Vaporwave is something of beauty. It has been created as a form of expressionism. It allows artists and musicians alike to come together and share their creativity.
It is reminisant of the 1960’s when music and fashion combined to free our minds. Before this period, children wore what their parents did, albeit in smaller form, and the sounds played on the radio were of happiness and even more happiness. Dull and sugar-coated.
Then the late 80’s and early 90’s brought the second wave of ‘freedom’. Again, we were able to enjoy sights and sounds that our inner-conscious craved for. Whether this was attending raves in disused warehouses, graffiti on derelict buildings or hip-hop producers benefiting from using numerous samples to build classics, it all created a pot of escapism.
Now, the third wave. Vaporwave.
One artist who is on the rise, in this most exquisite musical paradise, is ローマンRoman. Having released a batch of singles it is now time for his debut extended player, called ‘P A L M S’. Containing a generous eight tracks it gives the listener a helping of Vaporwave excellence.
The first track creeps in with a casual, almost cocky demeanour. The beats are dirty, almost grimy, and the bass is dark and unsettling. This record has a presence of a hard-hitting mafia boss and the ghostly lyrics add even more of an edge to it. ‘P A L M S’ is Vapourware with attitude; it is dark and delightful.
‘M I R A N D A’ is the contents of an un-opened champagne bottle. The bubbles and the smoothness, its all captured here. With the added flavour of funk you will enjoy kicking back in the heat, allowing the sweet melodies to relax every element in your carbon-based body.
Speaking of funk, ロー マンRoman is throwing out some soulful-sounds here. ‘L O V E’ has bags of heart, creating a warm feeling in regions you never knew existed. Whats also amazing here is how he constantly keeps changing the dynamic of the track, with trickery gifted to him by wizards he is able to brandish a sleeve full of skills, ultimately paying the bills.
Now, where would be best to flex in front of the opposite sex. You’ve got it: poolside. And it wouldn’t hurt for someone alluring to be whispering sweet nothings into your ear, whilst you dip your toes into the warm water. ‘S E C R E T S’ is that forbidden fruit that has you wrapped around their finger, tempting you. Body heat and soft fingertips caress your skin. I would go as far as to say that on hearing this record you will feel hot and you will feel bothered, so be careful where you listen to it.
And there is no escape from feeling hot under the collar with ‘T O N I G H T’, as it is as though you can feel the tracks skin. Picture the film ‘Videodrome’ as it shares similarities with its surrealism, given the sounds ‘flesh’. This is a piece that serenades the ear without effort, linking very well with ‘W E S T C O A S T’. Out of the tracks this sounds like it has been lifted straight from a tape cassette that has not been touched since 1988.
With most of the tracks on this playlist there have been lyrics sprinkled here-and-there. ‘Y O U’ is different, it has them throughout. ロー マンRoman has used his personal touch by using effects on the vocals and blended the track with them nicely, creating an ‘anti-pop’ record. It doesn’t want to be a commercial record in our world, but in a parallel universe where Vaporwave is what we except as commercial, and pop music is an underground movement for people hooked on candy floss and little imagination.
Now to the finale. ‘C O A S T I N G’ is a travel guide to the year 2197, in a dystopian world of piece and tranquility. Roads are made of chrome and every road light is a different neon colour. In your hover-car you cruise past people who do nothing but smile and flash ultra-bright teeth, every shop is open and vibrant and the air is as fresh as the first day of existence. Dolphins and Humans together; floppy discs for door keys; stairs replaced by conveyor-belts; roman architecture with Windows ’95 for trim as standard. Your imagination can run wild here.
Overall, ローマンRoman has put together a mini-masterpiece of soundscapes. The samples are clever, and inventive. They work very well along the deliberate low-tech sounds. Whats also a nice touch is that the records are kept short, so you are given the correct amount of pleasure. You can also hear many influences, varying from b-boy to R&B. Going through the artists record collection would be very interesting, indeed.
All-in-all Vaporwave is showcased very well on this release, and will only help strengthen the scene. The artist has had a great deal of pleasure crafting this collage of records for you to enjoy. Overall, the sexiness of this EP gives it an addictive appeal. ‘P A L M S’ is your candlelight dinner, foreplay and silk sheets rolled into one.
Long live the new fresh.