░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░ – ▣世界から解放され▣
[Originally post to the SongSavers music blog on 7 April 2016, albeit with a different format to demonstrate the album’s chaotic nature. The curious may access it here.]
“[This album] feels like exploring an abandoned interstellar cruiser, once filled with passengers and concessions to keep them happy. Now everything is dark, and the only light is the blue haze emanating from the glitching TV news stands, and information kiosks. Repeating their offers until the reserve power finally runs out, if it ever will.?”
– Reggie-a7, YouTube user1
Even though it was released less than two years after the genre’s inception, ▣世界から解放され▣ by ░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░ – an alias of Internet Club – is one the loneliest, bleakest albums within the extant entirety of vaporwave.2 This extremely divisive album is a quintessential “vapornoise” release – a subgenre that utilizes aspects of noise music and harsh production qualities within the vaporwave musical and thematic aesthetic.
▣世界から解放され▣ is an excellent example of album packaging within the vaporwave scene. Asian characters are often utilized as a way to evoke the milieu rather present in the late-eighties/early-mid-nineties where East Asian technology was ubiquitous, and how countries like Japan were burgeoning economic powerhouses rivaling the technological prowess of Western countries. The nonsensical ASCII text song titles read like a computer vomited out the worst emoji-text paragraphs on social media; the slightly-degraded anime album artwork evokes the “haze” mentioned in this article’s opening quote. If it seems absurdly self-indulgent, that’s because it is.
Each track incorporates a sheer emptiness of sound, texture, and feeling. A low, muddled mix permeates the album, as if ▣世界から解放され▣ is a series of digital field recordings.3 Each song consists of microsamples looped, pitch-shifted, and affected in bizarre manners; the album is the logical conclusion of the broken transmission subgenre, to the point where it’s annihilated transmission. ▣世界から解放され▣ is decidedly unhuman, as heard in the two bookend tracks of stark, yapping anime voices trying to claw their way out of the everlasting static. Slight digital tape hiss permeates every track, which perfectly establishes a dated quality without sounding ostentatious or insincere.
Everything about the album is curiously hyperstimulated yet droning, with a firm grounding in glitch aesthetic. For example: the proto-vapor-esque “プロミセス「▣世界から解放され▣」,” which features barely-audible keyboard lines with a millisecond-long vocalizations, like the after-party crash; and “あなたの人生を更新「░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░」,” with its extremely audible physical defects that sound like a warped hard drive trying to read disc. “✪私たちのスポンサーからの単語✪” is the most classic-style vaporwave track on the album, and that’s only because of its muzak sample. Hell, there’s even a beat underlying “✭✰✭PRIMETIME今日のプログラミングLATENIGHT✭✰✭” – a stark contrast to the decidedly (perversely?) unrhythmic nature of the rest of the album.
▣世界から解放され▣ does not bullshit around with reverb for faux-irony; it cuts right to the heart of vaporwave’s obsession with and farcical interpretation of nostalgia, at once an entirely serious and entirely tongue-in-cheek release. It bastardizes samples to the point of nigh-unlistenability and absurdity, parodying not only the scene itself, but parodying those who themselves parody the scene’s excesses through ▣世界から解放され▣‘s own excessively dissonant (or dissonantly excessive) milieu. If the joke’s supposed to be on me, then the joke is on the jokester, because this is some of the emptiest, say-nothing music produced – and that’s why it’s an exceptional addition to anyone’s library.
1. ☼サンライズTODAY☀ – (0:52)4
2. ✰✭✰MORNING今日のプログラミングDAYTIME✰✭✰ – (1:15)5
3. ✭✰✭PRIMETIME今日のプログラミングLATENIGHT✭✰✭ – (1:49)6
4. ☒☒☒覚えておいてください！ – (0:34)7
5. ❤❤❤❤❤渋谷のハート❤❤❤❤❤ – (3:35)8
6. あなたの人生を更新「░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░」 – (2:04)9
7. ➜A NEW TIME IS IN YOUR HANDS「それを実現させる！」 – (1:21)10
8. 《ゴシップ好き》 – (0:31)11
9. プロミセス「▣世界から解放され▣」 – (4:29)12
10. 本当の人生? – (0:58)13
11. ✪私たちのスポンサーからの単語✪ – (0:32)14
12. ◐それではまた明日！◑ – (1:02)15
1Taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFXO21JT2lQ
2… at least, by the time of this writing.
3 4Japanese translation (with English): “Sunrise today”
5Japanese translation (with English): “Morning daily programming”
6Japanese translation (with English): “Primetime late-night programming”
7Japanese translation (with English): “Please remember!”
8Japanese translation (with English): “Heart of Shibuya”
9Japanese translation (with English): “Update your life: Internet Club”
10Japanese translation (with English): “A new time is in your hands! Make it happen!”
11Japanese translation (with English): “Favorite gossip”
12Japanese translation (with English): ” ‘Released from this world’ Promise”
13Japanese translation (with English): “Real life?
14Japanese translation (with English): “A word from our sponsor”
15Japanese translation (with English): “See you tomorrow