Garden of accrescent vistas
by: Bathroom plants
Written By: C A S I N O
Published: December 18th, 2021
I have been in a bit of a rut recently. Every so often, I get in these moods where the fire in my heart that keeps my love of vaporwave alive begins to flicker. Albums that used to stir my soul and strike a chord with me start to feel the same and the genre falls into a bland spiral of “meh” ness. Indy (the boss man) knows I get into these moods, so he approaches me with this album to review with a simple message attached: “You are gonna like this one.”
Bathroom Plants is a utopian virtual vaporwave producer who calls himself a “PhotoSynthesizer” (I see what you did there). He broke into the scene back in April of 2019 with Installing Symbiotopia 2.0.1, an album that apparently caught the attention of vapor-veteran Golden Living Room. The two collaborated with one another on Bathroom Plants’ second album 9 Reflections (which infuriatingly has 13 tracks on it) released on Halloween of 2020. Both albums are really solid and provide an almost religiously hopeful soundscape that seems to have become the artist’s MO. Thus we come to December of 2021 with his new release, Garden of Accrescent Vistas.
The themes of the album— and in fact, the entire Bathroom Plants project — cannot be ignored. “I consider Bathroom Plants as a project focused towards creating a positive vision of the future, something to hope for and work towards. Basically an antidote to the dystopian cyberpunk visions that have become our present reality.” The album, much like his previous ones, is filled with images of a perfect utopian future. All the tracks are dripping with hope and optimism of a world that could be. One of understanding, cooperation, and harmony with nature.
Right off the bat, Bathroom Plants sticks to the sound I mentioned above with the first track “Expedition of Earthly Healing” but mixes it up with impressive synth use and what sounds to be a sitar, an instrument which probably ought to be used more in vaporwave. I was quite impressed with this one as the track could have easily looped the first minute and a half together and it would have been more than enough for many producers, but Bathroom Plants continues to add to it, ensuring the song never gets boring.
“Building Together on Toppled Pyramids” continues to make use of the old school instruments by tossing in a pan flute to the tune of a lovingly melodic synth that expertly mixes up old with new, with the pan flute going in HARD towards the end, but in a good way.
In keeping with the long and optimistic-sounding names, “New Heights that we may all Soar” shows off Bathroom Plants’ lovingly gentle touch in regards to the synth, showing that you do not need to go crazy to produce great vaporwave that relies on a synthesizer.
Album Art By Michael Burke
Track four, “Telepathic Pathways of Love,” gives off a more retro-futuristic vibe, with a wonderful climax towards the end, piling on some heavy synth sounds that make you feel like you have arrived in a far-off future time where everything is just amazing and no pain exists. Kind of like walking into the Tomorrowland section of Disneyland.
If there is any part on this album where it slips a bit, it would likely be “Recalibrating the Cosmic Scale.” This is not to say that this is a bad track by any means, but compared to the other songs on Garden of Accrescent Vistas, it seems a tad simple. Halfway through the song, a futuristic choir rings out in harmony which got my hopes up, but he does not stick with it which is disappointing.
“Ancient Spirits in the Infinite Forest” (loving these track names) is a nice, slightly more atmospheric track. It is an airy and more ethereal piece that does not overstay its welcome at two minutes and thirty-three seconds, making it the shortest of the album. A smart move on Bathroom Plants’ part as it prevents the track from getting repetitive and shows that sometimes, less is better.
The second to last track, “Digital Organics Beyond the Horizon of Time” is the one “simple song” that many vaporwave artists have on their albums. By this I mean the song is not too complex, but what separates this simple track from others is that it manages to come off as not being lazy. Like the other tracks on the album, it does not rely upon repetitiveness, which is something that not too many similar tracks of this kind can say.
The grande finale comes in the form of “An Ever-Growing Future.” It is the proverbial cherry atop this treat of an album and paints a picture of a utopia where technology and nature have finally found harmony. The track is uplifting and sounds almost classically composed as though it were made by someone who had been doing this their entire lives.
I once told a fellow Utopia District member that I prided myself on being a tough person to please. When asked about what it would take for me to give an album a five-star review, I told them that I had no idea, but that I would know when I heard it. This is an album that is filled with hope and optimism and may have very well reignited my love of the genre. And yet I am filled with rage, because now I have to go to Indy, hat in hand, and say the words that I swore that I would never say to him:
You were right.
Get The Album!