Mason Guerrero – The Chernobyl Tape Decks
Mason Guerrero’s The Chernobyl Tapes – apart from having one of the coolest album titles in vaporwave history – is one of the earliest examples of the vapornoise subgenre. Released in December 2011, just a few months after the artist’s eighteenth birthday, The Chernobyl Tapes is a four-track extended-play of ECCOJAMS taken to an ominous extreme. Rather than utilize the Daniel Lopatin technique of swirly, narcotic production for a fun time, Guerrero’s style borderlines disturbing: each song utilizes a well-known pop sample (Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” being the most obvious) that is subjugated to hellacious tape degradation. The six-minute opener “Melted Plastics” juxtaposes two tempo/pitch-shifted samples of the same track against each other, underpinned by slowly evolving dark ambient tones that would make Employee#6817 proud. “Battery Life” sounds like what would happen if The Caretaker got a hold of cassettes for An Empty Bliss Beyond this World instead of 78-rpm vinyls.
The only real problem is its length. Before The Chernobyl Tapes being, it’s already over. Sadly, this was the first and only album that Guerrero produced in the vaporwave realm, abandoning it entirely for indietronic and synthpop as a part of the California band Mammals.
1. Melted Plastics – (6:06)
2. Life Is Okay – (3:03)
3. Battery Life – (4:50)
4. Little Red Corvette – (2:14)