Floral Shoppe

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Floral Shoppe
A composite image consisting of a bust depicting the Greek god Helios, a black checkerboard on a pink background, and a screenshot of the New York City skyline with the World Trade Center visible.
Studio album by Macintosh Plus
Released December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09)
Genre Vaporwave
Length 47:47
Label Beer on the Rug
Producer Ramona Andra Xavier
Vektroid chronology
Dream Castle
(2011)
Floral Shoppe
(2011)
Contemporary Sapporo
(2012)
Alternate cover
2012 reissue cover  (featuring the faceless bust of Helios)
2012 reissue cover
(featuring the faceless bust of Helios)

Floral Shoppe (Japanese: フローラルの専門店, Hepburn: Furōraru no Senmon-ten) is a studio album by the American electronic musician Vektroid (under the one-time alias Macintosh Plus), released on December 9, 2011 by the independent record label Beer on the Rug. It was one of the first releases of the vaporwave microgenre to gain popular recognition on the Internet. Since then, Floral Shoppe has been considered by some critics to be the defining album of the vaporwave genre.

Background and composition[edit]

Vektroid's alias for Floral Shoppe was Macintosh Plus, named after the computer of the same name.[1] The album is frequently cited as an example of the then-emerging Internet-based vaporwave subgenre,[2] along with works from other artists released by the record label Beer on the Rug.[3] Prior to Floral Shoppe, Ramona Andra Xavier had previously produced other chillwave and vaporwave releases under multiple pseudonyms, including Vektroid, Laserdisc Visions, dstnt, and New Dreams Ltd.[3] Adam Harper of Dummy, in an article about the vaporwave culture, described the album's content as "chopped, glitching and screwed adult contemporary soul alongside twinkling spa promotional tunes."[3]

Xavier's production on the album is characterized by her use of looped and time-stretched samples of adult contemporary soul music,[4] and its overall stylistic quality has been described as "chopped and screwed meets AOR, synth funk, contemporary R&B and new-age".[5] Xavier takes a rather unsettling approach to sampling throughout Floral Shoppe, with "voices slowed to wordless drawls, tempos abused at whim, [and] snippets mashed over each other at clashing time signatures."[6] Material sampled throughout the album includes several songs from new-age group Dancing Fantasy's 1993 studio album Worldwide, various funk and R&B songs from the 1980s,[7] and the soundtrack for the 1997 video game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.[6]

The album's second track, "リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー" (Lisa Frank 420 / Modern Computing), has become nearly synonymous with the term "vaporwave" within popular discourse. The song had over 40.5 million views on YouTube before being taken down on April 27, 2018 due to copyright claims.[8]

Release[edit]

Floral Shoppe was released digitally to Vektroid's Bandcamp music store on December 9, 2011 by independent record label Beer on the Rug.[9] The album's tracks titles are all written in Japanese.[10] It received much online popularity, eventually becoming "the most hyped vaporwave release on the Internet."[11] Beer on the Rug later announced a re-release of the album in C44 cassette format.[12] The cassette edition, limited to 100 copies, includes two bonus tracks not found on the digital issue and a code to download the album.[12] Several songs appear in edited and/or crossfaded forms, while "Library" and "Mathematics" are featured at slower speeds than the versions found digitally. Vektroid later launched a line of tank tops and hoodies sporting a variation of the Floral Shoppe album cover.[13]

On August 6, 2017, New York-based record label Olde English Spelling Bee announced an official version of Floral Shoppe on vinyl. The record is colored "bubblegum pink" and follows the cassette version of the track listing. It included a fold-out poster and a download card for a digital copy of the album that included a download-only bonus track.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Sputnikmusic5/5 stars[6]

Floral Shoppe was met with a polarizing reception from critics and casual listeners alike, being equally "criticized and acclaimed for [Xavier's] soulless take on muzak".[13] Jonathan Dean of Tiny Mix Tapes wrote positively of Floral Shoppe, citing the album as "one of the best single documents of the vaporwave scene yet, a series of estranged but soulful manipulations of found audio that carefully constructs its own meditative headspace through the careful accretion of defamiliarized memory triggers."[4] Stephen Purcell of Noise praised it as one of the year's best albums and wrote: "It's mind warping, it's refreshing and more importantly when it's done as well as this, it needs recognition."[16]

Giving the album a perfect 5.0 rating, Adam Downer of Sputnikmusic characterized the album as "constantly—and delightfully—unsettling" and "a beautiful record that's both warm and strange, nostalgic and futuristic, bizarre and totally simple."[6]

On the year-end annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll for albums, administered by The Village Voice, the album received two votes.[17] Perfect Sound Forever's Miles Bowe cited Floral Shoppe as one of his year-end best albums.[18] It was also named the sixth best album of the year by Tiny Mix Tapes, with reviewer James Parker opining that it "slid seamlessly between pure pop pleasure and the ironic framing of that pleasure, the presence of the artist at turns barely noticeable and dramatically foregrounded."[19] Assessing the influence of Floral Shoppe on vaporwave, assuming it to be the genre's apex, Parker wrote:

