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- HK by HKE
9/10 Laurie Staff review, 09 February 2017
So apparently I’m the Norman Records resident vaporwave expert. How did this happen? Two reviews to do this week and I’ve been given two records of nostalgic-but-future electronic music things to play with. All I did was watch that ‘what is vaporwave’ doc on Youtube and curiously peer at the aesthetic from a distance, eyebrow raised.
Well anyway, this is a particularly special one right here. It’s the main man that began the whole Dream Catalogue thing in the first place, having his vibrant 2015 debut album HK escape the Bandcamp mp3 / cassette revival scene and make it’s way onto wax and into the ears of discerning music folk everywhere. It’s a record that to me sets itself apart from the majority of the ‘vapor’ scene by not being so obvious as to take an 80s/90s classic, slow it down and slap a 100 second reverb on. It’s much more of a sort of patchwork, with isolated themes, layers and fragmented textures growing out of a bed of Tim Hecker-esque synth density.
HKE creates a very neon melodic synth-led cityscape that begs images of Tangerine Dream or Emeralds sans rhythm. It’s as if he’s taken chill new age synth tunes and run them through a scatter machine with a bit of kosmische mixed in for good measure but this is original work. Yum yum.
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