EVOLVE Magazine Issue 3 - January 2022

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art / music / culture / philosophy / chaos


The dreampunk titan speaks out




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WRITING / features


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IN THE LAST MONTH... Bandcamp glitches out once again. A user on the website accidentally spent 400 Euros on shipping costs for 猫 シ Corp.’s “B l u e D r e a m” album on Cityman Productions.

No Problema Tapes and Hollow Point One are joining forces on their new sub-label, titled The Vault, to distribute CDs and other physicals.

Dream Catalogue shut down (again). with Lucid saying that this is truly the end. Will he stick to his word, or will we see more releases out of Dream Catalogue in 2022?

In only the most recent robot attack, Amazon’s Alexa recommended a 10 year old to put a penny into a light socket. The deadly challenge which the device was mimicking started on TikTok (of course). Alexa, can you add burn cream and bandages to my shopping list?

LATEST RELEASES Speaking of The Vault, LILLITH Twin’s masterpiece, Amour, is available on CD there for a limited time.

No Problema Tapes announced a vinyl run for Sangam’s Soulless Other, an ambient classic full of features.

Legendary dreampunk artist Remember has his new record, “Sub”, out now on Forgot Imprint.


Sarco’s “Exit” capsule is only the latest in assisted suicide technology to be legalized in Switzerland. Just be sure not to confuse the pod for a tanning bed, or you’ll be in for a nasty surprise!

HKE Choonz




Who (or what) is Mutilomaquia? Thoughts, fragments of dreams and nightmares, and a lot of stolen shit that I kidnapped and stressed out to the point that I could lie about it and present it as some “original” work that will be forgotten in a corner like an old amateur painting made by a terrified and confused kid. The name of it was a love letter to the paintings of Francis Bacon, but the meaning of the project is in constant change. I only understand one half of this project, the other half only exists in the listener’s mind.

With the COVID era, we all shared the same pain, we bonded through torture, we became inmates, but instead of wearing shackles and numbers on our backs we have usernames and links where we put all our hopes and dreams. How deep does the rabbit hole go with your Sinister Vanilla label, clues and numerous aliases? That hole was opened with the intention of submerging into different dream realms acting as different versions of myself, but oblivion twisted it into some harmless gallery of jokes. Art and music are pretty vanilla but a lot of art pieces hold really dark stories, there are things that are better to ignore and let them sleep in a dark hole. Maybe one day I will share that hole with other people that are ready to give up and have some fun, that’s how an anal cavity should work, but for now is my personal shithole.


Who has inspired you? Both musically and non-musically? The paintings of Francis Bacon, to be specific “Oedipus and the Sphinx after Ingres,” I’ve spent an obscene amount of time contemplating that painting. Musically it is hard to say because I find inspiration every day in the pain/works of other artists around small scenes, at times I even steal some of their dreams.

How do you view the modern world? Spinning faster and far from ending. With the covid era, we all shared the same pain, we bonded through torture, we became inmates, but instead of wearing shackles and numbers on our backs we have usernames and links where we put all our hopes and dreams. A weird era to be a human, but also the perfect era to become a slave.

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS What event in your life terrified you the most? More than a specific event, I am terrified reading everyone’s opinion on twitter, it’s like hanging in a world wide urinal.

If you could change the past or fix one thing, what would it be? Not really interested in changing the past, if I had the power to fix something I probably would choose to burn everything around. I want to witness an epic ending.

What question do you wish people asked you? No idea, but whatever the question is I will answer with a lie.




One of the originators and leaders of the Dreampunk scene, Wuso details what the latest is for himself, and the world


You recently had your first vinyl come out, with your ‘You’ll Be Okay, I Promise’ drop gracing 180 grams on Pure Life Tapes, who were featured earlier in the magazine. What’s your experience been like, working with them, as well as getting the vinyl made? Pure Life has historically been one of the best labels I’ve been able to work with. One of the aspects of music they’ve always been able to get right is recognizing what is particularly good about a project and being able to emphasize that in the branding of the release. For example, when it came to the release of ‘You’ll Be Okay, I Promise’ they were able to bring out a lot of the spaciness that can be found on the record, specifically through the music video made by r3n (who’s a genius by the way). I think it’s rare to find a label that can fully invest into an artist for a specific release and can find a middle ground in terms of vision and branding. A lot of labels even outside of our scene will try to conform projects more to what the label has in mind rather than supporting the artists vision. In some ways this can be cool, and really helps build an aesthetic for a label, but in other ways I feel like the artist gets lost and just becomes another name in a sea of names. Getting into the vinyl was obviously a huge challenge as many know with the current vinyl market. Without getting into too many deals I’ll say that I was one of the luckier ones in that we were able to get our order in early enough so that we can get it in a decent time frame. With that came a bit of risk however as with all vinyl releases. But overall I’m really happy with how it turned out and as my first solo vinyl I couldn’t be happier.


A lot of people these days feel that Dreampunk is transitioning - out of the old, and into the new. How do you feel about this transition, and whereabouts are you with it? I think it’s pretty apparent that from a stylistic standpoint we’re transitioning into something fresher. While the overall aesthetic of the genre might not be as clear cut as it used to be back in 2015 when the 2814 and Dream Catalogue brands were so prominent and influential, I think we’re getting a lot of projects that bring in elements from other genres and as such are really transforming dreampunk into a place that’s unique. You only need to look at the labels and the artists they’re housing for examples of this. Both Cryosauna and Ex Aquis have had incredible breakout years and only continue to grow. Meanwhile you have Kagami Smile and Sangam holding it down and perfecting what they do best. You also have newcomers that are bringing in influences from other parts of the world like guys on the No Problema Tapes and Vill4in rosters. Where I fit in is somewhere in the middle I think. When I started in the scene I was making very traditional dreampunk style music with a bit more rhythm and edm influences involved. Now I’ve transitioned into a cinematic style with clear ebbs and flows for a narrative experience, with my most recent work implementing more post rock influences for a more organic feel. I want to continue in this way and hope people like it.

Would you ever upload conscience to the Metaverse?


