James Ferraro – Sushi

Recommendation: ☀☁☁


Trying to figure out why James Ferraro called it Sushi is to search for meaning that is not there. It’s the title of the album, and that suffices. Digging any deeper is like asking what sounds yellow makes.

Sushi is the follow-up to the germinal vaporwave album Far Side Virtual, which also ended up being one of the most divisive albums in both Ferraro’s discography and in the scene as a whole. Sushi eschew all of Far Side Virtual‘s corporatocracy and jingles – if it were divisive in any way, then it’d be in how accessible it sounds. Ferraro is mostly known for his MIDI meddlings and modern beat-oriented work, but he got his start as an ambient/drone artist. Whether or not the switch in production styles is welcome is a contentious issue among hardcore fans.

The album is full of glitchy hip-hop loops. Sushi could be Ferraro’s club album. It’s certainly dancy enough to be so. Many tracks feature extremely short vocal clips that are recycled repeatedly throughout tracks, which is a common trick in nightclub remixes. Songs are polyrhythmic, but the beats are pretty easy to follow and are consistent throughout songs. Sushi does not have the problem of Garden of Delete by Oneohtrix Point Never, where the eclecticism interrupted tracks rather than allowing them to progress naturally. Song structures are a bit wonky – both as an adjective and as a genre of music – with the playful “Bootycall” being a highlight. “Flamboyant” utilizes hi-hats similarly to trap music, and the surprisingly downtempo “E 7” has a classical flavor.

Sushi is entertaining and fun. It has an authentic shimmer that is not usually seen in Ferraro’s work. The album might be a little ironic – how could a song titled “Baby Mitsubishi” not be – but there’s certainly a gleam of genuine pleasure in its eye.

 

Tracklist


1. Powder – (3:09)
2. Jumpshot Earth – (2:37)
3. Flamboyant – (3:18)
4. Playin ya Self – (2:47)
5. Baby Mitsubishi – (3:10)
6. Lovesick – (3:28)
7. E 7 – (3:24)
8. Jet Skis & Sushi – (2:59)
9. SO N2U – (3:12)
10. Condom – (4:15)
11. Booty Call – (3:42)


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3 comments

  • evan

    new to this site – good stuff!
    huge ferraro fan here, both before and after FSV.
    just wondering why you posted this review now? it’s a great review, but I was just curious since the album is a few years old.

    best

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    • Dylan Kilby

      Thanks for reading! A lot of old albums in vaporwave and its related genres don’t have a lot of literature about them. The main goals of Sunbleach are to get thoughts and information about vaporwave/cyberpunk releases down on paper where there was previously none (hence why many of the “big name” albums like Floral Shoppe were not written until quite a bit later in publication history) and to provide a conduit for people to discover new music as it comes out. Even if they’ve been out for a while, it’s worth getting stuff down. Sushi has been out for quite a while and it’s not necessarily vaporwave-related, but its attachment via James Ferraro makes it a tangential part of the scene.

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  • evan

    gotcha. that makes – just wondering. Thanks!

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