George Clanton is a seminal Vapoorwave producer, previously releasing bedroom-pop records under his alter egos, Mirror Kisses and ESPRIT 空想. He’s since then released 100% Electronica, an album that attempts to combine the sounds of his previous records.
100% Electronica is a gorgeous, glossy combustion of the old and new. The old being both older, previously released tracks from Clanton, but also bright and soaring 80s synths, and the new being the modern genre of Vaporwave. And it works.
Clanton has created music that could fill a room; it’s boisterous and coloured by the best of 80s post-disco funk. Even his vocals are a nod to bands like Tears and Fears, but Clanton’s vocals don’t cut through as clearly as one would have in a pop song, but rather his vocals are an instrument themselves, a charm Clanton has retained from his previous DIY-pop records.
But that’s not to say that 100% Electronica is an ad-hoc, bedroom-pop record — this is Clanton at his most structured, the tracks are complete with pop hooks and climaxes but even so, the tracks aren’t fettered — they soar to somewhere dreamier and brighter.
‘Warmspot’ is probably one of the brightest tracks on the record, complete with staccato whistles and sustained synths, all anchored by a drum machine. You can’t help but think of Ariel Pink toned down. There’s even a handful of vinyl scratching, another nod to the 80s — a cultural past time one would rather forget, but here, it kinda works.
While most of the tracks are candescent and spread out dreamily, it’s not quite the record that will accompany you while you bask out in the summer sun, it’s more distorted and darker than that. A track like ‘Innocence’ has a sinister groove, it’s a pinwheeling melody, everything is on loop; the vocals, the ominous synths, the percussions, it makes you feel as though you’re stuck on a carousel…but you don’t want to get off anyway.
100% Electronica is a dramatic, almost celestial, synth-laden album, but while dramatic doesn’t uphold the best connotations, 100% Electronica proves drama can be incredibly inviting and worthy to escape to. And especially when it’s done 80s style.
You can own your own copy of 100% Electronica by downloading it from Bandcamp.