It’s been in vogue, out of vogue, sort-of-vogue and everything between, but fully seven years since the release of Macintosh Plus’s Floral Shoppe the Record That Started Vaporwave™ shows no signs of going away. Heard now, it’s a relic of a simpler, happier time, when Giggs and Scholes were still in the United midfield and no-one knew who Slaves were.
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- OESB.92.W / Limited edition, white vinyl repress on Olde English Spelling Bee. Includes 22"x 22" poster
- Includes download code
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- Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus
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It’s cosmically hypocritical of me to get all nostalgic and pine for a time when vaporwave was good, but here we are. The rapid rate of art production has moved the genre on faster than it had time to react -- since the onset of its memory and things like Simpsonswave, the genre’s broader aesthetic has dispersed and been spread more subtly through electronic music. But ‘way back’ in the early twenty-tens, it was at its most open and overt, proudly presenting itself in gimmick and process. ‘Floral Shoppe’ is not only a vaporwave classic, but it instructs you on how to make one, the kind of opus that tells you everything you need to know about itself.
It’s also thrilling, enticing, maddening -- one of the best experiences of its time. Macintosh Plus is the alias of Vektroid, who had already released a slew of vaporwave through her roster of fake names and fictional corporations. ‘Floral Shoppe’ seemed to capture the imagination not only for its microgenre aesthetics -- for the computer love and the pitch shifting and the glitching ghosts of cornball’s past -- but also because, well, it was pop music. At heart, that’s what it was: Sade songs, Diana Ross songs, Zapp songs, all dropped deep into a pool of digital guts. When people mention this record to me now, I reply, quite simply: “you need a hero. Someone to rescue you!”, lowly intoning the dumb Pages soft rock song as if it belongs to Vektroid and Vektroid alone.
It’s hard to define where vaporwave crosses over into this legitimacy, where it can take on its own identity. But ‘Floral Shoppe’ did it perfectly; its soundworld is so well built I feel like I could create a lore for it, Vektroid not anonymising her sound sources but collating them for a new, futurepast home. Explaining what made ‘Floral Shoppe’ the cult classic it is is a near impossible job, but it comes out in the personality you can hear in it, or the fond familiarity listeners find in it. In a review of the record on its release, music writer Adam Downer described it as 'warm and strange'. Are there any two things more worth returning to an album for?
9/10 Ramon Customer review, 8th June 2018
As vaporwave is an internet-made music genre, for which this particular record is the fronman, it's as ungraspable as it is intriguing. This record is a trip through 80's nostalgia fused with the ungraspable meme-generation existentialism.
In that regard, the internet is the best thing to have happened to art and music.
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