We’re starting the week with “Carmina,” a tune off the newly released Interactive Affairs (Seikomart) by Argentinean producer Fan Fiordo. Falling squarely within the vaporwave tradition, the track sounds like a snippet of glorious muzak that one would hear on a glass elevator ride to another galaxy, the soundtrack to a sex scene in a cheesy, melodramatic soap opera, and the music that the world’s grooviest mega-corporation would make you sit through while on hold for two hours, all rolled into one. Fiordo creates a beautifully kitschy, 90’s-inspired synthscape replete with muted bass, glistening keyboard flourishes, and resonant marimba. The drums are heavily reverbed, so that each snare hit seems to echo into the endless void of the early internet. Interestingly enough, if you replaced some of the synths with a saxophone, you’d have a decent approximation of a Weather Report slow jam.
The artwork for Interactive Affairs, courtesy of Diego Arias, further cements the link between the vaporwave aesthetic (no pun intended) and the work of early 20th century surrealist painters like Magritte and De Chirico, who used their brushes to conjure up desolate, dreamlike expanses, only to place strikingly incongruent objects within them. Compare the two paintings below with the artwork for this album, as well as that of vaporwave’s lodestar album, 2011’s Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus.
Not an exact match, but an interesting comparison to think about. Even less obviously related examples of vaporwave album art, like Blank Banshee’s Blank Banshee 1 and James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual, recall digitized versions of Magritte’s work:
You’ll have to excuse the tangent; Fiordo’s music can be enjoyed even if you have no interest in surrealist art. Happy Monday to all.