RIYL: S U R V I V E, drone

Label: Usonian

Today begins Black Friday! In this case though, it’s more like Black Weekend ending with Cyber Monday. Vapor Lanes’ Hieratic Teen is the perfect record to capture the underlying mood of this consumerist affair. Good old drone meets indulgent 80s kitsch on this. The immense range of sounds this record contains demands headphones or a solid stereo set-up and it’ll set that Thanksgiving hangover straight – whether you just feel awful from too much liquor or you just feel immense shame from the caloric atomic bomb you took on. The record goes from this lurching, somewhat lackadaisical fuzzy synthesizer to the abstract nuances of drone and dark ambient soon after this. It gets stranger and stranger with each track. The closer, “Locating,” feels fit for something Holly Herndon would’ve made or an alternative closer to Kode9’s Nothing. Listen to Hieratic Teen below via the Bandcamp player and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

To our ears, "Hieratic Teen" sounds something like the record you'd get if you locked someone in a boiler room for 10 years with only My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" to listen to, then let them out, gave them an assortment of synthesizers, and told them to score "Logan's Run". But far from being a purely aesthetic exercise, within the fuzzy, sonic beauty of the record's half-broken, warbling synth melodies, distortions, hissing, and undulating, analog depths; an unmistakable human feeling is being communicated. And it keeps pulling us back in.

[Vapor Lanes is A. Karuna. Originally from Chicago, he now calls Oakland home. Though a trained percussionist, he ultimately became drawn towards drones and other beat-less experiments; perhaps a byproduct of the religious drones he heard in Hindu temples growing up. In his solo work Karuna's formal background resurfaces in a preoccupation with phantom rhythms and unexpected patterns emerging from chaos. His music aspires to equal parts wordless terror and nameless ecstasy, teasing imperfection out of any electronics he can get his hands on—analog, digital, modular or software. After years of holding down drumming and electronics duties in a 9-piece post-rock band and other collaborative projects, Karuna now lives his musical life as a hermit. In addition to his own musical pursuits, he also co-runs Vaporcake, a netlabel focused on bringing extremely limited releases to a digital world where endless supply is the norm.]
credits
released October 11, 2016

A. Karuna: Elektron Analog Four, Moog Voyager XL, Dave Smith Poly Evolver, Teenage Engineering OP-1, Ableton Live, misc. household items

Price $15

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