Hey Agora Road travelers! Today i’m going to review Donor Lens- Midnight Store Album which will have a physical release of vinyl, cassette, mini disc and also a playable ZX Spectrum NEXT SD card on July 31st. I have listened to Donor Lens in the past and have even featured “Still On The Lime” by Wichita LimeWire (One half of the Donor Lens duo), which you can view here. Donor Lens have described this album as “The music portrays an increasingly hazy evening, punctuated by return trips to the shop to pick up supplies.” Which by listening to album is exactly how it feels and you will not be disappointed. Now lets get on with the review!
The track of the album ‘Midnight Store‘ is actually based on a real life corner shop in Cardiff where Doner Lens duo along with My Pet Flamingo co-founder Enzo frequent to get some midnight brews. In fact heres a picture of it!
Right off the bat you can already tell that this song is a banger. It gives you the feeling of when after a hazy afternoon you go with your friends to upwind at “the spot”. Yes we all know that spot, the place where you and your friends always go to hang out. The songs spells of friendship that will last a lifetime, a truly treasured thing to have when you explore this crazy world. It also features the talented vocalist Jana Tyrrel to really give this track a lively vibe.
‘Miranda ‘ starts off to give a tropical vibe but turns into an eccojams pack sensation of grooves and tunes. This is where the party is just getting started at the midnight store. A function of friends and the nightlife. We out here live streaming too, broadcasting all of our vaporwavey grooves for the world to see. This is a nice little track to get started for what’s to come on the rest of the album, so get your White Claws in handy cuz this is a party now.
Ooooo we got some classic vaporwave japanese vocals here. The vibes here are a little different than the previous tracks on the album but it definitely has a hazy dreamlike atmosphere. You can catch the repetitive nature of this track to really go with the flow of the music. All around the world there are people that we haven’t met, different cultures & different experiences, yet I feel like we all understand the universal nature of our love for music. When one enters the Midnight Store, you all have a common bond, friendship, acceptance, and enjoy a nice pint of beer.
The track ‘Taking Stock” immpedenly hits you with what can only be described to me as a 90s PBS windows intro, it’s hard to describe because the rhythm is very fast paced however there are soft tones in the background. I feel like this short track could have been expanded upon; however it does make you feel more immersed in the album and puts you in a nostalgic mindset (You will know what I mean when you hear it).
Another Night Astray Ft. Azeem Shah
Up next we have “Another Night Astray Ft. Azeem Shah”, this one certainly feels darker than the other tracks. It starts off in a depressive mood and it lingers throughout the track in contrast with the more upbeat tunes that get released later on. Overall, It still has a night time feel to this track but it’s a little long for me.
Aisles And Aisles Ft. Jana Tyrrell
Following up we have “Aisles And Aisles Ft. Jana Tyrrell”, which is filled with some cool rhymes such as the line “Identical aisles, stretched for miles” hehe, gets me everytime. This album takes you inside the “Midnight Store” and the various dynamics that happen there. A window to the soul kind of feel. This track expresses the whole theme of the album, which is about the repetitive nature of going to “the spot” with your friends on the weekend every single time.
One Stop Shop
If you wanna get your groove on then “One Stop Shop is where you want to hit that play button! This is a pure dance/trance style track that would be perfect to play in any club/party type setting. This kinda reminds me of GTA’s 4 Ballad of Gay Tony DLC, Its on par with that kind of nightlife.
Tyskie Ft Alister Wedderburn
Ahhhh what a refreshing track, this goes very smooth and it kinda reminds me of “House”. Now I just relistened to the theme song of house which is “Teardrop by Massive Attack” and I know that these two are completely different songs but I think the light drums mixed with the subtle synth really drives my mood into a euphoria. This track is best played after a night of some hardcore partying to wind down too when your passed out in the basement dreading of that hangover in the morning.
Spirit Receiver Ft. DATAGIRL
Last but not least is “Spirit Receiver Ft. DATAGIRL”, it gives you back the fond memories of the Midnight Store. Yes you may feel that regret after having all of those drinks but not after you take some ubiquinol (a little tip for you guys hehe) you are enjoying the memories you had with your friends that you would never trade for anything in the world. This is a nice calming track to end the album with.
Here’s a little about the Duo Donor Lens
Jerome ‘Jay’ Sabourin & Thom Hosken
Donor Lens is Thom Hosken (Love in Dust, Wichita LimeWire) and Jerome ‘Jay’ Sabourin (Kid Neon, Timeshare ‘94). They work between London and Barry, Wales. Their background is as multi-instrumentalists and producers in other genres – classical, ambient, synthwave and metal.
They work their disparate influences and skills into vaporwave aesthetics & concepts, and make original music that emulates the sound of sampled/plunderphonic vapor. Their music explores ‘in-between’ spaces and states of threshold & contemplation – finding yourself in an airport lounge, a 24-hour convenience store, or a Zoom call with poor connection.
Donor Lens has featured on compilations from My Pet Flamingo, First Class Collective and Halcyon Tapes, as well as official remixes for DATAGIRL and Eventual Infinity on Pacific Plaza records. They have been hosted by YouTube channel Vapor Memory and reviewed by vlogger Daydream Deluxe as one of the ‘Vaporwave Producers You Should Listen To’. They were a ‘Classic Style’ pick in the 2019 Reddit Vaporwave Super Guide.
They have been supported by Adam Walton from BBC Wales and feature regularly on his Saturday night show.
Donor Lens have also done work in film, scoring the soundtrack to PSYCHEDELICA, a short documentary on the use of psychedelic drugs in novel mental health treatments. They are currently writing the score for upcoming feature-length documentary NOBODY HERE: The Story of Vaporwave.
Twitter – @donor_Lens
Instagram – @donorlens
Bandcamp – www.donorlens.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/donor-lens