Ambient as a cool breeze meeting a calming shopping experience. Oxymoronic, I know, but humor me a bit.
This description fits this release from Ataşehir (an alias of the ever-wonderful project and friend to this blog, Sumatran Black). AVM in a Turkish acronym for alışveriş merkezi, which translates into supermarket or shopping mall, though I might be mistaken. There is a nearly vaporwave aesthetic to their music in this release. It’s ambient, of course, but spiced with a touch of 80s or 90s cheese, the sort you may have encountered wandering in a mall 30 or 40 years ago. Modern Muzak. The music of my youth spent in elevators, escalators and fast food courts. Very pleasant, indeed.
Fifty cents isn’t a bad investment for well over 400 releases on the Genetic Trance label out of Ohio. One of the releases caught my ear – this one by Surrogate Sigma. Unsurprisingly, there is no information on the band that I can find, save that they are from Ukraine and operate under a ridiculous amount of aliases. Still, this particular release reminded me of the works of old composers who were active during the 1980’s cassette culture days.
DMT Records tend to be hit-or-miss for me, which is no surprise considering the sheer volume of releases they put out. Still, on average, they rarely disappoint, and can in fact still surprise me with a charming release.
A case in point would be Montreal’s Arctica, who put out an EP’s worth of music that sits in a hole between vaporwave, ethereal music and dream pop. I really enjoyed what I heard here, and I hope that DMT continue to put out releases like this.
Witch house and its related genres are areas I can’t claim to have a great knowledge of. It’s made worse when I can’t pronounce the names of half of the bands, or their song titles, due to cute tricks played by these children who, I doubt, know the meanings of what they’re using as names for their projects. Thankfully, we have more serious artists like Zane Michael O’Brien, who also does business under the monickers Zanye East and the aforementioned IXΘΥΣ (no, not Icthus, as in the pre-Ecumenical Council symbol Christians used to identify each other as fellow believers, but as whatever Zane sees fit as a reason to use such a name).
㊢ is a collection of remixes Zane has done for other bands who do everything from witch house to vaporwave and other genres I can’t bother keeping up-to-date with. What informs his music is a combination of experimental music as well as what used to be termed as Electronic Body Music or Industrial Dance, represented by the likes of Frontline Assembly, an old favorite of mine. The use of samples repeating hypnotically until you become so numb to the sound that a switch to a new track startles you also gives this a feel of some of the better elements of Nurse With Wound in their early, more Musique concrète years. Of particular note is the final track, Laura’s Got An Aura. There is a poem which is constantly repeated, along with incantations of one sort or other, which allows the listener to be lost in this psychedelic haze of a remix.
IXΘΥΣ’s latest release is worth your time. Consider exploring it and allowing it to envelop you for a while.