VHSテープリワインダー – Together United

Recommendation: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Together United is a VHS pop1 album by VHSテープリワインダー,2 an anonymous artist whose albums were previously available through labels such as Dream Catalogue and Business Casual. The tracks have two distinct styles: time-stretched R&B/pop samples and downtempo instrumental jazz. The latter tracks have a bit of a Nujabes feel, especially on “your call is very important to us” and “okinawa resort;” for the most part, they’re excellent samples with an upbeat (for downtempo) tone and bluesy atmosphere. There are also a couple of video game music tracks (e.g. “escapism” and “watch the sunset with me”) that will be entirely up to the individual listeners’ tastes. The production fidelity is varied, which fits with the VHS pop aesthetic: “modern homes” is crisp and full, whereas “okinawa resort” emphasizes high-range sounds.

The R&B/pop tracks do not work, and their placement in the album severely interrupts its flow. The most glaring example is “tender loving care,” which is a messy, mediocre edit of Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” and has little to do with any of the other tracks. “heartbreak” and “the funk” appear rather early in the album after the chillout “an afternoon together,” and they simply don’t make sense at all in context; and like “tender loving care,” they’re just exceedingly rough edits of pop songs. On the other hand, “baby” uses the same style but is entirely instrumental, and its lack of extreme screw fits the tone of the other songs.

Rarely is there an album so divisive in terms of quality and drive. Were Together United purged of the time-stretched R&B/pop tracks, it’d be an excellent addition to anyone’s downtempo and VHS pop playlists. If there’s interest in this album, then cut “heartbreak,” “the funk,” “tender loving care,” and “oriental”3 from the tracklist.



1. underwater – (1:33)
2. an afternoon together – (2:38)
3. cascade – (1:33)
4. heartbreak – (2:13)
5. the funk – (0:39)
6. modern homes – (1:44)
7. your call is very important to us – (2:01)
8. tender loving care – (2:06)
9. baby – (1:47)
10. escapism – (2:13)
11. okinawa resort – (1:45)
12. oriental – (1:26)
13. watch the sunset with me – (1:31)
14. sleep – (2:12)
15. disintegrate – (0:50)


1How fitting!
2Japanese translation: “VHS tape rewinder”
3… which just goes too ambient for this album; the opposite problem of the R&B/pop tracks.


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