Some would argue that the era of Bandcamp Vaporwave has all but passed, and while there’s some truth to that, many stragglers stake out, firmly standing against the death of the uniquely internet genre. One of such artists is Ahero. The independent artist, who brings his own innovation to the tried and true classic vaporwave sound has done it yet again, with his newest piece, Spirit.
Out now on Faceway Records, Ahero changes up his sound while remaining within the Vaporwave genre- perhaps more so than ever before. Trading instruments for digital effects, Ahero creates beautifully lush soundscapes while turning them on their head, using distortion, bass leads and eerie background effects to turn the ideal feeling into something haunting and uncanny, distilling the genre down to its essence.
Tracks such as the opener, Genesis, start out angelic and ethereal but quickly evolve into a distorted fever dream, like the death of an angel’s civilization. Other songs, such as Focus, bring the melodic and angelic elements forwards, with shimmering synthesizers and even upbeat electronic elements. However, the reverb and droning background noises remain, giving the songs a more subtle- yet still uncomfortable feel that ultimately makes them even more successful at driving home the theme.
The album shows off Ahero’s influences and past while marking a new offshoot of modern Vaporwave, incorporating pieces of the artist’s life throughout. Not only is the album a success musically, but it is a piece that Ahero feels is true to himself. The Chicago-based Vaporwave artist writes in his Bandcamp “This is what I deem “Peak Ahero Performance.””