Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku‘s constant hangout for people who love video games and the cool sounds they make. Today we are going back to 1999 in 2018 with a breezy 10 minutes of refreshingly relaxed cyber mood.
Victoria Dominowski Secret little refuge ((Tape bearings /. long game /. VGMdb /. Itch.io) is unique narrative adventure, the plot of which unfolds about navigating a fictional operating system on the late-’90s personal computer of a girl named Alex. She’s trans but hasn’t quite figured out what that means to her yet. The game invites us to “join her in her story of self-discovery through friendship and media while she explores her computer for the treasures and curiosities of the early Internet”. Couldn’t have said it better, so I didn’t.
Secret little refugeIt’s remarkable how thoroughly his nostalgic aesthetic is reminiscent of his chosen era – his pendant features a Neo Geo Pocket and Dreamcast VMU if that says anything – while the gameplay lovingly honors the staples of the turn-of-the-century teenage computing experience like instant messaging, virtual pets, anime forums, fanfiction, and other melodramatic, overly sophisticated sigs. If it all sounds fascinating Check out our article from behind when it came out.
You can only tell from the images above that Dominowski is a seriously talented graphic designer, and judging by the game’s 10-minute synth-driven soundtrack, she has some musical issues too. Here’s what three dollars on Tape bearings
The good mood immediately flows into “Welcome to Sanctuary OS, “With glockenspiels and piano that offer a gentle rise to the information highs of the late 1990s. This is the album’s predominant mode, perfect music to chill out while idly chatting with your future MySpace Top 8 on the latest topics Handsome soldier Sailor Moon Fansubs. “Relax on the information superhighway” and “Sunset on the CRT“Follow this example and the latter turns out to be a beautiful piece of piano.
“Hello bug“Introduces a moment of tension, but it’s more of the exciting, nervous kind than anything that’s really scary. “Defragmentation“Continues a slightly darker, thoughtful feeling limited by the 18-second synth blast”NO TURNING BACK. “Press any buttons you want, it sounds great. The faster, more determined feeling “This connection is secureInjects a burst of energy and makes me want more than its easy run time of 62 seconds after that the title track provides a relaxing finish with a return of the carillon and piano, aided by lazy rains.
Warm, comfortable, relaxing: The Secret little refuge OST does a great job of pulling me into the nostalgia of a past shared by those of us who came of age alongside the World Wide Web. It’s funny how vaporwave, a genre that didn’t exist 22 years ago, can still thoroughly evoke those feelings of yesterday. It’s almost like half of this nostalgia is remembered and half is a construct of the way we look back at our past and frame it – if that makes sense – so the feelings aroused are at least as important as the concrete facts of what we experienced. Or maybe it’s just that vaporwave is an inherently backward-looking genre that can’t help but recall everything it mixes with.
What I can say for sure is that I would be happy if Victoria Dominowski decides to release more music because the meager 10 minutes in Secret little refuge ask for an encore in full.
That’s all she wrote for today’s morning music. This is possibly the shortest selection we’ve ever presented, not that anyone matters. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. You are now halfway through another week. How are you doing so far I’ll take my answers in the comments. I’ll see you Friday.