t e l e p a t h / HKE – 愛慕 ／ 悲哀
Artist: t e l e p a t h / HKE
Album: 愛慕 ／ 悲哀
Type: Split full-length album (LP)
Release date: 21 January 2015
Label: Dream Catalogue / BLCR Laboratories
- Digital download, exclusive to buyers of original CD-R edition of 新しい日の誕生 by 2814 (Dream Catalogue, January 2015)
- Digital download (Dream Catalogue, May 2015)
- Black cassette, edition 100 (BLCR Laboratories, 2016)
- Translucent purple cassette, edition 200 (BLCR Laboratories, 2016)
- Digital download (BLCR Laboratories, 2016)
- Black cassette, edition 200 (BLCR Laboratories, 2017)
愛慕 ／ 悲哀 1 is a split release between telepath2 and HKE.3 Released in January 2015 alongside the landmark release 新しい日の誕生 (on which the two collaborated as 2814), this split may be seen as a companion piece to that album due to its similar visual themes, textures, and methods of production. The split was originally conceived as a “bonus album” that was exclusively released as a digital download through HKE’s label Dream Catalogue as a thank-you to fans. It could only be accessed by a code that was printed along the inner sleeve of the CD-R version of 新しい日の誕生. Four months later, it received an official digital release through Dream Catalogue; later, it received a series of reissues on cassette format and digital download by BLCR Laboratories in 2016 and 2017. The original album featured two tracks from each artist, but the BLCR Laboratories editions featured one additional track from both for a total of six songs.
This release continues the ambient experiments of 2814, albeit on distinctly separate sides that are more reflective of the individual styles of the two artists. For the most part, 愛慕 ／ 悲哀 eschews the beat-and-bass portions of 新しい日の誕生. This is especially true for the telepath side, and it reflects the pure-ambient that would characterize the vast majority of telepath’s releases over the next two years. It also has a relative dearth of slushwave for which the artist had become known throughout the first few years of the moniker’s existence, adopting a synthesizer-drone approach that would become especially on albums such as Guardian3 on Pyramids and A on Dream Catalogue. The exception to this is the reissue bonus track “愛慕”, which utilizes IDM-esque percussion with glitchy beats and comparatively extroverted electronic flourishes.
The HKE side prominently uses field recordings, which were a main compositional tool in the creation of 新しい日の誕生. For example, “在雨中的悲伤” features significant amounts of rain sounds that flow through the whole track, evoking the late night/rainy city vibe that HKE fervently explored in his dreampunk (and beyond) releases throughout 2015 and 2016. Where vaporwave at the time was intensely focused on retro-futuristic visions of the past as seen through the eyes of early-90s and Millennium electronic media culture, HKE turned his eyes toward utopian-urban visions of the near and far future – an influence that has strongly affected the development of vaporwave since that fateful day in January 2015. Bonus track “独自一人，一起” continues the ambient aesthetic with a choral-esque synthesizers and a repetitive, reverbed electronic effect that sounds like a ringing church bell.
In a way, 愛慕 ／ 悲哀 can be seen as telepath and HKE’s sneak-peak at what was to come. Although 愛慕 ／ 悲哀 was not particularly influential in and of itself (owing to its somewhat abstruse circumstances of the initial release), it does demonstrate Dream Catalogue’s evolving cyberpunk aesthetics. The split hinted at the direction the label and its artists were to take almost as much as 新しい日の誕生. Of the two sides, HKE’s is generally more consistent – especially when one takes the bonus tracks into account. 愛慕 ／ 悲哀 moderately succeeds in being a companion to 新しい日の誕生, especially for those who particularly enjoyed the ambient songs like “テレパシー” and the title track. The drone aspects embodied on the telepath side hinted ever so slightly toward things to come with his own projects. The quality of music and the circumstances of its release make 愛慕 ／ 悲哀 a curious piece of vaporwave/dreampunk history in addition to a pleasantly surprising bonus for fans of 2814.
1. t e l e p a t h: あなたの愛への憧れ – (12:54)5
2. t e l e p a t h: 最後にホーム – (7:27)6
3. t e l e p a t h: 愛慕 [BLCR bonus track] – (8:29)7
4. HKE: 我的遗憾 – (11:12)8
5. HKE: 在雨中的悲伤 – (8:24)9
6. HKE: 独自一人，一起 [BLCR bonus track] – (9:04)10
1Japanese translation: “Love / Sadness”
2Here presenting as “t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者”. telepath dropped the katakana from his moniker later that year.
3Here presenting as “Hong Kong Express”. As with telepath, HKE soon changed to the current acronym after the release of this album, and the current release information on Dream Catalogue and BLCR Laboratories entirely omits the “Hong Kong Express”.
4Released under the Virtual Dream Plaza moniker.
5Japanese translation: “A longing for your love”
6Japanese translation: “Finally home”
7Japanese translation: “Love”
8Japanese translation: “My regret”
9Japanese translation: “Lost injury”
10Japanese translation: “Independent people, together”