懐かし２００２津波 – DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™
DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™1 is the first album by 懐かし２００２津波,2 an ambient vaporwave/slushwave artist who began to release music when he was fifteen years old. Originally self-released as a digital-only album on May Day 2015, DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™ found a new home on Canadian label Lost Angles in 2016, on which it was reissued on cassette format. The former release featured four tracks in just over an hour of run-time; the Lost Angles addition includes two additional, shorter tracks at the middle and end.
The basic composition of DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™ incorporates a series of four or five different drone progressions built from disparate samples that are linked together, kind of like a drone mixtape. There is a definite sense of haziness and slushy production akin to 2014 releases by telepath and to the aquatic “fishvapor” of Tetra Systems releases. Tracks feature heavily pitch-/tempo-shifted samples stretched to the limits of musicality, giving the long sixteen-minute songs a dirge feel that would be best described as “drop-tuned vaporwave”. Of those samples that are identifiable, “ヘイズ2002へようこそ” features the popular “Aquatic Ambiance” track from the first Donkey Kong Country game on the SNES, and the beginning of “1.0を夢見仮想HAZE” samples from the soundtrack of Donkey Kong 64, specifically the Gloomy Galleon level.3
A lot of drone music is precipitated on repetition, but the repetition found here is sans progression and is basically a bunch of loops that happened to be glued together. DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™ gives the impression that the producer thought that drone was more about the length of tracks and extension of samples, foregoing the subtle but necessary evolution that makes the best drone music an engaging (or not!) musical experience. For example, take La Monte Young: most of his releases featured half-hour or hour-length classical compositions of little more than a single chord, but compositions such as “Four Violins” exercised the most careful addition and subtraction of specific parts of those chords in order to progress. That’s the kind of thing that DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™ is missing: the producer understands the general idea of drone music, but the resulting album places too much emphasis on sheer length. The tracks feature a single repeating theme that go on for a few minutes before starting another theme, and that’s pretty much as far as it goes.
DREAM蒸気TSUNAMI™ sounds like it wasn’t too sure whether it wanted to be the super-staticness of Question 4 by Unknown Artist or the subtle progression of something like A Journey by Kamokata. Just a bit more refinement on this end would go a long way in clarifying 懐かし２００２津波’s ideas.
1. ヘイズ2002へようこそ – (16:41)4
2. 津波DREAMの夢 – (16:49)5
3. DIGITALセガの夢-「MY LOVE」 – (5:15)6
4. リバーブ夢ヘイズ2002 – (16:51)7
5. 1.0を夢見仮想HAZE – (15:19)8
6. ONE MORE FINAL：「私にキス」 – (6:32)9
1Japanese translation: “Dream (Steam) Tsunami”
2Japanese translation: “Nostalgia Tsunami 2002”
3I played a shitton of this series as a kid. Along with Roller Coaster Tycoon, it’s probably my favorite.
4Japanese translation: “Welcome to Hayes 2002”
5Japanese translation: “Dream of the tsunami”
6Japanese translation: “Sega dream (Digital – My Love)”
7Japanese translation: “Reverb Dream Haze 2002”
8Japanese translation: “Dream of 1.0 Virtual HAZE”
9Japanese translation: “(One more final:) Kiss me”