Through Wosx’s ‘End Of World Rave’, the blink or you’ll miss it vaporwave sub-genre known as ‘hardvapour’ was born in late 2015, acting as an appropriation of slav culture via experimental hardstyle music. Done in a way to celebrate cultural globalism: the eradication of historical identity into a singular, worldwide melting pot; the absurd spiritual void, what followed was a flurry of erratic musical and artistic activity that set the tone for much of what was to come on Dream Catalogue and a network of related record labels for the latter half of the 2010’s, before quickly ending in a blaze, just as soon as it had begun to take shape.
Almost as a hyperreal manifestation of the original hardvapour concept itself, Pixelord, the Moscow-based producer known for hosting regular raves and parties of futuristic dance music under his Hyperboloid imprint, came about with his own projection into this style, ‘Hypnorave’. Inspired by the rise of the hardvapour movement, Pixelord delivered a much more refined realisation of the initial qualities hardvapour held – the post-punk to hardvapour’s punk. His entry into the culture with this album also acted as a suitable epilogue, just as the burgeoning movement fizzled out, with what is now considered to be one of the key albums of this style.
The album itself, even as part of the broader electronic music landscape, is a stand-out, culturing the trends of deconstruction we see in contemporary dance music today in advance of its time – just as he had done on previous release ‘Human.exe’ on Hyperboloid. Always one to experiment with styles and shine lights on them before others, Pixelord achieved this with ‘Hypnorave’, bringing out some of the best potential that hardvapour once had as a movement and a style never fully realised, and instead transcended it.