TOYOMU – 印象III : なんとなく、パブロ (Imagining “The Life of Pablo”)

印象III : なんとなく、パブロ (Imagining “The Life of Pablo”) is the perfect metaphor for the cultural zeitgeist of 2016. Produced by Japanese producer TOYOMU in response to Tidal’s lack of presence in his native country – on which Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo exclusively premiered – Imagining represents the dichotomy between the ubiquity of information…

18 Carat Affair – Adventures in Schizophrenia

With the exception of a various artists compilation, Adventures in Schizophrenia by Missouri musician Denys Parker of 18 Carat Affair was the final release of Fortune 500 – one of the first professional vaporwave labels that sought to bring the genre outside of the realms of 4chan and message boards. This is no bombastic closer:…

SEPHORA脳バイブス – HOTEL GALANTHUS

Named after the Andorran hotel, spa, and ski resort, HOTEL GALANTHUS bills itself as a “digital compilation of the sounds of confort(sic),” but it’s really just a standard sample curation album of mall muzak and easy-listening jams. That’s not a bad thing when the curator elicits an aesthetic leitmotif with careful presentation and editing; unfortunately,…

「fluence」 – elemental

After dropping several tracks on streaming services,「fluence」released the downtempo vaportrap album elemental on the Dream Catalogue label – one of the foremost in professional vaporwave marketing and production. Sporting one of the prettiest album covers in the whole genre, elemental forewent the silliness of Blank Banshee for a decidedly somber vibe in common with 音…

Psychic LCD – Nexxware [EP]

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…

.jpeg Artifacts – Ridin’ That (Information Highway) [EP]

.jpeg Artifact’s nine-minute extended-play Ridin’ That (Information Highway) sounds like a – well – JPEG artifact that’s been run through one-too-many Imageshack uploads and accidentally opened/saved in Microsoft Word. All four tracks are the lowest in lo-fi vaporwave, as if this album were made for listening at 96 kbps on the cheapest monitor speakers available…

骨架的 – Holograms

Vaporwave’s association with kitschy pitched-down R&B is so intrinsic as to be memetic, and it all started with 骨架的’s Holograms back in 2010. Released around the same time as Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 by Daniel Lopatin, Holograms ditched the “post-Internet” ethereal gloom that was previous release Skeleton for a nostalgia-bomb of old school muzak…

Datavision Ltd. – Vector Tables [EP]

Released two weeks into 2011, the Vector Tables extended-play by Datavision Ltd. is one of the earliest examples of the broken transmission subgenre of vaporwave, which samples late-night television, advertisements, and bumpers in typically lo-fi form through “garbage muzak” aesthetics.1 The project consisted of Will Burnett and Leonce Nelson – the former of which would…

Chuck Person – Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1

In 2010, a one-off side-project of Brooklyn electronic musician Daniel Lopatin took an updated approach to plunderphonics with Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1, a collection of chopped-and-screwed chart-toppers from the sixties through the noughties that were cut up and slowed down to a “narcotic” pace.1 Entirely made of samples, Eccojams utilized extremely recognizable songs and…

Blank Banshee – Blank Banshee 0

The “vaportrap” subgenre of vaporwave probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Blank Banshee, who – erroneously or not – tagged his debut release Blank Banshee 0 as “vaporwave” on his Bandcamp page back in 2012, setting off an entirely new development within the subculture. Perhaps it’s fitting that so many vaporwave artists release their…

Rez x Oscob – Virtual High Rise™

Virtual High Rise™ is the second album in a trilogy produced by vaporwave duo Rez x Oscob. Packaged with an attractive, digitally-rendered photo of an elegant skyscraper, Virtual High Rise™ is a concept album about one’s visit to a futuristic enterprise as dreamed up by nineties commercial and technological culture. This is a standard utopian-vaporwave…