James Ferraro
Far Side Virtual


4.0
excellent

Review

by sportsboy USER (20 Reviews)
April 21st, 2014 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: these would be terrible ringtones

A wise man once remarked "in the future, everything is chrome." Far Side Virtual shows James Ferraro has been to the future, and everything is not chrome, according to his prophetic music. Oh sure, the sheen of "Adventures In Green Foot Printing" and "Linden Dollars" make it seem as though we're in for a utopian existence, but underneath the surface of these tracks lies an infrastructure waiting to unravel and explode as though all our credit card numbers and ATM cards will given out to hackers and persons of irreputable intent. Laid out through glossy synths and bareback beats is the corporatist mania that awaits us, wherein everything and everyone is advertised and your brain recalls information by using a Google search engine. Would we collectively want it any other way?

Probably not, because if this is the future, it sure is fucking fun. For how cheesy and unrelenting the sounds on this record are, they sure make you feel like dancing. The MIDI keyboard funk of "Tomorrow's Baby Of The Year" is bizarrely catchy and doesn't sound as awkward as Ferraro probably wanted to paint it, whether he was intending an head-scratching reaction or not. "Earth Minutes" has a build-up straight out of a Windows 95 training disc that climaxes into something resembling Sufjan Stevens as composed by Microsoft Sam and just as heartwarming as the Michigan prodigy. Far Side Virtual does share its fair bit of stumbles though, like the awkward ending piece "Solar Panel Smile". A Nintendo Wii sample has no place being clustered with some of most goofy technology to exist in the 20th century, nor does it fit Ferraro's appropriation of Muzak that lets him toy with the past's interpretation of futuristic music. Maybe it's due to the Skype noise sounding so strange that "Global Lunch" works then? "Google Poeises" also feels like it needs some adderall, the track too claustrophobic for its own good so it keeps bouncing around, not working in the parameters of the modulated horns and drums. For once, a noisy track in an album as polished as this emotes a dismissive reaction, especially when the atmosphere Ferraro goes for is so committed to.

All credit where credit is due, James Ferraro certainly doesn't need to convince me that we're living in a society overrun by technology. In a world where everyone has smartphones, and Silicon Valley startups receive investment capital from investors not for brave and innovative concepts, but dime-a-dozen apps with the only goal being to cash in on a collective need to stay updated, Far Side Virtual accomplishes making one feel as though they're straddled by hyperrealism and a fundamental lack of wonder in today's excessive conscious. What remains at the end of it all though, is the music, and it certainly delivers in not only being as wholly enjoyable as it is unsettling and fairly perplexing, but is a classic example of art perfectly encapturing the context in which it was made. Bravo, Mr. Ferraro, I'll toast a Starbucks coffee tomorrow in honor of your visions.



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user ratings (88)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
sportsboy
April 21st 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review changes have to be approved right? that italics flub at the beginning haunts me



(inb4 tornado comin thru)

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You've definitely got something here. I'd proofread it again because there's a few grammatical errors scattered throughout.



In a world where everyone has smartphones and Silicon Valley startups receive investment capital from investors not for brave and innovative concepts, but dime-a-dozen apps with the only goal being to cash in on a collective need to stay updated



Assuming your talking about the real world here as apposed to Ferraro's idea of it (which you seem to me), I'd put a comma after "smartphones" because without it your implying everyone has Silicon Valley startups (everyone having smartphones you can get away with, but this idea is kinda far-fetched to assume everyone has one, although I know where your coming from with this idea). The inclusion of a comma also breaks up the sentence to make sense with your latter half - receive investment capital from investors not for brave and innovative concepts - which having a smartphone wouldn't apply to.



Anyway it's a good write up and I'm glad to see this finally get a review ;)

GrandpaSeth3000
April 21st 2014


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Limbs never been so relaxed...ever.



- gs3k

Phlegm
April 21st 2014


7250 Comments


[i] like this album a lot, can't wait for bodyguard



MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can't wait for bodyguard [2]. Recently picked this up on wax and oh boy is it delightful. When you think about it CD really is the most ideal format for this (for clarity) but this is really fun to have on wax. I mean just looking at it is an activity in and of itself.

sportsboy
April 21st 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for editing homie, it'll look better once the changes go through



and yea i really like writing reviews for good stuff that don't have them

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

;). On an unrelated (but kinda related) note, here's somebody to watch for bruvs https://soundcloud.com/hokosounds/j-n-m-l-end-of-light-8-hs017



Apparently he's got an album coming out on Hoko Sounds and it should be hot hot hot (getting some Live At Primavera Sound 2012 vibes here *wipes tears away*)

Phlegm
April 21st 2014


7250 Comments


i wonder what sound he'll explore next? ? ? ? that sample track felt pretty open-ended, though i can
hear some 3:00 AM type vocals in the cut. hopefully he fleshes out some of those little clips shown in
100% because they were yum

and yeah sports i have a debut review cooking in word as we speak :{}

edit: oh WOW

deathschool
April 21st 2014


27315 Comments


Damn. I thought this said James Franco. The high ratings were confusing me hard.

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it reminded me of the beats he was doing on Sushi. I don't think he'll be dropping the Lil Ice Bunny / E-Cig Prophet persona any time soon, only continuing to progress upon it (at least I hope). :o what are you gonna review?

Phlegm
April 21st 2014


7250 Comments


fingers crossed.

We All In the Matrix, it has kinda been my soundtrack of the past two weeks, such an easy listen. school writing folio required another piece soooo i threw my hands up like "oh, what the heck" and reviewed it, now just needing some finishing touches =}.

(slightly on topic RICO out next week hell yea)

sportsboy
April 21st 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow i didn't know live at primavera 2012 existed, this shit is amazing omfg

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's the best thing Ferraro's done (and probably will ever do) and the best album of 2012 bar none ~



Awesome Phleg, looking forward to this review (and yup RICO should be interesting too)

sportsboy
April 21st 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i dunno i quite like FSV, and channel orange was released in 2012 sooo

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Live at Primavera Sound 2012, now that's what I call ascension" ~ John Coltrane

sportsboy
April 21st 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"vaporwave's my shit yo" - tupac

MisterTornado
April 21st 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

speechless http://youtu.be/FoQb7MNWPRc?t=20m34s

scissorlocked
April 21st 2014


3535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice to see a review of this



there's some much stuff to read about the whole vaporwave thing

TwigTW
April 21st 2014


3908 Comments


I like the ideas behind vaporwave, but the listening . . .

Treeman
April 21st 2014


1425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what a fantastic album



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