It's that time again. Another guest mix from an artist we like. This time around it's the turn of Memory Cards. He's a musicmaker who began making music in LA but currently resides in Arizona who makes super dreamy trap-flavoured music. The kind of thing that has been labelled "otaku trap" (kinda for good reason, in that much of the music is at least anime-inspired, with some out-and-out covers/remixes of anime themes, etc.) of late. But labels are for card catalogues.
"If I had to pick a season for this," Mr Memory Cards (irl name Jonathan) tells me via email, "I think this suits the beginning of fall more." And right now, as I write this listening to the mix for severalth time, looking out the window at grey-white sky and permanent rain, I can safely say that I totally agree. So this is when it's happening. Listen to this mix and kick up some dead leaves.
Why is it called Project Dream? And why is the artwork like it is? Both are inspired by Initial D, a manga/anime that is centred around the world of illegal street racing in Japan, of which Memory Cards had just started watching the final season at the time of making this mix.
I ask him what inspires his own music. "Nostalgia," he says. "For me, a vital part of the music making process involves introspection and seeing how my recollections can be incorporated into the work I make. Since for the most part the music I make doesn't really have words (or at least my own words) it's difficult to explicitly articulate these concepts. However, I try and draw inspiration from forms of media and popular culture that have brought me joy in the past. By doing so, I hope that I can at least partially convey who I am, where I've been and where I'm going not just as a producer or a musician but as a person as well.
I dream a lot
And what about the mix itself? "Really the only unifying theme with this mix is that they're all tracks that I've been very much enjoying lately," he explains. "Some of the tracks have a sort of eerie menace to them while some have a more jubilant nature to them. Others still carry an air of sweetness tinged with a shade of melancholy, so there's a variation in what I consider to be the themes of the songs I chose." He then adds something that seems to be an overriding theme of internet music: "I would also like to say that I consider myself friends with or at least acquaintances of a good portion of the producers featured here."
It's solidarity, a support network of artists who are at least right now eternally collaborating with each other, bigging each other up, and generally just being nice to one another. Since it's not a local scene, you don't have to "put up" with people, you choose your friend group based mainly and firstly on similar interests rather than spatial limitations; these pockets collect online, attract more people. Soon enough you have a veritable movement.
So from the stand-out electronic atmospherics of the Sonic Adventure-inspired indoors track 'Mystic Ruins' made for the pretty cool CHAO GARDEN compilation (curated by collective MECHA YURI and Memory Cards' own floating cloud sparkling euphoria in 'Fantasia Arc', to the glitzy ambient/future funk crossover in 'SUMMER VI', a collaboration between Bansheebeat and Yung Bae, to Shoujo Eyes and his track 'My Magical Girl' playing us out with gorgeous chiptune melodies, this mix is as varied and evocative as Memory Cards said it'd be, bristling with thickets of machine gun hi-hats and videogame samples (Link swinging his sword in ☆ＩＣＥＡＧＥ☆ by allegedly 14yo producer, manitee, or original Smash Bros. "choose your character" sounds in Cosmastly & Heavy Hearts collab, 'Fighting Polygon Team') – a great showcase of young producers making music right now.
Plus I think I finally got Memory Cards' name – it's all about recollections, memories… memory cards… store memories… of games.
• T R A C K L I S T •
- 32jnqwn-_-_-_ - ECSTATIC CLARITY
- memory cards - Fantasia Arc
- Childish Gambino – candler road (memory cards Chopped & Screwed Edit)
- indoors - mystic ruins
- Oliver~ - <3 Sosa Screwx
- Howlings - What We Could Have Been
- mizukage - OG Bobby
- tones_ - heal
- HiGHBRiD - N E X U S
- grèg - 水族館 (将来)
- highbrid x memory cards - bandana . witta . mullet
- // Hydro // - ~ R E A C H ~
- manitee - ☆ＩＣＥＡＧＥ☆ (1.5k special free dl)
- ║丂ｲ乇√乇刀 ۩ d乇乃ﾚﾑƬ║ - ｃｌｅｍｅｎｔｉｎｅ// ありがとう『feat. NET WORTHY』
- d o w n s † a † e - i c e ` g r a v e
- ║丂ｲ乇√乇刀 ۩ d乇乃ﾚﾑƬ║ -ｉ ｄｏｎｔ ｕｎｄｅｒｓｔａｎｄ… (•̩̩̩̩＿•̩̩̩̩) ……╔ feat. H i G H B R i D ☥╗
- [bansheebeat + yung bae] - SUMMER VI
- COSMASTLY ✗ HEAVY HEARTS - FIGHTING POLYGON TEAM
- A$AP Rocky - Wassup (LOSTSVUND Remix)
- ILOVEMAKONNEN - Tuesday (ft. Drake) (MXRA & LOSTSVUND Remix)
- Shoujo Eyes - My Magical Girl