AOTW | 9 July – 15 July: Start-Up シーケンス – “COMMERCIAL PARENTING”
Whoa, a new AOTW! I know, right? And here I thought I’d have more time to update Sunbleach on my two-month hiking trip. In retrospect, the time constraints should have been more obvious to me.
Vaporwave can be dark. In fact, the genre probably started with the twisted side of the early digital age and mass-media/commercialization, with albums like Skeleton all the way back from 2010 creating dark ambient music via the plunderphonics-samplism technique that have become ingrained in vaporwave production today. Artists like Chinese Hackers took the dark ambient stylings even further by making even songs even more degraded, and the entire subgenre of vapornoise (especially that practiced by artists on the early TKX Vault releases) revolves around showing just how wrung-out nostalgia can be.[citation accepted
But vaporwave doesn’t always need to be dark just by making it dark ambient. Sometimes, the subject matter itself can be the source of darkness and commentary, as with COMMERCIAL PARENTING by Start-Up シーケンス. This release is an ECCOJAMS/classic-style album that appropriates media samples, advertisements, adult contemporary, and pop music – nothing too different from the host of albums released five years before this came out on 1 January 2016 – but it does so with violent and confrontational imagery that comments on the effects of living in a world where parenting is done as much by media (if not more) as by a child’s real parents. This dichotomy is viscerally expressed in the album artwork, which shows child abuse on a glitched-up big-screen television, making Start-Up シーケンス’s feelings about media’s effects on children not at all hidden. This is an album about consumption but making it clear that media consumes people just as much as people consume media.
Read the Sunbleach article here, and check out the music below: