Friday, January 25, 2013

ECO VIRTUAL: VIRTUAL大気中分析 ( Advanced Climate Research & Analysis)

Vaporwave is dead. Long live vaporwave! What does it mean when a genre reaches its maximum saturation and influence to date long after its obituary has been written? Especially when that genre is so closely related to hauntology? And when its methods are so easily replicable? Or appear to be? At what point is a replica of a genre entirely premised on the logic of the replica (which is also to say its impossibility) no longer good enough? Which of vaporwave’s many afterlives will endure? And which will fade into the ether?

By pushing the genre’s techniques in new and interesting directions, Vektroid has already begun to answer some of these questions. With ECO VIRTUAL, things are less clear. On one level, this is total vwave boilerplate, a perfect clone. And yet there’s something really nice about the conceptual integrity here (the videos, courtesy of EcoVirtualTV work particularly well). Not so much innovative as a perfect realization of the genre’s already extant associations with weather: both its corporate soundtrack and the connotations of climate, ambiance, mood alteration, biomanagement, and perhaps even the stratospheric or transcendent.

naps - 7" (self-released)

A bit behind on the ball on this one. Sorry folks. I blame the holidays. But it’s too good to miss! Melbourne producer naps first caught my attention last year with a quality little EP called earthsea on This Thing. Watery, degraded, tropical, new age… and probably other words too; it was a genuinely intriguing proposition. Well, the follow-up is even better. The territory is similar sonically: still pretty chill, but with slightly more emphasis on the loping, disjointed beats. And there’s a definite weirdness here, something slightly uncanny about the lounge-y sample (is it even a sample? does it matter? maybe!) on “kids” and both the choice and treatment of the vocal on “squai.”

I’m struggling to think of comparisons actually. Daniel Lopatin by way of Dolphins into the Future maybe? Except that there’s a definite hip-hop element here too. I’d suggest you file it alongside TMT fave ahnnu, who (not coincidentally) turns up with a whacked-out remix here. Both artists are doing exciting things in what seems to be a particularly fertile backwater of the global beat-making community that has apparently made Soundcloud its home. It’s here evidently that, as 2012 becomes 2013, new territory is being carved. But you knew that already…

Played a killer set recently for BoilerRoomTV too. Was rad.