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satellite cult 15.15
windows96, computer education, 90s gaming mag
welcome to this week’s satellite cult dispatch. i’m so glad you’re here. i hope the artifacts i present you with will elevate you to the great computer lab in the sky. don’t worry. everyone there is dressed in Gateway cow print.
please be aware that the void dive section below contains flashing gifs. if you’re viewing this on the website, forgive the way Substack formats and spaces Bandcamp embeds.
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how to see through walls
Windows96 has returned after not releasing anything in a whole year; continuing to marry vaporsynth and baroque, How to See Through Walls also incorporates elements of synthpop and even hyperpop. from the seminal album One Hundred Mornings to now, Windows96 uses sonic landscapes to build entire virtual worlds, no metaverse needed.
0 : 1
this single by Shinzō includes only one track, a song called Koi Competition, that samples from The S.O.S. Band’s 1983 release Just Be Good to Me. it has a hazy, playing-from-another-room quality to it, and also features some dialogue in Japanese and the chattering of a crowd layered over the music.
Virtual Clouds (שเгՇยคɭ ςɭ๏ย๔ร) brings some slushy, mallsoft-inspired barber beats on this album, where the sound of running water is used as a motif. the final track packs a little vaportrap, too.
advances in modern technology
a thoughtful computergazey, late night lof-fi, signalwave release by THE VOICE OF AMERICA, Advances in Modern Technology delivers fifteen bite-sized tracks, none longer than one minute and thirty-five seconds. the musician tagged the album Frutiger Aero, which i found interesting for two reasons: Frutiger Aero is a visual design aesthetic without a genre of music attached, and the album mostly references the aesthetics of the 80s and 90s, not the period during which Frutiger Aero design was prevalent in the mid-2000s.
there are a few tracks on the album further referencing that time period: one plunders from By the Sea, the iPhone ringtone, and another is called ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇꜱᴛ ᴄᴜᴛᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ꜰᴜɴɴʏ ᴄᴀᴛ ᴠɪᴅᴇᴏꜱ ᴏꜰ 2008! 🐱. as time progresses, it seems that vaporwave has come to encompass any retro tech or web aesthetic, especially when it intersects with criticisms of culture and capitalism.
in the 80s and 90s, the rise of PCs and the World Wide Web brought new technologies to the average person, and a wealth of educational television, software, and home video content was produced by both private and state media to educate the general public. now, some of those productions are available on the Internet Archive, Youtube, and other places that host video.
the 1984 television show Database aired in England on Thames TV and targeted an audience of early computer enthusiasts. this clip has been shopped around online a lot, (you’ve probably seen it) but it remains one of my favorites.
in a similar vein is The Internet Show, released on VHS in 1995 by PBS. it’s an introduction to the web for new users.
you can also view it on the Internet Archive here.
this video, Computers: Tools for People, from 1982, gives an overview of how people used computers as they became more widely adopted.
i came across this 1996 issue of Japanese computer and gaming magazine Login. you can check it out here.
Thank you for joining me. Until next time.