• Ideas
  • Apr 07, 2022

Echo Chambers: Drainers

A fan-made music video often posted as a meme on “Waster Wednesday.”

Ethereal, glacial, and wasted, Sweden’s artistic collective Drain Gang has spawned one of the greatest post-internet subcultures. Its cult followers, identifying themselves as “drainers,” celebrate its angelic auto-tuned vocals, introspective lyrics, and androgynous Y2K styles, pushing the once acquired taste into a global phenomenon. In March, member Bladee and Ecco2k released the surprise joint album Crest, continuing their exploration of spiritual and heavenly motifs. The ongoing world tour is seen as a pilgrimage, and the merchandise, holy relics.

 

Left: Painting by Bladee for the album cover of 333. Center and right: Images via Instagram.

Bladee produces music, paintings, and fashion items. His designs are characterized by spiky patterns and psychedelic, over-exposed images. While his earlier production was known to be eerie or even demonic, he began to play with angelic mythology and themes of the transcendental in recent works.

 

Images via Instagram (@bladeesgf).

The group’s spacey aesthetic is comparable to hyperpop, which emphasizes on cuteness and gender fluidity. This is exemplary in the androgynous appearance of member Ecco2k. This pixie style has come to define an entire generation of e-girls and e-boys alike.

 

The 25-year-old YUNG LEAN is one of the most influential figures in the cloud rap genre and viral music scene.

An enduring aspect of the collective is its humble origin story. Starting as mere Swedish teenagers who posted music online, the friend group connected with mutual friends such as rapper Yung Lean of the Sad Boys collective, and gained prominence together through various collaborations over the years.

Curated by an ArtAsiaPacific editor, “Echo Chambers” is a biweekly blog that aggregates links and visual contents from the virtual realm.


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