death’s dynamic shroud.wmv – DERELICTメガタワー

Recommendation: ☀☀☁


DERELICTメガタワー1 – a.k.a. “The Behemoth” – is a four-hour, 84-track set of vaporwave music from death’s dynamic shroud.wmv (hereafter “dds.wmv”), a semi-collective of artists who collaborate and work solo under the dds.wmv name. One of the longest releases in mainstream vaporwave (insofar as something like that even exists), DERELICTメガタワー is the crown jewel to dds.wmv’s NUWRLD series of releases. The four main NUWLRD full-lengths2 were all released within two months of each other, with DERELICTメガタワー signifying a change to the more overt hypnagogic and glitch-hop influences of later albums such as 失われた時REGRET and I’ll Try Living Like This.

DERELICTメガタワー continues the strong conceptual theme of the NUWRLD series through its extremely glitchy album artwork and utilization of “emotive harmonic movements”3 to create a haunting and dreamy affect. Tracks use a range of digital and analogue production techniques by way of pitch-/tempo-shifting and addition of ambiance that eschew the low fidelity that would occur if only digital manipulation were used. At first, tracks were recorded on analog tape via a tape deck and TASCAM cassette 4-track, and then they were digitally edited and processed. Hence why tracks such as “F178 ベースキャンプ『GREAT LIBRARY』” and “一緒に探検しませんか?” sound obviously edited but without hiss, static, or other artifacts that would otherwise occur. The songs are whimsical, even at their most degraded, with similar concepts and results to the experiments by post-punk group Disco Inferno on the A Kid’s World extended-play. Many tracks have a soft yet dense affect to them that enhances their surreal nature, to which HCMJ of dds.wmv refers as “tape ghosts”.4

The vast majority of the songs on DERELICTメガタワー are classic-style vaporwave that heavily rely on sampled material from a variety of sources. The tracks are generally short; the median length is around two minutes and forty-five seconds, and ten tracks don’t even hit one minute. Each song is presented as a vignette; they begin and end somewhat randomly and last random amounts of time by way of little in the realm of “normal” song composition, as is the nature of classic-style. DERELICTメガタワー is a partially discursive listening experience – which is part of the point in the NUWRLD series – but not in a negative way. The way that DERELICTメガタワー switches between weird ambient tracks like “ARCHITECT/HUNTER” and extremely short signalwave loops like “NO WAY?” is successfully presented as a total mess – the kind of mess where you have fun sorting everything out, even if the size of it is a little overwhelming.

Other than classic-style, several other subgenres of vaporwave are explored. ECCOJAMS gets a particularly dark treatment on “タワーに入る方法を”, sounding like something that wouldn’t be out of place on a Chinese Hackers release. Saria’s Song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gets a glitch-hop remix with “SARIAのように愛して”. “奇妙な教会” heavily obscures a sample(s) of classical music to create a wall-of-sound ambient piece. “F108 ベースキャンプ『JAZZ』” goes straight for mallsoft with a drunken PA system.

In a blog post from Fall 2016, HCMJ stated that the main idea behind DERELICTメガタワー was “to tell a grand narrative […] comprised of small sections from [] video game tracks”.5 Some tracks outright reference such in their title, as in the aforementioned “SARIAのように愛して”. “処理能力” samples audio from an interview about a new Mario game for the Nintendo DS. “MARBLE COLUMNS” is a heavily effected clip from the soundtrack of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – “Alls Well”, if you’re curious. There’s 16-bit arcade-style fun on “SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE” that sounds like “Bronze-Level Store Loyalty Card” at the end of 슈퍼마켓Yes! We’re Open by 식료품groceries. By no means is this an exhaustive list. Listening to DERELICTメガタワー is like listening in on the mind of a twentysomething who is feeling anamnestic joy upon revisiting childhood interests, albeit through memories clouded by time, with video games being a substantial part of that experience.

In its variety and successful utilization of so many different tropes, DERELICTメガタワー may be interpreted as a survey of the sample-based vaporwave scene in 2014, in addition to being a highly self-referential work within the death’s dynamic shroud.wmv mythos. It’s an extremely eclectic mix of songs that are tied together through the common aesthetic of NUWRLD, with many references to childhood media of the 90s and 00s. If there were ever a place to begin in classic-style vaporwave in a post-Fortune 500,6 pre-hardvapor scene – not to mention NUWRLD – then DERELICTメガタワー would be it. It’ll be a pretty bizarre experience for those who discovered dds.wmv7 by way of I’ll Try Living Like This, but it is an immensely rewarding one for those who dedicate the time to dive into its decrepit hulk.