One of my favourite games that came out in recent times was Observer (cyberpunk game with Rutger Hauer in it, kinda cool). In that game there was an extremely deadly disease that was called the Nanophage. Essentially it was an illness that affected cybernetically augmented people and was caused by a fatal flaw in programming in the nanomachines that were used in augmentations. It could be transmitted wirelessly and had drastic effects on the user. The point of this is that humans aren’t perfect. Think of how broken AAA games are on release yet we still play them despite them being broken code. Now try thinking of how you would perceive these glitches in the system if your brain was directly interfaced with that code. It would probably do terrible things to you right? Maybe cause hallucinations? Well that’s basically why I would avoid uploading my conscience to the Metaverse. Humans aren’t perfect, and while life may suck, if something goes wrong at least I can understand it going wrong. In the Metaverse, if something goes wrong in the code, that would be something I probably couldn’t understand and affect my consciousness in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

Do you think that AI will ever gain sentience, and, if so, what implications does that have for us as a species? AI getting sentience is inevitable at some point. I feel it’s just at the rate that we’re going as a civilization. And while I think it can be a great hazard to us, it can also be a great benefit. There is definitely the trend that (and arguably rightfully so) that it should just be considered a hazard. But I feel that’s only if you tunnel vision on pieces of media like I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream and the Terminator series. While I feel like the way our culture is headed if we have sentient AI you bet that we’re going to have AI OnlyFans and aspects to feed our hedonism. Actually honestly I rarely see the benefit to be honest. Maybe if we look at some of the cool AI like Roland from Halo or Sam from Her we can learn to implement the true companion AIs. Will it last forever? Probably not. All I know is I hope I won’t be around for when all this goes down.


most recent work implements more post rock influences for a more organic feel. I want to continue in this way and hope people like it. ” 19

Don’t Forget Me, by w u s o 命 Out now on CD Dream Catalogue

You’ll Be Okay, I Promise, by w u s o 命 Out now on vinyl Pure Life


What’s in the future of Dreampunk as a genre? Does it correlate to the kind of hypermadness we see in the world around us? I feel that the future of the dreampunk genre is something that’s on everyone’s mind. How can we grow it? How can we get more people involved with the community? How can we further evolve the aesthetics both visually and musically? How can we compete with other niche genres out there? These are questions that I feel if we want to really solve them, we need to be more forward thinking about the future. What is happening in other genres that is allowing them to blow up so much? How do we better reach an audience at the core emotional level in a way that resonated so much with people in the past. There’s an idea that it’s impossible to take anything seriously anymore, it’s not cool. But I feel that’s not true, we just need to break people out of the monotony of regular meme filled lives that’s been so penetrated by small doses of dopamine from Instagram and TikTok. Is this something we experiment with? I don’t know. Maybe we’re too old. I think in the past we were able to audiences that could relate with what we ourselves were feeling. But now? We’re in this hypermadness/hyperoversaturation that forces people to look out for that quick hit. Can we take anything seriously anymore?

“There’s an idea that it’s impossible to take anything seriously anymore, it’s not cool. But I feel that’s not true, we just need to break people out of the monotony of regular meme filled lives that’s been so penetrated by small doses of dopamine from Instagram and TikTok.” And that about you, what’s your future with projects? Well my life has been in flux. I have a few projects that have been on the table that I’ve been getting to time after time, and I have an album that is unreleased that’s looking like it’ll allow me to branch out and bring in more organic influences into our scene. We’ll see what happens, but overall I like the direction I’m going. I’ve taken more of a back seat to watch people grow and work on things in my own time, and now that I have that time it’s allowed me to reflect and start to ideate on things I want to get going when the pandemic is over.


A Blurred Line, by LVJ DFG I’m not dreaming but there’s an addictive scent, some kind of fragrance that seems to belong to me. It’s surely just my own cheap deodorant imprinted to my body and bed, detected at an intensity that accentuates one set of chemicals over the rest, smelling nothing like the whole. I’m calm, drawn in to my own pheromones. A faint mental image of some randomly-generated, fictional lover appeared close to my face as I turned just now, beginning a new cycle of attempted sleep. It’s some kind of comforting. Today in lecture I helped a classmate out with understanding hyperbolic trig functions. Leaning in close to her, both of us wrapped in layers of coats and sweaters, while gesturing with my hands over undersized fold-up desks that press your notebooks a little bit too close to your chest, speaking lowly under the professor, I felt the moment become inadvertently intimate, like I had to apologize to her friends for getting too close. This night and last, as soon as I look away from a screen and close my eyes, I’ll see these random cartoon images. Last night I finished the EVA remakes, so the characters in my mind’s eye were anguished and tortured. Thankfully the visions tonight have been happily at peace. I like to record experiences like this, really just to preserve beautiful thoughts I suppose. They happen so seldom I could easily forget having had them at all. But in taking the time to get out of bed, fetch my computer, and record this into a screen, I’ve forgone the pleasure, at least temporarily. And it’s not to say I crave these mental conjurings in any sort of desperate sense, rather I just find them pleasant, and they remind me of the romantic variety of love. It’s so late, I need sleep to function tomorrow, and I feel just enough tiredness coming on to snowball it into slumber. I’ll leave you now with the only 2-way exchange I’ve had with one of these figures, this from a few years back.

As I began to wake, embraced by dreams, I asked her, “Is this reality?” - She responded “Yes”, but my mind was beginning to orient itself. Something changed, I couldn’t tell anymore. I asked again: “Is this reality?” ... ... ... “Yes.” Another mental shift, again some change in orientation. “But you were wrong again. Now, is this really reality?” Vividly I felt her cheek brush past mine, leaning closer to my left ear. “Does it matter?”


Future_MindBirth_Protocol-03_By-Hydra Void_2.jpg

Sangam Fea r O f Fa l l i ng


██████ the ██████ top ████ 40 ████████████ albums █████ of ███████ 2021 It’s been one hell of a ride, but we find ourselves here at the end of yet another year. To look back, we have spent the past few weeks assembling an end of year list of the Top 40 albums. The Top 40 has been voted on with hundreds of votes from the Dreampunk scene, from artists, to label heads and all our monthly subscribers. Which albums wowed the world this year? We found out.




ホテル SHAMPOO, OSCOB, B_S_C_O, AND 送電塔 切断再接続

THE/END Hyperwhatever

“Tremendous sound, love the spoken poetry, although more academic than listenable.” - lvj dfg

39 “During a year of continued stagnation from the vaporwave community, this stood out as a beacon from the dark. Definitely a classic in the making.” - Brennan Snipes LOWXY VOID-005 “Simply massive Dreampunk sound. Rife with solemn emotional landscapes of epic proportion, dripping with melodies and vocal notes that will haunt your rain-soaked dreams.” - OmnilimbO




2815 2 8 1 5 “This is no mere parody. An endearing homage with delicate arpeggios and angelic pads, plus a few tricks of it’s own.” - Samuel Jasper


“Distant and cold. Riding a monorail endlessly over a frozen ocean.” - The Grot



33 解放感 仮想夢プラザ

(Virtual Dream Plaza)

“A surprise power nap that goes down like a cold pilsner on a summer’s afternoon. An ethereal yet undeniably heavy sonic undertow of a track, that raises the happy prospect that there may yet be more sleepy times forthcoming.” - ncxkd Passive Refraction What We’ve Been Through

シティドリーマー 죽음DEATHPOEM

“Newcomer 죽음ᵈᵉᵃᵗʰᵖᵒᵉᵐ keeps the mood nice and mellow. It’s soothing with a heavy emphasis on phasedout drones.” - Delanore Cole


