[ Self-released, 2017 ]
Let’s face it: the Russian/Ukrainian musical project WWWINGS emerged out out the blue, fueled by social media such as VK or Telegram and caught the musical world with their pants down. Move over, NYC; move over, London; move over, Berlin. You ain’t got shit on a bunch of Slavs from the outskirts of Russia whose minds are so deep into the Future they make top futurologists seem like fucking babies. They set the rules now and you just try to catch up. With A+G, the duo of WWWINGS present their super-eclectic blend of post-industrial, UK Bass, trap and IDM into a mass that is yet to be named: maybe it should be Future Bass? Maybe something else? Actually, who gives a shit? This is music from Beyond, pure and simple. You must listen to it to believe it. Highly recommended!
[ Planet Mu, 2016 ]
Post-Soviet Hyperfuturism: WWWINGS is a trio of (post)electronic producers coming from the different regions of Russia and Ukraine who are pretty much leaving the rest of the musical world far behind. Hiding under the aliases GXXOST (also known as Lit Internet), AWRWSW (Lit Daw) and Lit Eyne, they seem more like a group of elusive hackers straight outta cyberpunk fantasies than actual musicians, juggling data packets and gliding through bleeping, cut-up sounds like digital ninjas. If Berlin acts such as Amnesia Scanner or M.E.S.H. provide a glimpse into the future, these guys are a fully paid, all-inclusive trip to the world of “unthinkable complexity”, to quote William Gibson himself. After listening to this album, who cares if it’s grime, post-industrial, or whatever else? It’s the Future, with a capital F. Highly recommended!
[ UIQ, 2016 ]
Fresh from Lee Gamble’s brand new UIQ label comes the debut release by the Glaswegian futurist Lanark Artefax. This EP is a mirror labyrinth of decomposing grime beats, metallic surfaces scratching each other and disembodied android vocals together building an image of ADHD-oriented future music, constantly shifting and morphing, uncapable of keeping a regular rhythm for longer than the attention span of a goldfish. But that’s OK, these days we all have an attention span of a goldfish. Glasz is just yet another reminder of how scattered our minds have become in this age of acceleration, a release full of flickering moments that almost manage to create a melody or a structure (most coherently realized on the title track), yet always strays away from the center of gravity. A trippertronic treat for the impatient. Intriguing!
[ Where To Now?, 2015 ]
Whoah! What is even going on here!? New York City’s Beat Detectives are some sly motherfuckers, escaping any attempts at pinpointing their sound with each release. While Climate Change (also released this year) was a lo-fi club adventure, 100% SILK style; their cassette Boogie Chillen / The Hills of Cypress feels like a completely insane take on both plunderphonics and West Coast hip-hop genres (hence the title, bringing Cypress Hill to mind immediately). Some 100 minutes of mutated beats are divided into four almost 25-minute long tracks with more or less warped lo-fi structures that constantly melt and dissolve into each other – with a lot of weird spoken word / sung samples which linger in the background like resin on a glass pipe. Utterly strange and highly recommended!
There’s much more to this solo project by Canada’s TELOZKOPE than the vaporwavey package might suggest and the music of this Winnipeg citizen deserves a better background than soundtracking the ad for some swimming trunks. But that’s the dude’s vision so we have to go with that. Soft Cyclone is rich with ideas, from the vaguely oriental harps and ancient string incantations on “ByzantineCaves” to a pretty dank trapbient on “c r e p u s c u l a r R O A M”, which sounds like a collab between Zomby and Fatima Al Qadiri. And the closing “Derealization” could easily be lifted off a Joanna Newsom album. All-around awesome. Recommended!
Wow, now Dark Web is something else. Sure, Keith Rankin got us used to some electronic sound overkill and extremely busy track structures with Giant Claw, but the new album really set things apart – because it’s almost like he’s trying to erase his 8bit geek image entirely in favor of something… completely different? There’ still an air of playfulness here, winking occasionally to the listener, but on this release he’s travelling into some smooth, silky, alluring areas with a glitchy demeanor. Sure, you can throw around some hot names to draw some sort of a mind map, but you’ll never completely nail down Giant Claw’s sound this way. R Plus Seven? Maybe, but way less conceptual and self-indulgent. James Ferraro? Way more refined and less sloppy. D/P/I? Sure, there’s plenty of glitch and micro-sampling, but it’s almost pop compared to that guy. It’s a completely idiosyncratic amalgam of vaporwave, R&B, glitch and whatever the hell else the web is high on right now. Dark Web is a lovely niche, in which way, pumping melodies just from fractured, trap-influenced beats and MIDI experimentals. This album just keeps delivering and gets better with every listen. It’s a labirynth. Highly recommended!
It seems that while the musical stylings of vaporwave are now largely exhausted (because, let’s face it, how long can you make patchworks of spliced and slowed down 80’s pop?), the visual weirdness connected to that micro-genre are still very much alive and kicking. In fact, it seems that other genres are catching up with the vaporwave game, and the fractured hip hop of Vｉｒｔｕａｌ－ ４２０ are a fine example of the initially satirical and plunderphonic stylical signifiers to create a laid back, almost psychedelic atmosphere. “ｔｈｅｓｅ ｈａｎｄｓ” combine Madlib-like beat with screams and something that in general sounds like domestic abuse. The title of the album, ２４０ｐ refers to one of the lowest available resolutions on YouTube and it resonates the slight nostalgia of the time when it was the default resolution, as well as a twisting of the cannabis enthustiast cult number 420, used in the project’s name. Of course, there would be no cool rap without some slowed down samples and smeared r’n’b ooze, so there are some mutual tropes between the worlds of luxury rap and faux-luxury vaporwave. Interesting curio, check it out.
Vｉｒｔｕａｌ－ ４２０ – ２４０ｐ