 

Tracklist


1. TINT & DEV – (1:08)
2. 飛行機で眠って – (3:48)
3. FOO ベースキャンプ『RUINS』 – (4:31)
4. タワーの影 – (2:47)
5. INTERNATIONAL TEAM – (4:45)
6. タワーに入る方法を – (0:53)
7. NEON アーキテクチャ (パート1) – (3:34)
8. MARBLE COLUMNS – (3:24)
9. 奇妙なコロニー – (2:13)
10. 思い出にふける – (3:11)
11. SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE – (1:51)
12. ARTを集める – (2:01)
13. F108 ベースキャンプ『JAZZ』 – (1:51)
14. ARCHITECT / HUNTER – (5:21)
15. 処理能力 – (2:48)
16. 一緒に探検しませんか? – (4:39)
17. クライミング – (2:36)
18. SARIA のように愛して – (1:46)
19. ECCOS ウォークマン – (1:56)
20. 奇妙な教会 – (2:17)
21. 夕日 – (3:09)
22. EMPTY HALLS (夜) – (4:15)
23. ノートリアスモンスター – (2:26)
24. MACHINE 天使 (パート1) – (3:26)
25. EMOTION の意味 – (6:22)
26. NO WAY? – (0:40)
27. データストリーム3000 – (1:00)
28. ENDLESS CONTENT – (1:48)
29. F178 ベースキャンプ『GREAT LIBRARY』 – (3:10)
30. 420ウォークマン – (0:52)
31. マイナートランキライザー – (2:52)
32. EXPANSION / APPROPRIATION – (1:31)
33. 馬 – (3:26)
34. 愛を待つ – (2:18)
35. NEON アーキテクチャ (パート2)- (3:00)
36. CONFESSIONS – (1:20)
37. なだらかな上り坂 – (1:55)
38. LINIP 金 – (0:31)
39. CDXX-2 ウォークマン – (1:03)
40. KBROKEN オリジン – (3:40)
41. F243 ベースキャンプ『SUNRISE』 – (4:12)
42. そんな K.U.G. – (0:49)
43. エ レベータープラン – (5:26)
44. F400 からの眺め (巨大穴) – (1:26)
45. のほのぼの♡ – (3:44)
46. TINT & DEV II – (2:24)
47. 究極のホーム – (4:18)
48. LABYRINTH CADENCE – (5:56)
49. HEART BEATZ ウォークマン – (2:17)
50. めまい – (2:26)
51. 夜の踊り – (2:05)
52. QUEST 65 – (4:40)
53. INDIFFERENCE – (2:51)
54. 音楽評論家 – (0:32)
55. FEELING OF スノーノイズ – (3:10)
56. THE TOWER RISES EVER HIGHER – (3:46)
57. F??? ベースキャンプ『CIVILIZATION』 – (1:59)
58. 夢の世界に登場する – (4:10)
59. THE INTERNET – (5:31)
60. WEIRD 戴冠式 – (3:43)
61. 噴水 – (5:02)
62. ひとり時間 – (2:49)
63. Vision of Stars 2:43
64. STROBE 廊下 – (0:38)
65. POWER & HEIGHT – (3:15)
66. バーチャルワールド – (3:08)
67. RECYCLE / REUSE – (1:09)
68. 弱い日差し – (2:24)
69. デジャヴ – (0:18)
70. NUWRLD の意味 – (6:34)
71. MILLING ABOUT – (3:46)
72. 魔法 – (2:08)
73. SITUATION – (3:28)
74. LINIP マグネシウム – (0:37)
75. F??? ベースキャンプ『FLOATING』 – (3:25)
76. NEON アーキテクチャ (パート3) – (5:33)
77. ボサノバ RHYTHM – (2:35)
78. HUNTER / ARCHITECT – (4:07)
79. 待っている – (2:38)
80. THE SAILING – (4:05)
81. 階段のてっぺんで – (1:36)
82. ノーバディホーム OUTRO – (0:34)
83. MACHINE 天使 (パート2) – (3:36)
84. F∞ ベースキャンプ『FOREVER』 – (2:47)


 

1Japanese translation: “Derelict Mega Tower”
2#NUWRLDの気持ち, 世界大戦OLYMPICS , SEAWRLDハートブレーク , and DERELICTメガタワー. You could also count I’ll Try Living Like This (NUWRLD VERSION), but I consider that sort of a post-script to the project, since it came out almost a year and half after DERELICTメガタワー and is more or less a remix album.
3Sourced from a conversation between Sunbleach Media and HCMJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sunbleach_Media/status/867160154294374401
4Source: http://hcmj.tumblr.com/post/151102502868/derelict%E3%83%A1%E3%82%AC%E3%82%BF%E3%83%AF%E3%83%BC
5Ibid.
6Notwithstanding the 2015 compilation.
7Dragon dagger (super poison)?

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