I can’t recall how I came across them, other than via a random retweet, but one tiny artist that I find myself regularly downloading is the work of FLESHSCAPEイヤーリーパー. T
his is a Hard Glitch/Harsh Noise side project of Slushwave artist Hyper Reality. (@HyperReality19, hyperrealitydreams.bandcamp.com) HR’s work under FLESHSCAPE is described as Anti-Vaporwave, which is more than accurate. But as Harsh Noise or Hard Glitch, I’d argue it’s not quite that, as her latest release, Purgatory of the Patriarchs, is a different, more nuanced, and tormented monster.
So Purgatory is not Vaporwave, mostly by virtue of it’s sampling of 1950s Big Band music. Nothing here is given the chopped-and-screwed treatment. Instead you have the pop-and-crackle of an old record throughout, and the echo of hearing such music in a grand ballroom. You don’t have glitchiness, either, these recordings are almost untouched. The Harsh Noise aspect, though, it has, but it’s selective, and subsequently very effective. When the brass sections blare, it’s blown out, ear piercing, like your angry father barking at you. (Hence the name: Purgatory of the Patriarchs.)
You’re not getting the constant Noise Wall or erratic sounds of glitch work here. You’re getting the classic sounds your parents would have heard in your grandparents’ living room, only it’s menacing. Haunting. Deformed. Rusted and caked with blood. This is not a trip down to Nostalgia Town. This is what plays back in a Baby Boomer’s head when they remember the bad times. This is the soundtrack of the Hidden Horrors of the Suburbs, as shaped by the punishing, stifling mores of the Cold War. It’s legitimately unsettling. FLESHSCAPE/Hyper Reality has put together one of the most dread-inducing ambient albums out there. And right now, you can download it for free at