BEGOTTEN: A Disturbing Online Music Mystery
A Disturbing Online Music Mystery
WARNING: This article contains material not suitable for a younger audience. The following content and subject matter may be disturbing to some viewers.
I want to showcase everything that was sent to Dennis that day as best as I possibly could so the story of b e g o t t e n 自杀 can be shared as truthfully as possible.
Discretion is advised.
In 2017, an online music label known as Geometric Lullaby would create a thread on a forum in efforts to find new artists for their label. The label’s motto: A collection of songs about life and death.
They received a solid amount of responses but one response in particular stood out. What would happen next would not only change the label forever, but would introduce an entire online music scene to a series of six album releases shrouded in tragedy. All of this, paired with the chilling events we will learn about today, provides us with the ultimate case to solve… Just who is b e g o t t e n 自杀 ?
The story of b e g o t t e n 自杀 is absolutely massive and I believe it will be better to space the story out into multiple parts instead of having it all as one super long article. I plan on working on part two of this story as soon as I can so make sure you check on back here every once in a while.
So, our story today will focus on two people and the limited exchanges they’ve had: Dennis, the label owner of Geometric Lullaby, and obviously, the artist known as b e g o t t e n 自杀. As mentioned earlier, in 2017 Dennis would create a thread online in search of new artists for his label. A bizarre email from someone claiming to be from Azerbaijan, a small country just north of Iran, caught the eye of Dennis. The amount of material and what this email consisted of, was quite shocking.
Upon opening the email, Dennis noticed that the artist had already set up their own Bandcamp page with all of the covers and album names, each however, without any of the actual music.
The first reason this all caught the eye of Dennis was that he was sent six full albums, all at once, with each release set to go live on Halloween for every year going forward until 2022.
Aside from the music, the email also contained a series of music videos. These videos were eerie, haunting, dreamy, yet intoxicating and beautiful. Dennis says how the artist managed to make these videos so relaxing, all while at the same time putting him on edge, still baffles him to this very day.
And last, the text sent with the emails. What Dennis read from b e g o t t e n 自杀 was so bizarre, he just didn't know what to make of it. Each album had the title listed and track names (all of which included Chinese) and a block of Chinese text.
Dennis is still unable to understand the meaning of this text, or the reason for the Chinese language if they truly are from Azerbaijan. Some of it translates to almost a suicide note, while other parts sound like a story that they can't quite piece together.
Also included was a series of some of the most heart-wrenching poetry you could ever read paired with music. If you go to the artist's Bandcamp, you can read each of them right now, along with the album covers and titles. A lot of them are hard to read. They sound like someone who is in a dark place in their life. Dennis remembers all of this intriguing him without even hearing any of the albums yet.
Being hit with all of this at once, it was finally time for Dennis to download and listen to the music sent through the email. And, aside from the imagery, poetry, mysterious text and music videos, Dennis would soon discover a collection of albums unlike any other.
The music was dreamy and atmospheric, haunting yet relaxing, eerie but beautiful all at the same time. But most of all, it was extremely sad. Dennis found himself listening to every album, all six, from front to back twice as soon as he started them.
The multiple languages found in the samples selected tell a dark and depressive story, set against the backdrop of unbearable loneliness. Each release varies in mood from romantic inspired Vaporwave flips to darker trap beats and everything else in between. You’ll find sample work ranging from crystal clear and sharp as a knife to cloudy and incomprehensible, a smokescreen that suffocates us from the sound alone. Added chords and production techniques all evolve the original samples in such a riveting way with the emotional and worrisome narrative enriched into these songs
Dennis knew he had to be the one to release these albums.
After attempting to contact the artist back for over three months, Dennis would finally get a reply. It simply read: “Please release. Send me address.” Dennis immediately compiled everything he needed and sent the first album off for dubbing. Obviously, there was some doubt in all of this. Just who is this person? Why are they sitting on six albums of material as well as music videos to go along with them? Are they really from Azerbaijan? Dennis wondered if he should be worried about what was being said in the text from these releases, should he try and get this person help? Or, is this all a hoax or a prank? Or, is it simply someone trying to create just another creepy music alias on Bandcamp?
