CVLTVRΣ – Virtual Life
Virtual Life is classic-style vaporwave from… wait, 2014? Damn, I could’ve sworn this has been around since 2011 or 2012. Sure looks and sounds that way. Huh. Nice. Anyway, CVLTVRΣ’s debut album originally came out to relatively little attention, but it quickly grew in popularity on message boards and eventually found itself featured on the first Vaporwave ULTRA Essentials Guide and on /r/vaporwave’s Guide to Vaporwave Subgenres as “classic-style” and “mallsoft” respectively. Two years later, it received a limited run of cassettes on Adhesive Sounds that celebrated the album’s second anniversary. CVLTVRΣ also found quite a bit of success in the TASPO project with the SIMULATION // SIM.BETA double album.
This release is eight tracks of affected Japanese pop songs in the pure FLORAL SHOPPE manner. It has an intense ECCOJAMS vibe, but with more jump cuts than usual. Additionally, the sound is cavernous rather than surreal, something more in common with its mallsoft tag – as can be heard on the first track. Half of the album contains vaportrap influences with a distinct ironic-clubbing-for-introverts feel, but not so ironic that you end up hating yourself. There are a couple of missteps: songs like “sleeplant” just aren’t sure what kind of song they actually want to be. However, the moments of genuine awesome are there aplenty. “Ｍａｒｂｌｅ Ｆｌｏｏｒｓ” is amazing mallsoft with great stereo percussion, and “Ｏｃｅａｎ Ｖｉｅｗ Ｗｉｎｄｏｗ” is one of the best ECCOJAMS tracks this side of Chuck Person.
Virtual Life is one of those albums that shows how fun vaporwave can be. Check it out for at least that reason alone.
1. マーケティング 現金 – マーケティング キャッシュ – マーケティング 金 – (3:28)1
2. ｐｌａｚａ ｄｒｅａｍｓ – (2:52)
3. sleeplant – (2:40)
4. Ｏｃｅａｎ Ｖｉｅｗ Ｗｉｎｄｏｗ – (5:38)
5. ショップホップ – ｓｈｏｐ ｈｏｐ – (1:40)2
6. Ｍａｒｂｌｅ Ｆｌｏｏｒｓ – (3:38)
7. 古い子供 child child – (2:20)
8. Ｆｒｅｓｈ Ｆｉｓｈ 寿司の広告 – (2:58)3 4
1Japanese translation: “Marketing cash – Marketing cache – Marketing gold”
2Japanese translation: “Shop-hop”
3Japanese translation: “(Fresh Fish) Sushi advertisement”
4That “new life now!” sample is a nice in-reference to other classic-style vaporwave albums such as those in Vektroid’s discography.