Well, this is new. Vektroid, Vaporwave “pioneer” (for lack of a better term), appears out of the blue this month with a trio of new releases. Well, two re-releases and one ‘new’ release that’s actually something that was never put out, but made around the same time as the classics. The two re-releases are rebuilt and remastered; song order has been budged around a bit, there’s a couple of new songs, maybe a lack of some of the older songs, perhaps a new mix.
I’m specifically going to focus on “Fuji Grid TV: EX” here, the remastering (although thats not exactly noticeable at all due to the lo-fi nature of the album) of the album “fuji grid tv” originally put out under the alias of prism genesis. The original album was a mishmashed collection of cut up Japanese TV adverts from around the 80s and 90s, and a single track that didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the style of the album entitled “waterfall voyeur” (which makes a return in this remade version under the title “Ur Girl”).
This gussied-up version of fuji grid tv not only merges a lot of the shorter tracks together to form longer pieces, but adds in new content not previously heard to pad the entire thing out a bit. But where as I can appreciate the merging of the older tracks together, I found that the newer content took away more from the album than added to it, to the point that I honestly think the original version is more superior.
The problem comes in the fact that these new tracks simply don’t work in co-operation with the older ones, be they the newly done songs that are in the same style (i.e. chopping up old TV adverts) or the new segments which sound more in-line with waterfall voyeur/ur girl. They have the completely wrong type of sound to them, and would fit a lot better on a Mac+ style album; both in their sound or just the way they were chopped and repeated.
For example, the entire first half of track 4, “Virtual Big Turtle” could have been done away with entirely, leaving only the second half, which actually fits the rest of the album. And yet, it’s there. It completely breaks up the flow of the album before its even started and it’s incredibly jarring to hear. As someone with a particularly large love of fuji grid tv (it being my favourite Vektroid vaporwave release), this was kind of a disappointment. Maybe Vaporwave has just ran it’s course for me to the point where I can’t appreciate it any more, even as a ironic joke, but this album felt a bit like beating a dead horse.
2. Ssun Dreamss
3. Change Your Mind / Waiting 4 U
4. Virtual Big Turtle
5. Slime Ritual / Cinemax
6. Black Horse
7. Ur Girl
9. Warm Life / New Life
10. HBO CD
11. Break Out!