There is just too much music on WKNC. This is especially true of electronic music. Luckily, I’m one of the people who are putting in the automated music queue for Afterhours, so I can tell you what I like to help you sort through it. Here are a few of those that are recent additions to the WKNC rotation.
DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ – “Destiny”
Genre: House, plunderphonics
This album is four hours long. I listened to all of it.
Over those four hours, DJ Sabrina showcases her unique flavor of house, which channels memories of old VHS tapes of Disney Channel romcoms and janky 90s computer games more than any musical influence. This, combined with the length and the smooth transitions between tracks, results in a listening experience closer to an ambient album than your typical house album.
That said, it’s not without its bangers. “Invincible (Something to Hold On To)” is probably the most danceable of the bunch, but still overlaid by DJ Sabrina’s signature vocal samples of romance movies. In contrast, just 4 tracks later is “He’s My Baby,” a smooth, relaxing track reminiscent of the Avalanches if they made something for a lounge.
Ultimately, the variety means that there’s something for everyone, all united by the nostalgic vibe.
George Clanton – “Ooh Rap I Ya”
Let’s be honest, you expected this album to be here.
George Clanton knows how to make a good pop album, and in this case, he brings his best. Clanton’s distilled 90’s nostalgia combined with a shoegaze-y wall of sound creates a gorgeous atmosphere across the entire album, from the burst of synths at the start of “Everything I Want” to the slow fade harkening back to his vaporwave days at the end of “For You, I Will.”
The lead two singles “Justify Your Life” and “I Been Young” are obvious highlights, but my personal favorite track is “Punching Down.” Every part of the song combines perfectly, showcasing the previously mentioned wall of sound influence.
Track 6’s title is “Vapor King,” and if anyone can call himself that, it’s Clanton.
Aquasine – “MSGBOX”
Genre: Digital fusion
Digital fusion can sometimes be seen as just soundtracks to video games that don’t exist, but Aquasine manages to both honor those origins while also bringing in more EDM in “MSGBOX.”
The opener, “StreetPass Millionaire,” is maybe the best showcase of this – it’s a fun, danceable pop song, but it’s also full of 8-bit synths and references to the Nintendo 3DS.
The rest of the album has less pop influence, but is still just as fun, like in “EXPRESSWAY,” which focuses vocal samples along with the chiptune and rapid changes. The general effect of these elements is almost glitchy in some ways, but always to increase the mood, rather than to be experimental – it’s a hard album to listen to without smiling at some point.