Drip-133 – ‘♡’

Recommendation: ✂ (“Water Curtain,” “LexiCom,” “Loading . . .,” “www.eclipse.jp”)


Drip-133’s ‘♡’ received some unlikely mainstream1 attention upon release via Tiny Mix Tapes,2 possibly owing to the album’s presence on the established AMDiscs label. This artist was one of the first to follow in Blank Banshee’s footsteps, coming roughly seven months after the vaportrap founder’s Blank Banshee 0. Drip-133 quickly set himself apart from his peers through the utilization of crystal-clear production, which was a huge change from the cloudiness that informed hypnagogic pop and classic-style vaporwave toward the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

In contrast to the club-vibe of 「fluence」’s elemental and confrontational stylings of chris†††’s no lives matter, Drip-133’s ‘♡’ flirts with spliff-heavy, low-bpm designed to relax the listener rather than excite them. Opener “Water Curtain” takes the patented vaporwave elevator muzak and adds a relaxed, steady beat; “www.eclipse.jp” is sublime in its Nujabes-esque jazz-hop flow. Percussion (mostly) avoids the extreme compression that plagued 「fluence」’s elemental; thankfully, Drip-133 does not sacrifice melody for the sake of a hi-hat.

The majority of the tracks are short instrumental pieces: all but three do not pass the two-and-a-half minute mark. Therein lies the problem with ‘♡’3: it betrays the impression that most of these tracks are mere sketches of ideas rather than ones that are fully-formed and fleshed out. The J Dilla microsong in instrumental hip-hop is a hard concept to emulate in a successful manner; it doesn’t really work here, whether or not Drip-133 consciously sought to do so. Therefore, the best songs are the longer ones – with the exception of the ninety-second “Loading . . .,” which works fantastically as an interlude track.

 

Tracklist


1. Water Curtain – (2:29)
2. LexiCom – (2:46)
3. Missin’ U – (2:26)
4. Tears (feat. Architecture in Tokyo) – (3:04)
5. Sippin’ – (1:59)
6. Usher Hentai – (1:04)
7. Loading . . . – (1:26)
8. Leave Me – (1:36)
9. HD – (2:07)
10. YungSad – (1:50)
11. www.eclipse.jp – (2:29)
12. 2 Tone – (1:54)
13. Lust Tho – (3:04)


 

1Well, still independent music, but more “mainstream” than that with which vaporwave is typically associated.
2BIRKUT. “Music Review: Drip-133 – ♡.” Tiny Mix Tapes. 2013. Accessed July 08, 2016. http://www.tinymixtapes.com/music-review/drip-133-♡.
3… which, for some reason I cannot being to figure out, gets displayed as the menucon “☰ ” (also the Chinese glyph for heaven!) in my media player and web browser URL. Go home, unicode; you’re drunk.

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