👁 点 击 と 👁



Liam Murphy

December 5, 2023

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Glossy, agile vaporwave fires out with a fun-loving look at the ever-bloating digital world and our small pocket-based windows into it

As the internet expands at an alarming rate – gorging on both user and bot activity – we stray further and further away from each other and what we might have logged on to do in the first place. Our attention spans bend, twist and contort under the weight of more platforms to look at, more content to ingest. Certainly in certain areas of 👁 点 击 と 👁, it feels as though this hyperactive time in history takes centre stage, conveyed the use of an energetic maximalist sound and the fast-paced chopping and sampling often associated with the glossier side of vaporwave. But, in this rush of sound and stimuli, it shouldn’t be lost on the – possibly bewildered listener – just how well the two halves of duo 👁🗨📲 evidently work together. The speed at which we move through the release has the breakneck pace of a fiberoptic internet connection, and that is to convey theme, but this fluidity is also down to the two artists’ synergy.

The second track gives us a great indication of the atmosphere 👁🗨📲 wish to create. An infectiously dancey sample of Middle Eastern origin fires out confidently, as the duo get to work chopping and trimming it. Things stutter and bounce unexpectedly, but there’s a defiant momentum behind it all, owing to the talents of both Enraile and WW. We’ve instantly tapped into a audio feed or file from somewhere that could be hundreds of miles away, but the chattering text-to-speech voices and notification pings we hear infer that, as we enjoy ourselves, there are thousands of layers of activity beneath what we are absorbing. This is conveyed perfectly in the song’s video, where tiger gifs, hydraulic press TikToks and countless other windows lay on top of each other and blossom in the hopes of catching our. eye. A palimpsest of stimulus, some items detailed and intricate, and some inane and mind-smoothing, but all part of this always-chattering machine.  

👁🗨📲’s knack for scouring the internet for sounds and sequences to make up each track is fully on display throughout. The listener is treated to strange, buoyant video game music, slick R&B, slushy vaporwave, stargazing alternative rock, lo-fi proggy jams. The panoptic feeling is certainly buoyed by sampling, but the context everything is packaged up in is crucial as well. The aforementioned notification sounds and flow from track to track feels natural, the artists successfully evoking that feeling of a screen around framing our experience. Juddering spoken moments interject every so often as well. A female voice talks in what feels like code, feeding enigmatic lines and philosophies. It feels as though, if this handheld explosion of an experience were to slow down, we may understand the deeper meaning of. But this is intentional. A sacrifice of full comprehension for the benefit of speed.

Moments of pristine hit hard, the midway point track cheeky 比喩 being a particular point of interest. Upbeat pop skips along merrily, a sweet atmosphere emanating from crisp production. Just as we reach into fuzzier sounds in a breakdown moment, the volume ducks down and we are locked out of the catharsis. Notifications bubble up past the pulsing, muffled music. Again, there is a presentation of interaction with the digital world as a layered experience, you can splay the layers out and take them all in simultaneously, or hyper focus on one but be constantly notified about all the others. And, there’s always the chance of interruption. Your phone locks. Low battery. Messaging apps begin to ping.

Exposure, the penultimate track of the album, also stands out. A rare occasion where 👁🗨📲 maintain a slower pace, though cuts and switches are sudden enough to swipe the listener off their feet. But, despite this and the sample being stretched enough that the audio artefacts are evident, a genuine emotional momentum builds. Vocals and strings are permitted to soar skyward, before they are chopped and changed, or led into a glitched loop, a yearning spirit is untameable though. It is as if we’ve just experienced some higher level of bliss and absolution all through a small rectangle in our hand, the soft vocals and music stab out randomly at the end, twitching from the genuine emotion that leaked through a cold and eventually dark screen.

The wealth of human endeavour is available to us, to ponder, to enjoy or to critique, at a mere click. But, in recent times proliferation of AI has meant that this terminal now reaches into us too, tracking everything down to our eye movements. In that way, 👁 点 击 と 👁 is extremely timely. A carousel ride through a technological revolution a few clicks away from global crisis. Speed over substance and hive mind over haven. The duo weave an incredible path through it, using an evident talent for sampling and a sense of genuine enjoyment in their execution.