[ D A T A B U R S T ] – H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e
H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e opens with a spoken word introduction that’s describing a…. what is that, a sting operation? A shady deal? Something about a databurst? Hey, that’s the name of the guy who made the thing! [ D A T A B U R S T ]’s third album was originally self-released but was later picked up by Bogus Collective, a label run by air jordans™ and TVVIN_PINEZ_M4LL, both of whom are active as classic-style vaporwave producers. It involves a variety of vaporwave styles and subgenres such as hypnagogic drift, classic-style, ambient vaporwave, and glitch music; for the most part, it succeeds in these ventures.
Incongruously, the album opens with its weakest and eponymous track. The beginning two minutes of spoken word are oddly pitch-shifted and affected; there isn’t enough in those points to capture the listener in the way that [ D A T A B U R S T ] likely intended. But just hold on because it certainly gets better, as the fairly simple production of H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e belies its enjoyably earworm qualities. “U n d o D e l e t e” features a glitchy jazz cycle that repeats itself for three-and-a-half minutes yet never feels its length. New age immediately appears on follow-up “G l i t c h D r e a m s”, which utilizes jump cut repetition common to early strands of classic-style vaporwave. Then, of course, there’s the static of “D i s k M o d e” that sounds like the speaker cable has begun to fray.
H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e is one of those albums that makes diving into the depths of random labels and picking random albums so intensely rewarding – not just with regards to vaporwave, but with music in general. It’s constructed out of new age and jazz-hop (often one after the other) with several studio effects that thankfully avoid gimmickery (with the possible exception of “J u n k E x i t”, whose dizzy stereo panning is love-it-or-hate-it). Recommended for fans of the first two 骨架的 releases Skeleton and Holograms: if the former were too hazy for you and the latter too crystal clear, then you might find H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e to be an engaging coalescence of both’s styles.
1. H a r d w a r e E x c h a n g e – (5:33)
2. F r o s t e d G l a s s – (2:49)
3. U n d o D e l e t e – (3:24)
4. G l i t c h D r e a m s – (1:38)
5. J u n k E x i t – (2:14)
6. D i s k M o d e – (3:17)
7. S t a t e O f T h e A r t – (1:22)
8. D y s t o p i a n L o v e – (4:02)
9. Anatolia’s Finest – nyymphostraatae ([ D A T A B U R S T ] Re-edit) – (2:34)