沙漠里的沙子晚上很温暖 FLOOR—122

“Floor 122 has strong 2814 vibes going on in this record, you can tell he’s a fan, if you love 2814 then you’ll love this! ” -Perry Saturn

“What We’ve Been Through gives you a first drive down a new street in your well known city.” - Nathan Laycock


Jude Frankum Sub

“The combination of drum ‘n’ bass and his sound is very good. It has a jungle mood but the temperature is cool and comfortable.” - Eulalie



w u s o命 Painted With Voices


Hard K Nightmare Beyond The Peak

“Out of this world for the scene, weirdly fits perfectly. All out on vocals and I respect that.” - LVJ DFG “Dense reverb and daggering harmonies blend with more acute sounds to net these long-gone scenes and bring them aboard the deck of reality. And beyond all this metacommentary, the bass burns, the synths cut, the pads soar. Beauty is not locked behind context.” -108 Mics

Kagami Smile Memory Of Cornea

28 “Some of the best ambience and atmosphere of the year. The feeling of floating in water, or weightless in zero gravity”

- Brennan Snipes


The Microgram Fading Before You

27 “Captivates with dark atmospheres, rich textures and subtle but complex rhythms.” - Triberg

CMD094 Memories

26 “Post-Soviet, progessive dreampunk bliss. 6 icy vignettes of synth exploration.” -Cryosauna “A prime dreampunk classic” -Dreamshore Tapes


Elegance Of The Damned Good Things Begin In The Quiet



“Amazingly chill. I thought I was blade running. The nicest part? It actually was raining when I finished listening to the music.” - Haircuts For Men

22 “Elegance of the Damned at his unrelenting best, invoking the spirit of techno thrashing it about and making it far more than a bunch of old sell-out hacks and upper class Marxists eating out of the same London shitter it has become” - Fentanyl Embrace



BROKEN_CANYON BROKEN_CANYON “Wonderfully delicate at times, but with moments of intensity, precisely put together. Hoping for more in this vein from BROKEN_ CANYON in the future.” - A_Posthuman


“Feels very much like a sound collage, so layered and textural. The sounds definitely have a psychedelic and maybe even noise inspired vibe. A unique artist with a interesting vision of dreampunk.” - Samuel Gibbs

LIFE2979光 FUTURE: 2979東京 “Time travelled to 2980 to give this one a listen but was unable to find any playback devices (or any other signs of life for that matter)” -Todd Ledford (OESB)




Inertia Eyes Inertia Eyes

“Banger after banger. I just haven’t stopped spinning this record since it dropped.” -Shima33

“At a time where music culture is in danger of becoming a rigid bore that is forever stuck in its ways, Black Banshee has come along this year and hit the internet with a lightning bolt to wake us from our collective coma. The most punk album of the year. The abyss at the end of music.” - Lucid

17 18

CMD094 Heaven

Sangam The Turn

“A blend of cinematic dreampunk and mysterious ambience make this album an experience that must be heard!” - Samuel Gibbs


Black Banshee Black

“CMD094 proves its mastery on the hypnagogic side of Dreampunk. False nostalgia and retrofuturist soundscapes.” - Enzo Arzola


Renjá Pariah’s Tears

Mutilomaquia It’s gone now, but I’m still here

15 “This Album will kick your ass and steal your lunch money. Expertly crafted. It’s like he tore out a portion of his body for us. Holds up in the wider world of music as a masterpiece.” - Ex Aquis

“Pariah’s Tears is stunning and unlike any other dreampunk album out there. While the genre tends to favor doom & gloom, Renjā instead combats darkness and loneliness with a true sense of hope. The merging of ambience, catchy melodies, and chiptune is a surprising choice, evoking a nostalgic sense of daydreams and whimsy.” - Archizer



Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza & SkyTwoHigh Imaginary Pathways


“Undoubtedly one of the most solid and versatile projects of the scene that I have heard, you can easily get lost in this project and listen to it nonstop, definitely a masterpiece.” -Evryn

“Perhaps his most mature and accomplished work under the Hong Kong Express alias, LYF is a somber and reflective album, but one with a strong human heart beat” -Panta Rhei (Pure Life Tapes)



Sangam X Yoshimi 雨 (Rain)

“Familiar ingredients, atmospherically dense and somber in delivery in a way that you can’t help but crown this album one of the absolute highlights of the year. “Wet in the woods” is perhaps the best dreampunk track of 2021, period. Not that it adds anything entirely new to the genre, it’s the perfection of composition and production that leaves you speechless.” -Tripod “The most delicately beautiful album I’ve heard all year. Simply breathtaking.” -Shima33 “What you would expect from such titans of dreampunk. A collision of sound and emotion of truly melancholic proportions” -Jude Frankum


HKE Choonz

“HKE scoffs at the theory that all music is political and ditches profound meaning completely, to focus on creating top notch “choonz”. In perhaps HKE’s slickest album yet, the dark techno riffs and kick drum-centric house rhythms are on full display, take it or leave it.” -Archizer “Raw and hypnotic, like stuck between dream and reality. Lynchiang and raving.” -Jakub



Cryosauna Grid Failure

“A slow, lumbering juggernaught of an album with a heavy dose of atmosphere that, away from his usual skittering garage beats, can really breathe and envelop” -Panta Rhei (Pure Life Tapes)


Mutilomaquia Substandard Figures


AUT2M Psyche Expression

“Existential blame really stands out to me because there’s just something oddly emotional about it. It feels both warm and cold. The collab tracks really stand out to me because the blend of AUT2M’s styles with HKE and Sangam work so well.” -Ian Sarringar

“Its a mammoth album with a 2 hour run time that just doesn’t stop delivering track after track. Its layered and stylish and you have to commit to listen to it which I have done plenty of times this year which really says something considering everything else released this year.” -Double Doom

“A vastly overlooked drop from earlier this year. Definitely one of the stronger drops.” - Fentanyl Embrace


Haircuts For Men A Path

“HFM really evolved his sound on this. It’s as stylish as ever, and soaks you in to its world, but also unexpectedly prog in a cool way. I was happy for it to be one of the last drops under my direction of Dream Catalogue” -Lucid “Sounds like vaporwave except it’s good.” -OSCOB “This album creates a dark world for you to immerse yourself in, and it’s a world I’d like to continue to visit and enjoy.” -Eternal Judge 33



“An album that i had on constant repeat. A tale of lost love. The feelings of anxiety, self doubt and hatred, and worthlessness just pour out.” - Brennan Snipes “More than anything else this year, it pushed Dreampunk into the hypermodern age and opened up a new world of possibility for the genre” - Lucid “Amour challenges the sound of classics such as Of Flame and Love and Ender, but brings something new to the experimental, abstract, and chaotic world of LILLITH Twin. The signature kickrushes return with the sounds of a haunting atmosphere. Amour marks the highest point of the artist’s discography, who is still yet to leave us bored with each new release.” -永遠の悪魔 Eternity Devil

