Macintosh Plus // Floral Shoppe // February 25 // Beer On The Rug
I’m always looking for a new sound, something exciting and something innovative. While many people will roll their eyes and say that 2012 is all about seapunk, I will beg to differ. While its aesthetic is nice and the sounds and pleasurable enough, its makers are lazy posers that are more concerned with taking a cool photo on Instagram rather than making music. Fuck seapunk, give vaporwave a chance.
What is vaporwave? Good question. It’s a nostalgic genre but not in a way where the producer just makes generic electronic music with tons of reverb on top. It has been compared to chillwave by some and while it does aim for that neon 80s sound, it is predominantly made of samples. The result aims to sound like something that was being used in advertisement at the turn of the computer era. That’s why it’s also been called eccojams and doswave. Vaporwave feels like a soundtrack to lost japanese home computer adverts, elevator music, the sounds that come out of the phone while you’re waiting on your call, soundtrack to j-rpg games on Sega Saturn. It has that 80s Japan feel to it, all the song titles are in japanese despite the fact that most of the producers come from the States. Over the next few weeks I’ll review the essential vaporwave albums released so far as personally I find this aesthetic very pleasing.
First things first, there’s no point in questioning who these artists are. Vaporwave is the baby of the internet and these are people of the internet, a bunch of anons. Floral Shoppe is the release by a person/group called Macintosh Plus, the cover of the album sums up the sounds on here pretty well. It feels like 80s music backed by 80s ideas with sampling mindset of the present day. All things on here are made out of samples, some tracks have vocals, most are instrumental. Vaporwave is a young genre and it shows as Flower Shoppe feels like a collection of ideas that are stuck around one or two tracks that are actually great. リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー samples Diana Ross’ It’s Your Move, cuts it, screws around with it and delivers a 7 minute meltdown that is just as great as the original. It’s the definite standout on here and one track that shows genre’s capabilities of screwing and rearranging music that already exists. It doesn’t just take a sample to make a new song, it samples the song to make itself into a warped version of the same song, not quite the same as a remix or chopped & screwed versions. ECCOと悪寒ダイビング is one of the better moments too, sounding like it samples your average Phil Collins track, it manages to make a track that progresses instead of just looping that same thing over and over. The rest of the album is definitely good but it requires more patience and just like the music that it takes its samples from, it ends up being sound of the background.
It’s clear that vaporwave is inspired by people like The Field and especially Oneohtrix Point Never. Daniel Lopatin’s progression-by-loops technique is currently making him one of the most exciting young new faces in the IDM playground and his last album is definitely a big inspiration on these young producers. Replica consisted of tracks that were made from old commercials. Vaporwave takes that idea and puts it against the backdrop of 80s neon lifestyle. Floral Shoppe aims for one specific sound and while the album does feel like a bunch of songs to support the couple of truly great moments, at least it nails that sound.