コンシャスTHOUGHTS – Can’t Get Enough
Can’t Get Enough doesn’t have “bad” songs, it’s just highly derivative. Minimally-edited French House with vaporwave can only go so far, especially when it’s twenty tracks of the same beats/percussion/etc. コンシャスTHOUGHTS1 falls into the quagmire found by a lot of future funk producers: such heavy focus on dance ends up limiting the music, and there’s only so much that you can do with a four-on-the-floor beat and a Japanese funk sample before it’s played out. Don’t get me wrong, dancing is good, but there’s just so much of this kind that it’s stale only a few tracks (or albums) into the run.
That’s especially true when the album at hand is just equalized versions of other extremely awesome funk and disco tracks. The songs sound good because of their sources, not because of the producer. Now I gotta be careful with that latter statement, because there are plenty of vaporwave albums that are commended on Sunbleach that could fit the “it’s just samples” bill, so let me put it this way: tracks where the editing is provocative so as to make the production process an instrument in itself lend themselves to being fascinating and otherwise interesting, whereas songs that just take from already extant material with a layer of new beats (or what-have-you) are not. Future funk doesn’t have to be that way: take Press Play by Lancaster_ for example, which goes great with its glitchy aesthetic and quirky skips to create something that’s certainly more than just curated samples of other music.
That’s the problem with Can’t Get Enough. If you’re interested in the music here, just look up the sampled artists themselves. You’ll save yourself the headache of songs like “Here It Comes”, which are dizzying in their over-utilization of equalization and not in a good way.2 コンシャスTHOUGHTS seems to have anticipated this with the track title “Sample Police Caught Me Slippin'” – well, yeah, but it’s not about the sample. It’s about using it in a way that’s fresh, stimulating, provocative, going somewhere, just something more than a fade-in/fade-out (e.g. “Party After Midnight”) or another four-on-the-floor beat (e.g. every song). Use samples all you want, but don’t be upset if people see through a pretty standard editing job covering up already awesome tracks.
If you’re just here for the songs, then go for it. Can’t Get Enough did well with its source material – there’s absolutely no doubt about that. The songs sound good. Seriously, there’s no doubt about that, and there’s no judgment on sample choice from this end. I enjoy hearing the majority of the music expressed on this album. I’ll probably play this in the background at some point when I’m working, reading, or getting ready to party. However, from a critical standpoint, it doesn’t hold anything to albums that do take this extra step to go further in development. Vaporwave and its related genres revel in the concept of producer-as-instrument. One could argue that’s unnecessary. I’m inclined to agree, to a certain extent, but not enough to change my thoughts on this album. What sounds good and what deserves recognition are two different things.
1. いい感じ – (3:16)3
2. 夜な夜な – (4:00)4
3. Tribute to Tatsuro – (4:42)
4. コンシャスTHOUGHTS x Android Apartment – 『ダンス! ダンス!』 – (4:06)5
5. What’s It Gonna Be (French House Rework) – (3:22)
6. Here It Comes – (3:33)
7. Your Are My Number One – (3:19)6
8. Sample Police Caught Me Slippin’ – (2:36)
9. What goes around comes around – (3:16)
10. Party After Midnight – (3:49)
11. Shine! – (5:00)
12. Prism Lite – With you [コンシャスTHOUGHTS Remix] – (3:36)
13. Saturday Night – (2:40)
14. Evenings – (2:45)
15. How good is love – (2:01)
16. Everlasting – (3:17)
17. Show Me the Way – (3:03)
18. Her – (2:43)
19. I want you back – (3:57)
20. Surrender – (4:29)
1Japanese translation: “Conscious Thoughts”
2“heRE it coMES”
3Japanese translation: “Good feeling”
4Japanese translation: “Night night night”
5Japanese translation: ‘”Dance! Dance!”‘