REVIEW: Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – WAP (Asquith 90s Techno Remix) (2020)

It was a song, then a hit, then a meme, and now a variant of that meme can be bought for 2 pounds online.

Now backed by fast pounding techno rhythms and a high-hat that sounds like Spongebob’s shoe, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s already hyper-sexual lyrical delivery is pushed to it’s cartoonish climax (no pun intended).

Seriously though, the Asquith techno remix of WAP is cartoonish, and almost not worth mentioning if it wasn’t for how absurd it is. But maybe that’s what it takes in today’s day and age to achieve independent success. Aside from those backed heavily by the industry (and even then), what success now isn’t a child of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s 1988 book The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way)?

For fans of: Peaches, Benny Benassi, Machine Girl

Enjoy WAP (Asquith 90s Techno Remix)? Give these a listen: Chicks on Speed, Faces of Bass, Ulisess

REVIEW: Igorrr – Moisissure (2008)

To varying degrees, there is a level of humor preinstalled in absurdity, albeit sometimes morbid. Released in 2008, Igorrr’s Moisissure is a complex mix of glitched-out neoclassical, death metal, breakbeats and 1920s/30s pop music. Above all else, Moisissure is an electronic musique concrete hybrid; a grotesque showcase of eccentric source material and contrasting influences. Haunting layers of piano, pitched and digitally shredded drums, and the circling sound of flies will leave you feeling like you’re in a German expressionist Crash Bandicoot level.

It wouldn’t be entirely off-base to call it a bit of a novelty album. Moisissure did in fact come from the same person who created Chicken Sonata. But perhaps a more appropriate lens to view Moisissure through is that of a modernized take on surrealism.

However you frame it, Igorrr is not for everyone nor for every occasion. But if you’re looking for something genuinely spooky with just a degree of cartoon staging, this album is for you.

For fans of: Meat Beat Manifesto, Nurse With Wound, Flying Lotus

Like Igorrr? Give these a listen: Ningen Isu, skintape, Andrew Liles

In Memoriam: Cesar Alexandre, + Brief Thoughts on Legacy

The news was broken to me last night that Cesar Alexandre, the person behind Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza and Mount Shrine has passed away from coronavirus.

I never met or talked to Cesar Alexandre. I was well aware of their underground-classic 2013 release Daily Night Euphoria EP, at times serving as the high-water mark within vaporwave (at least from an outsider’s perspective). Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza was an early building block to vaporwave culture, strengthening the legitimacy and legacy of those that came before it while simultaneously expanding the potential and outreach of the genre as a whole.

The idea of legacy within music can be complicated. Usually a word saved for the most famous of artists. But Dave Brockie’s death in 2014 wasn’t lost on me, and neither was Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner’s death to the Austin, TX scene when I visited nearly 15 years after the fact. In the same way, Cesar Alexandre’s legacy will not be lost on the vaporwave community.

The enrichment of our collective cultures depends on artists and the work they do, regardless of the medium or stylistic movements in which they work. And with that, let’s remember the legacy of Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza, Mount Shrine, and most importantly Cesar Alexandre.

“The night isn’t young anymore.”

*UPDATE 4/19/21* Proceeds from NTSC Memories by Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza will go to the artist’s estate. You can check that out here:

REVIEW: Mom$ – Rave Shit 2 (2018)

Stunted by inconsistent leveling, clipping and mixing, Rave Shit 2 functions more as a mixtape or sketchbook of ideas. Yet Mom$ delivers more than sonic sketches. RS2 is a showcase of simple yet fully fledged ideas from beginning to end. Its choppy nature and bass heavy presence lends itself to the hip-hop and dance tracks it samples while simultaneously giving each track a level of raw edge.

Mom$’ presentation is textbook E-kid; retro interpretation of the internet’s early years, digital trash glitching and anime cyberpunk iconography. Korg synth swells and kicks that sound like they’re coming through the wall sandwich the 90s-styled triplet stabs and filtered samples. Ultimately, Mom$’ style of techno and house is interchangeable with many other records out there in a flooded electronic music market. So while it may not be a particularly distinguished record, RS2 is great fun and I encourage anyone interested to give it a listen.

For fans of: Lord Lorenz, Filmmaker, Machine Girl

Like Mom$? Give these a listen: E•motion, Ulisess, MegaZoneEx

REVIEW: Acetantina – Temple of Null (2020)

Acetantina, now working as Kaiso Slumber, is the name of a Libyan-German electronic producer working out of Khartoum, Sudan (according to their Bandcamp bio).

Temple of Null full-heartedly embraces the visual and sonic aesthetics of vaporwave while working at a much more frenetic tempo and energy than their vaporwave counterparts. At 35 minutes, this 11-track album is about as professional and polished sounding you’ll ever hear in vaporwave music. Well mixed, well mastered, while managing to keep volume dynamics present in each individual song. While I’m always tempted to put on opening track Puddle of Nitrogen on repeat, Temple of Null works incredibly well as one coherent piece. Tracks like Puddle of Nitrogen, Lonely Network, and Foot Cramp propel the listener forward, throwing the listener into a digital wind tunnel of rolling hi-hats, atmospheric pads and strange digital blips and glitches. The melancholy prevalent in most vaporwave releases is front and center, but Acetantina knows when and where to pull away (Foot Cramp) and when to double down (Lonely Network). If you were to own any vaporwave-adjacent album, make it Temple of Null by Acetantina.

For fans of: Chris†††, Leftfield, Macintosh Plus

Like Acetantina? Give these a listen: Lord Lorenz, MegaZoneEx, Nocera

REVIEW: MegaZoneEx – SEAPUNK’D (2021)

This post originally appeared on the 10th Dentist blog on Sunday, January 24th, 2021.

   Released through Australian “Post-internet” label Sunset Grid on January 24th of 2021, MegaZoneEx’s SEAPUNK’D serves as a hopeful refresher of the vaporwave genre. While weaving their way through vaporwave and sister genres, MegaZoneEx explores but never falls victim to the cliches of those genres. Track highlights include the more accessible Ladytron-esque ‘The Shuffle,’ and industrial-nod ‘On My Mind’ built of a surprisingly soothing mix of vaporwave and industrial sonic aesthetics. SEAPUNK’D should be worked into casual rotation for the more particular vaporwave and future funk connoisseurs who may find themselves overwhelmed with quantity and underwhelmed with quality.

    Unfortunately, where SEAPUNK’D ultimately suffers is in its inability to distinguish itself as a fully realized album. From smaller details such as directionless track naming to a much more jarring max volume inconsistency, this effort at times can feel more like a mix-CD. Its 16 track, 29 minute runtime can feel very bloated, but hopefully going forward MegaZoneEx can enforce a stricter self-editorial approach.

    As stated in the album closing manifesto ‘PSA,’ “…[vaporwave] is still young. Its pioneers come and go, leaving it astray with no rules or guidelines. Vaporwave keeps dying because no one is here to save it.” While vaporwave is far from saved, MegaZoneEx is keeping it alive with yet another breath.

For fans of: Ladytron, Macintosh Plus, Ventech97

Like MegaZoneEx? Give these a listen: Acetantina, vice*AIRバイス*空気自然の愛,  False Tropics

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