5 “With lush production and a great atmosphere, it’s easily one of the best Dream Catalogue releases to date” - Steven Needell “This is full-immersion Dreampunk, strobing beats and soundscapes that get inside your mind and stay there” - Neoto Freight 34

Eulalie A Day At The Videodrome


Quark Expresso Quark Expresso

“An innovative and brilliantly original departure from the lulled and repetitive trends of our current milieu.” - imok+e/angel lips “This album makes excellent use of rudimentary plucky sounds, but mixes this in with a variety of trickling plinks, cute whistles, bouncy bubble drips, and other funny sounding sound effects. The sonic field is particularly wide, and encourages the listener to play along and follow the notes that are alternating across the stereo spectrum.” - Delanore Cole “Assembling this list I was surprised to see this voted up so highly, yet at the same time I feel like it deserving of nothing but praise. The execution of the mastering is masterful beyond any comparison. International Space Station ambience of the nu age” - Shima33



“Vocals vocals vocals (have I mentioned I like interesting vocals in dreampunk?) of different types keep Lucid To It interesting. Electric guitar in multiple tracks but used with restraint and providing just the right flavor backing. The restraint by HKE is interesting here. An artist known for often letting loose, but look at a track of pure perfection like “If I Hold My Breath” - one of my favorites from this album. At first listen this track is deceptively simple, but listen to what’s going on in the restrained background behind Eulalie’s vocals. A lot of care went into that delicate work, such that it totally enhances Eulalie rather than overpowering. Restraint doesn’t have to equal boring or lack of impact. Overall, this is HKE utilizing his continuing EVOlution and skills in refined ways that result in an album where there are no weak tracks - it’s pure ear candy. I bought the t-shirt !!! Now, does anyone have a translation of those Eulalie lyrics...” - A_Posthuman


Hong Kong Express Lucid To It

“Eulalie with a performance like nothing I’ve ever heard on If I Hold My Breath. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.” -LVJ DFG “Sound of pure soul. Deep, every track is introspective poem. “ -Jakub “I’m a big fan of 90s guitar rock.He blends the sound of the electric guitar with electro. Great work.” - Eulalie “Surreal as far I know. Mood changes and pretty unique in their style. Just Lucid aka HKE or Hong Kong Express knows its music and that’s cool. Lucid To It is by far, one of the best comebacks of one of the truly kings of Dreampunk of all time.” -Enzo Arzola


Ex Aquis Che La Mia Ferita Sia Mortali

“A dreampunk opera: dramatic with unexpected changes. Sureal soundscapes and distant melodic fragments. Cyberpunk madness meets classical instrumentation. The sound magician’s piano lessons pay off.” -Tripod “There is a foreboding sensation to Che La Mia Ferita Sia Mortali. Some songs build up to brilliant displays of feedback. “Burning Down My Las Vegas Penthouse (Rétablissment)” in particular nails this feeling, with its lack of any real release. It has this catchy jingling melody that repeats throughout the song, which is breathing in and out. In and out. In and out. Where are these voices coming from? What is the cawing in the background? It compels you to continue listening—a trait held by most of the track listing.” -Delanore Cole “After embracing this new wound without epidural anesthesia, this excentric newborn became one of my favorite things this year” -Mutilomaquia “His best yet. Fuckin’ brilliant.” -Alex Ramirez 37

“HKE’s collab with Sangam has proven that he can make a album that reaches the heights of Birth Of A New Day and surpass them. An instant classic.” Brennan Snipes “Beyond incredible. Loved it from start to finish” Haircuts For Men “A multifaceted trip where HKE and Sangam walk us through the city showing off some of the year’s dreampunk jewels, crystallized mental-image audio nuggets spanning a spectrum of types & styles that catch the light of what it’s like to be a citizen of the world in 2021.” John Wagner “The master of emotion links with the good of choonz for a slab of washed emotional club.” Fentanyl Embrace “There is a lot going on in this record and I love the direction both producers took with this one. The vocals give me brief glimpses of old Scuba/Burial in a fantastic way. The album sounds like a missed connection with a beautiful stranger. You both realize there was a spark but life’s circumstances got in the way…” The Grot “Beautiful night climate, deeply day-dreaming. Duo like a Burial of 2021.” Jakub “An absolute atmospheric masterpiece” The Microgram “This collaborative project sees them in top shape on a series of tracks which brings out the best in each other.” Hollow Point One “A collaboration between the hero and anti-hero of Dreampunk, Upgrade YOURSLF is a tour de force of rumbling bass, haunting vocal samples and distorted synth imagery. This isn’t genre music, this is music which spawns genres - uncompromising visions of dark cityscapes birthed from a perfect fusion of two prolific artists at the top of their game.” Neoto Freight “A shining beacon of expressive imagery through a dense and mystifying audio soundscape. A favorite journey that never fails to lose its grasp on the imagination.” L. Tracey “Slamming, A+” Nicol


HKE x Sangam Upgrade YOURSLF


OSCOB @drpepperfour

"I just hop online and try to have as much fun as possible. I guess you could call it stream of consciousness."


You were essential in helping the Vaporwave scene grow in the Mid2010’s. Where do you see yourself now within the current 2020’s internet music scene? I don’t really know. I don’t really aspire to be “the best” or “most popular” within vaporwave. The scene has for sure outgrown me like I have outgrown it for the most part. I’m not in the groupchats, I’m not in the Facebook groups, I’m not in the discord servers. I just keep up with it through what I see on Twitter. But that’s fine with me. I don’t need or want to be as “obsessed” with it as I was in the 2010s. I was doing a weekly podcast between running a label and modding r/vaporwave (on top of a full time job). Now I have a wife and a government job and a whole-ass grown man adult life I live outside of the internet and this music shit. I managed to find the time to drop 6 albums throughout 2021. All of which seemed to garner some sort of support and praise. So I guess there is at least some kind of fanbase for me out there. I’m not searching for anything else more than I have. I’m content with who I am and where I am at as far as the the fake internet shit is concerned.

What’s been happening on the music front? I was going through some personal issues for the first half of 2021, issues that have luckily cleared up now, but I turned to music and pumped out 6 albums over the course of about 3 months. I’m spent. I have nothing left in me at the time being. Maybe the next big tragedy is what will push me to make music again haha.

