satellite cult 26.26
planes, dead.castor, castle generator, useless game
welcome to this week’s satellite cult dispatch. i’m so glad you’re here. i hope the artifacts i present you with will slowly osmose through your skin until they permanently alter your body’s chemical make up. it’ll be fun when you’re more titanium and sulphur than human. just be careful around an open flame.
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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HI THIS IS RITA! [EP]
on Bandcamp, ritaaadesu describes themselves as a virtual music producer and uses a (probably AI generated1) anime girl as a likeness, though on SoundCloud goes by the full name Rita Mordio. this could be the producer's real name, but it’s probably in honor of Rita Morido from Tales of Vespira.
the EP itself is hexd future funk, borrowing of course from city pop, funk, and R&B, and also incorporating some vaportrap. but what really interested me about this release was less the music (though certainly cool), but the presence of both persona and anonymity; in the past, remaining anonymous online was more common than not, but over the last decade that’s shifted dramatically. now people who choose to hide their real identities are novelties, and face reveals, like Dream’s last year, draw tens of millions of views depending on the person.
we’ve learned more and more over time about how online platforms collect and use our data, but also how people have come to interact on the net in the face of unprecedented access to personal information about one another. for example, someone else can figure out where you live based on a photo taken on your street and uploaded to a public Instagram profile, and we know that happens—obsessives on internet gossip forums like Kiwi Farms do it all the time.
people are concerningly willing to engage in the surveillance and policing of their peers (not just on traditional social media—apps like Citizen literally encourage civilians to become cops), but even beyond the threats of scrutiny, ridicule, and online harassment, i can’t help thinking about a friend who was doxxed by an anti-trans hate group for the crime of being a trans person who works at an organization that helps trans youth—his socials were all private, but once his name, phone number, and place of work were leaked, that was all it took for people to figure out how to contact members of his family.
it’s honestly refreshing to see people reconsider the value of online privacy, be it intentionally or not. at least once a day, i think about removing my face and name from the internet as permanently as is possible. in the future, personal privacy online will likely become more important than ever—we’re going to need to get creative about how we hide information from corporations, but also, unfortunately, from each other.
the first track on this album evokes one of my favorite things to remember through music: sitting at a clunky desktop, letting its bright, sparkling start-up sound overwhelm my senses as a progress bar chugs gradually across the center of a glowing screen. this release by 秋 plunders from ambient game soundtracks with a mallsoft ethos, at times leaning into utopian virtual, producing something that feels sweeping and epic. it’s hard to describe exactly why—maybe because of the bitcrushing—but Planes gives the impression of a Frutiger Aero blog where aesthetic posts are interspersed with poetry about using email for the first time, all after being run through an 8-bit filter.
a five track alternative house EP by Puyocake331, Hardware Malfunction has an explicit focus on bitcrushing, but still brings some icy cold breakbeats with a side of vaportrap. the release isn’t tagged sextrance (you can check out my sextrance deep dive in satellite cult 2.2), but when i first heard it, i immediately thought of Landline Collective and Armada Springs. of course, when i read the EP’s description, Puyocake331 cites vertigoaway as inspiration.
【𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥】 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧. 👁️⃤
an hour long mix by ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡ ␡(pronounced delete) on net label WHAT EXPLOSIONS DO TO THE BODY, this release is a pulsing cyberspiritual experience blending elements of deconstructed club music with cybergoth, surge, and a heavy dose of Y2K aesthetic. this is web music in the sense that it’s released on a net label, but the mix’s description states that the artist doesn't have any social media—in addition to anonymity, it’s increasingly common in my experience for producers and musicians to reject online social spaces, at least in connection with their creative personas.
a 10-track album by Maryland-based artist dead.castor, internal.labrynth(__zone.8) utilizes slow, distorted, autotuned vocals and bitcrushing, combining lofi cloud rap with digicore aesthetics and production. the result is dreamy and ethereal.
to break in a pretty way
princess imitation’s to break in a pretty way is a raw, harsh, horrorcore EP, with dialogue in the first track excepted from To be Devoured by horror writer and poet Sara Tantlinger.
it’s a glitchy, dark, and distorted journey, a glimpse into what really happens when you reach the end of the backrooms.
speaking of 8-bit, i found this odd little browser game by Ac1D_Fr0G_420 on itch.io. there are no directions, but the controls aren’t difficult to figure out. it’s a five-minute play, and your only objective is moving through the rooms.
thank you for joining me. until next time.