AUDIO_TS by WTF.FM (Album Review)
Today, I want to give a spotlight to lesser known vaporwave artists or an album that might have been forgotten since the early stages of vaporwave.
Releasing 7 Albums, 11 Singles and EPs and 3 Compilation, it makes me wonder why an artist of his historical significance isn’t referenced too often. So to help share the word, today we are going to do a quick dive into my favorite album of his AUDIO_TS.
Released originally in 2013 this classic ambient Eccojams album hits all the dopamine spots for classic vaporwave fans. We get smooth vapor melodies and sampling from various commercials, TV shows and movies.
The first track “Here We Go!” To the second track “Skyline” are perfect introductions into what you can expect of this album. Here We go! Starts off with typical rough rhythm cuts of a guitar solo at normal speed as Skyline takes this same guitar rift and turns it into a rather relaxed ambient dance track. The drums and percussion say typical house but the melody and ambience of it keeps almost pushes it into almost industrial Chillwave. This track alone shows the mastery WTF.FM has over sample manipulation.
If you’re a 90s kid you know immediately the Space Jam sampling from the track ~S~W~A~L~E~. Which unfortunately isn’t available for listening on any bandcamps so you’ll need to know where to look to find one.
Speaking of which, I this was one of the original vaporwave albums I listened to and I’m unsure where I found it as my folder only has 12 tracks. Where at the 2014 Illuminated Paths re-release has 20 tracks. I say re-release as the official release was only available on cassette (from my understanding).
As for the album art, it reminds me so much of DDR MAX mixed with DDR EXTREME on the PS2. From the purple and green colors to the background something DDR hits me about it. In large thin font we see WTF.FM and the album title AUDIO_TS. Though, WTF is replaced with a Korean variant. Someone who speaks Korea let us know in the comments what those characters mean.
Also, if you notice, like a lot of early vaporwave albums the use of video game boxes as seen here as we have a custom PSX design.
Starting from the top WTF.FM’s logo that he still uses today.
The words F.modulation which I’m not exactly sure what that is referring to other than when I looked it up I found an awesome definition of what modulation is. This definition actually describes the process of making vaporwave almost too perfectly with a little imagination:
the act or process of superimposing the amplitude, frequency, phase, etc, of a wave or signal onto another wave
Lastly we have a rating of N for Nobody. Which is actually more interesting thanks to a quote by TINY MIXTAPES on the original bandcamp:
With a groundbreaking new content rating of “NOBODY” comes new music from WTF.FM. Intended for an audience of nobody, AUDIO_TS will move nobody’s ass and touch nobody’s heart. So, unless you are nobody, or somebody who is willing to defy content ratings, then you won’t experience these new jams that nobody is talking about.
So, I welcome you to become a NOBODY and check out this album with us.