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jankyswans - "antennae" EP review

Five days ago, when I was in the midst of finishing my second vaporwave/mallwave album, I got an email from a new fan about a picture I had posted of a paprika plant in my garden. Writing that their own musick was inspired by plants and animals around them, this individual described their interest in my new release and decided to buy the first album I had put out as 彡DragonCentury99. I ended up listening to their musick, and really liked the EP they put out today. In case you don't know, today, July 3rd, 2020, is a special day where Bandcamp is waving all of their own fees for purchases on the website. Be sure to check out some albums by yr favorite artists to help them out today! It's pretty late, but there is still time left (until 3am EST)!

The cover artwork for antennae reminds me of an old-school computer RPG. Showing a humanoid and a huge insect on the cover, it's a bit of a portrait, which I don't love. I do like that there is some ambiguity here. Are the characters allied? Is the humanoid about to fight the insect? The background looks a bit different than the characters, but I do like the gradient of grey miasma. I assume that this eerie fog cloaks the world of this EP as it starts.

The EP begins with steady beat and a bouncy but rigid bassline before melodic bells come in accompanied by harmonics from some kind of stringed instrument for the title track. This is a great start to this release: it's concise and continuously exciting. Dramatic synths bring out tension and mystery as we delve further into a beautiful fadeout. Further in, there is water, more rigid bass, and a water-y synth leading the way. This track is called "l e v e l s e l e c c", and it does very much remind me of a Mario hubworld or the like. The track fades out with some retrogame sounds that accompany jumping, warping, or collecting coins. When the artist messaged me, they told me that the next track, "ᗩ Gᖇᗩᑎᗪ ᗩᑎOᒪE" was inspired by reptiles seen enjoying the sunshine. It's another mysterious-sounding track of dueling rhythm and lead and simple drums. It makes me think of going on some kind of journey. "mday" closes out what I think of as the first side. An "ending song", "mday" is a wistful tune lead by chirpy tones and a calm flute.

Heading back into the dark, "lofft" kind of sounds like something from The Terminator mixed with New Age/vaporwave echoes and the classic chiptune melodies. It's very cinematic and layered, much more than the dramatic ambiance it might seem at first glance. I don't find "moon ❀ regent" as inspiring as the earlier tracks, at least at first. The first half doesn't really hook me, but once the Mega Man style kicks in, it's all good. I really enjoy how this track builds up to something huge. Afterwards, this is the ending theme, "npc bacchanalia". A happy little song with a relaxed, comical feel and rising tones that inspire hope, this track lets the listener know that everything turns out okay in the end. I hope that's true for yr story too.

I am very happy that I got to hear antennae by jankyswans. A chance encounter via an image of a paprika plant turned into a discovery of new musick. The internet can annoy me a lot of the time, but this is a way that it can help us discover new ideas, new musick, and new and inspiring artists. Sometimes it all works out. If you like chiptunes or vapory stuff, this is a great chance to hear a combination of the two together.

antennae receives a Good.

Check out both releases by ☆彡DragonCentury99 and jankyswans on Bandcamp today, tomorrow, or some other time. Thanks for listening.

jankyswans second EP, "antennae" tells a fantasy tale of chiptune mysteries from the past and vapor dreams from the future.