Though there are many commendable vaporwave projects that are released by artists that you can follow on social media and interact with, there is still a large amount of music being uploaded using largely unfollowable pseudonyms. These projects conjure a little more mystery and interest when one is on the hunt for interesting music. This release from FalseGarden螳 combines eerily random artwork with dreamy songs to deliver a mystical album.
Cool and calm keys work through a refrain that slinks toward the listener like telephone hold music or the tinny loop you hear in a city-based cable car. Prélude de La Porte 門 sustains a steady rhythm and swing under a gauze of crunching distortion. The higher piano part resonating with a twang as it walks a line between freeform jazz and restricted lounge goodness. Chattering hi-hats support that tight swing rhythm, with snares dissipating every now and again in a rapid delay.
The mood switches up with Safari of The Self 自我野行 , as an aqueous synth lead weaves in and out of the unrelenting march of echoing percussion. The change is fairly noticeable, whereas the first track was a fairly 90s vision of relaxation and luxury, this track has a timeless quality to it. The melody line emerges from geysers in the soundscape. A throng of general chords and sound pulses through the din fairly regularly. The artist keeping things still fairly vague, the thrum of the music keeping us from being able to engage too much. But it is fair to say, the mood moves from luxurious and fairly reposed to explorative and almost sub-aquatic successfully.
Lasting only a minute, Slow To Wake 懶起 brings heavy bass movements to the fore with emotive guitar notes splayed through the middle frequency. The recurring birdsong sound and the general haziness of it sounds like those first few moments where your eyes begin to focus after waking on a summer morning.
Victoria Falls 維多利亞瀑布 trajectory is a little more explorative once again. Dainty piano rolls cascade through a lush vibrant meadow. But as things fade away every now and again, we hear the undertow of sound is fairly electronic. FalseGarden螳‘s choice of instrumentation allows for a bright sheen to rest on the surface of the lighter tracks.
Things turn heavy and lackadaisical once again as an interlude sweeps in with low slung guitar loops. A fuzzy saxophone and piano also join alongside, as the artist revels in that smouldering jazzy brilliance once again.
We fall back into that endless cascade of delay and reverb on Flipping Pages 上下頁. Light and airy synth arpeggiations rest atop the constantly moving percussion. At this point, the listener understands that one of the objectives of the artist is to bring us into the swing of the track as if the fader has just come up, rather than a clear signalling of a beginning and an end. We feel the heat and energy of the mid-point of a lounge-y jam almost instantly. And as the track fades out, it seems as though it will continue to play even when we are not able to hear it any longer. That imbues a level of calm into proceedings that isn’t always achievable when artists go for large introductions and conclusions to their songs.
FalseGarden螳 shows us a some of the Michigan sites on Kalamazoo Power Station 卡拉馬祖電站. Soft bell chimes play out and dissipate quickly in a generally friendly atmosphere. A hi-hat works away, keeping a fair amount of momentum instilled. This is probably the track that is most similar to a game soundtrack. Though the general warmth of each of the track’s on the project keep it from sounding too pristine, there is something in the resonance of the keys that reminds one of a vibrant and friendly platform game.
Things get a little more clear on Roanoke 羅阿諾克 as calming notes push out with a tinge of sustain against clicking percussion that bounces back fairly swiftly. The length of the reverb creates a less hazy atmosphere than what we’ve come to be familiar with on the album. There is an intense feeling of levitation in the track, everything seems light and floaty.
A heady fuzz greets us as we approach the closing song. Resonant notes ranging from clear and solid to metallic and wavering play out a swaying melody. With the heavy fizzling middle ambience it almost feels like the melody that travels in a fairly dynamic pitch is like a siren or flashing series of lights trying to push through a sea-bound fog to the nearest island of safety.
Montages 豎 offers up a dynamic range of chilled tracks. From heavy-set lounge sounds to airy and effervescent synth tracks, the songs are all communicated to us through a fairly hazy film of fuzz and white noise. But their general movement towards relaxation combined with the weird non-sequitur album artwork make for an interesting listen.