Lancaster_ – Press Play
Lancaster_’s Press Play has one of the most recognizable album artworks in vaporwave, let alone future funk. If there’s ever an image that encapsulated the aesthetic1 that’s constantly thrown around the Internet, that fuzzy no-feed blue screen has got it. It’s appealing and straightforward, and it immediately brings to mind the days of VHS and cable that only works when it feels like it.
Press Play may be only seven tracks long, but its lack of length keeps Lancaster_’s glitchy and fresh future funk fresh from overstaying its welcome. It’s mixed heavy on EQ abuse and compression, but the volume itself isn’t that loud, making Press Play a curious aversion of the loudness war that bedevils many remix and modern funk releases. Plus, the compression has a point: songs sound as if they were being played from a barely-hanging-on club speaker in the basement of your favorite beachside bar, even if it’s actually just playing through your headphones in your kitchen. Lancaster_ likes his filters, as the songs are frequently phased high and low; they typically occur at the end of songs and act as good introductions to the next movement (so to speak).
There are plenty of vocals, but similar to death’s dynamic shroud.wmv’s I’ll Try Living Like This, they’re cut to the point of unrecognizability. Vocals are more of a rhythmic force than they are a tuneful one, although the ones in “LMBYRS”2 certainly has both traits. “Teena Marie – Lovergirl (Lancaster__ Flip)” heavily utilizes stereo effects (such as a gratuitous pan in the beginning) that works to amazing effect, sounding like the mixing equivalent of a double-tracked tape. “Leaving” is entirely instrumental and uses a kick-snare beat with a heavy (and mesmerizing) damping effect.
Press Play is quite similar to French house music. Imagine what would happen if Daft Punk were into ECCOJAMS, and you’ve got a fairly good impression of what Press Play sounds like. It’s analogue, it’s synthy, it’s a bit goofy, and it’s a damn good time. Press Play often appears on lists of introductory works to the aspiring vaporwave fan, and for good reason. Plug it in, and press play.
1. Paradise – (2:30)
2. LIMBYRS – (2:42)
3. Teena Marie – Lovergirl (Lancaster_Flip) – (4:04)
4. Perfect Touch – (2:18)
5. Serious – (2:53)
6. Leaving – (3:03)
7. Outro – (1:32)
1So hard to use this word when talking about vaporwave for obvious reasons, but there’s also not really another word that works…
2LMBYRS – Let Me Be Your ???? ????