チェスマスター – Infinity of a Void
Album: Infinity of a Void
Type: Extended-play (EP)
Release date: 27 June 2017
Label: TKX Vault
- Transparent green cassette (BLCR Laboratories, 2017)
- Digital download (TKX Vault, 2017)
Recommendation: ✂ (“人生の悲しみ”)
Infinity of a Void came out of nowhere. As far as anyone was concerned, TKX Vault was a dead label. The release of Hong Kong Express capped off not only the label’s fifty-album run, but also served as a succinct end to the entire Hong Kong Express project, which HKE shed to pursue non-vaporwave works through both the Dream Catalogue label and other projects such as Pyramids. The label lied dormant for over a year, and then all of a sudden – without any announcement whatsoever – an EP from the old チェスマスター1 alias appeared with the pronouncement “I return. A new cycle begins.”
チェスマスター is one of the most notable projects within dreampunk and ambient/hypnagogic vaporwave. Begun in 2014, the pseudonymous Japanese alias released several albums of sampled-based vaporwave music that featured edited conversations in Japanese against somewhat hypnagogic plunderphonics. Starting in 2015, チェスマスター moved toward incorporating original synthesizer music that eventually gave way a cinematic style of cyberpunk music alongside the dreampunk movement through albums such as 天使 and 非実体. In 2016, チェスマスター moved on to incorporate electro influences with the release of I am Chesumasuta on Dream Catalogue, which was one of the most well-received albums within the vaporwave community that year.
Infinity of a Void brought チェスマスター back to those early roots in sample-based, ambient-ish vaporwave music. Each of the six tracks here involve misty synthesizers through which voices filter. The album starts off with a dial tone – a nod to the ending of I am Chesumasuta where a voice had a brief conversation with チェスマスター before hanging up. “DREAM Z” references the artist’s only other album released through TKX Vault – 夢に生きます – in which each track was labeled a different “dream”. The final song features a vocal performance from KEITOBOT, an alias of Keito Shimuguchi (who is involved with the チェスマスター project in more ways than one)3.
1. 犬 – (0:20)4
2. 無限 – (5:52)5
3. 人生の悲しみ – (4:32)6
4. 私とここに浮かぶ – (5:40)7
5. DREAM Z – (5:26)
6. 光の中に (feat. KEITOBOT) – (5:14)8
1Japanese translation: “Chesumasuta” or “Chessmaster”
2To say nothing of the perfect review given to it by Sunbleach.
3SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: They’re all aliases of HKE.
4Japanese translation: “Dog”
5Japanese translation: “Infinity”
6Japanese translation: “Life’s sadness”
7Japanese translation: “Floating here with me”
8Japanese translation: “In the light”