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satellite cult 23.23
R3:D3MPT!0N, generationloss, creative coding, MLIA
welcome to this week’s satellite cult dispatch. i’m so glad you’re here. i hope the artifacts i present you with will replace the AI that runs your simulation with one that’s been trained on better movies. mine keeps trying to do Lorenzo’s Oil.
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 some Bandcamp embeds.
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rerelease: Hologram Plaza
one of the most beloved early mallsoft albums, Hologram Plaza by Disconscious, has received a cassette rerelease through Sonokinetic Spectrum for its ten year anniversary.
the news is a little surprising, considering that Disconscious, who has remained anonymous all these years, released Hologram Plaza in 2013, posted once or twice on /mu/ according to this thread on r/Vaporwave, and then, aside from two contributions to compilation albums, vanished entirely from the scene. you can preorder the cassette through April 21st.
speaking of r/Vaporwave, Jubilee is a compilation album, released on Glasgow-based net label vaporgaze, celebrating two-hundred and fifty thousand subs to r/Vaporwave and featuring fifty tracks by producers and musicians active in the vaporwave scene.
it’s split into two sides: one highlights the classic sounds of vaporwave plunderphonics, and the other highlights hypnogogic vaporwave.
this dark, industrial glitchcore EP by Alice Unchained is both pounding and dreamy. it’s digital unreality packaged up for raving sewer rats, drum and bass from another room, a dark concrete stairway down into a basement void where only the mic on your phone can hear you scream. is the EP about escaping horrors or dragging them along with you? i think it’s a little of both.
ＬＩＧＨＴ ＳＴＲΞ ΔＫ
post-eccojams, popular vaporwave leaned heavily into late night lofi, following in the footsteps of LATE NIGHT DELIGHT. after 2013, it sometimes even felt that late night lofi had become the predominant style of vaporwave. in recent years, as significant albums have celebrated anniversary milestones, and as more producers and musicans seem to be interested in revisiting these sounds, the most classic styles vaporwave are seeing both resurgences and updates.
Digi’s ＬＩＧＨＴ ＳＴＲΞ ΔＫ is VHS pop with some future funk tendancies, danceable late night lofi, and an excellent example of why vapor is still relevant after the oversaturation of its aesthetics circa 2015 supposedly killed the genre.
Frutiger Aero has firmly established itself as the vaporwave aesthetic of the 2000s, tapping into something retrofuturistic, nostalgic, but also indicative of cold corporate capitalism and tech. it’s all very Windows XP.
coastal.link brings us frutiger aero-smith, a release capturing the Xbox, the early age of Wifi, and the feeling of walking into an Apple Store back when they had those iMacs with demo CD-ROM games and those round, cushiony chairs that kids used to pee on.
utilizing the techniques of eccojams and late night lofi, but plundering from more recent source material than is typical of the genres (though certainly not unheard of—”A3” from Chuck Person’s Eccojams is mostly a slowed down loop of Jojo’s “Too Little, Too Late” after all), passion aggression by df89 is packed with the ebb and flow of intense feeling, droning and fluid and echoing. it feels incredibly contemporary, which at this point in vaporwave is an impressive accomplishment.
i remember feeling that way the first time i heard Floral Shoppe, that it was both so new despite being also old, but over the years, as much as i love vapor, it’s become difficult to hear something that sounds fresh in a genre that’s been around for over a decade.
choppy as decaying daytime TV recorded on VHS, generationloss by amos.sys is what would happen if you came across a box of discarded tapes at a Goodwill, took them home, and dug out your family’s old VCR to watch them. let the static and fuzz drown out the rest of the noise around you. it’s a great feeling.
i’ve always been interested in creative coding, but thanks to capitalism, i don’t have either time or energy to devote to learning p5.js. but if you want to learn, i’d suggest processing.org, and once you get the hang of it, maybe give OpenProcessing a try.
because i don’t know p5.js, but i had an image of what i wanted to make, i asked chatGPT to help write a program, and then i started learning in reverse how it was constructed. i was very specific with chatGPT about what i wanted, down to the colors of the spheres and the frequency with which events in the program happen. the result isn’t perfect, but it’s incredibly close. you can check out the program here if you’re curious, and the code is available there if you want to learn backwards, too.
my life is average
it recently surprised me to learn that FML is still active, and it reminded me of the much better, pre-post-ironic companion to FML, which my friends and i spent hours perusing circa 2010 on someone’s first gen iPod touch: My Life is Average. the original site is only available via the Wayback Machine, but its spirit lives on through this Tumblr blog, which is fitting. i’m sure most of its original user base consisted of early Tumblrites, anyway.
a stroll after class
by artsy_vii on itch.io, a stroll after class is a cozy ten-minute play with GameBoy aesthetics that’ll help you slow down after a day that hasn’t let you take a breath. it’s very literally the moment after class on a Friday afternoon when you have hours ahead to enjoy the nice weather or go somewhere soft with a book.
thank you for joining me. until next time.