It’s safe to say you have your roots deeply planted in internet culture. What do you make of the current climate? As I stated, I don’t even consider myself all that up to date on this shit. It’s nice to see that experimentation is still encouraged and praised. It’s a bit concerning to see how much people are pressured to avoid the artists that a vocal minority of people consider “bad.” I see people get dogpilled by a bunch of children for saying they like someone’s music. Everything is black and white now. You see either right or wrong, good or bad, with us or against us. No one is willing anymore to hear different opinions. It’s very depressing.

You’re quite the meme machine on Twitter. What would you describe your shitposting style as? I just hop online and try to have as much fun as possible. I guess you could call it stream of consciousness. If I think “going to the poop store lol” is funny in this moment I’ll just tweet it. The tweet will become even funnier to me later if it gets next to no interaction. I’m functionally retarded.

You ever get anxious about the future? Of course. But I’m not gonna talk about that.


DSCF5012.jpg Photography by ncxkd


Dreampunk (4) AI-Generated Artwork by DMTFL-AI


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Nothing & Everything A short story by Roma @romakairos

It was difficult to hate Women with a capital W when she was standing there smiling at me with a capital S as if that mouth had never formed the words Fuck You. She was a thunderstorm in a bookstore. A tent along the edges of a mountain. A sherpa in an ocean of apathy. Like the best women, they are never needed until they visit you for a time and then leave. Then and only then are they needed, until you learn to live with their being gone (again). And then the same process repeats over and over with new and newer women. And suddenly your heart that had never loved or been loved or thought itself capable of love has loved so much and so long and for so many women that it no longer loves fully for one but yearns for all, and you only are sane when you learn to forget about how finite this all is. What did I tell you? A thunderstorm in a bookstore.

I wanted to read Beckett in the park. Instead, I lay awake dreaming of her shoulders and built from that point on her forearms, fingers, chin, cheeks and all the rest of her womanly ways, the ways to her tongue and to her heart. Keep it fun and interesting. How could I? When all I wanted to do was scream out in painful love. I could no longer scream, but still I wanted to. She saw in his eyes that he wanted to scream but could not and he saw her witness this and the scream bellowed out between them an inviolable closeness. He was a man. He made money, provided for himself, killed and hunted, his hands were calloused. He had never been loved unconditionally. He sought love under its conditions and they had roughened him into a spear of desire. And when he finally had split open a hole in the beautiful landscape, he felt great pity and remorse. In this woman, though he had learned not to, he wanted to cry and hold close and never part again. This too the woman felt, but the man did not feel her feeling. Instead, he brought her flowers. He walked closer to the street. He bought dinners, opened doors, furnished a house, tended to it. And she gave him insanity again. He had been mad without it.


Podel Su bu r ba n Mem or y


ALBUM RE-FOCUS Chungking Mansions Wild Guide to Anywhere Released on: House Of The Leg April 24th, 2017 By Archizer

House of the Leg is one of the first labels to pop up that catered almost exclusively to the grey area in between hardvapour and what was to become the dreampunk community. Many of today’s staple acts debuted (or had early albums) on the label— Tinmixer, Bakground, AUT2M, and Elegance of the Damned to name a few. After its first month open, label head MOD-COMM 81 signed the already established Chungking Mansions for House of the Leg’s second album. There marked the start of a prolific underground electronic music label, until its unofficial closure in August 2019. 2017 was a crucial time for the community following the rise in hardvapour’s domineering antiestablishment attitude that spawned a year prior. The music got darker; rivalries formed; the lore became more eccentric; the irony became blurred. It completely took the scene by force. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t people who skirted the invisible lines set between the the genres. Artists like Chungking Mansions tested their versatility, freely bouncing off vaporwave, hardvapour, ambient, as well as dreampunk, and they (surprisingly) didn’t receive any real backlash for it. Wild Guide to Anywhere is a compelling point in the artists’s discography. On one hand the whimsical out-of-tune glitchiness and slammin’ djembe drums [on tracks like Basejump] are loads of fun, yet there are moments on the album with dark beats and heavy bass, moving the artist one step closer to the bombastic intensity of Mahakala (which would release on Dream Catalogue the following year). Inversely, the slower tracks are phased out and nostalgic. It’s varied, not only in how it merges genres, but also in its embrace of all of Earth’s 7 continents. MOD-COMM describes the album as a “resplendent beat tape that pays homage to the universal love of nature and our place within it.” While it aims to capture the emotions of these locations with rhythm rather than raw ambience or field recordings, Wild Guide to Anywhere could still be seen as a precursor to the return to nature within vaporwave, as seen with “terravapeur” and “solarpunk”. When most of the hardvapour artists opted for a gritty distorted Eastern European club settings, Chungking Mansions went with the polar opposite. It’s a trek though the sandy caves of Dawn, across the whistling fields of Mineral Source, all the way to the icy flats of Glacier. And it’s a trip worth taking.


D I R T A short story by Doom In The West @Double_Doom

Sharp caustic breath as I wake to the vengeful wrath of the damage I did the night before. The burning courses through my body. I’m not alone in my head. Vibrant disconnected images, screams of conversations that have no start or end, trying to piece themselves together only to overlap and shatter leaving my mind bleeding. The day starts with the usual broken ritual of avoiding the alarm, infighting between my Hungover self and my not completely dead inside self, and Sickness and Regret battling to be the loudest voice in my head. A good Thursday morning by any measure. Clamoring out of bed to find my strategically lost phone to shut it up was the first focused order we all agree on. Hangover begins to choke my lungs as if to say to me that I’m not getting out of bed. “Shut up cunt we don’t have sick days’’ I bark back, or maybe Regret makes me say that. It’s fucking early I can’t really tell who’s currently calling the shots. Ten minutes to decide if we want to be late or not. I’m eyeballing my bed again, the one comfort I can find in this shitty room filled with clothes, cans, and smoke butts. Its barren besides the aforementioned adornments, but hey that’s cool right, being a piece of shit is a style that sells well these days. Only on track to be 20 minutes late with no shower. I’m sobering, I’m really starting to notice how much I reek of booze. I didn’t even have a good night, I think. So now Regret and Hangover both chime in as we are just about to leave to get the bus making me rethink the no shower, great its gonna be an hour late. We’ll meet in the middle, knacker shower and a quick brush of the teeth. Half hour late now but who’s keeping track. I probably still stink but now that we are in motion with a plan it wont matter till I have to face work with bloodshot eyes and one completely blocked nostril. I was too afraid earlier to check my messages but Regrets being quiet so I guess its now or never. Called my dealer a scab, told one of the lads to off himself for bailing early, and I’m now single again for the 2nd time this week. The scumbag Regret feels worse about the dealer insult, so back on the team’s side now is it Regret? Typical, even my sensible self cant help but fiend 24/7 these days.


