Post Internet Music Label: & Options

Interview with Wasn't, & Options label owner and Fuuka ASMR

Text: Yusuke Shono, Translation: chocolat, Noriko Taguchi

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On your page, it says “Post-internet web label”, what is the meaning behind “Post-internet”?

Wasn’t(W) The idea for Post-internet is music that is genre-less and a result of having infinite access to any kind of music you want through the internet. You could have three browser tabs open that have Mariah Carey, Merzbow, and some Mozart concerto playing while you’re downloading an obscure Bandcamp album. While genres can be fun, I think there is a growing trend of music that is super eclectic sounding and a result of internet access.

What made you want to create a record label?

W & Options was started due to a mixture of wanting to innovate and frustration. I had been releasing with a few net/cassette labels and through that process I figured that running my own record label wouldn’t be that hard to do. I also wanted & Options to be playful, you may have noticed the Twitter feed can be quite jokey and bizarre at times haha.

There was also the experience of being unknown and having other labels not take me seriously with releasing my own material. I wanted a small label that would be prompt about paying the artists and respecting them – no matter how obscure and unknown they are.

What would you say is the common energy or feeling that drives record labels?

W It can be hard to tell why people start them. Sometimes it can be just for fun or a platform for a collective of artists. For me personally, I enjoy the community and social aspects of running one. There’s also some innovative and bizarre label concepts just done with a Bandcamp, it definitely varies. The business aspect is prominent too of course. I think an artist running a record label can be a more viable way to make a living with music now.

Is there a reason why you don’t release any Hardvapour or Mallsoft?

W A lot of Hardvapour is like rebranded Gabber from the 90s, and I’ve had some issues with the people behind it. This might be a public declaration against it now haha. Although I’m not a huge fan of Mallsoft I have nothing personally against it. Much of my denouncement of Vaporwave genres has often been a joke, and a way to let people know that & Options isn’t a Vaporwave label.

How does the Toronto music scene look like from your point of view?

W Toronto is interesting because there are many different music scenes going on but they’re rarely interconnected. There’s a lot of indie rock and noise music going on at the same time but you would never see both on the same bill here. Unfortunately this can lead to a ‘power in numbers’ situation regarding genres or styles, so the scenes can become a bit of a clique as a result of that. I’m going to be releasing some music soon by a local artist and friend named CARES – who very much fits the idea of Post-internet.

Self Edit Arrangement by Wasn’t

My Melody is on the cover of NXCXTC, does she have a special meaning for you?

Fuuka ASMR(F) I fell in love with Sanrio’s characters a few years back. It’s a strange obsession, but I can’t get over it because in general I just love corporate mascots and other sorts of cute shit. My Melody is my favorite Sanrio character because she is undeniably the cutest. She has a friend named Kuromi who looks exactly like her but she’s evil, and that’s the coolest shit. I’ve got several albums under different pseudonyms with artwork that are all screenshots of different sorts of corporate mascots. I live and die by cute, basically.

You seem active since 2013, is Yakui your other stage name? If so what differentiates you and Yakui?

F I’ve actually been active since 2011 under the name Clawface, but nobody cared who I was until I dropped the first Yakui EP or whatever in 2013. Yakui is meaningless. A long time ago, I formulated Yakui to fit a certain mood and failed to do that, but I just kept releasing music under that name. There are a bunch of other artists that use the name Yakui and there’s also a 2chan character named Yakui too, so I’ve thought abandoning the name for a while, but I’ve never done so. All my different pseudonyms were created to drop the responsibility of being Yakui, and Yakui was created to drop the responsibility of Clawface, but I love attention so much that they are all essentially the same project. My latest album as Yakui was going to be a Fuuka ASMR release on my own label, but I decided against it. I don’t play a character as Fuuka ASMR, though I consider her a character of her own. She’s a girl who makes ASMR videos that have nothing to do with ASMR. I like telling stories with my music and making characters, even if those stories and characters make no sense, or aren’t even directly conveyed.

Tell us more about the production of “NXCXTC” for & Options?

F The production behind NXCXTC isn’t that interesting so I’m not going to say much. About 80% of it involved raising the pitch of the samples and then the rest of the music writes itself. It is 100% sample based. I like taking songs and mashing them up until they barely resemble their original versions. I guess you can say that NXCXTC is a remix album taken to the extreme. The third track, Ana Piety, sounds too similar to its original version, though. That irritates me.

Your name contains the acronym ASMR, is it something you are into? What kind of sound would you be attracted to?

F I don’t like ASMR. I find the whole phenomenon to be weird and I don’t understand it. ASMR in terms of Fuuka ASMR only really applies to one track I made which itself is called “Fuuka ASMR”. That track is like an actual ASMR track. All my other Fuuka ASMR tracks have nothing to do with ASMR. I rarely go into making music with any idea other than the sheer enjoyment of making music, and when I do I usually abandon the idea early on. That happened to Fuuka ASMR in just the course of making the first EP. However, I found that with Fuuka ASMR and the other projects I’ve started within the past year, their defining feature is a complete misunderstanding of certain aspects of internet culture. I don’t think I would have ever made any of this stuff if I wasn’t so engrossed in internet culture and the music it has birthed. Without being semi-aware of things like ASMR, vaporwave, and what not, I’d probably be making straight techno and house instead. As far as what kind of sounds I like, I really like squishy sounds and gloopy sounds. A gloopy sound is like a bloop, but more organic.

There are many music genres that emerge on the internet, like Nightcore. Which are the ones you are especially interested in?

F I really liked chillwave and witch house. Those two genres really motivated me to get into making weird net music. I get nostalgic thinking about them. The point in time when they were relevant was a very good point in my life and probably the peak of my enjoyment of music. I liked the idea of vaporwave, but I feel like it missed the mark. I’d listen to a bunch of it and none of it made me feel anything except for Chuck Person and that album with the speed racer artwork. Vaporwave probably had the biggest influence on me out of all the net genres, though. It was the first one I actually attempted to make and it has permanently changed the way I make music. I made a couple of albums as Yakui early on that were supposed to be vaporwave, but in retrospect have nothing to do with vaporwave. They were just my idea of what I thought vaporwave was because I didn’t bother to listen to most it. There’s also a little-known net genre called metro-ko that was started on /mu/. It died very quickly, but it became the thing that I stuck to making. It was supposed to be gloomy minimalist city music. I didn’t make a single decent metro-ko album until everyone stopped paying attention, though. There are a lot of gems hidden in metro-ko that I wished more people would check out, but it has such a bad rap from being a /mu/ genre that I don’t think anyone will. That’s just what happens on the internet, though. On the internet, you have millions of people making music and everyone only listen to the smallest minority of it. It makes me wonder why anyone continues making music at all, to be honest.

NXCXTC by Fuuka ASMR

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Here is the newest release by &Options. “BLOOPERS” by methyr.

BLOOPERS by methyr

http://andoptions.bandcamp.com
http://yakui.bandcamp.com