AOTW | 20 March – 26 March: James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual
Along with Floral Shoppe, Chuck Person’s ECCOJAMS Vol. 1, and HK, James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual is one of the most influential albums in the extant history of vaporwave and modern cyberpunk music. Although its distinct MIDI sound found few imitators (notable exception: High Fashion Mood Music by Eyeliner), Far Side Virtual catalyzed the corporate utopia/faux-utopia that informed much of the early period of vaporwave and continues to influence the culture. Basically sixteen tracks of cell phone ringtones and advertising jingles over a full-length, the album’s hyper-realism polarized mainstream music culture. It scored an album-of-the-year recognition from The Wire magazine and received one vote for album-of-the-year in the Pazz & Jop critics’ poll run by the Village Voice while finding no shortage of detractors. It’s one of the few albums to embody the phrase “bouncy sterility” without either of those words canceling each other out. Regardless of musicality – and it’s surprisingly/surpassingly musical – Far Side Virtual is a necessary listen by any person interested in the current cyberpunk music climate and vaporwave culture.
Read Sunbleach‘s review here, and check out the music below: