Virtual- 420 - 240p

It seems that while the musical stylings of vaporwave are now largely exhausted (because, let’s face it, how long can you make patchworks of spliced and slowed down 80’s pop?), the visual weirdness connected to that micro-genre are still very much alive and kicking. In fact, it seems that other genres are catching up with the vaporwave game, and the fractured hip hop of Virtual- 420 are a fine example of the initially satirical and plunderphonic stylical signifiers to create a laid back, almost psychedelic atmosphere. “these hands” combine Madlib-like beat with screams and something that in general sounds like domestic abuse. The title of the album, 240p refers to one of the lowest available resolutions on YouTube and it resonates the slight nostalgia of the time when it was the default resolution, as well as a twisting of the cannabis enthustiast cult number 420, used in the project’s name. Of course, there would be no cool rap without some slowed down samples and smeared r’n’b ooze, so there are some mutual tropes between the worlds of luxury rap and faux-luxury vaporwave. Interesting curio, check it out.

Virtual- 420 - 240p

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Inner Sound - Winter Batch

Cleverly disguised in old-school packaging that might lead one to believe that it’s quite an old gem laid with a slight slime of time, in this case: being haunted by a vinyl ghost that ocasionally will warp the recording, leading it into some quite unexpected ways. This is a collection of whooping, funky beats that get warmer and sweatier with each track, to blend into a clubby atmosphere that will eventually warm melt everything in the nearest distance, including the snow amassed at the cover. Just place the record sleeve near the turntable. Can it be possible that the hottest beats this winter are from Brooklyn, not from Los Angeles? I dunno. Inner Sound’s sounding pretty hot so far. Recommended!

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Choongum - Pure Spirit

The super-eclectic and confident stuff by the Bay Area based screen-gazer Choongum can be easily considered post-vaporwave in the sence of still using rather sterile, corporate muzak, but in a way more club-friendly way, now, investing instead of new age and ambient music structures into the more beat-based genres of popular music, like IDM, hip-hop or club music. In this aspect Choongum sounds a bit like Fatima Al Qaidri, although more laid back and less radical, except with some more bouncing moments. Last.fm describes him as “glo hop”, which sounds like a more ghettoized version of “glo-fi”, popular around 4-5 years ago (that’s some serious Internet archeology, yo). That description is very apt, by the way. Check him out, get spaced out a little in your Internet-powered perfect office environment. Smoke da blunt while the boss isn’t lookig. Go on. I dare you.

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Howie Wonder - Within

Now here’s something for the more beat-research oriented crowd who might be looking for some phat, blazed samples with hot production that isn’t afraid to break the mold by skipping a beat or two here and there. From the wonderfully named PDX label Purr Tapes comes a 30 minute cassette from Howie Wonder with crisp, cosmic beats FlyLo would be proud of. I kinda slept on this one, as the cassette is already sold out, but I’ll try to make up by embedding the stream you can listen to while lighting up your next bowl.

4 notes
Flower Petal Downpour - FDP EP

Stoned (again!), sticky beats with great dub bliss underneath from the Portland based hip-hop producer Gavin McFarlane under the moniker Flower Petal Downpour. Even though the name and the album cover might bring to mind calm hippie folk imagery to mind, Gavin is dealing with something much more modern here - which isn’t free of some influences from the forefathers of psychedelia. Great album to chill out to and a must-have for all fans of totally slowed down, smokey beats.

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LooseScrewz - 20,000 Years From Tomorrow

Fat fuckin’ stoned beats from Outer Space with a seriously atmospheric, slowed down and ambiental atmosphere somewhat akin to the Brainfeeder catalog and the work of FlyLo himself. Perfect for the bike or walking trips during the clear, pure and crisp cold winter day, like today (at my place anyway). Also, great use of vintage samples and some glitchy weirdness. Highly (wink wink) recommended!

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