AOTW | 29 October – 4 November: Trademarks & Copyrights – Flashback
Of all the vaporwave artist names, Trademarks & Copyrights has to be the most self-aware. From the genre’s inception, issues of copyright and whether or not vaporwave artists actually own their songs have been in the forefront of discussion. Just take a walk over to the vaporwave subreddit or check out some early archived posts on 4chan; each week, there’ll be a different topic about the state of certain albums and if vaporwave should ever prepare itself for some lawsuits in the future. Well thankfully, such an occurrence has been exceptionally rare over the genre’s near-decade of history, although it’s such a salient topic that multiple artists have confronted it in some way.
True to the name, Trademarks & Copyrights is primarily a sample curation project that’s light on the editing. Flashback is one of their earlier releases, and it was also one of the first-ever projects available through the Canadian label Lost Angles, which has since established itself as a significant publisher of physical and digital album editions. Flashback is a short release, hitting ten tracks with only a few going above three minutes (and one seven minutes). It’s a total nostalgia album that emphasizes each pitch-shifted croon to the fullest extent reproducible by digital media. Each track follows through Trademarks & Copyrights hits of longing and self-longing (and I’d certainly argue those are two different things), and it’s arguable that the project significantly influenced the modern artists in sample curation on labels like Naughty Night Records. These artists use a similar hypnagogic groove, as if the entire album is made of a future g-funk artist’s sample pool.
For memories’ sake or otherwise, check out this small piece of vaporwave history. Read the Sunbleach article here, and check out the music below: