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Cape Coral – Karma Cleaning (Album Review)

This was written by mxhdroom from Private suite Mag (Now defunct Vaporwave Magazine)

In these uncomfortable days of quarantine, music can be a great escape from the repetition, routine and days that never seem to end. An album can transport you somewhere else, to another time and space, to take your mind off things in the way that only music can.

In this gloomy context, Cape Coral's latest album, Karma Cleaning, their third after 2016's 3 Way to Analog VR Emotions and 2017's Slowed Midnight, was a welcome relief, transporting me from my cramped flat to the sights and sounds of 1980s... well, Cape Coral.

Booming with beats, the album boasts 7 original tracks, plus a remix of Waterfront Dining's Game, blending classic vaporwave sampling with future funk attention to melody and a brash, distorted overall confidence that allows the album to break from the pack. Heavy and fizzling, the tracks pulsate with energy.

Some vaporwave artists trade on their ability to mesh and meld sounds into weird shapes and other future funk artists focus on their ability to create clean, crisp melodies. Cape Coral's forte is strong, persistent beats. Vaporwave can be a pretty easy-listening genre at times, but this is definitely the kind of album that demands to move and be moved to. The kind of vaporwave that's easy to imagine being played at a live show or DJ set and being earnestly and enthusiastically danced to.

As vaporwave continues its journey from bedroom micro-genre to bustling live scene, this kind of strident production is very much welcome.

The songs are a cool blend of genres: 707 Hotline's deep funk grooves, the edgy slap bass of Better Way and the Motown tinge of Be My Love. Vocals are used tastefully and bring variety to the album. The crooning of Groovin and the amped up chants of Beat Street Jam particularly stick out. But Cape Coral also displays the depth of their influences on this release: Hips– with its buzzing robotic vocals pays tribute to Daft Punk, while his remix of Waterfront Dining's Game closes off the album in style. Coral's Game remix slicks his bold overdriven sound onto a Waterfront Dining classic, while adding in a little flash of humour in the form of an outro vocal sample.

Karma Cleaning is an excellent and upbeat album that's definitely worthy of your time in these drab days of quarantine and virus fears, well worth your listening attention whether you're an existing Cape Coral fan, a curious Waterfront Dining aficionado, or just looking for something upbeat, fun and unapologetic to help you ease and relax in style.

Karma Cleaning releases on July 24.
View: https://tigerbloodtapes.bandcamp.com/album/karma-cleaning
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