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ALBUM REVIEW: death's dynamic shroud, Darklife

Grade: B

Written by @rrrrrrrrrrrrrrraul

death's dynamic shroud consists of James Webster (aka HCMJ, Winter Sleep, Xepter Rose), Tech Honors (aka Dinosaur On Fire, Black Hole Future, Peach and Plum), and Keith Rankin (aka Giant Claw as well as being the one in charge of operating Orange Milk Records and creating much of the amazing artwork within this label). The project started in 2014 with an interactive vaporwave album that used only

SEGA’s Shenmue samples. Since that work, this project has had more than 30 releases and runs a monthly mixtape subscription service. But after all these years of collaboration, what can we expect from this power trio?

The evolution of vaporwave occurred in different ways. It even went so far as to take conflicting paths such as the evolution towards future funk for the dance floor, or ambient approaches in form of broken transmissions. death's dynamic shroud's Darklife is a maximalist take on glitch pop, with elements of progressive electronic and virtual utopia at play. The year has already provided us with some unique and

excellent glitch pop releases, like Jockstrap's I Love You Jennifer B and yeule's Glitch Princess. The distinctive characteristic of Darklife is the ambition to make vaporwave aesthetics sound epic and dense through a rich and complex production.

The 15 tracks on this album take us on an almost cinematic journey with a palette of futuristic sounds that from start to finish take us on a hypnotic journey through a clash of styles. In a sense, this album can be viewed as a deconstruction of pop in this new era. Progressive hyperpop? Hyperprog?

Contrasts are what keeps this project interesting. It loneliness but also ecstasy. It is chaotic, yet calm. It is artificial but still emotional. It's disorienting and quite accessible. It's eerie but also mesmerizing. Even though each song stands on its own, the pleasure of experiencing this double album full of orchestral atmospheres and altered voices is heightened by listening to it from start to finish. Headphones


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