Fictional Girlfriend - "Perfume Garden"
(Junk Maker Sounds)
A good bit of the vaporwave genre tries to capture a hyper-technological retro future filled with neon-lit Tokyo alleyways and Greek statues listening to boomboxes with anime schoolgirls, but Fictional Girlfriend has something else in mind entirely - a dark, brooding dronefest in the confined service corridors of an oppressive, rusted factory.
There are certainly strong vaporwave tendencies here, such as in the intro to the opening track Double Ought Gardens, but for a larger part of the release, the focus is on well-constructed ambient drone pieces that invoke a close, anxious, boiler-room-at-night kind of feeling. Phobes Breath would be a perfect example of this. It is a brilliantly dark piece that conjures flickering ghosts in shadowy corners.
Despite the spooky, unsettling vibe - or perhaps because of it - Perfume Gardens is a densely packed audio experience that one finds themselves returning to, perhaps trying to unravel the mystery again., earning the Houdini Mansions stamp of: [Highly Recommend]