My nose twitches at the thought of more white, Sickness upper cuts me dislodging a rock into the back of my throat. Christ the taste is bad, probably a half gram rock is sliding down my gullet and I have nothing to wash it down with. Sickness is winning today and its not even 8am, Regret chalks another one up on the board. We’ve been listening to aggressive electronics since we stepped out the door and it doesn’t look like we are gonna slow this day down one bit. After all, we have to go out properly tonight. Last night’s train wreck of coke, keth, and cheap bourbon that burns your inside worse than aforementioned drugs. All just a mere warm up for tonight,something to get the juices flowing and then light a fire up under it so by the time I finish work at 5pm ill be drain, dead, and hungry to escape myself. I’ve even got a new secret weapon to test out on my nervous system, straight up chemical warfare. This latest release in the 2C family is famed for its extreme ego death and dissociative properties. Haven’t known any of my mates to have tried it yet, just online reviews from people who you definitely shouldn’t trust. Just what I need to burn my Regret enough to shut up and give me peace for a night. Scream all you want asshole, tonight I silence you for good. 33 minutes late for work and I’m greeted by a look from my baldy prick of a manager who likes to take his job in a call center far too seriously. Rumor has it his wife left him over this job, no joke one of the lads told me when he was drinking with her when he was invited back for a threesome. Ok maybe it doesn’t hold that much water but I hate him enough to believe its real. I manage to ghost him while still looking like I really am ok, every little moral victory right? So we managed to survive work with no real issue, I got an email that I was put on a personal improvement plan to start when I come back to work, puked twice, told my now ex I cheated on her, even though I didn’t. Not that she matters, tonight matters. That’s all. I’m so hyped for this I’m starting to get a 2nd wind. Hangover looks like he could use a nap so I should do a quick line before I leave work and get on the bus home. Walking through this black swamp of not wanting to be here. Just about everyone is gone so no need to look over my shoulder, just me, my mind, and bag’o white. Regret pleads again to stop this madness, but no one respects him. Hangover takes a time out and Sickness just looms over, as always.

Clean as a whistle, well cleaner, ok I’m feeling like shit but I’m high so it’s best we can muster for now. Out the door and it’s back to more audio sludge, it’s spiking my mood something fierce. It’s the coke, but I like to pretend the music is the real motivator for everything I do. I swear it is. Chicken or egg, drugs or music. So far the bus home is quiet, no real dirty looks, so the night is shaping up to be a good one. Finally a message from one of the lads to let me know if we are still on for the night and if I’ll bring that smack for him. Dirty fuck, but we all gotta do what lets us get by in this slow death shuffle. Finally managed to get home and my flatmate is just sitting in the sitting room with his girl friend, watching tv. They look baked, so baked they didn’t hear me come in. Or maybe they just don’t care that I’m here since they are that out of commission. They look like a heap of dumb flesh, it played trough setlist so its around 6.30 PM. Telling time by set length to avoid taking out my phone in case I have to talk to someone is one of my only actual hobbies. I’ve managed to get some beers out of the fridge and get to room without the flesh on the couch even responding to my movements. Good, I wasn’t in the mood of playing nice happy home today. I’ll pound these beers with some lines and then a joint to take the edge off, maybe I’ll even have cans in the shower, maybe get laid tonight. Who am I kidding with what I plan to take it will be a miracle if I can even piss later let alone fuck. I wonder how long I can keep this charade going, of excusing myself from ever finding someone since I’m too busy being out of it to make something of the personal exchanges I have in the dark and loud places I frequent. Everything is always surface level with them since below that there Isn’t much of me left, and that’s before the mind numbing agents are ingested. I keep ruining my own mood with Regret, we are so close to the starting point of the race. I’m just a coward and too afraid of what I’ll see when I trap part of me behind my glassy eyes, only looking out, only respite when I blink. I seem to notice my Regret more these days. More mistakes to embolden it.

Another text to make sure I’m going to bring the stuff for the lads later. I swear if I wasn’t such a fiend myself I’d find new friends. So we’ve sunk 4 cans now and Sickness decides the hair of the dog is making him sleepy, hes gonna nap leaving just me and Regret up front. Fuck, I’m happy to be the only voice so I’ll do another line and smoke that joint I promised myself. Unfortunately this always runs the risk of inviting another counterpart in the form of paranoia, but if I don’t take the edge off before leaving the house I run the risk of looking sketchy and getting stopped outside. As I smoke my eyes get heavy again, sleep deprivation, Hangover, weed, and self loathing make for one hell of a relaxant. I’m starting to drift off a bit, damn I’m far too stoned now to go outside. Fuck no wonder they didn’t even hear me earlier. A short power nap will straighten me out, this better not be one of Sickness’s games. FUCK. I erupt from my bed and notice the change in lighting straight away. I’ve lost time. Sickness you fucking cunt, he rolls back over to sleep again as if to taunt me. It’s almost 9.50pm, I’m late. My phone is alright with missed calls, texts, threats, bargaining. Ok I’ll take a minute to breathe, so now I should just change, and go out. I didn’t wanna feel sketched but shit, its paranoia. Was it always this vivid when it drops in? Its like its in the backseat eyeballing me, without blinking, its really fucking me up right now. With how late I’m gonna be, I’ll have to order a taxi to the party. Which means I won’t have much money for the way home, I’ll have to overcharge the lads later to make up for it. They’ll bitch and moan then still buy it anyways. I should probably start charging more to spite them. Cab will be here at 15, meaning I’ll make it before 10.30. At least I won’t be on the streets much so I should make the most of it and do a line of coke and keth mix so I’m playing too much catch up when i make it to the party. Preroll an emergency joint first, better safe than sorry. Paranoia is eyeballing Hangover now, but as soon as I notice he owl necks right back to my spine. Perfect I’m alert as fuck tonight. Ok it’s finally show time, taxis outside and I’m all set. That rising fear mixed with the power of supply always fucks with my nerves, I can’t even tell if I look or feel too relaxed, or if the jaw clenching tension is painted all over my skin. It probably is but I can’t really find a way to care. Taxi driver does a double take on the address, sign of good party, less likely the cops will shut us down early. He’s asking the usual mundane static but it seems even more abrasive so I humor him as best I can in my condition. Maybe I should just tell him how fucked I am right now, maybe he’s cool and the tension will recede. Fat fucking chance, hes probably a narc.


