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Album Review: Lost Fragments by 2814

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2814is an electronic, vaporwave, and ambient duo composed of  
t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 and HKE. Both of these artists are well versed in vaporwave and have been key artists for the genre. Their most well known and arguably best vaporwave/ambient album is Birth of a New Day. Lost Fragments is their fourth studio album and shows a lot of growth since the success of Birth of a New Day.

The first track is 2814年頃の情事. The track opens up with a synth drone, slowly going on in the background, with more synths eventually joining in. They keep on going back and forth between a few chords, and you'll hear a few drum beats slowly coming in. It's a beautiful minimalist track to open up the album, but if this is your first dabble into ambient/vaporwave music, I wouldn't recommend this track. The next track would be a better fit for your first listen.

After that we have Arcadia. If you are a fan of retro video games, I feel like this would be the perfect track for you. The sound clips in the background remind me of an old PlayStation, or Game Boy start up sound. There aren't as much synth drones in the background and it has more of an enjoyable beat you can relax to. There are also some inaudible voices in the background, more so for an effect for the track. At the very end of the track, it seems like they might be speaking Japanese. Vaporwave has been said to have a connection with Japanese culture.

The next track is 遠い将来で失, which is loosely translated to Lost in the Distant Future. No, the fifteen minute track length is not a joke. As said before, if this is your first look into vaporwave/ambient music, this is normal. There is still a synth in this track, but there is an industrial-like percussion beat in the background, as well as a bass line that is repeated.

New Age is where we get into the more melodic tunes. We have bell-like sounds creating the melody for the track. Halfway through the track, you're greeted with this high-pitched, piercing, electronic instrument solo, but I do love the synth distortion that goes on, that makes it sound like there is a train in a tunnel.

I know I use the term "synth drone" a lot in this review, but Droning City really deserves the term, "synth drone." The synth is wavering, with a few chord changes here and there. There isn't too much going on in the track, but a few sounds are played over the synths every now and then. It sounds like there are some bells that are played over later in the track

Triad is the next track off of the album. There's a beautiful piano part that is played on top of the track. It's a nice change of scenery compared to what the rest of the album has been. The backing of the track seems to be a little reminiscent of the previous track. If you love listening to mellow music on a rainy day, this would be the perfect track for the day.

After Triad we have Before Contact. The first two minutes are very calming with the wall of noise in the background. After that, a high pitched, distorted horn comes in. The horn keeps fading in and out throughout the song, but adds a sense of eeriness to the track. Just like the first track, this track is minimal in instrumentation.

The next track, Eyes of the Temple, is an acoustic track of a previous song released on the album, Rain Temple. It's a beautiful rendition of their first one, however, it is less dance-like compared to the original. I do love the rain sample, or how they were able to make rain sounds with clapping/snapping. It feels like you are outside during a rainstorm with different birds around you. At the very end, the storm stops and the rain starts to slow down and fade away.

Impact, the next track, has a space-like, atmospheric touch to it. You will hear a descending electronic sound that is repeated through the track, that gives you the feeling of being in outer space. Eventually, a bass drum comes in to give it more of a lo-fi type beat. Then you have a very distorted, and reverbed saxophone towards the last minute of the track.

The last track, another one that is over ten minutes, is 終わりと始まり, which translates to End and Beginning. This track is instantly more lively than the other fifteen minute track. While it is more lively, there doesn't seem to be anything new on this track. I feel like Impact would have been a perfect track to wrap up the album since this album is just a little over an hour and fifteen minutes. I get that some people love to listen to longer ambient/vaporwave albums, but at this point, they are just recycling the material that they have been using throughout the album. It's a great track when you separate it from the rest of the album, but if you are listening to this album front to back, it would be an easy track to skip over.

What did you think of the album? What were some of your favorite tracks? Let me know down in the comments section!  
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Arcadia, New Age, Eyes of the Temple - Acoustic


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