Vitamin.D – POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY

Recommendation: ☀☀☁


POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY is Vitamin.D’s third full-length release and first for the Wave Rebel label. It comes with the caveat “headphones recommended”, and that is no advice to be ignored for this eclectic vaporhop/vaportrap release. POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY is a nine-track album that incorporates a variety of vaporwave samplism and hip-hop techniques similar to those used on Blank Banshee’s two self-titled albums, but with more deranged, even broken transmission-esque flavors.

Whereas vaporwave samplism generally utilizes looping or curative styles of samplism, POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY (and most vaporhop) utilizes sampling based in hip-hop composition instead. For example, “P:\PIZZA” features several wonky progressions that are cut up in a staccato manner, creating rhythmic flow through the percussive nature of the sampling instead of melody or loops. Follow-up “eye2eye” uses animal sounds such as monkey screeching that enhances the downbeat supply by the trap percussion. Many of the production choices wouldn’t be out of place in an album that doesn’t have the “-hop” qualifier (as with the breakbeat on “dolphin.tiff”), but the choice of new age music, Windows start-up sounds, and heavy use of reverb firmly grounds POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY in the aesthetics of vaporwave.

Vitamin.D often introduces multiple ideas and movements within the same track, giving each song a stitched-together feeling. “useless power !!!” begins with a slowed-down vocal track and mid-tempo kick-snare similar to some of PZA’s material, but then it features a repeating loop of Japanese media and a lo-fi classical sound. “Macintosh LC 420” features synthetic turntablism at the beginning before ending off with a slow jam’s impression of letting the air out of the band. “Sleep Well 私の王子” fakes out the listener by sounding as if it’s winding down just past the halfway mark, but it’s suddenly overtaken by a goofy game show outro that can take the listener by surprise if they weren’t paying attention to their scrobbler. It’s all great at making the album’s twenty-two minutes seem so much longer – not because POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY is boring (and it’s not), but because each second is filled with something and little to no time is spent on build-up before the next idea has already launched into the musical fray.

Check this out if you’re into Blank Banshee, NTSC Memories by Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza, and electronic hip-hop music with minor glitch influences. POWERBOOK ONE FIFTY is not a glitch album, but it certainly has a free-for-all attitude that isn’t too far removed from glitch.

 

Tracklist


1. 3_islands_ – (2:18)
2. FRUS/TRA/TION – (2:41)
3. P:\PIZZA – (2:46)
4. eye2eye – (1:53)
5. empty (喜びの涙) – (3:04)1
6. dolphin.tiff – (3:15)
7. useless power !!! – (2:18)
8. Macintosh LC 420 – (2:36)
9. Sleep Well 私の王子 – (2:02)2


 

1Japanese translation: “(Empty) Tears of pleasure”
2Japanese translation: “(Sleep well) My prince”

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