I’ll just pay cash, I gave a fake name on the phone and got collected a bit up the road from the flat so in case he is wired I have some escape vectors in conversation. Paranoia sit the fuck back down you’ll blow it for everyone. Its a dimly lit street, vans parked all over, this is the place. “Cheers” I mutter, handing him enough of a tip to hopefully silence him, but it’s just more static. Did his mouth just stay open, and produce that harsh noise? I must be tripping more than I thought, maybe the coke bag was spiked with something worse. Free trip I guess. I feel it first. The rumble, I’m home. Paranoia, Regret, Hangover, Sickness, all of them melt away. Its just me at the wheel now, alone here. Basement entrance I think the text said. I’ll double check my phone, I look up and see the minimal amount of light bleed, peaking through the old Georgian door. It’s pulsing, it’s alive in there. It’s a good sign but which basement? These houses are a squatters dream, front doors all boarded up but if you can break in through the moat like basements you’re set. I follow the broken glass breadcrumbs till I see a slightly ajar window with what looks like a small gumdrop of blood on a broken pane. Must be here. The rumble takes over, I can make out music, I’m awash with joy, standing in the basement alone just seeing if I can place the tune from the myriad of sounds ingested today. It’s the simple things. The smell of cigarettes, sweat, and spilled booze is all I need to guide me to where I’m wanted. Needed. I think adrenaline has taken over as the fuel as I carry myself up the broken stairs. Two floors to go. I’ll take the secret weapon now so when I meet up with the lads I can dispense the goods and then fade into the intoxicating ego death of night ahead. People. Faces. Music. It’s all I crave and more. Luckily I found a freshly abandoned beer bottle, sealed and all. Down the hatch my mix of secret 2C and MDMA goes. One floor to go. I’m sweating, I’m not that unfit am I? Maybe it’s Sickness trying to make a comeback, quick take another bump of coke and another swig of beer. I’m at the top and now I’m part of the dumb flesh of the crowd. I weave in to try to make my way through to find a familiar face but I’m getting swept away by everything. I feel it rising from the depths and right into my heels. I am more alive than everyone here and also feeling it all through them. It’s like a crescendo of my being. Who needs others when I have this. This pure and total feeling of warmth and understanding of what it means to be.


Then I noticed the sonic truth of the music. Pounding a rhythm that grounds me in the real once again. Everything is a blur. I can’t even make out my hands or anyone’s face. It’s like I’m not even here, or everyone else is just as mad out of it as I am. Should I try to find friends? Maybe they can bring me down just a bit more so I can think and see clearly again. Fuck I can’t even feel my legs but I can walk. Let’s move towards the stage. Where is the DJ? I can’t find where the music is coming from. Everyone is even more distorted. Ok let’s take this easy, take another key of coke and some beer that’ll help level you. I can feel eyes glued to my neck from across the room. It’s Paranoia. He’s here, how, how can he be here? Outside me? I tried to focus on him but he walked away? Do I follow? No you idiot you’re just tripping, focus on finding someone real. Is anyone here real? They must be, take another key and find a seat. Its like the crowd moves out of my way. I haven’t bumped into anyone at all. Maybe I’m just obviously messed up and people are staying clear of me. That’s gotta be it. Ok there’s a seat on that couch, claim it and try to breathe. Regret takes the seat to my left. Shakes his head gets up and walks out. What the fuck was that about. No don’t acclimatize to this its just a trip. Drink some more beer it’s what normal people do. Jesus it takes like dirt. It is dirt. This is just some murky water. I close my eyes and the music stops. I open them and its back, so is the beer. Another wave of comfort flows and I’m good again. That stuff needs to come with warning holy hell. I need to find friends quick in case this gets worse. Legs feel funny but I can stand. Progress. I try to pick out a familiar face or stand out clothes but nothing. My options are to sit back down or wander. Sip of beer and another key. Looks like I’m walking. I glide through the room again. I can check each little hovel where more social groups gather than the mass of flesh dancing to the beat are. I’m bound to find a face. Should I shout out to them? No, don’t cause a scene, Paranoia might show up again. Nothing, no friends. “You’re all alone”. Was that the first real voice I’ve heard all day? Who said that I can’t see anyone. The room stops shaking for a minute. Enough to throw me off balance and out rhythm. Nothing makes sense here. The room wasn’t shaking like I was. I’ve fallen to the floor. Where am I?


LABEL FOCUS NO PROBLEMA TAPES One of the Four Pillars of Dreampunk, No Problema Tapes stands today as a testament to the vision and artistic brilliance of every artist involved. Here are 8 standout records, as picked by the man in charge himself.




It’s no secret that Sangam is one of the most iconic artists in dreampunk. His lush soundscapes and rich textures will immerse you in a journey like no other.

D R O I D R O Y’s gorgeous sound paintings are specifically crafted for introspection and night walks. It’s a must-listen.

Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza Rainforest Hill [I + II]

OSCOB 宇宙ステーション V

A saga of field recordings and tribal ambience, this experience wistfully brings the listener closer to Earth and meditation. Lindsheaven gets personal, connecting our being with mother nature.

This album, which translates to ‘Space Station V’, conceptually tells the story of an AI living aboard a space station— one of which has the ability to execute complex life experiments in its thriving biosphere.

LIFE2979光 FUTURE: 2979東京

Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza Imaginary Pathways

The year is 2979. This sci-fi adventure will consecutively strike at your heartstrings along its 7 tracks. LIFE has taken keen notes from friends & key influences such as HKE, Sangam, w u s o 命 and Passive Refraction.

Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza partners with SkyTwoHigh in his final posthumous album. Incredibly diverse with elements of Berlin School, IDM and ambient music, Imaginary Pathways will help you visit the hidden places housed in your mind.


P A T H S パス Lost in Sinking Swamp

WWW hits the sweet-spot with a unique blend of synth-driven ambience, industrial sounds and dark beats. Some classic vaporwave techniques come to mind on the first listen, but with an 80s VHS twist.

Dense and dark, this evocative album is highly inspired by PSX survival horror video game soundtracks. Relive your most obscure suppressed childhood memories with this one.



I’ll get straight to brass tacks. I have sunk hundreds of hours learning Esperanto. For those of you who have never heard of this language, Esperanto was constructed in 1887 by Polish ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof. It is designed to be easy to learn, containing a mere 4000 words in its dictionary. While it was developed in Europe, Esperanto is built for the entire world to speak. In the last decade it began popping up on 2nd Language tutoring websites, where it was able to get a second chance at survival. Some skeptics have suggested learning a language with more utility, like Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, French, Arabic, or sign language. To them I say, "La ruĝa taĉmento sekvas min kaj mi timas ilin. Mi estas celita individuo.” The Esperanto board on Reddit is quite lively. That is where I call my home. Nearly a quarter of the 100,000 worldwide speakers are subscribed to it. The major downside to all of us being self-taught is everybody’s dialect, grammar, and written word composition are all slightly different. Nary goes a day where somebody doesn’t respond to your post saying the word choice is wrong. But I’ve grown used to it. With Zamenhof’s death, Esperanto is set in stone, unlike other constructed languages like Klingon.

