Anime Right News (ARN) – At least, I think it's vaporwave. I'm not always clear on what differentiates the various -waves in this general area. (^_^);
Reviewing this on my old system. That would be an Onkyo TX-800 amp and Bose Interaudio 4000 speakers playing the FLACs through onboard audio. A decent starter system that can be had for no more than $300 plus the computer you already have, under $200 if shopping around a bit, but still gives much better than average reproduction. As Meme Extremist states this is a hobby on his Bandcamp site, this review will be in that context. In other words, this is coming from more a casual listening perspective than it would if he were charging top dollar for 24-bit FLACs or 180-gram vinyl.
While not a comprehensive review of all four releases, this review will examine tracks from each.
Meme Extremist's most recent album - tfw
"It's That Time" indeed. Very reminiscent of Vince DiCola's score from Transformers: The Movie, which is a very good thing. It manages to evoke feelings of tranquility, nostalgia, and hope for the future in a few notes.
"E-thots" starts with something Night Club might have done for Moonbeam City. After the first minute, it changes into something very different, and it is a bit jarring. It's different but possibly different like dubstep in a way which does not work acoustically.
"Burn It Down" evokes a feeling of driving through a retro-futuristic neon city at night in some kind of sports car. It just makes the listener ooze cool while zoning out and listen.
I don't know what to make of "Dakimakura." I have a dakimakura, I love my dakimakura. I grab it and roll around on the floor like Maou from Maouyuu. The dakimakura gives very pure and innocent feelings of happiness. Somehow I don't understand how this is supposed to relate to hugging mai waifu.
Mai dakimakura waifu Tamara Ylianttila can be seen on the left. Do not play Anekouji Naoko to Gin'iro no Shinigami to fully understand her immense mature sex appeal. It's too late. She is already MAI WAIFU!
Saturn (paragon) EP
"Tasty" This sits firmly between a jazz-inspired chillout track and 90s porn music. Could probably be used as either. Not saying either is a bad thing.
"Exalted" has a similar chillout vibe, but with a more refined/regal feel. This would do well as BGM in a visual novel or RPG.
Aesthetic Meme Rockets
"Aesthetic Meme Rockets" The title track gives a feeling of anticipation. It feels like a prelude or buildup to something big. Fitting
"Grinding" is of two minds. It was the calmest of times, it was the most getting ready for the total war of times. Both journeys begin, but neither seems to continue or conclude in the album.
"Swirlpilled" oozes fun, happiness, something that could easily inspire dancing. At the same time, it would work well as BGM for side-scrolling action. Something very different from his other tracks and highly enjoyable.
"Backstab Him in the Face" is one of the songs in this genre that seems to have no relation to the title to me. For from violence, it sounded reminiscent of Spray's "Singing For England," a nationalistic synth-pop romp. With proper lyrics, this would make a hell of a synth-pop track.
"While You Were Sleeping" feels like a journey for a specific character. In some ways reminiscent of Jim Johnston's ability to capture a character's essence and transform it into music. The journey feels like it veers in a few directions, and finishes would a sense of finality.
Overall, there are two main points of constructive criticism.
First, it feels a little too...dilettante? Not in a raw, primal, emotional way, but in a way that makes the final product feel scattered. There are shades of several good things mentioned above, and at times they feel out-of-place with half of the rest of the song, which aren't even necessarily bad on their own. There is a feeling of many songs trying to be all things to all people, while some of the positive aspects being mentioned above would be more effective as their own entity, rather part of a different whole.
Second, even the FLAC version has the flat, lifeless feel of lossy music. With every commercially produced and indy CD/FLAC I own I can differentiate between the lossless and a lossy rip by feeling the sound vibrations in the air. The sound vibrations in Meme's FLACs are as weak as lossy music. The issue may be in the recording, mastering, instruments or something else, assuming they didn't start life as MP3s of course, but the issue is very noticeable. Stylistically similar music from Lazerhawk and Night Club and even amateur artist Cybernazi does not have this issue.
Meme Extremist's next release will have my curiosity whenever it drops. With four albums being released in an 18-month span they have been dropping at a breakneck pace.
They are on the pay what you want to plan on Bandcamp, so you can sample them for free and contribute shekels later if you like them. Bandcamp will also store them in your account for easy future downloading and unlimited streaming for a minimal fee.
Casual suggestion: GIBS LOSSLESS HIGH ENERGY VAPORWAVE SHADILAY! A vinyl rip source can be supplied. MY FAVORITE ANISONGS TOO!