AOTW | 26 June – 2 July: ニューシティ – METROPOLISからオーディオ
Released in September 2014, METROPOLISからオーディオ is the second album ever to be released on the TKX Vault label – an imprint of Dream Catalogue that was primarily the creative outlet of label co-owner HKE for more experimental and noise-based works that did not necessarily fit the Dream Catalogue milieu. METROPOLISからオーディオ is one of those projects. This is lo-fi even for early dreampunk. Percussion is extraordinarily compressed, and tape hiss is often a primary compositional element. Fans of ULTRACOMPUTER (another TKX Vault project) and チェスマスター (especially Night Drive and 真の愛) will recognize the large preponderance of static, electronic loops, and occasional sampling of garbled Japanese vocals.
The concept of a dreampunk (or even vaporwave) album fulfilling the role of an imaginary soundtrack is not an unknown one. Plenty of albums use such a framing device – most notably being the DARKPYRAMID series of releases. What makes METROPOLISからオーディオ worth of being highlighted is how it sort of subverts the tropes of dreampunk and outrun while celebrating them. While the concept of a “hero” protagonist is dubious at best in outrun, such a concept seems almost non-existent in METROPOLISからオーディオ, where it’s made very clear in tracks like “SKY RAIL TRIPPING”, “HELL CITY”, and “THE CITY NEVER ENDS” that the main character is not human or android, but the titular metropolis itself – and it is certainly not a benevolent construct. METROPOLISからオーディオ is a challenging yet rewarding soundtrack that touches on the subversive (toward humans) aspects of futurist society.
Read the Sunbleach review here, and check out the music below: