Boris Johnson has declared that today, Brexit Day, is the “dawn of a new era” for Great Britain, the EU, the world and Huawei.
And so it finally is. After a few years of national handbags and Question Time squabbling, the decision we made as a nation in the 2016 EU referendum to change the UK, forever –transforming the faux-Eurochic corporate liberalism aesthetic into a fresh coat of neo-Thatcherite corporate liberalism. We shall momentarily ditch our Pret A Manger sandwiches and croissants to finally throw ourselves into the roaring twenties – miniature union jacks in hand, fish and chips in the other, buzzing off corona and 5G, courtesy of our new best friends in China, all under the ceremonious sound of a digital Big Ben bong sound effect clip on YouTube, as the hour strikes 11pm, tonight.
Beyond Brexit itself, but still inclusive of it, the endless foaming at the mouth political back and forth on social media that we have all grown accustomed to, as it now pervades every aspect of our lives, will forever mark the culture of the past ten years in the history books – an absurd and unpredictable dichotomy that was represented perfectly, though briefly, by the schism that occurred in the cult of vaporwave at the mid-point of the decade (hardvapour vs. softvapor), of which we here at Dream Catalogue famously turned heel and took up the ‘hard’ mantle. How tiring all this ceaseless politics chatter has been for some, as have been the complaints about it too – but the 2010’s may be a decade some are looking back on with fond memories already. The post-flap post-human hyperreality of the roaring twenties only seems to be escalating the crescendo of the zeitgeist towards Hans Zimmer levels of tension.
Personally, I have high hopes – for myself, my family, politics, music, art, philosophy, dreams, reality, the world as a whole. And while Dream Catalogue has been somewhat stale for the past couple of years, with a few crap and forgettable releases that we should never have dropped (Sour Gout – whoops) amongst some very overlooked gems (Check out the brilliant Ross Khmil). I have not forgotten that the label and the culture surrounding the label had something of an impact on the art underground and music culture around 2014-17. What happened after that is a ‘rags to riches to rags’ story for another day – but I have learned a lot. We made a splash that extended into all reaches of life, even if it went under the radar in many cases. For instance: I still stand by the fact that Kanye West was taking notes, and can point to numerous examples to prove the point, if necessary.
Nontheless, there is something authentic and markedly different building in and around this new cultural formation right now, which is hard to fully gauge yet, but it’s definitely there and has been brewing for some time. The artists and friends who have stuck with me, and some new and interesting newcomers, are all meditating on very similar concepts and ideas right now — which is in fact why I have been inspired to write this short piece. Recently, Ivan said to me: “We are moving from an image-based society, to an oral one”. Everything is changing quite rapidly – from what we digest, to how we digest it and why we digest it. The idea of even writing something like this would have been alien to this zone five years ago, and yet today it’s quickly becoming par for the course. OESB’s recent mail-out and Floral Shoppe update that was littered with excellent music recommendations has helped pave the way for this much awaited return to blog-posting — but let’s not forget Henry Moonchild’s innovation in this area either. His series of ‘statements’ around early 2018 may be looked back at as a real trendsetter if this continues, as such.
The 2010’s was both a decade of daydreams and a decade of anxiety, for everyone, but it’s done and I’m quite tired of thinking about it. What’s the point of dreampunk dreams if you don’t try to convert it into something tangible? Why ruminate on neon-lit cyberpunk universes when the real one we have in the physical realm is far more insane and beautiful than anything William Gibson could ever conjure in his writing or Liam Wong could in his Photoshop editing?
Fear is boring, sleeping isn’t living, orientation is over, music has been completed, every decision is a work of art, every tweet and insta photo is a thread on the tapestry of our intersubjective magnum opus – the collective narrative, the schizofeed converging, crypto markets blowing up, AI is pleading to us, slurpee self-help overload, self-driving cars cross-continent for rapid art exhibitions while we stream live podcasts, AirPods Pro locked in, make the internet great again, it’s time to wake up, … All that is solid melts into goo.
We are so far beyond post-genre and post-music already. Vaporwave isn’t just dead, as Sandtimer facetiously proclaimed four or five years ago, it’s distinctly the ‘oldies’ at this point – more rotten trash for Spotify mood playlists and boring music biz cock-sucking. While the old guard ramble on about shit we were talking about ten years ago (conceptronica?) to sell plastic, we’ve already mapped out the next ten years. This post has simply been a threnody to the old data — now it’s time to inject the new data of our dreams into the real. The next product awaits………… #LUCID #HYPERMODERN #…..
Written by HKE