geoFlesh – GEOFLESH
The final album released by Smirk Sounds before their six-month hiatus is one of the strangest albums I have ever heard.1 GEOFLESH is a nine-track, twenty-minute mini-album and the second release thus far from the eponymous artist. With a mixture of dubstep, glitch music, sound collage, and classic-style vaporwave, GEOFLESH is a true vapornoise album akin to the recently-released social justice whatever by chris†††. Is it a parody release? Who knows! But it’s crazy.
GEOFLESH is entirely (or almost entirely) constructed out of samples, most of which last for barely more than a half-second. There are absolutely tons of references that make for a crazy mess of an album, but it actually works out in the sense that geoFlesh makes music out of them instead of just chopping up random samples to see whether or not you recognize them. That being said, some of the fun in this album is seeing how many references the listener gets, and it might be kinda fun going through this and trying to see how many samples you get while also enjoying the actual tunes present within the tracks.
The majority of samples reference pop media, often hinted at within the track title itself. For example, “FUCK” references and is heavily based on the chorus to Kendrick Lamar’s “Backstreet Freestyle” from 2012’s good kid m.A.A.d city. Daft Punk appears twice:2 “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” shows up on “HARD” (naturally), and “Aerodynamic” makes the briefest of showings on “TWITTER”. Two tracks sample a whole bunch of vaporwave: “AMBIENT” and “VAPORWAVE”. The latter track is basically a medley of tracks from vaporwave artists from 2010 to 2016 including Chuck Person, death’s dynamic shroud.wmv, Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza, INTERNET CLUB, Blank Banshee, and 식료품groceries – and that’s barely scratching the surface of all who’s featured. Heck, there’s a direct shout-out to the founder of Bedlam Tapes on the thirty-three second “OSCOB”. Also of note: “SAMPLE” purports to play 201 kick drum samples over its minute of run-time, and it somehow manages to sound groovy.
If you haven’t been able to tell already, GEOFLESH is entirely tongue-in-cheek. A lot of vaporwave parody albums try way too hard to be memetic or funny and end up missing that mark entirely. GEOFLESH is not one of those albums. It’s one of the very, very select few to which the tag “post-ironic” could be applied. It’s poking fun at vaporwave irony without falling into the tired clichés of marble busts and slow jamz by constructing a difficult-to-listen mess that just so happens to be a lot of fun with plenty of references for the long-time vaporwave fan that celebrates vaporwave instead of making fun of it. While a lot of “ironic” vaporwave releases might tease vaporwave for being so absurd, here’s an album that laughs with vaporwave instead of at vaporwave. GEOFLESH was made by a serious fan of the genre, and it certainly shows.
1. SOFT BLOCK – (2:12)
2. FUCK – (3:06)
3. HARD – (2:03)
4. AMBIENT – (2:07)
5. OSCOB – (0:33)
6. SAMPLES – (1:00)
7. TWITTER – (3:19)
8. FUTURE FUNK – (3:20)
9. VAPORWAVE – (1:34)
1… and that’s coming from someone who deeply enjoys Portal.
2At least, from what I’ve been able to tell so far.