Album of the Day: 아버지, “Reflection”

아버지 is the owner of the Business Casual, an imprint largely focused on future funk. But on Reflection, 아버지 mostly bypasses that genre’s usual peppiness. Essentially consisting of tiny micro-samples that are looped and looped and looped again, almost to the point of becoming maddening, its eight tracks don’t evoke the optimism and playfulness of bl00dwave or Ursula’s Cartridges, so much as they do an inescapable descent into claustrophobia and confusion.

In fact, Reflection barely even resembles 아버지’s work as the occasionally challenging (yet still recognizably vaporwave) chris†††. Its nearest benchmark is the latter’s No Lives Matter from March 2016; but where that record’s mechanistic repetitions still left plenty of room for actual melodies and songs to play out, Reflection traps the listener in a tiny box of infinitely-repeated blips and stutters.

This might make Reflection seem too difficult for its own good, yet it’s an impressive testament to 아버지’s talent that his subtle manipulation of microscopic source material can create such a powerful atmosphere of detachment and isolation. His ceaseless jolts disrupt time’s flow, and in so doing they make Reflection one of the most absorbing ambient vaporwave records of the past year.

Simon Chandler

Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 아버지is the owner of BLCR Laboratories.

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