Laserdisc Visions – New Dreams Ltd. (2011)

Released several months before Floral ShoppeNew Dreams Ltd. marked the beginning of Ramona Andra Xavier’s music project of the same name. New Dreams Ltd. is also the name that encompasses Vektroid’s other aliases between 2011 and 2012. It’s important to note that this is one of many releases by Xavier that could be classified as vaporwave far before the genre was popularized or even created. Most of the source material for this album comes from old Sega games, where as Floral Shoppe sampled 80s and 90s new age and pop tunes. While individual tracks don’t stand out well on their own, the collective idea of a corporation built on “new dreams” is carried exceptionally well throughout the album as a whole.

The first track, “Mind Access”, works well as a way to start the album both conceptually and musically. New Dreams opens with an ominous – yet inviting  – sweeping synth texture that drops into a simple and catchy loop. A majority of the tracks on this album are short and simple ideas lasting about a minute or more. However, just because each track on the album isn’t a “full-length song” doesn’t mean that they’re not good. There are a couple of short loops that pleasantly reminded me of Animal Crossing, namely “Malls” and “Information”. Others were reminiscent of digitalized workout montages, zoo commercials, and keyboard demos. One noteworthy track is “Select”, a lo-fi MIDI-powered nu jazz track. The track is groovy, has an inventive use of vocal samples, and yet it runs just over a minute long. It’s a great idea, I just wish it went on for a bit longer.

For me, the highlight of the album is “Laserdisc Visions”. As simple as it sounds, the synth textures used throughout are really nice. Another factor that sets this track apart from the others is its heavier use of sample manipulation; parts of the source material are looped and chopped up, reminding the listener that behind all this quantized computer muzak is something much more human.

While themes of corporate ideals and dreams are carried out well throughout the album, very few tracks could function independently of the album as a collective. New Dreams Ltd. works well as a cinematic concept album. If you take a scene of a movie out of context it may not make sense. However, if you view the scene in conjunction with the rest of the movie, the piece as a whole should make sense. The same analogy can be applied to New Dreams; the album is a nonconventional approach to nonconventional music. Overall, I enjoyed listening to the album as a whole but I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to fragments of it at a time.

Favorite Track: Laserdisc Visions

Laserdisc Visions - New Dreams Ltd

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