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Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1

Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1
A collage featuring various overlapping elements of a Mega Drive cartridge cover art.
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 8, 2010
Genre
Length52:07
LabelThe Curatorial Club
Daniel Lopatin chronology
Returnal
(2010)
Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1
(2010)
Replica
(2011)

Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 is a 2010 album of remixes by American electronic musician Daniel Lopatin under the pseudonym Chuck Person. Its tracks consist of chopped, looped samples of various songs—including popular songs from the 1980s and 1990s—processed with effects such as delay, reverb, and pitch shifting; the results highlight mournful or existential moments from the sources. It was used as an initial template for the vaporwave internet microgenre.

Prior to Eccojams Vol. 1's release, Lopatin posted a series of videos that he called "eccojams" to a YouTube channel named "sunsetcorp". The album was released under the label The Curatorial Club in August 2010 on 100 cassette tapes. By the time an official remastered version was released for digital download in November 2016, recognition for Eccojams Vol. 1 had grown, with the original tapes selling on Discogs at three-digit prices.

Background and release

Prior to the release of Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1, Daniel Lopatin ran the YouTube channel "sunsetcorp",[1] where, beginning in 2009,[2] Lopatin would upload music videos for tracks that he called "eccojams".[a] These were collages of slowed-down looped samples of 1980s and 1990s popular songs—or original pieces of electronic music—and looped video clips taken from YouTube; many of them were initially created at his office job in the free audio editing program GoldWave, between 2004 and 2008.[7] "Nobody Here" combines a looped sample from Chris de Burgh's "The Lady in Red" with a vintage computer-animated graphic called "Rainbow Road".[4] Other examples include Fleetwood Mac's "Only Over You" for "Angel" and Roger Troutman's "Emotions" for "End Of Life Entertainment Scenario #1".[8] Some of these eccojams were initially released as part of the 2009 audiovisual project Memory Vague under Lopatin's alias Oneohtrix Point Never.[9][10][11]

Eccojams Vol. 1 was an elaboration of that technique.[12] A limited run of 100 cassette tapes was released under the label The Curatorial Club on August 8, 2010.[13][5][14] Its artwork incorporates fragments of the cover art for the 1992 video game Ecco the Dolphin[15] such as "a distorted view of a rocky shoreline and a pixelated shark."[16] Lopatin released an official remaster for digital download from his website in November 2016[5][17] that was eventually removed.[18]

Composition

Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 has been described as plunderphonics,[2] chopped and screwed,[20] and vaporwave.[21] The tone has been described as "dystopian",[22] "unnerving, often mournful",[23] "vast and mysterious",[19] and "somber-yet-tropical".[24] The songs consist of looped samples of popular songs from the 1980s and 1990s distorted by effects such as delay, reverb, and pitch shifting,[14][23] a technique derived from DJ Screw's chopped and screwed technique[14] and likened to a "candy-coloured variation" of William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops.[25] Most of the lyrics isolated in these loops are lyrics which differ from "overall tone and sentiment" of the original songs and often express negative feelings. An example would be "B4", which isolates the lyric "There's nobody here" from "The Lady in Red" to convey existentialism, which differs from the romantic tone of the original song.[14]

"A1", which stretches and loops the lyric "Hurry boy, she's waiting there for you" from Toto's "Africa", serves as the introduction.[22][19] "A2" uses a phaser effect on "Only Over You".[23] "A3" is a pitched-down looped sample of JoJo's "Too Little Too Late",[25] creating "dense, compressed, overdubbed harmonies".[23] "A4" samples a lyric from Michael Jackson's "Morphine" expressing horror at someone taking Demerol. The lyric is warped, creating the impression that the listener is intoxicated, before flanging is applied.[18][23] "A5", which samples a song by the Byrds, is described by Spectrum Culture as "a creepy little skit so blurred in effects as to be unrecognizable".[19] "A6" is taken from Janet Jackson's "Lonely".[26] "A7" is taken from Aphrodite's Child's "The Four Horsemen", "injecting a bit of apocalyptic dread" from the song's themes and uncertain melody.[19] "A8", after an R&B loop, ends with a crescendo of digital noise, akin to a blizzard.[23][19] "B1" has a bleak tone, similar to a twisted dream, before transitioning to an uplifting loop of Kate Bush's voice from "Don't Give Up".[1][26] "B2" is a "drunken, off-key" and slowed-down loop of "Gypsy". "B5" samples 2Pac's "Me Against the World".[19] The final song, "B7", is a loop of "Woman in Chains" by Tears for Fears, that has a shimmering effect "approaching and receding", eventually "overtak[ing] the words" before the song fades out.[1]