“Are these albums an intricate call for help? I just sincerely hope that this person is okay. They have created something unique and have a perspective on things that I can really connect with. I feel selfish, but I want more albums and expression from this individual. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I.”
Dennis, Owner of Geometric Lullaby
Dennis’ doubts about the location of b e g o t t e n 自杀 would eventually lessen when a mysterious package arrived in his mailbox, addressed from, where else, but Azerbaijan. The box contained only 25 copies of a J-card for cassettes of the first album known as “(life cycle) - 生命週期”, each with the word “Death” scribbled on front (for those who do not know, a J-card is the artwork insert placed in cassette cases).
Shortly after this is when we would see these albums begin to gradually emerge online, with the first one released on the label’s Bandcamp page on March 12th, 2018. I want to explore each release with you, going in order from when they were released on Geometric Lullaby and what was going on at that time in the saga of events between Dennis and b e g o t t e n 自杀.
Let us begin.
b e g o t t e n 自杀’s 1st album: (life cycle) - 生命週期 [March 12, 2018 / GEO - 005]
(life cycle) - 生命週期 would be the first b e g o t t e n 自杀 album that would see the dark of night on the internet. Music videos were also included in the original email from b e g o t t e n 自杀 for the album's title track (longing) - 渴望 and for the album’s 4th track (life) - 生活. These music videos, which contain nothing but low quality shots of skeletons, were the first of many to emerge on Geometric Lullaby from the series of footage sent over from b e g o t t e n 自杀 in the original email.
Every b e g o t t e n 自杀 music video gives off this vibe of decayed VHS, this sort of “Candle Cove” aura for those who remember when that whole thing was a craze on the internet.
(life cycle) - 生命週期 would consist of ten tracks, a very exciting and animated vaportrap release right out the gates for b e g o t t e n 自杀, all while still being hazy and lethargic with it’s wonderful use of textures and uncanny sound effects like the cry of the penguin you race in Super Mario 64 that is missing it’s baby. Manipulating R&B tracks and moody hip hop selections that fizzle out into these weird outer body climaxes are simply stunning and Dennis choosing this as the first b e g o t t e n 自杀 release to put on the label, besides the fact that this was the first release in the chronological timeline provided by b e g o t t e n 自杀, was the perfect move. (life cycle) - 生命週期 is the ultimate entrance into the labyrinth of b e g o t t e n 自杀’s mind.
As mentioned earlier, each release was accompanied by text and poetry. Here is what was given from that email sent to Dennis for this first album:
"If love is a gift then I am luckier than most
I am showered with more than anyone could hope
Only I cannot accept them with open arms or a smile
I push everyone away from me, neverending denial
It hurts to exist
It is painful to live
My wrists show the struggle of my emptiness
Just once I want to express myself right
To be honest to those who deserve so and cry
To bleed my own blood not for me, not my life
But someone who needs it, just once before I die
No more lies...
And when I'm gone from this life, I'll look down in surpise
The world keeps on turning, not a cloud in the sky
Without me it's better and less filled with hate
Because now I am gone, buried deep in a grave.
Lay me down and close my eyes. Send me off into the night."
