nmesh’s “Pharma” when it first released came with a fury of attention typical of a nmesh album. As one of the first notable vaporwave artists “Dream Sequins” and as one of the few to bask in the hardvapour movement. “Hard Classiks, Volume 1”; the anticipation was expected and the result was an album that constitutes as an artistic evolution over the two albums.
The entire album mixes classic style vaporwave, ambient, jungle, plunderphonics and hardvapour to create what is essentially both a critique on the pharmaceutical industry (per the title) and one of the most insane drug trips you’ll ever listen to. Nothing is consistent on this album with varying sounds conflicting with each other in odd ways. Dialogue samples are often played out of context while tempo changes are sudden and swift; songs never stick to one style as one moment it could be calm and the next it could be frenetic.
A lot of audio tricks are used to enhance the feeling of the album from its usage of the stereo space to the varying filtering to the sweet mixture between soft and loud sounds. To the unheeded, this is not a safe album by any means, especially if you’ve listened to prior vaporwave albums. You may feel uncomfortable, perhaps to the point of turning it off but you’ll also feel a need to listen to it all the way through. nmesh’s ability to make a trippy album that borders on absolute insanity is unheralded in this day and age and his effortless ability to pull it off shows why he is one of vaporwave’s greats.
It’s long but this is an album that’s best suited for digestion. The original parts switch between smooth and hard, the samples often reflecting themes of the album, the overall state being confusion and manicness. If you were looking for the best vaporwave album of 2017 well, this might as well be it.