Spearheading the post-2010 emerged vaporwave scene is wosX - a Montreal-incepted electronic artist charactirised by a nostalgic and surrealist fascination of late 20th Century culture. The record is technology-centric and only a luddite could deny a minimal and evocative use of samling, synths and crispy drum machines.
Yellow coloured vinyl LP on Dream Catalogue.
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I had no idea that vaporwaves could become real, physical waves, but here we are with a slab of yellow wax containing such vaporious sounds. wosX is the most recent alias of Mo Lupo, a post-silicon artist most known for their work under the Wolfenstein OS X alias on Dream Catalogue and Adhesive-sounds. Hey, if vaporwave can be a term then so can post-silicon.
Here, instead of reminiscing about 80s computer mainframes or future sports events, wosX writes a little narrative about a doomsday rave, the last party on earth, where guests, after entry, are treated to a delectable set menu. After imbibing alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and ketamine, you take a brief cigarette break before diving headlong into a crushing combination of speed, ecstasy, LSD and finally krokodil for the moment the earth smashes into the moon. Fuck.
As you’d expect, wosX has assembled a collection of miniatures that make heavy use of not just classic rave sounds but a full cross section of dance idioms. Chopped breaks, low-slung dusky kicks, kooky synth melodies, drowsy euphoria and downtempo dub patterns all dance around your addled mind, presented in a relatively patient and stripped-back form. I can’t speak for most of the menu, but most of the tracks don’t sound a huge amount like their substance until you reach ‘IV. Ketamine’ which is spot on. A wonky beat underpins ludicrously swirly synth chords to create a disembodied amble of a tune. Things get almost Hi-NRG at ‘VI. Ekstacy’, as you’d expect, but ‘Armageddon’ is disarmingly chill. I doubt the comedown from all that would feel this good.
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