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情報デスクVIRTUAL – 幌コンテンポラリー

virtual_information_desk-contemporary_sapporo

このアルバムについてのすべてはなんとなく :: Everything about this album is bullshit

There are a number of genres which seem to exist in their own world; music that may cross over from time to time but mostly just gets talked about in the context of itself.  You know the ones – prog, metal, trance, IDM, etc.  Once you get somewhat deep into them you start to encounter the albums which take the identifying properties of the genre and crank ’em up to 11.  These are the albums which tend to be classics within their scene, albeit a lot more polarizing than most of the canonized stuff.  So like Nattens Madrigal for metal, Go Plastic for IDM, or almost everything Gentle Giant did for prog.  Maybe you dig ’em, maybe they hit you on a level that nothing else does, but you sure as hell wouldn’t play them for anyone who wasn’t indoctrinated already.

This gets interesting for vaporwave, a genre which became self-aware, ironic, and kinda shitty on Day 1.  Ramona Xavier, the woman behind 情報デスクVIRTUAL, (translation: Virtual Information Desk) knows this better than anyone, even remarking that she’s released some intentionally awful albums just to see if people would attempt to find a deeper meaning in it.  Those familiar with her work may have their suspicions as to which albums those are.  Truth is, vaporwave relies so much on the ideas of nostalgia, aesthetic, and atmosphere, concepts which mean totally different things to different people.  Maybe it sounds like a joke to you, but to someone else it might be weirdly profound, or something that manages to coax out a distant, very specific memory of childhood.   幌コンテンポラリー  (translates to: Contemporary Sapporo) was described by the artist herself as “a parody of American hypercontextualization of e-Asia circa 1995”.  I have no idea if she meant something by that, or if she just thought that’s what a vaporwave artist would say – after all, Ramona was all of three years old in 1995.  If you lived through the 90’s, especially if you played a lot of video games back then, you might be able to figure what she’s talking about there.  But don’t look too much into it.  幌コンテンポラリー  is not exactly intended to a serious statement – if the 4/20 release date (happy 5th birthday!) and 69 minute runtime don’t tip you off, then maybe the tracklisting will.  If you wanted to understand vaporwave without ever actually listening to it, a stroll through the song titles here would probably do it.

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