テレビ体験 – Y.2089
Leading off with a blast of feedback and vocal blip is Y.2089, the debut album by ニューシティ1 and the very first album from the TKX-Vault label.2 This is a constructively chaotic album of vapornoise, broken transmission, or what-have-you; being twenty tracks of stressed-out television commercials, radio adverts, long-lost soundtracks, and other sources that strain describability.3
Y.2089 isn’t pure insanity or just straight noise – leave that to labelmates emperor tangerine and Henry Wong – yet it is exceptionally turbulent, surpassing the TV-signal-in-a-blender disorder of sister album prism genesis by fuji grid tv4 for a production style that is belligerent in its disjointedness. One of the biggest differences between the two albums is in the sound mixing: prism genesis was staticky and jumpy, but it still retained a full range of pitch and sound. On the other hand, Y.2089 sounds like the speakers blew out before the set even began, with a spectrum that is firmly mid-range and devoid of any waveform dynamic; even the reticent “憂鬱ビジョン” has an absurd amount of static that keeps the volume just as loud as on the glitch-fuck “星の秋”.
Speaking of “憂鬱ビジョン”, that particular song is an excellent example of Y.2089‘s utilization of static as a compositional element. Vapornoise albums like Universitat de Barcelona’s Virtual Campus™ could be described as the auditory equivalent to opening an image file in a text editor, saving it, and then opening it as an image to see the random data screw,5 but Y.2089 is more like what would happen if you overlaid an absurdly-obfuscating amount of film grain over that image before glitching the hell out of it. It’s one step further than fuji grid tv or Universitat de Barcelona ever went, but still entirely within the realm of “music” in the sense that Y.2089 retains the basic tropes and associations of broken transmission and vaporwave without completely losing itself to noise. That’s a hard thing to do.
And even though it’s a total insane mess that – like many broken transmission albums – is designed to be heard in one single go, there are several good cuts on Y.2089 that stand out and demonstrate the album’s frenetic but measured mania. “深い会話” features a slushy production effect that gives each voice a hell of a lot of reverb and features some serious stereo panning. “酔ったホスト” – the thirteenth track of album – calls back to the very beginning by reusing the same feedback/vocal grab that occurs in the album’s first half-second, then degrades the oriental beat of “ショッピングループ” even further. “江戸の街” has a digitized wail that gets under your skin and is ghastly in affect. Static is the main instrument on “憂鬱ビジョン”, and “テレビ体験を夢みる” gets into vaporgoth territories. Tracks fourteen and fifteen form a suite that lasts exactly sixty-four seconds, but those sixty-four seconds hit the weirdest kind of disharmonious signalwave.
If you’re looking for a step-up from prism genesis or ░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░, then Y.2089 comes with an enthusiastic recommendation. It just barely pushes beyond the broken transmission/vaporwave spectra into noise, which, kind of ironically, makes it all the more listenable simply for being so damn captivatingly different from the rest of its ilk. If it’s too intense but you could see yourself getting into it, then listen to Film Noir’s Vision Girl – also available on TKX Vault. It’s similar mid-range broken transmission, but with cinematic focus that assuages some of Y.2089‘s discordance.
Y.2089 is basically as close as vaporwave gets to noise music before becoming noise music with vaporwave influences, and damn if it isn’t good at what it does. Check it out for a caustic, eerie, and unnerving take on TV psychedelia.
1. 夢へようこそ – (2:07)6
2. フローティングセンター – (2:07)7
3. 星の秋 – (1:12)8
4. テープ駆逐艦 – (0:34)9
5. ショッピングループ – (0:53)10
6. 深い会話 – (1:05)11
7. テレビ体験を夢みる – (1:09)12
8. 憂鬱ビジョン – (2:25)13
9. 発奮 – (1:57)14
10. 未来への入り口 – (1:44)15
11. 孤独な美しさ – (1:44)16
12. 精神将来の救出 – (0:33)17
13. 酔ったホスト – (0:46)18
14. 広告 – (0:16)19
15. 無罪チューブ – (0:48)20
16. ルートヴィヒ – (0:28)21
17. 直接対話 – (1:20)22
18. 江戸の街 – (1:04)23
19. 壮大なロマン派 – (1:10)24
20. 年2089 – (1:04)25
1Japanese translation: “Television Experience”. Later albums would drop the katakana from the name and simply use English letters.
2… when it was called Tokyo Exchange.
3What’s that, “describability” isn’t a word? Fuck your prescriptivism!
4A Vektroid project, although ニューシティ is HKE.
5Ever tried this? I used to be super into software-bending back in undergrad. Take an image, save it in a PNG, JPEG, or BMP format (you can use others, but those work best for me), open it in a rich text editor like Notepad, and then immediately save. Since the visual data can’t be perfectly translated into text format, it’ll screw with the image in some pretty cool ways. Once you kinda figure out what things are good to touch and what others corrupt the image too far, you can even start writing your own code (so to speak) when in the rich text editor to create glitch effects on purpose when you view the image again. Check out more here.
6Japanese translation: “Welcome to dreams”
7Japanese translation: “Floating center”
8Japanese translation: “Fall of the stars”
9Japanese translation: “Tape destroyer”
10Japanese translation: “Shopping loop”
11Japanese translation: “Deep Conversation”
12Japanese translation: “I dream of a television experience”
13Japanese translation: “Melancholy vision”
14Japanese translation: “Excitement”
15Japanese translation: “Entrance to the future”
16Japanese translation: “Lonely beauty”
17Japanese translation: “Psychic future rescue”
18Japanese translation: “Drunk host”
19Japanese translation: “Advertisement”
20Japanese translation: “Innocent Tube”
21Japanese translation: “Ludwig”
22Japanese translation: “Direct Dialogue”
23Japanese translation: “The street of Edo”
24Japanese translation: “Grand romanticism”
25Japanese translation: “Year 2089”