Nexxware is a short, sweet extended-play of hypnagogic vaporwave. Released on the now-defunct Fortune 500 label,1 Psychic LCD’s only extant release2 is a fifteen-minute exploration of ambient loops and vague washes of sound through the imagery of “futurevisions,” which describes a largely niche (even for vaporwave) area of music devoted to the creation of relatively serious music devoid of memes to evoke a cinematic outlook onto the future.
The loops are decent, but relatively basic; there is nothing here that those already introduced to Oneohtrix Point Never, Shader, and ２８１４have not already heard. Futurevisions has a peculiar place in vaporwave subculture in that its use of samples and rhythm are not to create a nostalgic or ironic vibe, but to create a deliberate – even somber – exploration of future aesthetics. That’s hard to do that in other genres of music – much less vaporwave – especially when the parent genre simultaneously attempts to sound both futuristic and dated; the latter of which carries hard-to-shake undertones of irony. Nexxware is a curious tapestry of sound, where “As One” and “Ident Dream” are genuinely provocative, almost solemn peaces of music; yet “Doorway” and “Downtime” sound like any old ambient-electric sound made in a post-Aphex Twin world of underground electronic music. “Cleanse” is a pretty opening, sounding like a start-up greeting to a lost brand of noughties entertainment systems; “Doorway” is Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack if the film depicted a utopia.
The two aforementioned tracks come recommended, and the serious vaporwave fan would do well to have this extended-play as a part of their catalogue. Nexxware is unessential, but decent.
1. Cleanse – (0:44) – ★★★☆☆
2. Ident Dream – (3:12) – ★★★★☆
3. Doorway – (2:52) – ★★☆☆☆
4. RE-fresh – (2:05) – ★★★☆☆
5. As One – (4:37) – ★★★★☆
6. Downtime – (2:04) – ★★★☆☆
1Access to which may be found through mirror links on the respective Bandcamp pages.
2… at least, under this moniker. Knowing vaporwave, there could be any number of aliases used by the same artist.