So, we try not to sleep on things like this, especially when it comes to really interesting and soulful ambient projects like Vipid, but no one can keep up with all the music nowadays. Nonetheless, ambient and lofi fans should be happy to have finally found the LA-based producer and his newest album, Memories released back in October but before that he’d already put out a handful of singles, an EP called Daydream and a remix EP of Daydream.
As so often happens, the lofi darlings like Paul Ruben and Man With Roses on the afore-mentioned Daydream remix EP, pricked up the ears of the music industry and and brought more attention to Vipid. His subsequent singles picked up more traction, and now that is debut LP has dropped, the press are now firmly interested. With a smooth, ambient, spacey style which also contains a lot of analog instrumental hits, it was really only a matter of time.
With no vocals and sometimes even no beats, Vipid explores the composition and sound design of lofi with a spirit of experimentation but one would be wont to class his music as experimental. It’s melodic and Tycho-esque with hits of rock that will sometimes take listeners back to the heyday of Ratatat. It’s a relaxing yet interesting ride on Memories.
The best tracks on Memories from an EDM head’s perspective are the ones that have really ambient, well-designed synth openers, as Vipid’s mastery of the musical staff really shines there. Each track on the album has some good synth work, but songs like “Vista” and “Dawn” have beautiful, vintage-style, Mooged out tube synths that really do justice to their names. With no vox, a producer really has to work with that ambient space in the track to conjure the feeling more organically. “Dawn” literally sounds like if you asked a Moog to describe what the world waking up looks like while “Vista” conjures sweeping scenes of earth and sky in different locations, as if a drone flying around the world had a soundtrack.
Other tracks like “Internity,” which released as a teaser single a month before the album or “Lavender Sunset” simply play with sound. “Internity” seems to be a bit more beat-focused than some of the other tracks but still has that great, ambient vintage synth core. “Lavender Sky” has almost the exact same synth tone but is more melodically focused, with guitar and bass accompaniments adding a bit of folk cachet. It’s the penultimate track but also continues the drive towards the end of what feels like an album that’s meant to be one long, beautiful story.
Ambient and experimental artists like Vipid are important to pretty much every part of the EDM scene, as they’re the ones tinkering in the labs with sound design and mods. The end goal is that they’re always trying to see how far they can push sound or what they can do to accurately portray a mood or a scene. There are elements of that in all electronic music and it’s albums like Memories that inspire the sound design work of some of the biggest artists out there to this day. Despite how many releases he’s already done, Vipid is clearly still tinkering, developing more and more soundscapes to listeners can close their eyes and picture. Whether it’s a windswept beach at sunset or a load of mods as inspiration strikes, the picture is up to the listener.