midnight王朝 – 自己満足
Recommendation: ✂ (“血の後の人生”, “太陽のかけら”)
This is some midnight music.1 自己満足2 by midnight王朝3 is ambient vaporwave that sounds like it was produced for the setting depicted in the album artwork: late hours of the night in the middle of an urban parking lot where a lone fluorescent lamp provides the only source of light.
Released in June 2016 through The Library, 自己満足 demonstrates the label’s predilection for despondent but not self-absorbed or overly-challenging vaporwave. 自己満足 utilizes slow beats to which phaser and equalization is applied to create a somewhat spliffy milieu, whereby the main source of listening appeal is in how well it expands the listener’s mind rather than how well the listener can dance or sing along with the music. If that statement is too pretentious, then take this one instead: 自己満足 is a spacey work in which melodies drift along with minimal percussion. There are some additional static and low-frequency rumbles to enhance the decrepit feel, as heard on “、冬の日は言った”4 and “今のところ ok”, respectively. “毒性を手放す” features a saxophone solo and some birdsong, too; it’s a little out of place in context of the release, but still a good song nonetheless.
There are a couple highlights. “太陽のかけら” is a twelve-and-a-half minute dreampunk soundscape that elicits similar feelings as ルートバックホーム by Remember and Exit by Virtual Polygon, with just a hint of static. “血の後の人生” is a hypnagogic drift track with slushy production that features field recordings and heavily reverbed piano/strings that sound like they could be non-diegetic music for a film scene where the protagonist is fairly certain they’re being followed through midnight王朝’s empty parking lot. Start with those two tracks: they’re great examples of what The Library set out to do.
1. 私を良く – (5:48)5
2. 私は暗い場所で、辛抱しましょう – (3:51)6
3. 今のところ ok – (2:38)7
4. 昨日の雨は – (5:08)8
5. 毒性を手放す – (5:42)9
6. 血の後の人生 – (3:46)10
7. 、冬の日は言った – (3:49)11
8. 太陽のかけら – (12:33)12
1Pun totally intended.
2Japanese translation: “Self-satisfaction”
3Japanese translation: “Midnight dynasty”
4I’m halfway convinced that this samples the main theme to The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker.
5Japanese translation: “I am well”
6Japanese translation: “Let me be patient in a dark place”
7Japanese translation: “So far ok”
8Japanese translation: “Yesterday’s rain”
9Japanese translation: “Let go of toxicity”
10Japanese translation: “Life after blood”
11Japanese translation: “Winter’s day said”
12Japanese translation: “Fragment of the sun”