Vision Girl – Amare sanguinem
Gotta hand it to Vision Girl: Amare sanguinem1 is such an interesting idea, even if it’ll appeal to only a select few listeners. This extended-play screws with the listener in one of the most fourth-wall breaking moves in vaporwave and its related genres: the mix is entirely in the left. The right has no sound at all. This isn’t something that you’ll notice if you’re playing it on your laptop speakers, but if your first time listening to Amare sanguinem is with headphones, then you’ll likely wonder if your cord just broke.1 It’s an impressive thought, and it is an excellent example of the meta-post-whatever commentary that vaporwave attempts to realize.
The music itself takes on an arrangement akin to a cross between The Caretaker’s An Empty Bliss Beyond This World and Vision Girl’s own Film Noir. Tracks are chamber music that begin and end at somewhat-random points in time. “Ars est celare artem” is a wistful piano recording, whereas follow-up “Debitum naturae” is a mournful choral aria in Latin. “Esse mortem” is Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, which will be familiar to any fan of Disney’s Fantasia. Each track is produced with audible, impossible-to-ignore hiss and crackle. Whether or not this is an effect added by Vision Girl or is a product of the transfer process from physical media (which is the case of the The Caretaker’s album) is unknown.
Amare sanguinem isn’t just a gimmick; it’s a legitimately interesting production choice whereby the listening experience explicitly changes depending on the method by which one listens to it. This may reduce the replay value, but at the very least, it will not be forgotten.
1. De fumo in flammam – (4:56)3
2. Ars est celare artem – (2:52)4
3. Debitum natrae – (6:10)5
4. Bellum cordium – (3:44)6
5. Morituri te salutamus – (2:56)7
6. Felo de se – (2:42)8
7. Esse mortem – (2:54)9
1Latin translation: “The blood’s love” (referring to the sacrifice of Christ; at least, such is my interpretation)
2… which is what happened to me.
3Latin translation: “Out of the smoke, into the flame”
4Latin translation: “The supreme art is to conceal art”
5Latin translation: “Natural debt”
6Latin translation: “War of the heart”
7Latin translation: “We who are about to die salute you”
8Latin translation: “Suicide” (literally “Felon on himself”)
9Latin translation: “To be dead”