Erebus by 香港快運2083(Album Review)

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This was written by Strawberry Station from Private suite Mag (Now defunct Vaporwave Magazine)

Sometimes, less is more.

With Erebus, the now long-established香港快運2083(HKE 2083) continues their exploration of sonically distinct genres, with great success.

This is an album that needs no whistles and bells to be comfortable in its own skin. The plain white album art speaks to its laid-back self-confidence and effortless melding of both classic vapor and vapor-adjacent genres. 香港快運2083's previous works cover a lot of ground, and here the blending of these elements is seamless.
The music speaks for itself. First, "Ariya's Ballad" provides the classic vaporwave sheen, pads swirling as a deep, meandering bassline gives substance to the opening salvo of this journey through sound. Following on from this, "ウィンドウペイン" introduces lo-fi hip-hop elements, featuring gorgeous piano riffs and a bouncing beat around which an organic bass swoops and dives from bar to bar.

It is readily apparent that these basslines are a consistent and driving element of the songs on this album, a vital glue which allows seemingly disparate genres to meld effortlessly into a cohesive package.This is no less true in "slow depression," which features subtle chiptune elements and effortlessly blends all three genres. "中空の木 ," meanwhile, provides trance-like house rhythms, all duelling synths and plucks, fighting in the air above a subterranean bass. "Newports" continues this exploration, its distorted and stretched vocal stabs rising and falling behind breakbeats and 808s. "兄と寝る" picks up where "ウィンドウペイン" left off, with syncopated beats providing a laid back feeling, while the vocal hits present in "Newports" remain to give a vaporfunk vibe to proceedings. Finally, "1665" melds elements of many of these different genres – hints of everything from synthwave, trance and chillhop through to classic vaporwave can be identified – as the album builds to a smooth crescendo.

Hearing these songs in isolation, one may be forgiven for thinking they were scraps of different projects pulled together from various folders on 香港快運2083's PC, but that does a great disservice to the success with which a cohesive listening experience has been crafted using that wide tapestry of sounds and moods.

The plain white cover is no mistake. It is a mark of confidence, almost swagger, that no matter how wide the range of influences on show, Erebus gives the listener a journey that is sure to satisfy and leave them longing for more. And therein lies the joy: this album serves as an excellent introduction to香港快運2083's diverse back-catalogue, while never dwelling too long on any one particular style. Sometimes, less is more.

Erebus is out now on Virtual Beach Club and on香港快運2083's Bandcamp page.



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