In the fall of 2016, matdmoon and Hantasi came together to create Online Records, a netlabel that features experimental music primarily dealing with noise, field recordings, and musique concrète. Albums generally featured long tracks that steadily developed into layered progressions of static and found sounds, utilizing the samplism techniques that are commonly found in vaporwave. Several live recordings were released of harsh, non-musical live sets similar to those of Ironing. As with matdmoon’s previous project Telepathic Data Storage, the vast majority of releases on Online Records were published under various (often one-off) pseudonyms, making it next to impossible to figure out who was actually releasing the records unless directly mentioned by either co-owner. Dissonance and the complete eschewing of typical notions of musicality and cyberpunk music were the key.
Some time at the beginning of the new year, Online Records went on a temporary hiatus with a discography of forty-eight releases. In March, American Girls (published under the eponym) dropped on the label, signifying the start to new albums but at a slower pace than previous two or three albums per week. Along with the re-establishment of Online Records was the unveiling of a new project semi-curated by matdmoon called 2-0-1-7 (hereafter “2017”).1 Considered a sub-label and “art project” by the founders, 2017 is the “rapid fire, community-run version of Online Records”.2 With almost one hundred releases in less than a month, it has quickly grown to become one of the largest cyberpunk-themed projects of the year thus far.
The concept is simple. Anyone can post to 2017. Well, almost anyone: the password to the Bandcamp page is passed around to “whomever I trust”, as stated by matdmoon. This allows 2017 to grow at an enormous rate. The albums aren’t jokes, despite what one may think by the huge amount present within the archives: see vanishing by pacific sunlight. As with Online Records, the majority of albums on 2017 are published through one-off pseudonyms, but there are occasionally names that make an appearance more than a few times or are recognizable from outside of the Online Records club, such as MC 469 and BROKEN_CANYON. Other artists include Cryptid Satellite and Magick Shark, although good luck being able to tell who is whom. Naturally, this creates a lot of albums that are just “there”; the appeal of 2017 is the exploration side, where intrepid listeners can dig through the ever-expanding archive of material for the purpose of locating a hidden gem in a nameless sea of experimental releases. That being said, in matdmoon’s words: “honestly, all interpretations of The Thing are welcome”.
According to matdmoon, 2017 “started as half-a-joke” but has now “developed into its own little culture of sorts”.3 There’s a ton of stuff within its archives. If you have enjoyed the releases out on Online Records so far, then 2017 is surely recommended; it’s even more anarchic, if that’s possible. Not all of the albums are of the parent label’s noise bent. There are quite a few records with downtempo and ambient leanings, especially those from the more well-known monikers. As of this writing, all albums are available as pay-what-you-want digital downloads, and a full discography may be purchased for $1 USD.
Dive into the Internet version of crate-digging. 2017 is recommended for listeners who appreciate the craziness of Online Records, as well as other artists who are looking for fresh ideas in experimental art forms. 2017 may be accessed through this link.
1Sent to Sunbleach with the message “you want yourself a REAL challenge?”
2As tweeted by Hantasi: https://twitter.com/HantasiCA/status/845730836351639553
3Source: private Twitter conversation. File an FOIA if you’re really curious.