ECO VIRTUAL
ATMOSPHERES 第2


3.0
good

Review

by MisterTornado CONTRIBUTOR (47 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2014 | 56 replies


Release Date: 04/20/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The climate of nostalgia

Last year Eco Virtual spawned a whirlwind of hype from Vaporwave’s online consensus with VIRTUAL大気*分析, a breezy and atmospheric take on Weather Channel muzak. The album’s theme resembled what Internet Club was exploring on releases like Webinar and Redefining the Workplace, which were complete aesthetic packages (from album title to track titles to cover art) that documented the sound and lifestyle of corporate businesses. However, VIRTUAL大気*分析 was novel in the fact that it was the first album to explore the aesthetics of something as universal as televised meteorology, by way of Eco Virtual's expertly crafted emulations of its mood music and green-screen visuals on subsequent music videos. Over a year later Eco Virtual is back with ATMOSPHERES 第2, a pleasant extension of Eco’s philosophy of the Weather Channel as a portal to dreamlike atmospheres and nostalgia that manages to bring a few new scenes along with it.

Opening the broadcast is ‘Sunrise At The Googleplex’, an eco-friendly banger that displays a hybrid of trap and tribal percussion under a cloudy rendition of early Windows start-up sounds. Eco continues to expand upon this combination of contemporary bass and tribal rhythms on ‘Fiji Waterfalls’ as toucan flutes and subaquatic choral synths accent its dreamy design. The mood slows down and resorts to introspective territory on ‘Clear Skies Through The Mall Skylight’, featuring cheesy mid-afternoon piano cycles and overtly melodic tones that evoke memories of rolling eyes as Danny Tanner sits his girls down for a sugary life lesson. Later on the droning pulse of ‘IKEA Ferns’ renders itself to the background of its suggested visit to IKEA, which fails to make an impression as you slowly walk through the endless fluorescent chamber of sleek furniture you can’t afford. ‘Aloe Vera Water’ continues this rather dull trek through fluorescent architecture, perhaps as the memory of a visit to Rainforest Cafe, before it gets interesting as 16 bit synths move their way in and out of the mix, emulating David Wise’s ambient tone throughout his Donkey Kong Country soundtracks.

From here the mood dampens under the grey and billowing clouds of ‘McDonald’s Breakfast’, a dreary and lethargic interpretation of eating fast food breakfast that, while accurate in context, simply doesn’t make for an interesting listen. The mood becomes increasingly darker as impending tornado and thunderstorm warnings howl out of ‘Noctilucent’ while an X-Files-esque melody warns of an even greater threat; extraterrestrials. Subsequently, this alien activity comes in the form of ‘EDEN 仮想’ that regains the energy and vitality of ATMOSPHERES 第2’s first couple tracks while adding a few layers of pitch-shifted vocals to trim its reflective dance floor in vibrant flashes of neon. Closing out the album is ‘Crepuscular Rays (God’s Rays)’, taking an interesting combination of screwed and chopped vocals and tropical new age textures that ultimately fail to create more than a long, sparse introduction for a thrilling closer than never happens. It’s a shame considering the potential of this juxtaposition of sounds, but unfortunately it demonstrates that ATMOSPHERES 第2, while interesting as a concept, great in some areas, and overall nowhere near a bad album, is a bit of a letdown considering its potential. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a case of style over substance, because Eco Virtual’s style is the substance; it’s the very inspiration, energy, and spirit of the music. ATMOSPHERES 第2’s flaw is that it simply doesn’t manage to consistently capture that spirit with the enthusiasm and persona Eco Virtual thrives on.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Worth checking out ~

Stream/download here: http://ecovirtual.bandcamp.com/album/atmospheres-2

Keyblade
April 23rd 2014


15392 Comments


Sweet, been on a vaporwave kick gonna give this a go

Digging: Fen - Carrion Skies

JaySpiral
April 23rd 2014


753 Comments


Also been on a vaporwave kick. I was a bit disappointed with this album though. I liked Eco Virtual's first album, maybe this one will grow on me. My favorite vaporwave release this year has been Afterparty by Down Hazard.

Phlegm
April 23rd 2014


5553 Comments


# glide with the tide #

Digging: Raresh - Fabric 78

dbilidb
April 23rd 2014


58 Comments


Strange album title...

Phlegm
April 23rd 2014


5553 Comments


what's normal about anything

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2014


19063 Comments


got this dld gonna check soon sweet review

Digging: Objekt - Objekt #2

CaptainDooRight
April 23rd 2014


30334 Comments


coowell

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2014


22047 Comments


where do you find this stuff

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

Toad
April 23rd 2014


85 Comments


what's up with vaporwave's obsession with asian-language characters? is there some sort of background to that?

zakalwe
April 23rd 2014


9092 Comments


Yep, Haikaido Tourette's it's genetic. No known cure

Digging: The dB's - Stands For Decibels

Rev
April 23rd 2014


9441 Comments


I can't believe I haven't grabbed this yet

Toad
April 23rd 2014


85 Comments


I'm really liking this. Review is spot-on as well. More musical marshmellow for my diabolical smore

Azn.
April 23rd 2014


5617 Comments


I like the album art; it's not weird for a change

LordePots
April 23rd 2014


9063 Comments


that is some of the worst album art ive seen in a while

Digging: Elysian Fields - For House Cats And Sea Fans

yourgodisinferior
April 23rd 2014


1035 Comments


some horrible art work

Toad
April 23rd 2014


85 Comments


it's not that bad, just kind of lazy and boring. but i guess most artists have gotten in the habit of looking at their art before releasing it nowadays eh so the competition for worst album art isn't as stiff
i remember the good old days
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/Images/Ringo-Starr-Y-Not.jpg

JaySpiral
April 23rd 2014


753 Comments


@fish.
Go to rate your music and look at vaporwave releases. Also go to the vaporwave tag on bandcamp.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what's up with vaporwave's obsession with asian-language characters? is there some sort of background to that?

It's apart of the aesthetic for alot these artists. Call it what you want (style over substance, trend hopping) but it's honestly no different than the way other genre's like post-rock and metal fashion their aesthetics (it's just easier to notice because its in a different language). For example, the way alot of post-rock artists use lengthy and poetic album/track titles to brand a philosophical nature to the music, and how most metal artists use aggressive and vicious titles (and alot of groups do the same kind of webby, indecipherable band logo) to compliment the destructive nature of the music. For Vaporwave its a similar kind of thing, these Japanese characters are there to create the illusion of a place that's modern, mystical, and whimsical, which is what the music is all about.

Toad
April 23rd 2014


85 Comments


Wow, thanks tornado, that makes total sense. I've only heard this and floral shoppe so i'll definitely have to look into the genre more as a whole.



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