“Replica” is one of those albums that predates vaporwave yet serves as the basis for what would become the genre. The entire album was considered a break from the norm in 2011 thanks to it’s sampling of TV commercials in ways unexpected and provocative mixing plunderphonics, ambient and traditional electronica music. Oneothrix Point Never is considered an established electronic producer so when this album was released, all eyes were on him.
OPN used a methodology where he watched all the TV commercials and picked the moments that stood out from the commercials. By taking those samples out of context and putting them into a new context, he managed to create new tracks that resembled music much more than the initial TV commercials. The music is detailed and emotional with lots of processing done to give tracks their desired elements; at many times they’re wide and reverberated, sometimes they’re fast paced and aggressive but most of the time they’re somber and reflective with a sad kind of feeling attached to it.
The story told is one of heartbreak and moving on. This is reflected with the pacing with works in a sort of slow/fast/slow style to reflect times of panic and times of depression and even times of reflection. It’s a detailed story thanks to the numerous samples being used and the way they’re being used; for example you could have a sharp synth come out of nowhere in a moody and depressive track, or you could have a pad come out of nowhere in a fast-paced track. The possibilities are endless and as a plus, nothing feels misordered or out of place.
OPN took great care and pride in creating this work and it comes across very well. It inspired Vektroid to make “FLORAL SHOPPE” and as a result created the entire movement of vaporwave. It’s such an influential album that vaporwave artists look back to and reference this piece of work when creating new works. If it weren’t for this album, electronic music would be stuck in the same place with the same sounds and the same style; OPN should be praised for showing that not every artist has to be locked in a box that’s forced upon by social and societal pressure.