Album cover for carpet dust daylight vaporwave signalwave review


carpet dust


Liam Murphy

January 10, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Warm tones and wavering muzak carries insurgent feelings of unease on this signalwave release

Signalwave (or Broken Transmission) is a genre that’s primary intent is exploration of the past. In uncanny acts of necromancy, the producer resurrects samples and soundbites from old broadcasts and media. Imperfection is actively sought out, in order to convey to the listener the flawed technological stasis of the past, and also inspire feelings of angst and dread when contemplating the contrastingly sleek and troublingly complex technology of today.

It is this disquieting notion of the recent past that carpet dust’s daylight seems to interact with. There is a definite warmth present, one that is conveyed perfectly by the release’s artwork featuring a beige haze of homeliness and comfort. The melody of EP opener CRT sports is cosy and wavers like a peaceful mirage. However, its muzak quality imbues it with a sense of liminality. Its striding rhythm and glissando moments feel horrifically aged, and its slightly jarring loop gives off the impression of isolation. As if you are being forced to watch a menu screen that has been playing for an extended amount of time. This is achieved through the EP’s very smooth structure. Some signalwave is sporadic, cutting samples and jingles midway through to convey a restless and defunct ghostliness from the past. daylight opts for an uncanny consistency, that after a while gives off a feeling of unease.

The majority of the EP is made up of fairly sombre melodies. channel select delivers a meaningful, slow-dance energy and high definition ratchets up this feeling of quaintness with a simplistic but summarily melancholic tune. The conclusive track, sentimental decay, is most definitely a siren song. A laboured and dramatic conclusion as carpet dust’s beige, temporary space laments its last moments before it is wiped from existence. This further adds to this unease, an uncomfortable sadness pulsing almost completely throughout the EP’s runtime.

There is one certain constant throughout daylight, and that is the layer of feedback that sits on top of all five tracks. A thin but consistent film placed above everything. The one track that seems close to breaking it is musk, with its roaring guitar parts and changes in pacing. But it continues to coat everything, flickering and changing in velocity only very slightly. One would posit that the TV featured in the artwork would be the reason for this noise, but the more you look at the image the more it feels as though the feedback is emitting from the scene itself. A buzzing from the window through which carpet dust allows us to view the past.

The past is something that we will never be able to truly revisit. As time moves on constantly, our gaze is forced forward. This is the reason for the disquieting nature of daylight. In employing signalwave characteristics so deftly, carpet dust allows us access the past temporarily through the musical equivalent of a still life drawing or photo. But its overly quaint energy and banal nature cause it to seem uncanny. That uneasy sensation that one feels when listening to the EP is a testament to the artist’s skill and execution.