bl00dwave – ＮＥＷ ＶＩＳＵＡＬＳ
/r/vaporwave’s “Guide to Vaporwave Subgenres” lists bl00dwave as a part of the “vapormeme” subgenre, which is described as “a derisive term […] [that] tend[s] to take multiple aesthetic styles of vaporwave with no contextual reason […] presenting them in a confused light that has no purpose.”1 Ouch.
Is it all deserved? Well, not entirely – at least not on ＮＥＷ ＶＩＳＵＡＬＳ. It may be all alt-keys with anime faces, but there’s something about this particular release that works. The samples aren’t ostentatious like the vast majority of similarly-themed future funk producers. Songs are remarkably downtempo; they simply idle along, floating from track to track without much need to impress overmuch or move the body except for a gentle head-nod.
A lot of this here content is cute with a hint of glitter, much like the heart-struck infatuation of the girl on the album art. Sure, it’s got some dumb moments – “ＮＯ ＬＯＶＥ” is definitely too memetic to be enjoyed even ironically, but its harsh fade-out is something distinct from many of the same artists. Follow-up track “ｄｉｇｉｔａｌリラックス” is super-equalized funk with some additional drums – nothing at all different from the score of future funk out there – but the minor effects screw that bl00dwave does use toward the end of this sub-two-minute ditty is so… innocent, perhaps?
Perhaps bl00dwave’s detractors get too bent out of shape on its simplicity. And it is quite simple, but perhaps a better word to describe it would be “unassuming.” The samples are little more than cut and paste, that’s for sure, yet there are moments of the slightest extra effect. Take the slight record skip halfway through opener “ｎｉｇｈｔｗａｌｋ;” it’s wonderfully unobtrusive, with just enough presence or the listener to catch but not stumble. That’s how the album is: little things here and there with neither pomp nor circumstance, just a bit of flair to see if you’re listening.
Calling ＮＥＷ ＶＩＳＵＡＬＳ uninspired is unfair. It’s a short album that’s good for the background – and vaguely sensual, but not sexy. Check it out – it’s worth the listen. Even if this album isn’t exactly a vaporwave masterpiece, it certainly has charm.
1. ｎｉｇｈｔｗａｌｋ – (1:53)
2. Ｋ.Ｉ.Ｓ.Ｓ. – (3:52)
3. ＶＩＲＴＵＡＬ ＬＯＮＥＬＩＮＥＳＳ – (2:32)
4. ＮＯ ＬＯＶＥ – (2:12)
5. ｄｉｇｉｔａｌリラックス – (1:57)
6. ｃｒｙｓｔａｌ ｂｕｉｌｄｉｎｇ – (2:14)
7. ＧＩＲＬ – (2:40)
8. ｔｏｕｃｈ愛 – (3:08)
9. ｃｏｃｋｔａｉｌ – (2:10)
10. ＢＯＤＹ – (1:38)
See here (accessed 18 July 2016): http://i.imgur.com/XE8fzLr.jpg