mirror kisses isn’t chillwave, vaporwave or any kind of wave

Delving into the world of New York’s PC Music Scene.

by Reuben Fidock
04 March 2015, 8:06pm

Mirror Kisses is the vocal project of performing artist George Clanton who you might also know as ESPRIT 空想. George recently relocated to New York from Virginia and has begun to make some noise in the five boroughs. PC musicians use buzz words I don't always understand and speak about genres which sound like the name of skin care products like 'SPF420' but something about George piqued our interest. Maybe it was the Dumb and Dumber haircut, or the flash Internet art of his singles, but mostly it was George's music, which sounds something like the lead singer of your high school band over the top of Futurecop! Either way, it seemed time to look past the mirror to discover the real George Clanton.

So first off, what are you drinking?
Is that the official first question?

That's the official first question.
Good opener for me. I'm having grapefruit and vodka, it is my favorite right now but not ruby red. Ruby red is garbage.

How did an electronic musician find himself smack bang in the middle of the rock scene?
I've always liked electronic music. The Prodigy was my favorite band as a kid but I was making guitar music for years. I got into New Order eventually. New Order was really, really big for me and I just transitioned into making electronic music with them. I don't feel like I'm a part of any particular scene right now.

What about genres like chillwave and vaporwave? I know your music has been called these before, do you feel like you can connect with elements of those sounds?
Yeah, yeah I guess. When I think of a scene, I'm thinking about IRL. But URL I've been included in the SPF420 scene to some extent. I actually like vaporwave, I think it is cool, I think it's a shame that you have to give up on a good thing now days so soon.

What is the SPF420 scene?
SPF420 is a live streaming concert series online. It's like boiler room.

So it's a culture that lives online?
Yeah. A couple hundred people get on tinychat once every so often and there's a webcam show for a few hours. Early on it was a major home for Saint PepsiSpazzkid and XXYYXX. When I first found it, it was sort of a vaporwave show, but vaporwave is dead now so everyone has moved on to what is really happening "now" but fuck it, I think vaporwave is tight who cares.

Do you deliberately distance yourself from the electronic scene?
Absolutely not, I just don't know how to find it. If I can't find a scene that is a nice fit, hopefully I can just carve one out.

It feels like everything moves so much quicker because of the Internet. What's cool one minute, is out of touch the next. Do you find it depressing?
I don't really find it depressing but it's...let's say discouraging. I feel like even if I shine for a moment, as an artist, it's going to go away immediately and no one will be listening anymore. But I don't think I'm making music to fit into a scene. It's not made to be chillwave or vaporwave. I like those things, but it would be slighting both my accomplishments and chillwave's accomplishments to call them the same.

I don't understand how a scene can suddenly be gone. This concept usually implies more to fashion than to music. Do you ever wonder if these scenes are more buzz trends, than they are actual genres of music?
It's hard to say if there was ever a separation between those things. I think that it's definitely a trend to kill something off and say "this is dead" right now in order to make room for the next cool thing.

If you think it's garbage then it's a trend and you can talk shit on it all night. But there's always a gang of people ready to say that what you like sucks and what they like is actual art.

Do you believe in the concept of universal art?

I work for an art handling company in Manhattan. I see multi million dollar works all the time, I don't get it. People pay twice what a private island costs to put a metal sculpture on their ceiling. Maybe I'm a basic bitch, but if there's a universal beauty to art, then even a basic bitch would understand it. I think art is 100% subjective, it's more interesting that way anyway. Obviously there's more to art than metal sculptures, but I think the "basic bitch" principle applies across the board. There's nothing in the world that everyone likes. not even Drake. Fuck Drake, he's boring as hell.

Is there anything you'd like to add?
If after reading this someone thinks that I'm an asshole I hope they understand I'm just a simple boy from Virginia who likes to make music and doesn't mean any harm to buzz genres or Drake.

Listen to Mirror Kisses' mix for i-D here.


Text Reuben Fidock

New York
mirror kisses