Jade Statues
Executive Towers






Jade Statues seems to come out of nowhere, whatever that means in the Vaporwave community. The saying shall be used here to emphasize the strength of his nine-track debut album Executive Towers which is immediately picked up by HKE’s Dream Catalogue label as if it were a precious gemstone. Which it definitely is, with more possible readings and interpretations than its icosahedral shape would let you believe. Available to stream and purchase at Bandcamp – in a limited edition of 100 tapes – Executive Towers might be the inaugural release, but the Red Bull Music Academy selected artist knows what he is doing and stacks layers of delight and debris onto each other until a cryovolcanic state of nescience is reached in which the listener is hopelessly entangled. This might have to do with the fact that the tape isn’t a separate entity but also the OST to an upcoming video game programmed and envisioned by daffodil. I for one believe that Executive Towers can stand on its own, and even more portentously so, has the guts to contrast the most healthy vitalism and multinucleate melodies with profound out-of-body experiences, a millennial working ethos and the constant fear of the little guy that even manifests itself in the luxurious upper floors. The Roman statue of the front cover gives a first hint of the things to come: ordinary tradition, cursed conventions, the unwritten laws of management and the ritualistic state of Vaporwave are all addressed in this vertical high-rise cesspool. Enter the Executive Towers.


Does Executive Towers really peak that soon, with an ethereal opener with Rave-like pitch shifts and an aeriform physiognomy of Detroit-y origin? Designated Waiting Area is a juggernaut of a gateway to the towers, that’s for sure. Whether it is the Hip-Hop-accentuated circumambience, the afterglow of the reverberated halides that make the drums, bells and whistles all the more staggering, or the cautiously injected wind chimes, here we have a waiting area that is prone to lure and capture the audience. Why wait? Because of this! The following Pre-Interview Cleansing Pool however leads the applicant to the crucial angular/focal point, but in lieu of nervous spasms, a soothingly caproic ribcage filled with hydromagnesite, alkaliphilic snares and biomorphic washes of lucency – stacked over one another within a parallax flume – illumine the laid-back vapor headquarters of Jade Statues.


The follow-up Phthalo Green is next, the very track that brought Jade Statues the attention he deserves, and it is presented here “as is,“ with its kalimba kineticism firmly in place. Gone are the rectilineal walls and tantamount cubism of the office world; the artist opens a rift to jungular rain forests awash with Angkor Wat chimes, chlorotic synth coils, elastic echoes and a rhombohedral Vaportrap beat with its very own retinue that augments the endemic phragmoplasts with its paraquat phytotelemata. A bosky highlight oscillating between the titration of sound, sustain and silence. While the adjacent We Stayed At The Beach surprisingly remains in the Jungle – referring to vestiges of Drum’n’Bass lycopods – and enthralls with its vitreous purified synth streams, washed out hi-hats plus gradually holarctic cowbell cataracts, the potentially portentous Rapid Cyclical Weather Change Sequence entraps the listening subject in a stokehold pressure chamber where the nothingness can be figuratively felt: bewitched chimes flicker through the jejune locale, but not even a minute later, the scenery is augmented by dozens of cowbells and granular synth fibroblasts.


Curiously enough, Executive Suites remains in shady waters, even though we always thought of these offices as nerve centers of power. Now we know that things are more crystalline and diaphanous: after the darkly droning doldrums of the anacrusis, clandestine-calcaneus chroma chimes coruscate through the saprotrophic room, their timbrical hue quite iconoclastic. In lieu of laughter and champagne, bone-crushing beats and mystical mica meet, mesh and depart. The adjacent room returns to lascivious vapor veils, mind you, as High Paying Position _ VIP Lounge Keycard is awash with the mucous glissando of sliding guitar chords, gregarious breakbeat patterns complete with woodpecker fasciae, and an otherwise lilting stop-and-go notion of a lilting melody run through a flanger filter. Despite the good mood, nervousness is in the air. It’s a responsible job after all, with idiots everywhere. The Millennium Actress then spawns and radiates pentatonic vapor telomeres aplenty. The gravitational microlensing is supercharged with adiabatic telomeres, lactic plasm and rotoscoping cenobitism in the most amicable epiphany of the album. The apotheosis comes in the shape of Jade Ascension, a return to the orographic-ogival obliquity: salubrious backing synths clash with eerier contrapuntal elements, making the final stop of these buildings an exercise in polyvalent, mind-expanding morphogenesis, ever-close to the tropopause.


Towers of Dub. And Ambient. And Breakbeat, New Age and Vaporwave: Executive Towers by Jade Statues offers both a chemotaxis and homeostasis simultaneously. Whereas the former term likens the listener’s movement to that of a single cell that moves through a substance’s higher concentration and therefore mirrors the way to the top that is also known as the American Dream, the homeostatic part meanwhile manages an equilibrium between the interdependent elements, therefore aurally referring between the oft-mentioned diversity in huge companies and the manifold cultures and journeys through life of its employees or inhabitants. Executive Towers is consequentially diversified and polysemous. Its fresh perianths in the opening stage don’t necessarily match with the hierarchy and isothermal partisanship on the upper floors. It is within these bug proof walls that Jade Statues amplifies the counterproductive, certainly equivocal mannerisms by means of a skillfully crafted set of textures, patterns and surfaces. The battery of chimes that runs through the towers’ wastewater system are both nomological spiritualism and willfully misdirected guardian lights at the same time. The elevator muzak meanwhile emits insouciance, but don’t you ever dare to let its alluvial catchiness hamper with your task at hand. Executive Towers is driven by the omnipresence of a faceless/faithless evil… and enchants the listener with entertaining chromophores. No need to quit the job: these towers offer corporate delight!


Further listening and reading: 


Vaporwave Review 127: Jade Statues – Executive Towers (2015). Originally published on Oct. 5, 2015 at AmbientExotica.com.