With Spectre, Florida producers Iacon and nano神社 (✪㉨✪) step outside the tropes of vaporwave and its spin-offs to create a brooding, dark-ambient soundtrack-sans-film all the more heightened for its lack of visual accompaniment. “Midnight Drive” throws the listener into the action, with the late night vibes synonymous with vaporwave quickly devolving into the chaotic, cluttered sounds of a car crash. Going easy on the sampled material thereafter, the two opt for a minimalist palette of sounds to chronicle the protagonist’s post-crash suspension in comatose. Cautious piano and synth figures bubble over onto a floor of hazy drones and sub-bass ripples.
From the submerged pulse of “Transcendence” to the Gamecube save-point aura of “Reunion,” transmissions from the conscious world flit in and out of the mix as our protagonist slowly comes around. Muted sirens, distance voices, radio static – all hallmarks of abstract ambient composition – come neatly to rest in the context of the soundtrack’s storyline. The net result is simultaneously contained and expansive, a fitting capture of the drift in and out of consciousness. When “Exit” rolls around, the calming, subdued atmosphere the duo have worked so painstakingly to fashion is shattered by the protagonist’s sudden return to his post-crash agonies. It’s deeply jarring but a fitting closure nonetheless to a haunting, well-executed concept.
You can find Spectre on cassette from Chilean label No Problema Tapes