balance and architecture of the mix are the actual cornerstones of witch1990’s track.

27. レクスビル8.12 - Natures Tap: Welcome to the horticultural lavabo of レクスビル8.12 whose hieratic Natures Tap permits neoteny and erinaceous buddies who rummage through the soil. Stuttgart is a peaceful place after all, one of the few German cities where the sheer sight of the almighty dollar doesn’t cause Gunther’s monocle to shatter. Natures Tap isn’t a fully paradisiac isle, however, and it is always on the verge of totally succumbing to its tetragonal Glitch core. But this never happens, and so a fascinating, only seemingly desiccated biocentrism unfolds. Semi-mournful piano tones aren’t probably helping the message that I want to come across, fair enough, but the sound-based onomatopoeia, the many frogs, flies, insects and viridian kalimba spherification create an erbaceous prism in twilight. A wonderful fugacity in the last days of summer.

28. Digital Sex - numb: Sexuality in the digital age, now that’s a thesis that is infiltrated by many a postgraduate student all over the globe. You fools! Digital Sex, er, came before you! Our debonair don from Hudson, Wisconsin is one of the two OVERGROWTH overlords, and so his inclusion in the inaugural Bedlam Tapes release is both a certainty and chromogenic event. His offering is called numb, a half-sorrowful Ambient piece with an equimolar amount of seraphic gluons to round off the titration. Textures and timbre unite in the most meaningful way: the ignis fatuus of the temple bells is potentially amicable, all the while the slowed-down harps and mesozoic jingles (from Luc Besson’s Fifth Element maybe?) waft, simmer and flicker through a mucous plasm. The old adage rings true: this one has to be heard to be believed. The melody-based catchiness simmers yet again on a lower level, this is not posh Vaporwave material, but I’ll say it once more: the patterns and surfaces are unbeatable in the stacked state Digital Sex presents them.

29. 2047 부드러운 아픈 - 도시의 안개: Previously known as Sickboy (hey, I'm just reporting), 2047 부드러운 아픈 aka 2047 A.D. has impressed with the mercilessly dark concept album 새로운 삶을 시작 prior to his OSCMOB submission, and indeed, 도시의 안개 (the city's fog) brings back FSOL memories of the mid-90's, firmly entangled in a purified diaphanous veil of viscid melancholia. However, this is an Ambient track after all, and a surprisingly soothing one. There are darker cyberpunk fermions in here, for instance the purple sawtooth bassline which oozes through the ether. However, from an isothermal viewpoint, these two constituents – as well as a third one in the shape of an acoustic guitar – paint a mellow zone that ultimately man-handles the apocalyptic notion, connects the dots and turns them into a sequence of contemplative awe.

30. Remember - テレビ夢ナム·ハートエイク: Flirting with the remote and separated lifestyles of former individuals that are enslaved by big cities and their juggernauts as is the case on his Dream Catalogue debut ルートバックホーム, Remember superimposes a second wall that separates the perceived events from each other in his track テレビ夢ナム·ハートエイク, and it is the power of the TV screen whose cathodic preons and sparks cut through a magnificently lactic ambience that blooms and glistens in technicolor. This is – at least for the moment – the big strength of Remember's Ambient tracks: they are indeed based on the mother genre, with traces of retrogressive New Age particles sewn in throughout the soundscape. The Vaporwave allusion, then, happens to increase and prosper automatically within the track itself, for there are enough compatible surfaces in there to serve this peculiar niche too; the partially hollow and fir-green cymbal aorta comes to mind in particular. And there's euphony and hope included too. The TV medium has been kind to us, and so has Remember.

31. sky 空 - fog 霧: Washed out, drowsy, rural, drowning in the everglades, but always nomological and closely attached to nature: the music of sky 空 is on the brink of being perceived as fragile and wispy; the perception is altered soon enough though. In contrast to the mysterious artist's longform sunburst Countryside田舎, the contributed fog 霧 is obviously more opaque, but lures the listening subject with a fascinating amalgamation of droning layers which are fuzzy, harmed, drugged and quite a bit dizzy. The bedazzling effect doesn't feel forced though, this is not a cosmic journey rather than a scintillating elasticized fibroblast. Synths could be involved, but the setup also reminds of sustained guitar chords that are looped back through an amplifier. Whatever the actual source, sky 空 shows us the beauty of a natural phenomenon by adding an interestingly countrified, matutinal alternative viewpoint to 2047 부드러운 아픈's aforementioned municipal presentation.

32. t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 - 愛の力: If there is just a little room for a majestic apotheosis, chances are that t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 is your entity to trust in terms of melodies that are as catchy as the textures they are realized with. 愛の力 fittingly translates into power of love, and granted, you are invited to bask in beams of light whose lucency and Candela cross the threshold from being just otherworldly to the realm of transformative elysium. There is a certain granularity attached to the orange-colored beams, a cautious degradation that only lets the rays scatter and diffract even more magnanimously. These are the last earthbound remainders of decay, the small link to human civilization. This is not an exaggeration per se: the principal two-note main theme is completely transparent and hence understandable to the human mind, but the wealth of warmth, thermal circulation and superset of freedom make 愛の力 a wraithlike outro.

With 死と音楽の復活, The OSCMOB Collective in general and Bedlam Tapes in particular have shown that the Vaporwave genre is very much alive… and a genre after all. I cannot expect anyone to read every writeup about each of the 32 tracks, but you can probably sense my excitement and love for the artists and their songs regardless, so in these final paragraphs, I want to quickly condense a thought about the community as triggered by this release. Maybe in a few years we will all look back and laugh at the following sentiment/statement, but I really do feel that the aspect of being in a family of like-minded artists and fans is one of the greatest achievements of this genre. Sure, an underground movement always starts like this, then dissipates, widens and becomes more anonymous as huge stars outshine the individual. Vaporwave, somewhat extraordinarily, has started as a network of anonymous musicians and bedroom producers to begin with, but still manages to suddenly turn things around: with OSCOB leading the pace as one of the more familiar faces, others join him and slowly become as open-minded in revealing their opinions and production techniques – sometimes even their personae – as well as their various monikers. This is by no means a necessary procedure, but a good thing for sure.

Chances are that I have been "had" over the course of 死と音楽の復活, that there might be an artist or two on this compilation that has contributed three songs under different monikers, without me even grasping the obvious ploy. As much as I love the genre and have encountered the real people behind the various pseudonyms by chance, the playful shuffling of and juggling with names and side projects pays homage to the angular viewpoint of Vaporwave, the thought of consumerism, large corporations, faceless cyberspace entities and weird loners. I therefore treat every artistic endeavor as a unique and distinctive project and will continue doing just that. Rest assured that Vaporwave is more alive than ever. If you repeat it long enough, you believe it, but here it is true. You don't need me to tell you this. You need releases and projects like The OSCMOB Collective's 死と音楽の復活 or Blank Goofee to keep the dream alive, hiya! And to be perfectly frank: the V-genre is still ridiculed and mocked, misunderstood and elbowed aside, laughed away and proclaimed dead. Let all these people have their say. You know better. There's no cool aid involved. The field still allows room for everyone to join. And I'm following along in regard to all music-related things. Keep it up everyone!

Further listening and reading:
  • The tapes are long gone, even yours truly is out of luck, but the digital incarnation can still be streamed and fetched at Bandcamp.
  • You certainly follow Bedlam Tapes on Twitter, but what the heck, here's the Tweeter account: @BedlamTapes


Vaporwave Review 122: The OSCMOB Collective – 死と音楽の復活 (2015). Originally published on Sep. 7, 2015 at