Vaporwave. The definitive escapist music genre for this decade, or this century even, jostling with nothing, in competition with nothing, its own entity, deep and weird and superficial; the new easy-listening, soundtrack to romantic dinners, vacant penthouse nights alone, settling in to a blissful spa, disappearing in thickets of people in some megacity, alighting on a space station resort orbiting Mars, and as many other fabricated scenarios as your imagination will permit.
Long after the hype dies down and the online publications of the world and their followers move onto the next hit of newness, vaporwave continues to thrive thanks to a dedicated online community and labels like— well, less of a plural and more of a singular label: Dream Catalogue. Started in early 2014 this is literally a catalogue of vaporwave, comprising dozens and dozens of releases from a load of different artists; check it out on Bandcamp.
But whatever. Really I'm just here to talk about a new track from one of the scene's better-known components, Luxury Elite. The track is called 'Endless' and it is the musicmaker's own addition to a recently released compilation, Allegiance Vol III.
For starters, this is undeniably catchy – the melody is reminiscent of vocal tracks arranged for shop-floor-destined instrumentals. It also is filled with all the airy mysticism and exotic anonymity effusing from pan pipe music that pervades plazas and high-streets across the western world (from what I can gather) – but in electronic form, of course. The damaged, found-sound-esque shuffle of the track has a delicious texture, built out of insectoid summer-nights percussion and cyclical syncopated chords, all of it washing over the simple and robust beat, thumping and swaying, the slow-moving motor that moves the track along.
Also, just in time, the music reaches a volta where the chords summon a different kind of atmosphere, more of a mysterious feel – imagine that the first part soundtracks a soaring perspective over some ancient ruins, whereas the change features soft-focus shots of slow-motion descents into the crumbling buildings and vaultish corridors of the ruins themselves (just about realising that these are edificial remains of mid-21st century Earth) – this happens just before the fade-out, making it seem as if there could be another change awaiting for us in the silence beyond the confines of this magical track.
- Check out the compilation Allegiance Vol III on the allegiance Bandcamp – it's a free download and it's full of all sorts of tasty stuff, so why not?