Listencorp review image of wind rose by beer on the rug

𝘞𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘙𝘰𝘴𝘦 神龍雀舞



Liam Murphy

May 15, 2020

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

BEER ON THE RUG, arguably the label that gave lifeblood to the vaporwave movement with releases such as the prolific…

BEER ON THE RUG, arguably the label that gave lifeblood to the vaporwave movement with releases such as the prolific Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus and Eyeliner’s Buy Now has released a 15-track compilation of music after years of relative silence. The compilation consists of a dynamic range of music genres much like the record label’s illustrious list of releases dating back to 2011.

The compilation begins with a short track from Sunmoonstar. A beautifully hybridised atmosphere of chimes and synth blooms forth towards the listener, fluid notes mimicking birdsong amidst a glowing crystalline landscape. The track rumbles, showcasing an undergrowth of musical movement that feels as though it sways gently in the breeze. It has the wandering beauty of Alice Coltrane, tinged with an elegant, glasslike fragility.

The next track shifts the pace considerably, with Brussels-based producer Weird Magic blasting jungle rhythms alongside shimmering guitar loops. The bass fits in perfectly underneath the rattling hi hat and snare combination. A voice chats nonchalantly deep within the mix, disappearing as a laser synth begins to lift the track off of the ground. With the bass drum thundering back in and the synth rising, we take flight with Weird Magic on a track engineered with precision and care.

Saturn’s Daughter takes the reigns slowing things back down as a gurgled beat starts to illustrate a swamp-like environment. Chirping percussion echoes off into the distant mist. The percussion seems to be emitting from underneath our feet, its low rumbling bubbling up from the shallow murk that we stand in. The track doesn’t progress anywhere, save for moments where the bass drum hammers repeatedly, but it doesn’t need to. Saturn’s Daughter creates an incredibly lifelike environment that we can appreciate from a stationary position.

Liquid Metal Temple begins as we close in on Suryummy‘s beautiful amorphous worship site. Gliding past crowds and springs of running water, the temple begins to career into earshot with beatiful menageries of chiming bells and shrouded pads. All of a sudden we dive into a huge, thick percussion line sending spurts of pixellated runoff and glitched bell sounds flying in every direction. The pads begin to emerge from the background, rising triumphantly and wiping away the heavy percussion for a moment. It feels as though we stand on a moving platform that for mere seconds poked its head above the clouds. We descend once again and the industrious energy of the temple overwhelms the epic pads. The track deviates between this heavy onslaught of percussion and moments of blissfully sublime euphoria.

Inverspace hits out immediately with an anxious rhythmic loop. This loop gradually grows, flaunting a detailed and infectiously danceable texture. The line between melody and percussion is crossed so rapidly that the whole track seems to move with this fantastic, swift heartbeat. A mellow bell sound begins to hit, timidly at first, surrounded by the energetic musicianship all around it. For the whole runtime, Inverspace does not relent, presenting an amazing hyperactive track that would suit the middle of any DJ set.

Emundula‘s Ori-Enting commands with a confident drum and snare combination. The melodic elements shepherd the track into an explorative and slightly euphoric avenue. String-like plucked synth notes sing out into the open air of the mix. The track pulls on many classic 808 sounds to achieve a hypnotic rhythm, the bassline pulsating underneath the beat. The beautiful blend of grumbling lower frequencies and floating high synth notes has a lasting effect on the listener, Emundula choosing to let the more effervescent highs carry the song to its conclusion.

Percussionist Neel Agrawal and musician Brian Griffith collaborate on Ocean Moss. From the very beginning of the track, the duo submerge the listener is this awe-inspiring swell of sound and texture. The maelstrom of calming sound includes a saxophone moaning softly to itself, gigantic waves of cymbals and the pitter patter of a tabla-like sound that cascades like the fringes of the ocean. Neel’s percussion begins to emerge as the commanding force of the track, the melodic aspects swirling underneath its guiding hand with grace.

