サイバー ’98 – Organic ~ Android

Recommendation: ☀☁☁


Take a walk on the dark side of dub with Organic ~ Android by サイバー ’98.1 Originally released on Deathstation (es) and later reissued on the Crystaltone label with new artwork, Organic ~ Android is an ambient vaportrap album with additional ECCOJAMS influences. It’s a stylish, nocturnal sense of the cyberpunk world, one that’s fit for a smokey NYC basement show in Brooklyn as much as it is some vaporwave fan’s headphones in an airport. “exit/exist/exit { ☴ }” explicitly references the dub side as a R&B vocal sample languishes in the background, and “お大事に” has bass rumbles so strong, they wash over the body.

It’s almost not right to call this “vaporwave” – not for any lack of rapport on behalf of the tag, but simply because Organic ~ Android is far more rooted in the dank dungeons inhabited by artists such as Burial and early Massive Attack than it does squeaky-clean malls, neon lights, or dystopian/utopian cityscapes. Trap percussion notwithstanding (which merges fairly well with the music) the most “vaporwave” track is likely “お大事に”, which features a prominent Far East a capella sample that occasionally stutters in the CD-skipping manner utilized by artists such as death’s dynamic shroud.wmv. “thank you, farewell” (called “End” on the reissue) features a reverbed piano lead with some just audible feedback in the background that sounds like fingers going over a live guitar string – something totally different, but very welcome nonetheless.

Dub music is a genre that revels in broad sounds that take their time, and there are some songs that could have used some additional clarity in order to get from emptiness to spaciousness. “faded lullaby – sophie’s philosophy { ☵ }” is so quiet and brooding that it sounds like nothing by the time it’s over, and “sm4ckangel” starts strongly the electronic whirring of some nameless computer terminal in Silicon Valley but then meanders for a few minutes with another R&B sample and beats that aren’t quite sure if they actually want to play. Not to mention, the latter track is mixed so quietly that the glitchy intro of “お大事に” blasts through; this inconsistency also appears on “blurry memories (prelude)”. Thankfully, the mixing problem is fixed on the Crystaltone reissue, but at the cost of dynamic range.

 

Tracklist


1. only a memory – (0:30)
2. fl❀wers dance – (3:51)
3. exit/exist/exit { ☴ } – (2:55)
4. ℞eal www.orld www.ith ℞eal F££ling$ – (3:19)
5. 悲しみよこんにちは – (1:32)2
6. blurry memories (prelude) – (1:45)
7. faded lullaby – sophie’s philosophy { ☵ } – (2:03)
8. ポルノ – pixelated identity – (2:27)3
9. sm4ckangel – (4:17)
10. お大事に – (4:36)4
11. thank you, farewell – (2:59)
12. ごめんなさい! [Bonus Track] – (1:59)


 

1Japanese translation: “Cyber ’98”
2Japanese translation: “Hello sorrow”
3Japanese translation: “Pornography”
4Japanese translation: “I hope you get well”

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