Halo Acid – Days of Night
Fancy a bit of four-on-the-floor stylings with your ghost tech/dreampunk? Halo Acid has you covered. Days of Night is that-meets-Autechre – specifically, Amber/Garbage-era, and it’s one of the nighttime raviest albums in the scene. Think of Hong Kong Express with the beats of “PIOBmx19” from the aforementioned IDM band’s latter-listed album, and you’ve got the jist. Speaking of Hong Kong Express, the Dream Catalogue co-head himself appears on the 24-minute long “37 Hours” (credited as HKE), which takes up half the album’s run-time but never feels its length.
Days of Night embodies the 2015-2016 Dream Catalogue zeitgeist, when artists such as HKE and t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 were moving away entirely from the classic sounds of vaporwave through the former’s focus on ghost tech/dreampunk/hardvapour and the latter’s nigh-abandonment of hypnagogic pop for ultra-ambient through the Virtual Dreams Plaza (stylized as 仮想夢プラザ ) – not to mention the ２８１４ project that featured both artists. There’s substantial ambient influence here as well: “Unbound” and “Lottery” are druggy, hazy, and beatless; with none of the giddiness that characterizes the downtempo tracks of classic-styled albums. “Protected” and “Lanes” are segahaze/dreampunk with iterative IDM beats. Almost all tracks feature spoken word samples of East Asian languages.
In its own quiet way, this album exemplifies a new chapter for the genre: sure, TKX Vault had already released more experimental albums (e.g. Holy Forest by UNFR) and even free jazz (e.g. Plays… by Vladimir Predovitch), but Days of Night‘s status as the label’s penultimate full-length and nigh-abandonment of the classic genre staples demonstrates how much something like “vaporwave” has evolved from slowed-down R&B shared on 4chan. This release will not engage fans who think the genre shouldn’t have gone past sampling curation and muzak aesthetic – indeed, it’s contentious to even feature it on this site – but Days of Night has an important place in the genre’s evolution in addition to simply being good music.
1. Unbound – (2:10)
2. Protected – (6:56)
3. Lanes – (7:23)
4. Lottery – (2:29)
5. 37 Hours (feat. HKE) – (24:39)