S U R F I N G – Deep Fantasy
[Editor’s note: This article has been deprecated. It no longer reflects the views of Sunbleach Media or its writers. For an updated article on Deep Fantasy and its place in vaporwave history, please click here.]
You don’t get to copy and paste full songs, call them your own, and make money off of them. The only reason S U R F I N G isn’t called out on this is because there’s a somewhat-pervasive belief that Deep Fantasy is entirely (or at least mostly) original material – and it is patently not. Don’t believe me? Head on over to WhoSampled.com and check it out.1 If this album weren’t made relatively early in the history of vaporwave, then it almost certainly would have either been forgotten or acknowledged for being sample-heavy with minimal editing. If vaporwave fans can get mad at PZA for doing the same, then S U R F I N G doesn’t deserve a pass, either.
It’s the exact same problem as マクロスMACROSS 82-99’s A Million Miles Away: the tracks are little more than retro tracks that are ultra-equalized to give a dated, compressed sound. There’s no acknowledgment of the sources from the producers themselves, and they make money off of the songs, by way of the numerous pressings on cassette and vinyl that are available. For example, “Hit the Spot” is nothing more than a slowed-down version of Kenny G’s “Sade,” with no editing effects or purposeful-wall-breaking that makes something like “リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー” from Macintosh Plus’ Floral Shoppe a worthy endeavor.
The only worthwhile track of originality is “Killed a Man,” whose instrumental section is stretched into a lengthy synth jam that sounds excellent. But again, as with マクロスMACROSS 82-99, the excellence of the other tracks is entirely due to the source material: not because S U R F I N G does anything to the songs themselves to make them worthwhile. And this could’ve been entirely avoided if they had just cited their sources, or at least made more of an effort to evolve the tracks from their original material.
This is different from other albums because successful vaporwave releases that utilize nigh-complete sampling do so to call attention to the obviousness of the samples (e.g. the aforementioned Macintosh Plus), invoke the uncanny valley (e.g. 骨架的), or edit in a way to make purposefully innocuous music (e.g. most of mallsoft and hypnagogic drift). In contrast, Deep Fantasy comes across like a cheap trick. If you like the songs, spend your money on the artists who made them. Don’t spend it on S U R F I N G.
1. Dal Boca Vista – (1:34)
2. Moonlight – (6:14)
3. Your Touch – (5:37)
4. Hit the Spot – (4:22)
5. Sky High – (3:51)
6. Senegal – (3:21)
7. End of the Night – (3:16)
8. Lifetime – (3:55)
9. Dubai – (2:24)
10. Killed a Man – (8:35)
1Here, I pulled it up for you: http://www.whosampled.com/Surfing/