♫♪  Xavier LeBlanc - “Gender-Neutral Witchdoctor”

Discussing video games somehow (inevitably) ties up people in some weird, wistful nostalgia. I don’t think it has something to do with some unique generational quality, the seeming universalness of Western twentysomethings having been raised on a crop of the same beloved titles. I think what conjures that instinctive fondness is these lived-in worlds, the nostalgia of having been immersed in a polygon-faceted universe.

You get that quite a bit with vaporwave but what Xavier LeBlanc has done in evoking that borders more on almost creating a world of its own. “Gender-Neutral Witchdoctor” is flawless in that regard, with its Phantasy Star Online 2-esque, self-saturating synths. It’s not the sound of the generic quest but that aquamarine, crystal-laden nightclub you’d leave yourself in idle just to ideate. This pixelated vista is all yours, along with those imagined conversations with no-name NPCs staring into the skybox with you.

It goes beyond taking cues from a past laden with generous helpings of Sega or Nintendo. Being this vivid or lush isn’t something a simple memory evokes; this track is absolutely a step beyond that. This track is a world of its own, rendered saccharine. The hours you spent texturing the culture of a game eternally locked in 1998? This is it, straight-up digitized catharsis.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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