INDIE ONLY - LIMITED ORANGE VINYL San Francisco-based producer Giraffage (Charlie Yin), whose dreamy synth-pop productions have appointed him as one of electronic music's most refreshing and innovative producers among the landscape, takes a sonic leap forward with his new album Too Real.
Vaporwave and its related offshoot, future funk, are geared toward making modern art from the digital detritus of '80s and '90s pop culture. At worst, it might come across as too-ironic memes, but at it's best, it can rightly be considered another new evolution in electronic, dance-oriented popular music.
As Giraffage, Charlie Yin falls more into the latter interpretation, operating a bit closer to the intersection of 'future funk' and 'future beat,' but he doesn't shy away from elements that more aloof artists might find corny (just look at his hideous website).
Sure, the wind chimes, the "yeah" vocal sample, and overall retro vibe of opener "Do U Want Me" might sound corny at first, but beneath the glittery spandex exterior is an earnest heart of gold, and a talented songwriter and producer, too; almost all these songs have feature catchy melodies and danceable rhythms.
The guest vocal spots from Japanese Breakfast, Matosic, Angelica Bess and Harrison Lipton also allow Yin to stretch his production legs into futuristic R&B territory. Some of the harder drops, in "Earth" and "First Breath" for example, stomp right into club dance-floors as well. Not to mention that his tight but creative sampling shows he can keeps pace with the best of the J Dilla school; this blending of sounds successfully elevates his work from retro-mining kitsch to an original, boldly post-modern artistic vision.
As a still-young artist exploring new intersections of timbre and meaning, Yin deserves praise for his creativity, and optimism about his future.