The Color of Biters combines snarling reverbed bass with organic drumwork to create an electrified sound. The bassline sizzles like a live cable in shallow water, screeching in pain and retracting with piercing noise. The drumline picks up into a riding rhythm, sometimes dropping out into random fills and hits, accentuating the unpredictable nature of Leedian‘s creation. Emotive piano begins to emerge in the second half of the track, bringing a cooling salve to the unchecked aggression of the two main characters of the song.

Laughing Akai erupts from a deep trench, bubbling up to the surface with crisp percussion. A pad moves like flowing water between each hit of the drum. Jung Deejay subtly brings us into the throng of soundA friendly and warm voice calls to us, swept up in the hypnagogic beat and dashed over the mix in a beautiful echo. The beat starts, a deep bass drum appearing in the dizzy shroud. The track’s higher frequencies disappear, cut off by Jung Deejay swiping at his creation with a low pass filter to then bring it all back in. Laughing Akai has a meditative energy, once within the middle of it, it feels as though we are nudged gently by a life force that is infinite and endless.

Enemie (usa)‘s brings our second jungle tune of the compilation with Iana Sinkhole. Sinister pad sounds warp and distort their way toward the listener before a fast-paced rhythm erupts. It feels as though the percussion is transported through a wormhole, as it warps and cuts out every now and again. The pads in the background create an incredibly atmosphere, and when they are dropped out we are left with an incredibly engineered drum and snare duo along with vocal samples that slide in and out of earshot. The track is wonderful feat of percussion and musicianship combined.

Rhucle gently pushes euphoric undulations of sound toward the listener. From near the very start, these sounds have an emotive hue to them, the harmonies carried out by each note fuelled with a mystic sense of longing. Sweet Night is rich with field recordings of water, and the emotional melody sounds like the shining of the sun against the trickling stream. Each eddy being illuminated in a dazzling brilliance by the glowing sound.

Headboggle‘s Victory Leap is brief but wastes no time in enveloping the listener into a grainy live performance, a stereo field of low pads, the melody guided by crackling sweeps of synth. The song smoulders like fading embers in ash, it’s pace almost reminiscent of Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire.

Power On from Telemachus slams into the listeners earshot with searing guitar chords accompanied by a determined drumline. The rhythmic explosions and hyper-emotive snare screams of the sort of 80s rock ballad you might find in a sci-fi film as the director scans a decaying skyline. Though it is not all energetic action, the track’s drum falls away allowing this spacious skyline to emerge pulsing with life and emotion. It ends with climactic bursts that reach desperately towards the sky before screaming out and fading into silence.

Golden Living Room (GLR) and Bathroom Plants present the penultimate song on the compilation. Freezing Winds sends beautiful organic synth floating toward the centre of the mix. A lone, lead whistle hovers above like an insect diving and soaring through the plant life. The track is awash with wonderful sounds of nature, including panpipes that whisper gracefully in the wind. The duo somehow create an evolving atmosphere of ambience, while also composing a wonderfully progressive sonic narrative as the carefree melody shapes the song in realtime.

Donnie Blossom‘s track Washy ends the compilation. We look through an aquarium filter at a tinny, old piano pushing notes out into the aquatic sound space, the tail end of some notes flicking up like a fish burrowing through the water. A grainy hue tinges the track as a high-pitched whirring can be heard throughout. After a while, more instruments join, augmenting the timid and repetitive melody. A wavering synth line reaches up high before dropping down to low, baritone notes. The cute little riff emanates alongside the original piano sound, creating a soporific tune that strikes the listener with the ripples of a small pond.

The new compilation showcases an incredibly disparate roster of artists, from fast-paced dance tracks to pondering and experimental excursions. But what becomes abundantly clear throughout𝘞𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘙𝘰𝘴𝘦 神龍雀舞 is that the BEER ON THE RUG label retain a keen ear to some of the most interesting artists out there.–2