Unenlightenment – The Empty Disco

Recommendation: ☀☁☁

Unenlightenment’s debut album totally slaughters the disco mood, and with some of the best retraux album artwork in 2016 to boot.1 Out on Pizza Beast Records (f.k.a. Pizzabox Society), The Empty Disco is classic-style vaporwave utilizing disco and soul samples from the seventies, with the end result sounding something like future funk but future disco. It’s only twenty-six minutes long; a lot of these kinds of albums do great with that shorter run-time, and The Empty Disco is no exception. It’s a fun, worthwhile jam of some early hits that are recontextualized in the norms and aesthetics of vaporwave culture, with just a hint of dust to bring something of a late night feel to these late night hits.

There are several highlights among the crowd. “Hangover” has a great refrain with the line “I don’t want to kill for this” – and let’s be real, a lot of us have totally felt that way during the morning after when your roommate or lover (or both!) wants to be active and you just want to sleep the pain away – or maybe you’re drunk in love? Who knows, just dance! Speaking of love, “Making Love” has a wonderful synth line throughout its chorus break. That track is the one most heavily affected by dust and degradation, which works well for the slightly spacey music. “Mind Made Up” captures an ECCOJAMS earworm toward the halfway point, sounding a bit drunk and a bit in love as well. Finally, “Love Changes” accomplishes more in sixty-six seconds than most other screwed tracks, and without abusing the stereo panning too much.2 “Ladybug” is a bit too weird in its spoken word part, and “Wanderer” is too standard; but the hit jams more than carry the album as a pleasant and fun listening experience.



1. The Way – (2:32)
2. Making Love – (1:46)
3. My Baby’s Baby – (2:43)
4. Body Talk – (2:16)
5. Because – (2:01)
6. Ladybug – (3:21)
7. Mind Made Up – (2:00)
8. Wanderer – (2:33)
9. Hangover – (2:36)
10. Native – (2:07)
11. Love Changes – (1:06)
12. Born this Way – (1:44)


1SUPERCARTRIDGE by ULTRACOMPUTER definitely wins that award.
2Panning sounds is great, but if I’m getting a nauseous from listening to a song, then something’s wrong.


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