New Dreams Ltd. – Fuji Grid TV EX
Fuji Grid TV EX is the definitive version of prism genesis,1 an early vapornoise/broken transmission album released by Vektroid through the New Dreams Ltd. umbrella in August 2011, only three months before the much-discussed FLORAL SHOPPE. Fuji Grid TV EX updated the semi-eponymous album with a revised tracklisting and with revamps of the actual songs. It was released in February 2016 alongside the redux of fellow New Dreams Ltd. project Shader (as Shader Complete), kicking off one of the most productive years in Vektroid’s discography since that fateful 2011 that inspired half of vaporwave subgenres. Fuji Grid TV EX is ostensibly the version that Vektroid intends to be the “actual” release; along with Shader Complete, the original albums are no longer available through Vektroid’s official site, although rips abound in fan-made compilations of her work.
This release features several substantial differences from the original album, to the extent that it should be treated as an entirely different work. It’s almost double the run-time at thirty-two minutes compared to the original’s nineteen, and many tracks are extended and edited far past their original length. Several tracks were deleted or combined with others: e.g. “change yr mind” and “toyota / waiting for you” are now “Change Your Mind / Waiting 4 U”, “slime ritual” and “cinemax / speak” are now “Slime Ritual / Cinemax”. “Virtual Big Turtle” is an entirely new track. The extension of some songs is welcome and provides some additional skittering, repetitions, and glitchiness that the short length of the original songs may have ended too soon. There are also some rather surprising ambient-ish passages that were entirely not present on the original release; check out “Mosaic” for a particularly striking example.
prism genesis featured harsh production that was borderline noise music, akin to spiritual successor Y. 2089 by テレビ体験. While facilitating the “staticky television at 3AM” aesthetic, it resulted in some monotony throughout the album’s run, even if it were less than twenty minutes. The redux ameliorates this issue by entirely remastering the albums with way more dynamic. Noise purists might dislike this aspect for taking away from some of the album’s bite, but it is definitely an improvement for other listeners. prism genesis was mastered rather heavily on high-end frequencies, making static as much a compositional element as the actual samples present, giving prism genesis a real sense of VHS-degradation. Fuji Grid TV EX dials down the static a lot and emphasizes the mid-range: compare the two versions of “Ssun Dreamss”. The result is a mastering closer to telenights by ghosting.
Fuji Grid TV EX is a welcome update to a foundational album in vaporwave culture. Despite assuaging some of its parent’s harsher aspects, the redux/remaster successfully presents the original material in an ultimately more enjoyable and rewarding light. The latent variety of prism genesis has been stripped away of its overly obfuscating static while still retaining the album’s old insanity that made it so influential. If you’ve yet to hear early Vektroid or vapornoise music, then Fuji Grid TV EX is the place for you to begin, balancing vapornoise’s harshness with the musicality of classic-style production. If you like what you hear, then check out some of the more intense listens of the aforementioned Y. 2089 and the original prism genesis. It’s abstract fun produced in stereo KSSHHHH-NEWLIFENOW-KSHH.
1. GOML – (0:33)
2. Ssun Dreamss – (1:35)
3. Change Your Mind / Waiting 4 U – (3:02)
4. Virtual Big Turtle – (3:00)
5. Slime Ritual / Cinemax – (3:21)
6. Black Horse – (1:11)
7. Ur Girl – (4:25)
8. Mosaic – (5:43)
9. Warm Life / New Life – (2:43)
10. HBO CD – (2:19)
11. Break Out! – (3:09)
12. Disku – (1:26)
1The titles are somewhat confusing. The original album was titled prism genesis by fuji grid tv and issued through the New Dreams Ltd. project. The updated version is titled Fuji Grid TV EX by New Dreams Ltd., this time issued through the general Vektroid umbrella. The remaster of Shader somewhat avoided this issue by still being released under the artist name Sacred Tapestry.