Polygon Priestess – End
End is classic-style vaporwave screw at its most varied. From future funk to hypnagogic to computer decay to smooth jazz, it practically has it all. Out on French-Canadian label Elemental 95, the debut album by Polygon Priestess demonstrates the capacity of classic-style vaporwave to be more than reverbed old media.
Discussing albums track-by-track gets old, but End is one of those releases where you kind of have to do so in order to get a good picture. The first two tracks are heavily indebted to French House; just look at that Daft Punk reference with “Human After All”.1 Both songs totally belie the rest of the album though, which skips from pebbly ECCOJAMS (“Always”) to industrial vapornoise akin to the decrepit screw of Mason Guerrero (“C L E A N S E”). “I’ll Be Here” is hyper lo-fi. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” is extreme hypnagogic drift, quite similar to 仮想夢プラザ. “Among the Nightengales / Don’t Forget Your Destiny” features computer boops twinkling against static. Final track “Stone & Steel” is a MIDI work-out.
There are some successes and some failed experiments. The fourteen-minute long “Kyoto” totally feels its length; there’s no amount of smooth jazz and dreampunk that can come together in order to make that long song feel worth it. “Human After All” has the opposite problem: it’s not long enough for its Daft Punk skipping to really feel worth it. “ENDLESSSUMMERNIGHTS” and its latter-album eight-minute version basically rehash Fortune 500 albums. Although the additional variety is nice, it doesn’t really feel like a worthwhile addition. Check out the album cuts – they are the best representation of Polygon Priestess’s undertakings of classic-style vaporwave production.
Honestly, it’s commendable that Polygon Priestess tried out such different styles at once. It demonstrates a producer with the willingness to test out different things rather than stick to a single trick, and that’s pretty cool.
1. Mind Prison – (3:59)
2. Human After All – (2:39)
3. Always – (5:39)
4. ENDLESSSUMERNIGHTS – (3:37)
5. I’ll Be Here – (3:14)
6. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – (8:09)
7. Among the Nightengales / Don’t Forget Your Destiny – (6:15)
8. C L E A N S E – (4:35)
9. Burning Ever Brightly in My Heart – (3:09)
10. Kyoto – (14:04)
11. ENDLESSSUMERNIGHTS [Full Version] – (8:13)
12. Stone & Steel – (7:34)
1At least, I’m pretty sure it is?