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Written by @ryanruppe

DUNE F∀NGS - CH∀RTS

DUNE F∀NGS - CH∀RTS

This album is pretty old by internet standards—nearly two and a half years. It’s in sort of a weird spot when it comes to genres ending in -wave. The sounds are very analog synthesizer-sounding, so you could easily call it synthwave and be done with it, but there’s the vestigial pop and Boards of Canada elements of chillwave drifting in the background, and the growing devotion to new age/ambient that characterizes today’s vaporwave keeps poking up through the pleasantly heavy beats. It’s no surprise that Alfred English (as the person behind DUNE F∀NGS is now known) is making beats for rappers and talking about his love of A.G. Cook and PC Music. Still, this album is more than just a genre exercise or archeological artifact; several of the songs are perfect summer driving music.

easyFun - easyFun EP

easyFun - easyFun EP

I almost want to just post this EP without any context, just say “here is music that you should listen to” and leave it at that. The context is so juicy, though, that I can’t in good conscience do that. Have you heard about vaporwave? It’s a genre that I’ve been writing about for a good while now, while never calling it that. It’s what chillwave slowly disintegrated into when people got into chiptune and glitch and anti-dubstep and Tangerine Dream and grainy youtube uploads of old VHS tapes of educational specials about “The Internet”. The label that’s killing it more than anyone else is PCMusic, and easyFun is a great exemplar of the genre.

The music harkens back to feelings, more than anything. It’s pure 90s techno-utopian nostalgia that’s been partially digested and then regurgitated for your enjoyment. The sounds could be sampled from Playstation 1 games or low-budget fantasy movies or edu-tainment films or softcore porn tapes or new employee training videos. Or they could be all original. But like trying to sleep after caffeine-fueled late night channel surfing (from that world before netflix and DVRs), these noises slowly coalesce into a new and uneasy whole after you pump them into your ears. It’s a weird sort of new nostalgia.

Kosumo Notto - minigame

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Kosumo Notto - minigame

This album is only five minutes long, but it’s easily going to be the most laid-back five minutes of your day. Alternatively, this album + shuffle and repeat is an hour of pure relaxation. Kosumo Notto specializes in what he calls “save-point music” or music meant to evoke that point in a video game where you can take a breath and bank your progress. This is music as a refuge, as a space to reset yourself during a hectic time. It’s super effective!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Produce Vol. 1

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Produce Vol. 1

Like Small Black and POP ETC before them, synth pop/chillwave/Ariel Pink disciples Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have done a hip-hop style mixtape featuring their nostalgic bubbling electronic pop. When I say “hip-hop style”, I mean a seamless album featuring a number of guests and including covers and blatant samples (including a mash up of Biggie and the Beach Boys called, imaginatively, Beach Boys Biggie). 

I love this kind of thing. I am only very superficially a rap fan, listening to mostly pop-rap and whatever El-P puts out (can you believe that I haven’t covered Run the Jewels here yet???). So something that’s mostly hazy, beat-heavy pop with the occasional fun party verse over the top is directly down my alley. And it’s obviously down the alley of a lot of internet music fans, as these things keep happening and we keep downloading them. I’m not sure entirely how I feel about being directly targeted like this, but I know I like the result.

This is the kind of convergence that that internet has always promised; it’s like Afrika Bambaataa sampling Kraftwerk in reverse and in real time. The only problem with this kind of convergence here in the twenty-first century is that it’s so constant as to be pedestrian and pandering to a certain, grandularized target demographic. I’d complain more of the music wasn’t so darn good.

In honor of next month’s 25th anniversary of their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul are making their entire catalog available for free download for 25 hours on the group’s website. The download bonanza will begin on Friday, February 14th at 11 a.m. EST until Saturday at noon.

Holy shit. (via graemem)

Happy Valentine’s Day to us all.

(via bigredrobot)

pastelghost:

DARK BEACH EP OUT NOW ♡ FREE DOWNLOAD ♡

I’ve forced my kids the listen to this album at least a dozen times now. My two-year-old son tells me “Look! I’m dancing!” when we listen, and his sister, a kindergartener asks “Is this scary music?” after I tell her that we’re listening to Pastel Ghost.
I think the intersection there is the perfect place for Pastel Ghost to reside: it’s a little spooky and a little pixelated but mostly just magic dance/dream pop for the Internet generation. One part sand anime soundtrack and one part overclocked remix, Dark Beach is like the low-res fansub version of what chillwave should have been. We love it.

pastelghost:

DARK BEACH EP OUT NOW  FREE DOWNLOAD 

I’ve forced my kids the listen to this album at least a dozen times now. My two-year-old son tells me “Look! I’m dancing!” when we listen, and his sister, a kindergartener asks “Is this scary music?” after I tell her that we’re listening to Pastel Ghost.

