6TEEN OK, the new cassette mixtape from Warren Defever’s His Name Is Alive, opens with tape-fuzzed audio of a radio presenter telling us that ‘you’re listening to the Prince weekend’. However, this is unlike any Prince we’ve ever heard before.
Sure, as you listen to this half-hour-long sound collage you’ll find that certain elements of The Artist Formerly Known As’s oeuvre are instantly recognisable - a ripping guitar solo, for instance, or the dinky keyboards from ‘When Doves Cry’. However, these sounds are often drenched in delay or buried in the mix, subsumed into a set of hissing lo-fi drones and beatific ambiences. Rather than letting Prince’s music take the lead, here Defever dissolves Prince into the ether. It’s also worth noting that Prince isn’t the only famous musician referenced by Defever here - listen close enough and you’ll be able to discern a Cramps cover in the mix.
Turning our attention to Defever’s own contributions, there is a strong hauntological slant to the record’s combination of washed-out tones and chintzy synth pads. As such, 6TEEN OK nods to many contemporary genres - hypnagogic pop, chillwave, vaporwave - that have degraded the sounds of the past in order to create new work for the present. Defever’s varied, synapse-firing music here steers close to everyone from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma to Wolf Eyes, John Maus to Panda Bear.
6TEEN OK, the latest His Name Is Alive tape to be released on Disciples and intended as a companion piece to recent archival compilation All The Mirrors In The House, is a post-ambient masterwork.