HKE and t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 are “two of the most in-demand architects within the world of vaporwave” according to the press release. As well as implying the remarkable notion of vaporwave public infrastructure, this description also signposts the original and creative approach the two take to this most nebulous of genres. Gateway アセンション is released as a cassette tape on BARO, in an edition of 200.
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- Gateway アセンション by HKE / t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者
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Despite the fact that Vaporwave has been a thing for some years now, I still know little to nothing about it. Infact just looking at the word makes me feel like I’m 90 years old. What I do know is that this tape sounds nothing like the chopped and screwed muzak / 80’s samples etc. that comprised the genre’s roots. It would seem there’s been an evolution and HKE (formerly Hong Kong Express) and t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 appear to be leading the way.
HKE’s opening track ‘From Dust’ has me paranoid - running down the shadowy back streets of a neon-lit Tokyo in the year 2040, desperately trying to evade the ghosts of cyborg Yakuza. The epic ‘Spiral’ has a similar spectral quality - the ghosts in the machines have risen from decrepit Windows ‘98 machines - zombie data becoming a dense cloud of one’s and zero’s hovering over the set of Blade Runner. The sort of expertly executed, cinematic scale techno music you’d love to accompany your favourite anime on the big screen. ‘Light Patterns’ closes HKE’s side in fine style with lush, shimmering, ethereal tones floating from the speakers and manifesting in the room like a hovering phantom constructed from beautiful blue light leaving slowly dissolving vaporous tentacle like trails in it’s midst.
t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 opens the second side of the tape with ‘つかの間の思い出’ a dense piece of beat driven, dreamy electronica with emotive breakdowns and a fine balance between melancholia and euphoria. ‘アセンションゲート’ layers vibrant, glistening synths that feel alive, like a some unknown force opening a portal into the spirit world. The seventeen and a half minute ‘超越愛好家’ is a step beyond the material world, a world where solid objects and surfaces cease to exist, a world constructed from liquids and gases or an infinite inner world inside the mind. A world where you are your own DNA floating through space. Pure sonic escapism.
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