バーチャル Paragon ™ – Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ
Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ from バーチャル Paragon ™ is the happiest album of 2017 – maybe. It’s an eight-track, half-hour album of sample curation released through DMT Tapes FL per the Verbatim Consciousness Recordings imprint.1 The release is all alt-codes and full-width texts, a ubiquitous component of old-school vaporwave flavor. Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ is constructed by looping instrumental music and adult contemporary while applying the slightest of delays and similar filters to create a swishy and echoing ambience. Occasionally the album sounds a bit slushwavey, as with the percussion on “Ｗａｌｋｔｈｒｏｕｇｈ ｔｈｅ ｍａｌｌ”. Unlike classic-style vaporwave, there are neither audible cuts nor skips/jumps that interrupt the process (except at a couple points in “Ｏｎｌｉｎｅ Ｄａｔｉｎｇ”.
Despite the major-key melodies and flowing instrumentals, Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ has a distinct sense of off-ness. It’s made apparent by the album artwork, which shows a distorted photo of a woman smiling at something off-camera. Her eye has been edited to be partially dilated, and her smile is blatantly forced as if it’s a bad stock photo. This plus the overly-enthusiastic music causes Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ to present verisimilitudinous happiness rather than actual happiness, imparting a Stepford Wives manner of being.
Ｔｒｕｅ Ｆｅｅｌｉｎｇｓ straddles the line of the uncanny valley. Listen to it for the subtle creep factor underneath the presentation of contentment.
1. 事業計画 – (1:20)2
2. Ｗｉｎｄｏｗ ｓｈｏｐｐｉｎｇ – (4:21)
3. ゴール – (9:00)3
4. Ｗａｌｋｔｈｒｏｕｇｈ ｔｈｅ ｍａｌｌ – (4:00)
5. Ｏｎｌｉｎｅ Ｄａｔｉｎｇ – (4:16)
6. ＮＥＷ ＧＦ – (1:08)
7. 私たちはまだ愛を買うことができない – (5:33)4
8. Ｗｈａｔｅｖｅｒ – (3:45)
1It has since been made available on the main DMT Tapes FL roster.
2Japanese translation: “Business plan”
3Japanese translation: “Goal”
4Japanese translation: “We still cannot buy love”