M A L I B L U E :( “failure” (Adhesive Sounds)

That’s a thick black cloud that’s encasing this release, a surprise given that m a l i b l u e :( usually traffics in somewhat brighter fare. This time, though, the vaporwave artist embraces the clustering darkness (forever) of “life under late capitalism,” a freakishly weird time to be alive for all of us. Not hard to see what direction m a l i b l u e :(‘s headed this time around, as a quick glance at the track titles will give you all the indication that you need: “disappointment,” “fear,” “i'm so sorry,” “no hope” … should I go on? This tape’s called FAILURE after all, as if any attempt at course correction is bound to end up miserably for those who try, and even more miserably for those who are just caught up in it. Gross. Gross! But fortunately for us listeners, tragedy and encroaching doom make for pretty great artistic statements, and FAILURE in that regard is a total triumph. Forget for a second the wars, the famine, the environmental catastrophes, the unchecked rise of big business, the social injustice – there’s some great music to be gleaned from it! … Wow, that was almost too cynical to type, and it’s left an awful taste in my mouth. Don’t think I’d reduce the importance of any of that for a second. Still, if something like FAILURE is going to get you off your keister and into any kind of position to help others, it has proved its worth and met its intentions. And it really is damn listenable, I wasn’t kidding about that – where the cynic in me sees only a hedonistic future of music in catastrophe and the stone-faced crusader sees it as a means to rise above, it’s really somewhere in the middle, and that’s where it has to be sometimes to be the most effective. And it’s great that artists like m a l i b l u e :( can deliver so effectively – FAILURE’s a plunderphonic masterwork, vaporwave for the internally conflicted, charting an ear candy course through pop, trip hop, experimental electronics, shoegaze, softcore, dub, etc., a living, breathing concoction from a genre that often loses the “living” and “breathing” in execution. In one fell swoop, m a l i b l u e :( makes up for all of that with FAILURE.

m a l i b l u e : (
Adhesive Sounds

--Ryan Masteller