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Spectrum Culture[19]
Sputnikmusic5.0/5[26]

Though Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 was released "with little fanfare",[25] the videos Lopatin posted on YouTube became popular, with "Nobody Here" amassing 30,000 views over several months. Music critic Simon Reynolds highlighted the videos' "conceptual framework" as "relat[ing] to cultural memory and the buried utopianism within capitalist commodities, especially those related to consumer technology in the computing and audio/video entertainment area".[7] Anthony Fantano mentioned Eccojams Vol. 1 in his 2012 review of Macintosh Plus's Floral Shoppe, saying he found Eccojams Vol. 1 to be "more bold with its editing and its looping and its stretching" of music samples than Floral Shoppe.[27]

According to Tiny Mix Tapes, Eccojams Vol 1 would lead to Lopatin's 2011 Oneohtrix Point Never album Replica.[5] In 2012, Lopatin released a box set of four 7-inch singles titled Chuck Persons A.D.D., consisting of 30 eccojams. Each disc is designed to have grooves that would make them play infinitely.[18] On the 2015 Oneohtrix Point Never album Garden of Delete, the song "EccojamC1" was included as a tribute to Eccojams Vol. 1.[28] In a 2013 Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), when inquired about a follow-up album to Eccojams Vol. 1, Lopatin revealed that he had many eccojams in a "cryotank set to defrost in the distant future."[29][5][17]

Retrospectively, Eccojams Vol. 1 is widely considered influential in vaporwave,[30][31][32] a music genre characterized by slowed-down samples from 1980s and 1990s music.[33] Released before vaporwave's 2012 rise in popularity,[34] the album would serve as a template for artists such as Vektroid and Mediafired to produce what would become vaporwave music.[b] According to Stereogum's Miles Bowe, vaporwave artists "mash the chopped and screwed plunderphonics of Dan Lopatin ... with the nihilistic easy-listening of James Ferraro's Muzak-hellscapes on Far Side Virtual".[20] In 2013, the music blog Girls Blood described Eccojams Vol. 1, along with Far Side Virtual and Skeleton's Holograms, as "Proto Vaporwave" in a post about "Vaporwave Essentials".[36] Regarding the influx of vaporwave producers that came after Eccojams Vol. 1, Lopatin said in a 2017 AMA:[37]

Well – the entire point of Eccojams was that it was a DIY practice that didn't involve any specialized music tech knowledge and for me it was a direct way of dealing with audio in a mutable, philosophical way that had very little to do with music and everything to do with feelings and I'm happy to see that it actually turned out to be true, that people make the stuff and find connection and meaning through that practice is all I could ever hope for. It's folk music now.

Originally "relatively unacknowledged",[14] by the time of the 2016 re-release, original copies of Eccojams Vol. 1 were highly valued, selling on Discogs for a median cost of US$250 and as high as $400.[5][38] Kirk Bowman of Sputnikmusic rated Eccojams Vol. 1 highly for its poignancy and found it to be a rare example of a repetitive album that he wanted to listen to repeatedly.[26] Spectrum Culture lauded the album for "feel[ing] so vast and mysterious".[19] Marvin Lin of Tiny Mix Tapes described the album as "plundering the depths of pop music and uncovering short musical segments or particularly existential lyrical moments" to create "a simple yet wholly ecstatic listening experience".[5] Fact listed "A3" as among the best songs by Lopatin,[25] Fantano ranked Eccojams Vol. 1 at number 153 on his list of best albums of the 2010s,[39][40] and Tiny Mix Tapes named Eccojams Vol. 1 the top album of the 2010s; Pat Beane said that was because, "we at Tiny Mix Tapes couldn't get enough of music. And Eccojams, of music, begat more music".[1] In 2020, the 33⅓ series published a book of essays on underrated albums titled The 3313 B-Sides, which included a Lin piece on Eccojams Vol. 1.[41]

Track listing

Adapted from the original cassette release. Samples adapted from lyrics.

Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 track listing
No.TitleSample(s)Length
1."A1""Africa" by Toto2:36
2."A2" (alternatively known as "Angel"[42])"Only Over You" by Fleetwood Mac3:48
3."A3"6:04
4."A4" (alternatively known as "Demerol"[43])"Morphine" by Michael Jackson1:55
5."A5""Everybody's Been Burned" by the Byrds2:51
6."A6""Lonely" by Janet Jackson2:46
7."A7""The Four Horsemen" by Aphrodite's Child2:17
8."A8"4:46
9."B1"4:33
10."B2"
4:36
11."B3"4:16
12."B4" (alternatively known as "Nobody Here"[44])"The Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh2:10
13."B5""Me Against the World" by 2Pac2:51
14."B6""These Dreams" by Heart2:23
15."B7"4:08
Total length:52:07

Release history

Release formats for Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1
Date Label Format Catalog number Ref.
August 8, 2010 The Curatorial Club Cassette TCC011 [13]
November 2016 Self-released Digital download N/A [45]

Notes

  1. ^ Music critic Simon Reynolds spelled it "echo jams".[3][4] Later sources have used the original spelling.[5][6]
  2. ^ Attributed to multiple sources.[30][2][5][23][6][12][35]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Beane, Pat (December 19, 2019). "2010s: Favorite 100 Music Releases of the Decade". Tiny Mix Tapes. p. 6. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Price, Joe (August 29, 2016). "Vaporwave's Second Life". Complex Magazine. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Simon (July 6, 2010). "Brooklyn's Noise Scene Catches Up to Oneohtrix Point Never". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Reynolds 2011, p. 80.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Lin, Marvin (November 22, 2016). "Daniel Lopatin releases remastered version of Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1". Tiny Mix Tapes. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b Chandler, Simon (November 21, 2016). "Genre As Method: The Vaporwave Family Tree, From Eccojams to Hardvapour". Bandcamp Daily. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Reynolds 2011, pp. 80–81.
  8. ^ Trainer 2016, p. 412; 424.
  9. ^ Reynolds 2011, p. 81.
  10. ^ Trainer 2016, p. 412.
  11. ^ Bowe, Miles (November 28, 2015). "The Essential… Oneohtrix Point Never". Fact. p. 5. Archived from the original on December 25, 2022. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Back 2020, p. 390.
  13. ^ a b McGregor (August 8, 2010). "TCC011 | Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1". The Curatorial Club. Archived from the original on December 26, 2022. Retrieved December 26, 2022 – via Blogger.
  14. ^ a b c d e Lin 2019, p. 169.
  15. ^ Trainer 2016, p. 213.
  16. ^ Jacobson, Jordan J. (Fall 2022). "Fast Forwarding the Past (on Pause): Daniel Lopatin's Memory Vague and the Hauntological Aesthetic of Vaporwave". The Velvet Light Trap. 90 (90): 28–37. doi:10.7560/VLT9004. S2CID 251550099. Archived from the original on August 17, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  17. ^ a b Iadarola, Alexander (November 23, 2016). "Oneohtrix Point Never Reissues His 2010 Classic Eccojams". Vice. Archived from the original on December 25, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Martin, Leonard (Fall–Winter 2021). "What's an Original When Everything's a Copy? Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 Resurfaces From the Depths of the Internet" (PDF). ARSC Newsletter. No. 157. pp. 9–11. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 25, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bromfield, Daniel (December 4, 2016). "Chuck Person: Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1". Spectrum Culture. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  20. ^ a b Bowe, Miles (July 26, 2013). "Band To Watch: Saint Pepsi". Stereogum. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  21. ^ Sherbune, Phillip (October 7, 2021). "25 Microgenres That (Briefly) Defined the Last 25 Years". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Witmer, Phil (February 5, 2018). "Toto's "Africa" Hit Number 1 Exactly 35 Years Ago, May It Live Forever". Vice. Archived from the original on January 14, 2023. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Hansen, K. Nkanza (September 2, 2020). "Eccojams Vol. 1 Was the Blueprint for Vaporwave". Talkhouse. Archived from the original on January 15, 2023. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  24. ^ Smith, Susette (March 18, 2021). "A Timeline of Vaporwave's Vektroid-Fueled Intersection with Portland". Portland Monthly. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  25. ^ a b c d Bowe, Miles (November 28, 2015). "The Essential… Oneohtrix Point Never". Fact. p. 7. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d Bowman, Kirk (2 August 2016). "Review: Chuck Person – Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  27. ^ Fantano, Anthony (November 28, 2012). Macintosh Plus- Floral Shoppe ALBUM REVIEW. The Needle Drop. Archived from the original on January 15, 2023. Retrieved January 8, 2023 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (November 16, 2015). "Oneohtrix Point Never Told Us the Story Behind Every Single Track On Garden of Delete". Vice. Archived from the original on December 25, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  29. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (October 8, 2013). "I'm Daniel Lopatin, pka Oneohtrix Point Never. AMA". Retrieved December 25, 2022 – via Reddit.
  30. ^ a b Beauchamp, Scott (18 August 2016). "How Vaporwave Was Created Then Destroyed by the Internet". Esquire. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  31. ^ "Classic interview: Oneohtrix Point Never - 'For me a synthesizer is an abstract tool; I look at it and I'm just guessing a lot of the time'". Future Music. January 12, 2022. Archived from the original on January 30, 2023. Retrieved January 30, 2023 – via MusicRadar.
  32. ^ Schembri, Sharon; Tichbon, Jac (October 2, 2017). "Digital consumers as cultural curators: the irony of Vaporwave". Arts and the Market. 7 (22): 197, 200. doi:10.1108/AAM-12-2016-0023. ISSN 2056-4945. Archived from the original on January 15, 2023. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  33. ^ Whelan 2020, p. 185–186.
  34. ^ Tavakoli, Mina (December 16, 2019). "Uncut Gems (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  35. ^ Lin 2019, p. 171.
  36. ^ Trainer 2016, p. 420.
  37. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (August 15, 2017). "I am musician Oneohtrix Point Never, currently importing SysEx files into FM8 - AMA". Retrieved February 2, 2021 – via Reddit.
  38. ^ Bowe, Miles (November 22, 2016). "Oneohtrix Point Never releases remastered Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1". Fact. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  39. ^ Fantano, Anthony (January 17, 2020). "101-200". The Needle Drop. Archived from the original on November 16, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  40. ^ Fantano, Anthony (January 17, 2020). Top 200 Albums of the 2010s. The Needle Drop. Archived from the original on January 20, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ Klein, Jeremy (September 6, 2019). "One book about one album no longer enough, 33 1/3 releases "B-Sides" book of 55 essays on 55 underrated albums". Tiny Mix Tapes. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  42. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (July 19, 2009). Angel. Sunsetcorp. Archived from the original on January 16, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2023 – via YouTube.
  43. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (July 21, 2009). Demerol. Sunsetcorp. Archived from the original on January 16, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2023 – via YouTube.
  44. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (July 19, 2009). Nobody Here. Sunsetcorp. Archived from the original on January 16, 2023. Retrieved January 16, 2023 – via YouTube.
  45. ^ Lopatin, Daniel (November 2016). "Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 (MP3/FLAC)". Oneohtrix Point Never. Archived from the original on March 19, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2023.

Works cited

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