Penthouse Apartment – Y2K Millenium Nightclub
Penthouse Apartment’s debut for TKX-Vault (then known as “Tokyo Exchange”) is an album of ambient techno that anticipates the ghost tech movement by almost two years. Tracks are skeletally rhythmic and often feature little more than sparse clicks and cuts that evolve into something akin to old-school IDM. It’s an unsettling release, but it’s not disturbing: Y2K: New Millenium Nightclub1 is a technologically desolate release whose power is in its ability to forge tension from relatively minimal source material.
Y2K: New Millenium Nightclub is heavily inspired by communications technology as interpreted by The Matrix and contemporary works: just look at that album artwork, it’s Neo! The most blatant example is its bookends, which are two artifacts of early digital technology: a modem dial-up and a turn-of-the-millennium cell phone ringtone. “Nightclub” begins with a female-digitized voice welcoming the listener to the titular theatre experience, evoking similar qualities to the System Shock series with the sparse electronica of HTRK, and it fades out into that instantly-recognizable static that used to happen when older stereos would pick up cell phone signals.2
There are tons of references to Y2K culture, album title notwithstanding. “Warez” makes a glitchy, jungle-esque beat out of the modem connection sound used in “Dialing Up.” “56K Transmission” features the “wazuuuup” greeting that was the delight of pre-teens and the chagrin of parents. “20th Century Comedown” utilizes an acoustic lead similar to that popularized in trip-hop by DJ Shadow on the “Stem/Long Stem” single. Finally, “Millenium Bugged”1 incorporates several samples from popular television shows and other media, such as the line “Oh my God – they killed Kenny!”, as made famous by South Park.
Y2K: New Millenium Nightclub is a decent addition to the TKX Vault catalogue, and fans of the ghost tech aesthetic would enjoy listening to this early part of the scene.
1. Dialing Up [Intro] – (1:28)
2. Y2K Concept – (3:40)
3. Nightclub – (3;24)
4. Countdown – (4:00)
5. Flatscreen Dreams – (3:02)
6. Warez – (3:48)
7. 56K Transmissions – (3:18)
8. XTC – (2:48)
9. 20th Century Comedown – (2:51)
10. Millenium Bugged – (2:21)
11. 3310 – (0:11)
2I felt some residual frustration as soon as it started playing.