b e g o t t e n 自杀
Here was the Chinese text also sent to Dennis with the album. Translate these at your own discretion as some of these texts can get pretty heavy:
没有人要我在这里，没人在乎，我没有在线离线的朋友， 我不爱我的家人，没有任何人理解我，我是一个失败，只是浪费钱/ 食物，更多我可以列出
旅游地点有点糟糕，因为我曾经住过（约3000人，充满吸毒者） 。我记得走到温迪的一个场所（没有我住过的地方）， 但这个标志就像“老兵酒吧”那样庆祝老将。我走进去，我没有钱， 也没有我的朋友，但是一位老太太说：“哦，我不在乎， 你还会在这么美好的一天去冰淇淋。” 然后我被我的合唱团中的男中音拉开， 我完全迷失在感觉像一个梦幻般的颜色和建筑物的模糊。
我用身体遮挡我的东西在雨中不被弄湿。 即使这次旅行持续了几个小时，我想（不记得有关旅行的细节， 也没有看到我的老师或任何同学以外的男高音和男中音）。 我终于得到了不公平的，在一条我很熟悉的街道上。 我头脑里有一个想法：我要去这个城里的朋友家去拜访， 这是我去过他们家的唯一的朋友，和他一起睡觉。 所以当我到了他的房子（我像火影忍者那样跑了30分钟， 而不是坐公共汽车），到了他的房子，他是真的不同。有意义的是， 我想：“在3.5年的时间里，我们分开了， 我发现了一种幽默幽默感，他有一种脚痛，痴迷于水獭”
但他比以前有5个兄弟姐妹。我记得的是，我问他的父母在哪里， 他的父亲说“哦，Skyler发现如何把自己变成水獭， 所以他在浴室里有一些”私人时间“，这对他来说非常伤心”， 而我可以听到非常非常大声的浴室呻吟声。我在汗水中醒来， 低声想死
Each of these albums, when sent to Dennis, would be tagged as “hushwave” on Bandcamp, as well as the title of the second album released from b e g o t t e n 自杀. Dennis isn’t sure if this is the genre they came up with for their sound, but to him, it fits perfectly.
(life cycle) - 生命週期 would be released on a limited edition ruby red cassette with the first 25 orders containing that j-card “signed” by the artist. Side note: all of the b e g o t t e n 自杀 releases would eventually be re-released by Geometric Lullaby in a beautiful box-set collection on October 14th 2019. There were two variants of this box set, the Ghoul edition and the Ghost edition. These were released to the public with an unknown amount and, as expected, sold out ridiculously quickly due to b e g o t t e n 自杀’s status in the community and their beloved work.
b e g o t t e n 自杀’s 2nd album: (hushwave) - 治愈它 [June 11, 2018 / GEO - 010]
“This release was a little unsettling to me at first. It takes a different direction than the first album, in that, it achieves being both more haunting and creepy, while at the same time being more beautiful and relaxing. It seems that this release uses all female vocal samples, which adds to the airy and ghost-like soundscapes it creates. The songs conjure a thick fog of atmosphere and uncertainty, vaporous in its release, like the depiction on the cover.
I believe this album is a perfect culmination of what the artist was trying to get across with their tag "hushwave" that I have never heard before.”
Dennis, Owner of Geometric Lullaby
Up until this release, Dennis attempted countless times to contact b e g o t t e n 自杀 by email, even at the cost of spamming the original email address from which the albums were sent. Besides the initial email, the email asking for Dennis’ address, and the package that was sent from Azerbaijan, Dennis had yet to receive any sort of contact or response from b e g o t t e n 自杀. He began to believe all hope was lost in ever contacting this person again. That was, until, Dennis got a letter in the mail just three weeks before the release of b e g o t t e n 自杀’s 2nd album on the label.
The envelope was a beige color with the address, both sending and return, printed from what seemed to be a typewriter. Dennis had no idea who it was from, as the sender's name was typed as "B. D. W." and the address was from somewhere in the middle of Georgia (the state, not the country). The address seemed to have some significance but more on this in a bit.
Woozy and distant, the tones explored in b e g o t t e n 自杀’s second album (hushwave) - 治愈它 are enchanting on a whole 'nother level. Most of the tracks on here are just echoed vocals paired with some stretched out synths or reverb flooded piano keys. (hushwave) - 治愈它 is b e g o t t e n 自杀’s most minimalistic album in the series with the most animated track being all the way at the end of the album. The ending of that track, titled (hidden) - 隐藏, shifts the mood into this almost silly, Halloween-like jingle that feels a bit uneasy due to the ironically innocent sounding “spookiness” it has.
Here was the poem that came with this album:
"A step too far and I find my way
Falling to my knees because the emptiness remains
The lights are so bright, I must close my eyes
I indulge once more as tears fall and she cries
Life is a burden I cannot bear
The barrel of a gun, a blank-eyed stare
Razor blade on the mantle, a cup full of pills
I tried everything once but nothing fulfills
Scars on my arms, self-mutilation, perhaps
I could get out of bed now, but rather take another nap
Scared to death of death itself and nowhere to turn
I hope I find solace before it's too late to learn."
b e g o t t e n 自杀
The album would also come with two music videos in the original email, one for the song (insomnia) - 失眠 and one for the song (ghost) - 鬼白
The music videos feature these weird masked figures flailing and dancing around, every couple of seconds staring off and seeming to almost lose control of their bodies.
