Analog Adventures: Floral Shoppe
(2011, 2017 pressing)
About the Artist
Macintosh Plus is an alias of electronic musician Ramona Xavier, better known as Vektroid. Xavier is credited with popularizing the vaporwave genre. Vaporwave is a microgenre of music that relies heavily on samples of muzak, 80’s and 90’s R&B, and 80’s Japanese pop. It is a genre interwoven with the visual aesthetic of nostalgia; early 3D computer graphics, Greek busts, and pastel color palettes. The use of Japanese words and characters are nonsensical, as if they had been put through an online translator back and forth. The term vaporwave uses the concept of vaporware, software that is announced and never released. It is meant to invoke a sense of nostalgia for something that never truly existed.
The Record Itself
Floral Shoppe is a record of remixed and recut music. Vaporwave conventions such as pitched and slowed down music are prevalent here. This effect gives the music a sense that it is playing in the next room, not completely clear or audible. Booting plays with intentional skips to add to the aesthetic of something worn-out and old. On a record this is distressing because you are left believing that your record is defective. Lisa Frank 420/Modern Computing is the penultimate vaporwave track. On the surface it is a remix of It’s Your Move by Diana Ross, but the track becomes its own and surpasses the original. Instead of a standard 80’s R&B song that would disappear on the radio, it is an artistic statement. It is a warm yet distant memory that you swear you remember, yet despite your best efforts, you cannot recall.
The back of the record and the included poster
This pressing of Floral Shoppe is notorious for the wrong reasons. The record itself is of shoddy and inconsistent quality and is a light weight disc. The labels are a little off center, and even worse is that some records have an off center spindle hole. The sleeve is a good printing with a matte finish, and the included poster is beautiful to look at. The quality of the record along with issues with the pressing company is the reason why Ramona Xavier has distanced herself from this pressing. It is also not for sale on Discogs for this reason. Which leads us to the conclusion.
Is It Worth It?
If you can find a listing from a reputable website such as Turntable Lab at a reasonable price (I paid $35 for my copy), and you are not expecting quality better than a bootleg, I suggest this record. It is an important record for the cultural impact. Nostalgia is always a cycle and vaporwave contributes to the cycle while being critical of it. The deliberate distortion or visual and audio aesthetics from this time period is a statement that not all that glitters is gold, that our past that we remember is not as great as we remember. More so, the past that is there is not always the past that we remember, that the memories are nothing more than vapor.
- Lisa Frank 420 / Modern Computing
- Chill Divin’ with ECCO