Keito Shimuguchi – Memories of a Dead Future
Keito Shimuguchi is a name that filters in and out of the vapor(-wave) world. Also known as チェスマスター (Chesumasuta),1 the first album as Keito proper came out on TKX Vault on 22 November 2015. Titled Memories of a Dead Future, the album offered five long-form drone music tracks that took the idea of cinematic samplism to an unsettling extreme. Memories of a Dead Future was (and is – the album is still available through TKX) filled with the auditory equivalent of film grain on a camera lens, with forlorn new age and soundtrack scores being overlaid with huge amounts of fuzz and degradation.
It wasn’t the first drone release on TKX, although it’s certainly one of the most outwardly drone-influenced (along with immediate follow-up in the catalogue NEXUS_DAWN by 2047, later changed to DREAMTEK). For example, TKX featured three of the early 仮想夢プラザ albums, a long-running project of vaporwave/dreampunk artist telepath that features cycling thirty-minute dreamlike odysseys of sound. Memories of a Dead Future takes significant influence from dark ambient music, similar to TKX Vault release Amare sanguinem by Vision Girl except with much longer tracks and a soundtrack aesthetic instead of a classical one. The use of static and crackle as a primary compositional element is also akin to An Empty Bliss Beyond this World by The Caretaker – except where that album sampled from pre-World War II ballroom music, Keito uses new age-esque sounds like in William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops.
As stated before, Memories of a Dead Future is mostly notable for being the first Keito Shimuguchi album under that name, and later releases would feature the Keito name appearing in monikers such as “KEITOBOT” (as with Vault XYO) and “Infernal Demon Keito” (as with albums following the re-opening of TKX Vault in summer 2017). At fifty-one minutes in length, Memories of a Dead Future is a pretty long album; unlike the aforementioned The Disintegration Loops, Memories of a Dead Future does not have much progression or production effects to hold the listener’s focus or to make any particular minute special than the rest. Look to it for its place in the burgeoning lore that of Keito Shimuguchi and the Vaults; the exercise in deterioration is moderately interesting, however unformed.
1. Deserter – (13:20)
2. Carbon – (6:43)
3. Blur – (5:36)
4. Glow – (12:42)
5. Return – (12:48)
— !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! —
1Who is also known as HKE.