New Dreams Ltd.
Label: Aguirre Records (Belgium)
Catalog: ZORN 057LP
Double LP version; Edition of 700. High glossy gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves; Includes download code. Aguirre Records present Sleepline, a crucial album by vaporwave pioneer Ramona Vektroid, here released under the moniker New Dreams Ltd. Ramona is widely recognized as instigator of the vaporwave genre with her celebrated album Floral Shoppe (2011). Vektroid (Ramona Xavier) is an electronic musician and artist based in Portland, but her reputation has hinged almost entirely on her hypertextual virtual presence. While she's most often pigeonholed as being a primary artist behind vaporwave -- a net-based microgenre notorious for its wholesale appropriations and meme-like propagation -- she has been releasing music since 2006 in a variety of styles and under a dizzying array of nom de plumes, from Vektordrum and Macintosh Plus to Laserdisc Visions and 情報デスクVIRTUAL.
Within the sprawling, obsessive vaporwave community, Vektroid's 2011 album Floral Shoppe (as Macintosh Plus) has become canonized as its most representative transmission, an unlikely feat for a style of music that challenged not only our taste profiles, but also what could be considered "art" to begin with. But like most styles of music, what's on paper never aligns perfectly with the actual music, and Vektroid is a shining example of an artist whose talents extend beyond the regurgitated checklists of a now concretized genre. Two of her strongest albums, though, served as beautiful outliers that continue to resist easy categorization. Sleepline (released as New Dreams Ltd.), plays in the liminal space between states of consciousness, inducing a hazy, deteriorating quality that stands in contrast to Shader Complete's mostly hi-definition aesthetics (ZORN 057CD/LP). It was written in winter 2013-2014, but it didn't see an official release until 2016. Originally conceived as a Sacred Tapestry sequel called Transcontinent, the album saw Xavier returning to her plunderphonic tactics, looping and down-pitching what sounds like decades-old Japanese commercials. This time, Xavier sought out source material that would more readily fall under fair use, attempting to bridge the aesthetic gap between her works by foregrounding her editing techniques as much as transforming the source material. Mastered by Rashad Becker.