The creator of Klingon, Marc Okrand, is really rusty at it, which results in Trekkies taking his mispronunciations / gibberish as new words. Amateur. No wonder he doesn’t like speaking it in public, for his words are gospel to the nerds. My dear patrino often said this traditional Esperan proverb: “Ĉesu flari la kalsonetojn de viaj fratinoj, vi perversas.” It roughly translates to: “Cheaters flourish in a pool of vitriol fervor, to perish.” It is a saying that our speakers can relate to. I have sunk hundreds of hours learning the easiest language that the whole world could potentially speak, and ironically I have no-one to talk with. And it’s losing traction fast on Google Trends (which is not a good sign). Such is the life of an Espertonian. Maybe there is still hope, as the figureheads to the community will attract the youth to our domain. They are quite busy putting propaganda pamphlets into Little Free Libraries and riddling the subreddit with memes—surely the kiddies will learn of the glorious light of the Espers that way. Some good samaritans even created Esperanto themed Iceberg charts. And word has it that obscure schools in Brazil and China have brought it into their curriculum (for some reason?). This is most excellent. Maybe, in the future, we will all unify under one common language void of culture, heritage, slang, and personality. I await that day.


SANGAM 1. All time favourite album? Mutilomaquia - No matter how wet with tears the palms become, all our hopes will turn into black sludge. 2. All time favourite movie? The Neverending Story

11. All time favourite game? Silent Hill Series 12. How tall are you? 6 Foot 3 Inches

3. What were you doing at 8pm last night?

13. What was the last book you read?

Listening to a lot of music people have been posting lately. Preparing future releases from myself.

Metal Gear Solid - The Game Novel

4. What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done? Fell in love at an early age.

14. All time favourite TV show? Peep Show 15. What was the last thing that pissed you off?

5. What fictional character do you identify with most?

The News 16. What was the last purchase you made?

Probably The Maxx, Elusive but yet has an inner power

HKE - Music Is Capital Cassette Tape

6. What’s the furthest away from home that you’ve ever been?

17. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Egypt , A Beautiful Place 7. Name interests.




Mostly Work 18. What kind of footwear do you wear?

90’s Nostalgia 8. If you could pick one song to be your theme tune, what would it be? The Brood Theme From 1999 9. What is the most epic thing you’ve ever done?

AF1, Dunks, J1’s 19. What would you do with a million dollars? Invest and help love ones. Make Dreampunk bigger

For me personally, releasing my music on Vinyl

20. Anyone you want to shout out?

10. What is something you do all the time that would surprise people?

Shouts to everyone supporting my sound. Shouts to The DREAM Lads, Pure Life everyone I fuck with x (too many to name)

Play great music

21. Order or Chaos? Chaos- Do What You Want


Tearing Open Your Third Eye by L.S.D./// 出発についての孤独な物語 I find myself contemplating my meaning for existence. I look at my robotic body, and I don’t even know if I’m myself. I can’t remember what it feels like to be human anymore. I can see warmth and cold, but I can no longer feel What I wouldn’t give for one last moment to be alive. Sometime I want to destroy this inorganic body. Sometimes I wonder if my soul still lives within this machine. In my core processor does my electric entity still exist? Was immortality truly worth this? I no longer know as I contemplate my existence.




I like figuring out how social media works, even if I actually hate it.

Welcome to EVOLVE Magazine, Nerd City! How have you been doing lately? Are you trying to make me cry or something? No one asks me HOW I’m doing; they only demand to know WHAT I’m doing, and why it’s taking so long. I can see right through these pleasantries, but now I’m sobbing and shitting.


You have been working on a big experiment in NFTs, with the Dead Avatars Project. Did your expectations and thoughts on NFTs change since beginning this project? I knew there would be a very divided reaction when I announced that I’m working on a video about NFTs, and that’s one reason why I’m doing it. There is a lot of misinformation spreading virally on Twitter - both PRO and CON related to crypto - and people are digging in to defend total nonsense. I’m exciting to share what I’ve learned, and I’ve learned something new every day. The one thing that I underestimated was how emotional the response to crypto concepts can be. One person said he wants to see me broke and begging. Two NFTs from the Dead Avatars Project

Going into the 2020s, do you think art will be devalued ever further than where it is now? Devalued? Good grief. Don’t you think it’s become overvalued? Not to FUD NFTs, but I personally think most NFT art projects are wildly overpriced right now.

Do you have any tips for community building? Most NFT communities are being built on Discord at the moment, and there are special challenges to managing a Discord community because of the nature of persistent chat. As opposed to Reddit or Twitter or YouTube or IG, whoever spoke last on Discord has the spotlight. And that attention attracts and rewards a particular type of personality that Discord calls a “High Conflict Person”. They can ruin a server, and there aren’t adequate tools to moderate them, because Discord as a company has weird priorities. Install bots that can give your Admins more functionality. But build a community on another platform, is my recommendation.


What is it like being fully immersed in the TryHards series? Does it take a toll or do you enjoy it? There’s so much to do that there’s no time to sleep. But when I do, I wake up excited to get back to work. The projects sometimes involve promotional tactics that I personally find to be cringe. But in the process of trying them, I learn how to spot them, and I realize they’re all around. These apps wield incredible power and influence over us right now. I like figuring out how social media works, even if I actually hate it.

When children were polled in 2019 about what job they wanted to be when they grew up, a majority of them from the USA and UK said they wanted to be a YouTuber. Do you think the popularity of this job has grown or diminished in the last 2 years? I think YouTube is competing neck and neck with TikTok now. China wants to dominate, and so there is no ulterior motive to its algorithm other than accumulating maximum attention and protecting the interests of the CCP. That has its pros and cons. TikTok is creating a new aristocracy of bimbos, both men and women. Their stars can bank on sex appeal and aesthetics more easily than YouTubers, who contend with a much more complex algorithm, as well as the mysterious and contradictory priorities of YouTube as a company. If you want attention and you’re drawn to becoming an entertainer, TikTok might be the best path for if you have only one stand-out attribute or skillset that people find interesting.


What do you suspect will be the long term ramifications of the 2021 stock market craze and meme-ification of stocks & crypto? People are learning how to speculate on abstract concepts, and invest in attention. That ’s dystopian, but it can be fun. I think I’m pretty good at identifying talent in people, and now there are ways to place bets on their ability to continue getting attention. I t ’s a degenerate style of “investment ”, but it speaks to most people in their own language more than a quarterly corporate earnings report ever could.

Do you have anything else at the back of your mind that you’d like to share before we close the interview? I know I was ragging on Discord as an app earlier, but we’ve built a community in D.A.P. that is very welcoming to people who like to learn. If you’re interested in crypto but confused about some concept, you’re welcome to join Dead Avatar Project server and ask questions. If I don’t personally answer first, there’s usually someone who will take the time to do it, and no one will call you a newb.

A Supporter’s cosplay of Nerd City’s Dr. Downvote

Not to FUD NFTs, but I personally think most NFT art projects are wildly overpriced right now.

Nerd City explains how Youtube’s mature content rating system works



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#3 / january 2022