Monday, November 11, 2019

Synthwave Review: Pictures of Purple Skies

Pictures of Purple Skies by Memorex Memories is the latest installment in an amazing artist's discography.  It's both nostalgic and fresh at the same time, and to me gives off a sense of wonder at the future.

Like most synthwave albums, Pictures of Purple Skies has a bit of a futuristic feel, but it also dabbles in the past.  Little bits of FM radio, children playing, and waves rolling on a beach can be heard throughout the album, almost as if fragments of memories are coming to the surface as you listen.  This makes an awesome contrast that feels unique and helps set apart the album from the competition.

One track in particular, Ebb and Flow, is quite interesting as it deviates from the traditional synthwave formula by incorporating an acoustic melody to accompany a fast paced beat and ambient synths.  Another interesting track is Fathom (Deep Dive) as it uses a voice fading in an out of the song to add an interesting little twist to it, one that I thought was rather cool.  I personally love both of these tracks, and was pleasantly surprised when I first heard them.

Personally I would describe this album as chillwave.  It's great to just throw on and relax to.  It has a few fillers, which I'm never a huge fan of, but besides that this whole album is an amazing journey through the past, or future, depending on how you look at it ;)

So, I definitely recommend giving this thing a listen, and if you like it to check out the rest of Memorex Memories' work.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Halloween Aesthetics: a Youtube Halloween Vaporwave mix

I just recently stumbled upon this mix on Youtube dedicated entirely to Halloween Vaporwave songs!

The video itself is kind of old (it was uploaded in 2016), so the songs all make use of the older style of Vaporwave featuring samples, loops, and lots of distortion! :P

But still, I'd say this is totally worth a listen, even if you only throw it on in the background while doing something else.  It's a spooky little trip into the past of Vaporwave music ;)

Hope y'all enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ambient Review: Hovel of the Pumpkin Witch

In the spirit of Halloween, today we'll be reviewing a spooky ambient/drone album titled Hovel of the Pumpkin Witch!

I found this album while randomly browsing the ambient section on Bandcamp, and I was obviously intrigued by it's Halloween imagery.  I love all things ambient and Halloween, so I though why not give it a shot?

First off I have to say I absolutely love the album cover.  It's got that classic, nostalgic, Halloween feeling to it that we all know and love.  Additionally, the description for the album has a short story following the character "Mr. C" as he attempts to uncover the mystery of why so many children in his town go missing during the Halloween season.  I thought this story was a genius touch to the album, and helped with the overall world building the artist seems to be doing.

The music itself is what I would call ambient/drone with a heavy focus on synths.  Every track has a foreboding/demonic feeling to it, making you feel like you're in some dark dungeon, or traveling to the pits of hell.  The only song that deviates from the normal formula would be Track 5, Patchwork Monster, which is a three minute track with a highly repetitive melody and clips from different horror movies overlayed on top of it.  I thought this was a nice break in the middle of the album, and I absolutely love the word play here.

As for the artist himself, his entire Bandcamp page is dedicated to Halloween albums, of which he currently has three released.  All three follow the story of Mr. C, and he seems to be releasing one every October.  I personally love the intertwined narrative of these albums, and can't wait to see what the artist has in store for next year! :)

So, I definitely recommend you check this album out.  It's an eerie, chilling album that'll get anyone into the Halloween spirit.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Pop Review: Pop Food

Whew!  I'm finally back with a real post!  It's been long enough :P

Annnndd... it's not a Vaporwave album.  Well that's true, it's not, but I must say this album has had me grooving since I first found it a week or two ago and I think you all are going to like it ;)

Pop Food by Jack Stauber is one of the best "pop" (if you can even call it that) albums I've ever come across.  It's songs have a weird, distorted sound which Jack's unusual singing style wholly compliments, and while at first it might just seem like some odd little album that you're supposed to listen to once and never pick up again, but the more you listen the more you realize how great of a musician Jack truly is.

Like I said, this album is weird, but it's songs are also insanely catchy.  Jack does an amazing job of creating original melodies and lyrics while still making sure that every song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week.  This isn't your typical lovesick pop album, it's so much more.

I know it may seem like I'm gushing about this album a bit more than I usually do, but I was super impressed my first listen through, especially since I had zero idea what I was getting myself into.

So yeah, obviously I recommend you guys go check out this album, and if you have a little extra time definitely check out Jack's YouTube channel where he makes cool little animated shorts.

So thanks for reading, and I'll see ya in the next post!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Meta: I'm Alive, I Swear!

Okay okay, remember when I said I'd be getting back to more frequent posting? Yeah... well here we are.  I've still been busy and have been spending my (admittedly little) free time doing other things.  I haven't been keeping up with the Vaporwave scene as much as I used to either, but I should have a post or two coming out soon ;)

So yeah, sorry again, and I have a real post on the way!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Future Funk Review: Pink Dance EP ピンクのダンス

I'd just like to start this post by apologizing for the lack of content recently.  This summer has been crazy busy so far, and it's been hard for me to keep up with all the new releases/goings on in the community as well as write about them.  I'm hoping as things lighten up I'll be able to get back into the groove of things.  Anyway, enough of my blabbing, let's get on with the review!

I've only heard one of Future Girlfriends albums before this one, so I wasn't exactly sure what I was in for with Pink Dance EP ピンクのダンス.  What I found was a simple, yet fairly original take on Future Funk.  The EP doesn't use the standard city pop samples (at least not as far as I can tell), which I thought was refreshing right off the bat.  All the songs are simple but catchy.  If you're they type of person that hates getting the same song stuck in your head forever then this EP isn't for you ;)

Another thing I've always loved about Future Girlfriend is his album art.  I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for colorful anime album covers, but I think regardless of that he always manages to make clean, colorful, professional looking covers that aren't always present in the other Vaporwave sub-genres.

And finally, to close this review, I'd just like to say I love the "hello my future girlfriend" sample he puts in the songs.  I never really thought about it until this EP, but that meme is most likely where he got the name from, and I think that's hilarious.

So the final verdict: check it out if you have a few minutes to spare.  It's energetic catchy tunes are sure to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dark Ambient Review: TOWERS

TOWERS by TOWERS is a cinematic, ambient adventure through a dark dystopian future.  It's Dark Ambient, which is a genre I've loved for quite a while, but still haven't explored as much as I would like to.  Dark Ambient being sub-genre of Ambient characterized by dark, dystopian themes which I personally adore.

The album itself is one of the best I've come across in the genre.  It doesn't quite rival 2814's masterpiece: Birth of a New Day, but it feels like a little brother to it of sorts, at least in the overall theme.

The album consists of four tracks: TOWERS I, TOWERS II, TOWERS III, and TOWERS IV.  Each one sort of blends into one another, and makes it seem like it's all one giant musical piece.  Each track is quite long, with the shortest being twelve minutes long and the longest being sixteen.

The whole thing all feels like one long walk through a cyberpunk city on a sad, rainy night.  It has distorted samples of rain, police cars, ghostly voices, and numbers of other things to help set the mood.  I think it does a good job of giving off enough of an air of purpose to know what it wants to be, but is also still vague enough to let the listener's imagination fill in the blanks.

I think what really makes an Ambient album good for me is when I forget I'm even listening to it at all.  If it lets my mind wander and go where it wants to, it's done it's job in my eyes.  And, from listening to this album, I can definitely say it did this well.  It's not overly complicated or showy, but it's still there, almost guiding your mind through your own imagination.