satellite cult 27.27
%%%String Theoreticals, Ω．ｈｙｐｅｒｏｂｊｅｃｔ, archive projects
welcome to this week’s satellite cult dispatch. i’m so glad you’re here. i hope the artifacts i present you with will remind you that you’re nothing more than a computer built from flesh and blood. the human hardware updates keep getting better, but an OS update hasn’t dropped in centuries. maybe someone should get on that.
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.
i write and research satellite cult each week because i love it, and it’s important to me that it remains free to read and subscribe. but if you want to give altar offerings for the time and labor i invest, you can support me on Ko-fi.
if you enjoy what you find here, like, share, and consider subscribing to satellite cult.
E U P H O R I C (ep)
like the moment you step outside just after the rain ceases, this EP by The: [E U P H O R I C] 実存 delivers dreamy, ambient vaporsynth with depth. moments in E U P H O R I C (ep) allude to the unknown, enrapturing the listener with wonder and discovery.
there is so much beauty in VHS audio distortion. if you’ve ever watched a 30 year old VHS recording of live television, you’re certainly familiar with the undulating pitches caused by VHS decay.
the first track of this album by Shades & Kerchief replicates and exaggerates the audio distortion produced by decaying VHS tapes, suspending the listener in its anachronism. the album itself has all the hallmarks of signalwave, but instead of replicating the feeling of watching live television, it evokes digging into a box of old tapes, not knowing what’s on them, hoping to find a hidden gem once you pop them one by one into your VCR.
hae88 - todayy
hae88’s hae - todayy is a vaporhexd hip-hop single featuring some bonus tracks and a sweet intro and outro reminiscent of classic phone call hold music.
the song itself, “todayyy,” is a rush of strategic autotune and distortion, trap beats and digital artifacts. it’s atmospheric and sparkly, but through VHS fuzz. the track also has a fitting music video to accompany it.
%%%String Theoreticals: Temple Mystics Under Serviance of Gillromerk the Highest
it wouldn’t be satellite cult if we didn’t cover a cult once in a while. in this case it’s a fictional cult, conceptualized on this droning vaporglitch release by Skull Arcade LTD through No Curfew Kids. it plunders very intentionally using binaural beats, and it’s really unlike any album i’ve heard before. this release isn’t for the feint of heart, but if you’re as brave as you think, i can’t recommend it enough.
dystopian virtual (as opposed to utopian virtual) is a fascinating genre tag. the “utopian” in utopian virtual was never meant to represent a real utopia, but the facade of one. utopian virtual actually represents techno-fascist dystopia through the lens of clean minimalism and corporate control.
dystopian virtual is, of course, established. darker, foggier, and grittier than utopian virtual, it is somehow less sinister than its counterpart. though ultimately, they both express the same grim warnings for the future.
but MISERY by y o u r d i s c o v e r y combines utopian virtual with barber beats and slushwave, producing something melancholy but still steeped in the sounds of optimism that sweep utopian virtual vaporwave.
archive.zip (archival / compilation album)
Ｍｉａｍｉ Ｍａｍｉ 愛してます presents 63 tracks of vapor stylized as a program that exists only for archival purposes, warning of the dangers of operating it: “this is no longer being updated. use at your own risk.”
the music ranges from mallsoft to slushwave, and though most tracks are longer than typical signalwave releases, it seems to have a similar ethos—it feels like engaging in snippets of something, one after the other, even if you don’t quite know what it is.
this album by LVNΔR≜PYRΔMIDS, released on Glasgow-based net label vaporgaze, dares the listener to examine their senses cannot comprehend and posits the human brain (rightfully) as nothing more than a biocomputer. we aren’t gods, even though we pretend to be. there will always be things about the world that we will never understand.
the period of time that spanned between late web1 and early web2 was simultaneously a time of centralized and decentralized internet and computing—the browser wars, the dominance of Windows, and the dot com boom all pointed to an industry controlled by investors and companies, but when it came to the ways people connected to one another, there weren’t just three corporations controlling all the platforms that enabled social experiences on the web.
a frequently voiced complaint about the internet today is that there’s nowhere to go online. there used to be a forum or a fansite for everything. of course, there still are places like that if you know where to look, and corporate-owned social media is full of groups and chats for people who share common interests, but it all lacks the charm and DIY ethos of an individual website dedicated to an online community that feels so niche that it’s almost impossible for it to exist.
via The Wayback Machine and Tumblr, i’d like to introduce you to Codpiece International, a retro website and community advocating for the return of the codpiece as a staple of masculine fashion. on its “What is the Bring Back the Codpiece Campaign” page, it asks:
“Why should women have all the fun with clothing that exaggerates their body form? Why should not men be allowed some way of re-defining their body form? Why is it that throughout history it has been women who have been subjected to all sorts of tortuous undergarments that have pushed, pulled, padded, flattened them into the social ideal of female body shape? Isn't it about time that men have something more significant to think about than which tie to select in the morning?”
the site was last modified in 1996, and it’s the sort of internet curiosity that could only have existed in its time. at some point it must have changed domains, because there is still a version of this site up, hosted at www.codpiece.org.
if you’re interested in archiving the web, you should check out the Archive Team Wiki. a loose collective of volunteers and enthusiasts, Archive Team is one of the driving forces behind internet archival efforts. the wiki is a great place to start if you’re curious about the status of internet archiving projects. there are even ways to get involved that require little time and effort on your part, and resources for ensuring that you’re in control of backing up and archiving your own contributions to the World Wide Web.
thank you for joining me. until next time.