Fridays mean one thing here at Celadon Plaza: Review Day. As stated in my introduction post, I'll be taking the time to review, in depth, various Vaporwave physicals to provide you with the information you need to decide if they are worth the potential insane resale prices.
Today's review will look at the Australia based duo S U R F I N G's 2018 album 'Incubo.'
The follow up to their beloved classic ‘Deep Fantasy,’ Incubo seems to fly under the radar for many Vaporwave fans. The album however, is stellar and improves upon everything great that Deep Fantasy did.
Bordering between Vaporwave and Chillwave, Incubo's hazy and washed sounds provide a unique spin on the Vaporwave formula. While still primarily sampled-based, the album features original vocal and instrumental work from Surfing. The samples and original work blend and form a beautiful mix of addictive loops and washed vocals that are sure to be stuck in your head for days after listening.
As stated earlier, the album appears to be rather underrated by fans of the Vaporwave genre. It was released in July of 2018, nearly 6 years after Deep Fantasy, which may play into this. While many regard Deep Fantasy as the duo's best work, I'd argue that Incubo delivers the same amount of iconic sounds and dare I say is better produced than their previous LP. I too underestimated the quality of this LP, until I finally gave it a listen this past year. I truly can't remember the last time I heard an album once and purchased it immediately before Incubo. The lo-fi instrumentals with vocals you can only vaguely recognize provide the feeling of a long summer day with friends blaring music you’re sure you’ve heard before, but just aren't sure where. It’s an album you want to listen to immediately again after finishing, hoping to hear another layer of the songs you hadn’t before. My favorite off the album is, without a doubt, Otherside. The intro drums get me tapping my foot every single time.
Now, onto the physical. Incubo has had 2 vinyl runs, a pressing on black vinyl back in 2018 and the recent repress onto white vinyl in February of 2021, which I’ll be referring to in this review. Unlike all my reviews so far, this physical is actually still in stock! Head over to 100 Percent Electronica and pick up this phenomenal album on wax before it's sold out. Incubo is a special and unique piece of Vaporwave that deserves a spot in every collection that already features Deep Fantasy.
100 Percent Electronica continued their onslaught of classic represses with Incubo in early 2021, and, as expected, it's a top notch product. The white vinyl fits the album art nicely as it compliments the simple yet bold lettering of the album name on the jacket. The pressing is noise free. It was slightly high on the treble side when I tested it, but nothing too noticeable.
It’s a plain and simple design, nothing flashy, but it works. The music speaks for itself and the choice for a straightforward design for both the jacket and vinyl was a brilliant one. You may buy some records for their looks first and their music second, but with Incubo, you’re buying this first and foremost for its music, and that’s a beautiful thing in my eyes.
Like I said, this white repress variant isn’t actually sold out! You can still pick one up at the time of writing this. However, in case you’re reading this in the future after it has been sold out, I’ll give my brief thoughts on buying it secondhand.
Unless the price is reasonable and around retail (around $28 shipped from 100PE) I’d steer clear of second hand buying. Records in the 100 Percent Electronica catalogue are always being repressed. With hype around Surfing intensifying recently with the Turntable Labs and Newbury Comics exclusive Deep Fantasy variants releasing, I believe it's only a matter of time before more people recognize this underrated gem and demand increases. If it sells out, I could easily see a third, smaller run in the future. But until then, take the opportunity to purchase ‘Incubo’ while it's still in stock.
And that’s my thoughts on the white repress edition of Surfing’s ‘Incubo’ on vinyl! Let’s take a look at its overall ranking. No price suggestion this time, as it's still currently for sale.
Pressing/Sound Quality: 7
Aesthetical Pleasure (Album and Vinyl/Cassette Art): 8
Album Content (Music): 9
TOTAL RATING: 24/30
Overall Thoughts: Just as good, if not better than their last LP. If you own Deep Fantasy, buy this.
That's all for now. Remember to subscribe to the Celadon Plaza mail list to receive all of the Physical Updates and keep an eye out on the ever-changing Release Archive to make sure you don't miss any upcoming drops!
Until next time, hope to see you around the Plaza!