PHTEVEN UNIVERSE “s/t” C44 (Choam Charity)

There’s much to unpack here. Too much? Too much.

When you click on the link below, you will be able to read the backstory. 

In short: Phteven Universe is Pilleater, and “Phteven Universe” is a vaporwave tape whose twisty philosophy encompasses a lot of the questions I once had about vaporwave. In the end, I’ve learned to relax, take it slow, take it easy, and appreciate the vaporwave releases that I enjoy. Not all of them are enjoyable. In fact, there are so many that a lot of them blend together in a slurry of pristine chemicals, too toxic for human aural consumption.

“Phteven Universe,” I’m happy to report, is one of the ones I enjoy, one of the fun ones.

First, Pilleater himself doesn’t take himself too seriously. Maybe it’s a Philly thing, because, c’mon, you gotta have a bit of that blue-collar gallows humor if you’re coming from Philly (and I grew up in eastern PA, so I should know). Second, he gets the absurdity of infinite repurposing, as his garbled sources sound like fourth- or fifth-generation mulch composites. Third, he namechecks “Floral Shoppe” and “Eccojams,” possibly both with and without irony, suggesting that these, too, are ripe for the recycle treatment. Fourth, he’s a Skinny Puppy fan, so – cool!

So listen, I know it’s hard to take vaporwave seriously anymore, but this is a great reminder that you can still have a good time with it, that it’s more than just mall music slowed down to a crawl. We all know how boring THAT is, so thank goodness Phteven Universe is here to do something about it.

Choam Charity Records

--Ryan Masteller