For fans of relaxing Vaporwave or Slushwave, this release is perfect for you. A big chunk of the b e g o t t e n 自杀 tracks we’ve gotten over the years feel so sensual at times, and this album is one of the best examples. It’s weird, if you didn’t know the backstory of these albums and what went into all of this, some of these releases would probably be super laidback and relaxing. Problem is, once you know, you know and you can’t avoid the horrific energy surrounding the b e g o t t e n 自杀 releases.
Here was the Chinese text provided for this release, when translated, seems to make no sense at all in relation to the album, track titles, artwork or anything:
天气预报预测了由大气条件（雪和冰覆盖，暴风雨，洪水等） 引起的地球表面的大气现象和变化。 科学天气预报依赖于经验和统计技术，如温度，湿度，大气压力， 风速和方向以及降水的测量，以及计算机控制的数学模型。
So... back to the envelope.
After Dennis picked up the strange letter he went back into his apartment and opened it, curious, but thinking nothing of it at the time. What ended up being inside sent shivers down his spine; another envelope. This one was badly damaged. The addresses were written in red ink... and the return address?
Dennis recalls nearly dropping the envelope. He cut it open carefully, his hands were shaking. Inside, there was a single card, thicker than paper. It read "You're Invited," in big cursive letters. Below, there looked to be a fingerprint in red ink, or possibly blood. An address was given, again, in Georgia. At the bottom, scribbled hastily was the word begotten.
And that was it. No date or details on what he was being invited to.
Dennis pulled up Google on his computer and looked up the first address from the outer envelope. That was when he got a little scared. The address was a state mental institution in Georgia. The building looked old and worn down, but according to Google, it was still active. His breathing shortened and he had to pinch himself wondering if he was in some sort of horror movie.
Next, Dennis looked up the address from the "You're Invited" card and nothing came up at all. He searched for a while to no avail and decided to download Google Earth. He pulled up the exact address and zoomed in to find a small graveyard with several mausoleums in central Georgia. He looked back at the card and decided that it was definitely blood leaving the fingerprint, not red ink.
At this point, Dennis took a moment to stop and absorb everything that was happening. He came up with four conclusions on what could possibly be going on with whoever this b e g o t t e n 自杀 person is:
- Someone was pranking him from the start and this whole thing was just one big hoax.
- Someone just started pranking him after the first release. They saw the first story and were now trying to feed off of the mystery.
- b e g o t t e n 自杀 is actually someone living in Georgia, possibly in the mental institution. They used the Azerbaijan address as a decoy.
- b e g o t t e n 自杀 is actually in Azerbaijan and is, for some reason, using this person in Georgia as a middleman. They sent them the original letter, which was then forwarded to Dennis in another envelope.
Dennis’ mind was flooded with questions: should they have the blood tested for DNA? Should he go to either of the addresses in Georgia? Or possibly try and find someone to go there for him since he lived in a completely different state?
Whatever his next move was, he knew that he needed to continue the release of these albums. Next up would be b e g o t t e n 自杀’s third album, the one many consider to be the darkest of them all.
As mentioned earlier, I believe it will be better to space these articles out instead of having the story all put out as one super long read. That being said, I think this is a good place to stop before we open up a whole new can of worms with the third album.
We’ll talk again soon.
Until we meet again for our next deep dive into fascinating music…
Also known as "Youtube's Vaporwave Valedictorian", Pad Chennington is a content creator who has created a substantial following on YouTube for his videos discussing all things Vaporwave. Starting in the Fall of 2017, Pad's videos range from reviews to breakdowns, interviews to unboxings, and much more, always revolving around odd and interesting music genres found throughout the internet. Pad has also recently released an album in February titled "CONTRAST", available as a free download via the My Pet Flamingo label.