14 episodes

Birk and Ross plumb the depths of vaporwave, dark ambient, and other haunted genres of music. Discover new music to listen to and find out why we're drawn to retro aesthetics and dark music.

Night Clerk Radio: Haunted Music Reviews Ross Payton, Birk McBirkinson

    • Music Commentary
    • 5.0, 6 Ratings

Birk and Ross plumb the depths of vaporwave, dark ambient, and other haunted genres of music. Discover new music to listen to and find out why we're drawn to retro aesthetics and dark music.

    Dark Ambient and Cinema: Anthology Resource Vol. I and Everywhere, an empty bliss

    Dark Ambient and Cinema: Anthology Resource Vol. I and Everywhere, an empty bliss

    Dark ambient could not exist without movie soundtracks. The quiet moments of dread in a horror film sparked something in musicians and listeners alike - who craved more of these soundscapes of dread before the monster appeared. In this episode we look at two albums that are clearly linked to cinematic masterpieces of fear. They are also some of the high water points of the genre, reaching slightly more mainstream audiences than most dark ambient albums ever get.

    • 43 min
    Introduction to Hauntology

    Introduction to Hauntology

    What do we mean by the term "haunted music?" This phrase is rooted in the concept of Hauntology, a philosophical concept that refers to how we relate our memories to the past, whether that past is real or imagined, and how elements of those memories persist and "haunt" us today. Join us as we discuss how Hauntology relates to vaporwave and how it can be a useful tool for examining media more generally.

    • 35 min
    Swimming In Lake Hali: Hastur with Caleb Stokes

    Swimming In Lake Hali: Hastur with Caleb Stokes

    We sit down with Caleb Stokes to discuss Cryo Chamber's 2019 release "Hastur," part of their Lovecraft Collection. This massive double album is a collaborative effort by over 20 artists who worked together to create its unique blend of sound and textures. The result is a two and a half hour journey through an immense variety of genres and soundscapes. Grab your drink ticket and join us for a listen!

    • 30 min
    Hypnagogic Vaporwave: virtua.zip and A Heart Full Of Love

    Hypnagogic Vaporwave: virtua.zip and A Heart Full Of Love

    Hypnagogia is the state of consciousness one experiences when transitioning from waking to sleeping. Hypnagogic vaporwave attempts to capture this sensation through the production of music that can be airy and ethereal or moody and ambient. Join Ross and Birk as they discuss one of their favorite sub-genres of vaporwave through the lens of two classic albums.

    • 29 min
    Vibing To Vaportrap - DREAMS and Fujita Scale

    Vibing To Vaportrap - DREAMS and Fujita Scale

    Whether it hits you with aggressive 808 kicks or lifts you up with airy synths and trap beats, vaportrap offers a unique and wide-ranging blend of hip hop and vaporwave that can't be found anywhere else. In this episode, Ross and Birk talk about two classic vaportrap albums discussing topics such as production styles, the relationship between albums and genres, and the preservation of art in the digital world.

    • 41 min
    Exploring Dungeon Synth - Mourning and The valley of the forgotten secrets.

    Exploring Dungeon Synth - Mourning and The valley of the forgotten secrets.

    Dungeon Synth is a genre that presents a unique blend of aesthetics by combining the fantastical themes of role-playing games with the moodiness and storytelling of dark ambient. In this episode, Ross and Birk listen to two albums from two very different periods in the history of Dungeon Synth and explore how the genre has evolved from its roots in black metal and 90's synths to a more nostalgic chip tune approach rooted in a love of 8- and 16-bit video games. Lend your ear to this musical adventure!

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

ProblemDog ,

Haunted Music? I’m in!

Positives:

Ross and Birk have a layers-deep understanding of the nuance behind Vaporwave, and all of its various sub genres. Their knowledge, passion, and vocabulary on the subject is evident, and usually very enjoyable to listen to.

The commentary and musical analysis is thought provoking, and the added context from their own understanding of each album is interesting.

If nothing else, I’ll always be grateful for their recommendation of the Miles to Midnight album, which I never knew I needed. It’s exceptional.

Suggestions:

I would describe my interest in Vaporwave as curious, but not committed. To be honest, for someone like me, the discussion can shift a little over my head at times. I’m not saying that creators should always cater for the lowest common denominator, but perhaps ease us in a bit?

Additionally, I was surprised at the ratio of track samples to discussion. Maybe it’s not their intent, and the topics are certainly interesting, but I’d love to hear more of the music.

Summary:

If you love Ross and Birk, or have even a passing interest in Vaporwave, give this a shot. It seems evident that they’re still working through show format and deciding on what works, but it’s a good listen.

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