Review by Jeff Arias
Album: Formosa Garden
Artist: Groove Remote
Groove Remote “Formosa Garden” (Cityman Productions) Here’s a new work of classic-style, sample-based vaporwave from the Emerging Finnish label Cityman productions! Opening with an impressive, all-too-short atmospheric track, the album moves quickly into smooth r&b mode with occasional excursions into soft rock source material.
The reverb is strong here, but the tracks are largely unedited, with occasional loops and hiccups that often fall short of transformative. The briefer, more experimental interludes on this album are usually more interesting than the longer tracks, which dabble in WaterfrontDining-style but rarely achieve a distinct vibe of their own.
Some of the edits feel awkward, interrupting the flow without introducing much interest, but preventing the music from falling completely into the background. The pacing is consistently lethargic throughout, without much development from the start to finish, which adds up to a fairly flat listening experience.
Conceptually, the album is described as a late-night drive that ends up at a kind of lounge… the title suggests an Asian theme that I can’t detect in the music, and the result is a mostly generic album that fits the description of vaporwave but feels like it’s missing inspiration.
Groove Remote, rising from the remnants of the glitzy cityscape surrounding him, delves back into the late-night setting he’s so familiar with, born again in the eve of the fall. Tonight, Groove Remote takes you out. The late-night drive finds you in a quiet avenue, far from the city, taking the turnaround. You slow down, you see a neon sign, and suddenly you’re at Formosa Garden. Relaxed, after sundown, surrounded by a tonal quilt.
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