Did you know Visual Signals isn’t the only Vaporwave printed magazine? Today we do a deep dive on the first issue of Listencorp. issue 001 – LATIN ALL STARS! Let’s see how it stacks up against our zine! Don’t want spoilers? grab a copy of Listencorp. #001 here.
Issue 001 was released late September 2021 at the price tag of roughly 10 USD — a price I wish I could release my zine at. Having seen photos of 001, I knew it was in color, so I was a tad jealous that they could print at that price. I figured it had to be some form of DYI.
The zine arrived with a card stock cover with 28(?) pages of high-quality color printing – the first page starts at 3, so I’m guessing they are counting the cover, and it’s opposite as 1 and 2. Since the page count is thin, the binding is with two staples, which was something I thought about with Visual Signals but never went through with.
Opening the book, the first page includes a contents list and the inner cover a statement by the white tube, “Ideas for a new art world.” This is where I get jealous, my printing company won’t let me print on the inner cover page, I love that. The contents detail a quick rundown of what articles are inside and a note stating every issue bought, 1 EUR is donated Tommy’s — a premature, stillbirth, and miscarriage medical research fund.
As the 001 issue proudly displays on the cover, the first article is a rundown of the virtual “the first-ever Latin vaporwave fest”, Latin All-Stars. Here I learned about artists Andr0ider, Lost Computer, Skule Toyama, and Fornax Void. Cat Sys corp even had an appearance and apparently, Tapes Brazil and ATMO collaborated with a strong visual-audio experience. I felt like I learned a lot about a different part of the scene regardless of whether it was a concert. I just wish they mentioned the date of the show, which was January 29, 2021, I wasn’t sure if this happened in September when the issue came out or if this was a history piece.
It’s great to see how big our Latin community is in the scene. I can’t wait for Latin All-Stars 2, hopefully, one day we’ll have it in person.
The next article was a full print moody deep dive into the artist that is desert sand feels warm at night. Fans of the artist will enjoy this opinion piece and whoever wrote it obviously has a great affinity towards the artist.
If I had any criticism it would be I don’t know who’s writing the articles. I don’t know if Listencorp. is a solo project or community-driven. Nowhere in the issue do you see credits other than on artwork. Maybe it is an aesthetic, but I wouldn’t mind discussing some of the artists with the original writer.
After the DSFWAN article, we get a full print DATAGIRL image, which was also included as a postcard inside the book. After that, we get into the contents of the rest of the book — 6 album reviews spanning 12 pages. Most of the albums I had never heard of, so I appreciate being introduced to the new artists. Every two pages or so, another full print digital art is randomly added — pieces from Ross Warrington, Zer0 れい, Lunitas, and finally, Ellie Gowrley.
I’m personally not one to read album reviews continuously in one setting, so I only got maybe 2.5 articles out of an eight article zine. This would be another suggestion, mix album reviews with other articles to splice it up some. The art is great, but they felt oddly placed as they didn’t relate to the albums. Some of the reviews mentioned physical releases, I would have loved to see what those cassettes or CDs looked like. But from my own experience, Album reviews are difficult to sell because unless people also listen to those albums, they are hard to relate to unless you are looking for new music.
Anyways, I liked the review of Elevator Relaxation Tapes 1-4 by Stevia Sphere, so naturally, I went to Bandcamp to find the album. To my surprise, the album cover had changed! This is why I think zines and blogs are important, it documents the scene at a given moment in a way that can’t be changed. So often album covers change or even full albums get deleted, Artists remove tweets or disappear forever. I welcome any form of literature on our scene without concern because in the end, it’ll help grow and preserve what we hold dear.
They haven’t released a new issue yet, but their blog is pretty active. They seem to be posting once a week with some high-quality reviews and interviews. I’m excited to see what this zine does next and see how they improve on the first issue. I’m glad for another zine to fill in the void when Visual Signals is in between issues. Welcome to the club Listencorp.!