I think the intersection there is the perfect place for Pastel Ghost to reside: it’s a little spooky and a little pixelated but mostly just magic dance/dream pop for the Internet generation. One part sand anime soundtrack and one part overclocked remix, Dark Beach is like the low-res fansub version of what chillwave should have been. We love it.

Johan Agebjorn//Sally Shapiro - Sweetened
The two collaborators behind the sublime Sally Shapiro disco pop songs have released a collection of remixes spanning the last six years. It’s, like the Sally Shapiro songs, a group of quietly perfect space disco tracks. Remixed artists include Lindstrøm, Glass Candy and quite a few groups that I am not familiar with, but would like to get to know. If you were looking for a soundtrack to this very late summer weekend, well, here you go.

Johan Agebjorn//Sally Shapiro - Sweetened

The two collaborators behind the sublime Sally Shapiro disco pop songs have released a collection of remixes spanning the last six years. It’s, like the Sally Shapiro songs, a group of quietly perfect space disco tracks. Remixed artists include Lindstrøm, Glass Candy and quite a few groups that I am not familiar with, but would like to get to know. If you were looking for a soundtrack to this very late summer weekend, well, here you go.

Mr. Oizo - Amicalement
In the late 1990s, Mr. Oizo became somewhat of a sensation with a minimal track called Flat Beat which laid some of the foundations of electro house. Despite migrating from analog synthesizers to a Mac and moving away from puppet-based videos, Oizo has never lost that funk instinct, as the four tracks on this ep can testify. Featuring a tweaky, buzzy starter track, a dancefloor killer featuring cut-up spoken vocals by Marilyn Manson (I’m as baffled as you are), a weirdo digital waltz and a disco-sample beat that just won’t stop, this free release has far more funk than one would typically expect in 9.5 minutes.
[[to download this ep, go to www.oizo3000.com and click on the computer screen. Click again when it loads and the page should inform you that Mr. Oizo’s new EP is available for download]]

Mr. Oizo - Amicalement

In the late 1990s, Mr. Oizo became somewhat of a sensation with a minimal track called Flat Beat which laid some of the foundations of electro house. Despite migrating from analog synthesizers to a Mac and moving away from puppet-based videos, Oizo has never lost that funk instinct, as the four tracks on this ep can testify. Featuring a tweaky, buzzy starter track, a dancefloor killer featuring cut-up spoken vocals by Marilyn Manson (I’m as baffled as you are), a weirdo digital waltz and a disco-sample beat that just won’t stop, this free release has far more funk than one would typically expect in 9.5 minutes.

[[to download this ep, go to www.oizo3000.com and click on the computer screen. Click again when it loads and the page should inform you that Mr. Oizo’s new EP is available for download]]

Sweet Valley - SV
The Williams brothers (aka Wavves and Kynan) tossed out another of their ongoing beat tapes a few months ago. Like their other ones, it’s irreverent and a bit scattershot with unexpectedly solid beats. This one, however, is far darker than the previous entries in the series. Things get heartfelt in a JRPG remix way with Sweet Valley’s remix of Quicksand by Secret Colors, then things move off into a darker realm. SV becomes the music Burial would have made if he’d grown up on the beach in sunny Southern California with a Super Nintendo instead of a ZX Spectrum: dark, distorted but still candy-colored with some lingering palm trees. 
<a href=”http://sweetvalley.bandcamp.com/album/sv” data-mce-href=”http://sweetvalley.bandcamp.com/album/sv”>SV by Sweet Valley</a>

Sweet Valley - SV

The Williams brothers (aka Wavves and Kynan) tossed out another of their ongoing beat tapes a few months ago. Like their other ones, it’s irreverent and a bit scattershot with unexpectedly solid beats. This one, however, is far darker than the previous entries in the series. Things get heartfelt in a JRPG remix way with Sweet Valley’s remix of Quicksand by Secret Colors, then things move off into a darker realm. SV becomes the music Burial would have made if he’d grown up on the beach in sunny Southern California with a Super Nintendo instead of a ZX Spectrum: dark, distorted but still candy-colored with some lingering palm trees. 

Friendzone - Poly/8AM
Combining equal measures of noise, warm emotional ambience, pitched-up samples, massive bass and over-the-top snap beats, Friendzone has discovered the exact formula into my heart with this freely-available single for their upcoming album. It’s easy to be cynical about yet another group of white guys on the internet making beats, but Friendzone keeps pummeling my soul with their tracks and it keeps demanding more. I haven’t had such an emotional connection to something that makes my C-RV rattle this much in a very long time, and I can’t wait for more.

Friendzone - Poly/8AM

Combining equal measures of noise, warm emotional ambience, pitched-up samples, massive bass and over-the-top snap beats, Friendzone has discovered the exact formula into my heart with this freely-available single for their upcoming album. It’s easy to be cynical about yet another group of white guys on the internet making beats, but Friendzone keeps pummeling my soul with their tracks and it keeps demanding more. I haven’t had such an emotional connection to something that makes my C-RV rattle this much in a very long time, and I can’t wait for more.