California-based Giraffage’s Needs EP was released last year without much acknowledgement from media, but quiet popularity on Soundcloud and Tumblr. While not groundbreaking, Giraffage manages to package the best aspects of vaporwave and trap music into his dreamy 2013 release. The California-based producer uses the familiar tropes of slowed down 80’s music and articulated trap drums to produce a notable example of sample-based pop music.
On “Checkmate”, it’s easy to hear the precision of Giraffage’s production. Samples of pornographic gasps and dial tones tastefully substitute beats of his 808 kit. Giraffage’s greatest strength is the level of detailing he puts in his drums, syncopating or embellishing at unexpected measures in the song. “Checkmate” is meticulously produced, Giraffage’s careful eye apparent in the complexity of his drums and restraint of his sampling. While a less skillful producer would come across as obtuse and derivative, Giraffage manages to rise above the conglomerate of imitative Tumblr vaporwave and make his EP fresh and interesting while still falling neatly within the confines of “high music”.
Pick up a copy of Needs on Giraffage’s bandcamp.