In many ways, New Dreams Ltd., the umbrella moniker for Macintosh Plus, 情報デスクVIRTUAL, Laserdisc Visions, and Sacred Tapestry, embodied the [vaporwave] genre best. Not only did it provide some of vaporwave's most essential releases, but it also cannily folded at just the right moment, thanking us all for visiting the Virtual Casino. 2012 wasn't just the year vaporwave broke; it was also the year it exhausted itself: morphed, rebranded, its practitioners moved on. If any single release deserves to be remembered, though, it is surely Floral Shoppe. From the very beginning, it stood out not only for its artful marrying of the conceptual with the sensual, but also for its performance of the inseparability between the two.[19]

Track listing[edit]

Original release
No.TitleSample usedLength
1."Booting" (ブート Būto)"Tar Baby" by Sade (1985)3:24
2."Lisa Frank 420 / Modern Computing" (リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー Risa Furanku 420 / Gendai no Konpyū)"It's Your Move" by Diana Ross (1984)7:20
3."Flower Shoppe" (花の専門店 Hana no Senmon-ten)"If I Saw You Again" by Pages (1978)3:55
4."Library" (ライブラリ Raiburari)"You Need a Hero" by Pages (1981)2:43
5."Geography" (地理 Chiri)"Underwater Theme" by Darren Mitchell (1997)4:46
6."Chill Divin' with ECCO" (ECCOと悪寒ダイビング ECCO to Okan Daibingu)"Déjà Vu" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)6:42
7."Mathematics" (数学 Sūgaku)"Worldwide" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)6:54
8."Foreign Banks Aviation" (外ギン AVIATION Soto Gin AVIATION)"Hang Loose" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)1:14
9."Te" ()No samples used2:16
10."Moon" ( Tsuki)"I Only Have Eyes for You" by Zapp (1985)6:14
11."Seabed" (海底 Kaitei)"Sleeping Pill" by Jamie Foxx (2010)2:18
Total length:47:47
Cassette and Vinyl release
No.TitleSample usedLength
1."Booting" (ブート Būto)"Tar Baby" by Sade (1985)3:21
2."Lisa Frank 420 / Modern Computing" (リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー Risa Furanku 420 / Gendai no Konpyū)"It's Your Move" by Diana Ross (1984)7:12
3."Flower Shoppe" (花の専門店 Hana no Senmon-ten)"If I Saw You Again" by Pages (1978)3:18
4."Library" (ライブラリ Raiburari)"You Need a Hero" by Pages (1981)2:47
5."Geography" (地理 Chiri)"Underwater Theme" by Darren Mitchell (1997)4:38
6."Chill Divin' with ECCO" (ECCOと悪寒ダイビング ECCO to Okan Daibingu)"Déjà Vu" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)6:23
7."Mathematics" (数学 Sūgaku)"Worldwide" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)7:31
8."Standby" (待機 Taiki)"Give It Up" by Sade (1993)2:28
9."I Am Pico" (ピコ "Piko")"Carioca Groove" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)2:03
10."Foreign Banks Aviation" (外ギン AVIATION Soto Gin AVIATION)"Hang Loose" by Dancing Fantasy (1993)1:14
11."Te" ()No samples used2:02
Total length:42:57
2017 Reissue (LP Download) — Bonus tracks[20]
No.TitleSample usedLength
12."ZONE""Good Love" by Anita Baker4:10
Total length:47:07

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vektroid – Bio". Vektroid. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ Gibb, Rory (November 8, 2012). "The Month's Electronic Music: Through The Looking Glass". The Quietus. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Harper, Adam (December 7, 2012). "Comment: Vaporwave and the pop-art of the virtual plaza". Dummy. London. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Dean, Jonathan (July 2012). "Favorite 30 Albums of 2012 (So Far) – Macintosh Plus: Floral Shoppe [Beer On The Rug]". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Fantano, Anthony (November 28, 2012). "Macintosh Plus – Floral Shoppe". The Needle Drop. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d Downer, Adam (February 16, 2014). "Review: Macintosh Plus – FLORAL SHOPPE". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Macintosh Plus". WhoSampled. 
  8. ^ "MACINTOSH PLUS - リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー"
  9. ^ "Floral Shoppe | Beer On The Rug". Beer on the Rug. Bandcamp. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ Zha, Tim (March 2, 2013). "The Best Records of 2012…". Pi. London. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ Gierczak, Antoni. "Vektroid: Rainbowtrinity". WQHS-DT. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "BOTR009 – Macintosh Plus :: 'Floral Shoppe' C44". Beer on the Rug. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Petty, Alec (August 20, 2013). "Vektroid is Now Making T-Shirts, Hip-Hop". Ad Hoc. New York. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "FLORAL SHOPPE by MACINTOSH PLUS". Olde English Spelling Bee. August 6, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  15. ^ "FLORAL SHOPPE VINYL DEMO & PLAYTHROUGH". Olde English Spelling Bee. October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  16. ^ Purcell, Stephen (September 12, 2012). "Office Playlist: Macintosh Plus – Floral Shoppe". Noise. St. Cork. Retrieved December 28, 2013. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Albums – Votes For Macintosh Plus: Floral Shoppe". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ Bowe, Miles (December 2012). "2012 writers' poll: Miles Bowe". Perfect Sound Forever. New York. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "2012: Favorite 50 Albums of 2012". Tiny Mix Tapes. December 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  20. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Macintosh-Plus-Floral-Shoppe-OESB-Vinyl-LP-Download-Version/release/11142297

External links[edit]