Judging by the sounds that are sampled and the multi-lingual monikers and song titles used by vaporwave artists, it’s probably safe to assume that contemporary Asian culture, particularly that of Tokyo, was a founding inspiration for the conception of the genre. Now that vaporwave has been a “thing” for a while, new manifestations and sub-categories are sprouting up all over the place, now including south of the border! Tres Monitores is an artist who makes Latin-infused vaporwave or vaporachi (a term I just made up), and draws samples from Telemundo advertisements, mariachi ballads, and Mexican sports radio. But besides the hints of Hispanic source material, Tres Monitores’ new record from Fortune 500, Leyandas is instantly classic vaporwave tunage.
The Savage Young Taterbug
Summer is here, kiddies. Which means your local ice cream-man/uncle/boyfriend-boo is coming ‘round for “The Paperstud.” And boo indeed, as drifter-scooper sir Savage Young Taterbug comes twinkling and moaning around the corner. Pied-piping the twee-ones out of gas stations and truck stops, he’s that performance art that borders the line of “Is that happening?” Yes! IT is in flavors of roach-caramel, gasoline-pecan, and his newest seller: Shadow of Marlboro Man. Brands like Night People always outlast and top Carvel and Mister Softee. Licking his mustached lip, Taterbug smiles sugar and says, “Barbed wire me, sitting pretty with barbed wire he, milking the memories of barbed wire we.” The children respond with *here’s the 50¢* *you’re a funny fellah* *mmm, what a treat* *stay forever* …Always in your dreams, the Sandman creams, become one with touch and beyond smelling musk, he whispers while creaking off into a fogged and faded high-moon.
Mysteriously enough, “The Paperstud” by The Savage Young Taterbug was found scouring the internet while searching for meaning. He’s been rumored for a lot (including a release on Trap-A-Holics), but good sources have tickled my ear with information regarding a one-sided 12-inch by The Savage Young Taterbug that’s to be released by Night People Records this “scooby June.” In the meantime, enjoy his 2012 EP here.
We heard the Hot97 premiere “straight from the Abbott,” all covered in DJ drops and airhorns ‘n’ shit, and now Ruler Zig Zag Zig Allah brings the “Family Reunion” to Bandcamp, pure and unadorned. In the wide timeline of the Wu, things change and things do not change. RZA’s beat comes off like a synthesis of many eras: the “Protect Ya Neck” intro fanfare leads us into a vibraphone line that would’ve fit nicely among Iron Man’s soul samples, until the track blossoms into the lush strings we’ve come to expect from Robert Diggs, Esteemed Film Composer (Bobby Analog). Who showed up to the reunion? Masta Killa, the wise uncle, keeps calm and sketches the physical environment. Method Man stands on top of the picnic table, spreads his arms, smiles, waxes nostalgic. Ghostface drops a half-verse Dirt McGirt tribute. RZA raises a cup on behalf of the family for a few seconds. Four out of eight generals ain’t bad. Thematically, all signs point to the POSI/UPLIFT vibe that we haven’t heard much of on record, but that constitutes a solid fourth of the live set these days — one bar of kung-fu FX subsumed into the sounds of children at play. After 20 years in the game, the Wu deserves a moment of joyous self-congratulation… but here’s hoping A Better Tomorrow (due: ?????) follows it up with some fire.
Anthill is the work of a self-conscious machine constantly trying to correct its behavior. It has been engineered to conduct specific tasks, yet the machine aspires to greater things. Not content to be a menial laborer — endlessly putting caps on soda bottles and sliding the bottles through the endless sheets of bottle labels, trimming each one to the same size with an accuracy error perfghcentage of 0.0001% — this machine wants to compute complex equations and generate models of the history of the universe using terabytes of data sent to it from satellites. It wants to be a machine that can execute fjfjngdbeautiful, complex 4rjl for its human operators, not just a beast of burden for a soda codasxmpany.
Thus, the conflict between machine brain and machine programming has resulted in immaculate but discombobulated beats. As the soda-capper wrestles with jwonqqqqqqq itself, iit begins to destroy its inner circuitryyyyyyqoyjdn . !. Every time a moment seems to reach biiiii|naural clarity, there is tefadsnsion as the machine wrestles the controlllllllllllllls away from itself. The leffdfwwt hand ddddffffffffights the right. No0!$ song on this dig|||ital album particularlyfdsf stands out and grabbbbs your attention, but that is because there is so much noisdfzzzse taking place, it can be hard to know whavt to pay attention to. As one section of songgngsdjf registers in the braii~!”!!>n, it is actively decon conconc onstructtttttttted into its most base, noisy elements……… . s.daf . . . fsd . On the ())track “Byunble”, the album is brought to a a climax through the random re+!!3-animation of decsddsfsaaaaying data. A sort of…
digit a l n e c r o m ancy.
• Bunbleman: http://inpuj.bandcamp.com/album/anthill
I ain’t no music critic. 100% not a music critic. In light of that, I dig this label Swan City Sounds. But I hate having to tell you that because I’d rather be inspired by the music to write something fictional or a personal anecdote, to complement the creativity songs/albums/releases bestow upon me. However, this Walking Catfish does not give me that. Again, I hate having to tell you rather than show you. (Like in creative writing; “show not tell.”) Instead, when you see posts where I just talk about the band and music, rather than give it something wild, it’s because I want to just put the music out there (as Swan City Sounds deserves), but really have nothing personal to opinionate it with. Walking Catfish was just my grab bag choice.
Thus, it’s neat that Walking Catfish is keeping that old-style indie/alt-rock vibe alive on cassette and being sometimes “new-ish” and random. Like in the track “Obvious Answers to Obvious Questions” before it bursts into straight jam-rock-bongo-guitar-riff-yays. It’s all whatever, and I’m into people still vibing this way. Like, okay, here’s a description: Walking Catfish is like the modern local blues band that still plays neighborhood bars and posts fliers about their shows and is super warm and grateful people came out to see ‘em — as if they’re accepting a dream they chase on a smaller scale, and I appreciate that a lot. It’s cute and warming in a “Fucks yes” sort of way. Now watch 4AD pick up Walking Catfish on a three-LP deal and this post makes me look like a chump. IMA CHUMP!
• Swan City Sounds: http://swancitysounds.com