(WARNING. Before I begin this review, I should mention there are words and topics I discuss that in no way I have gone into in real life. If you are under the age of 18, please do not discuss these topics just yet. You’re too young. Thanks :3).
I’ve mentioned I love vaporwave and future funk beforehand, the groovy nature of false nostalgia, the beautiful rhythms of pitched and slowed down classic songs and jams, and one artist has recently captured my attention. His name…is Karate King. He’s had an EP, a few non-vaporwave songs, and a 24-song album, which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. He’s had a future funk EP being teased, but that’s not our main focus here. Our main focus is his heavily hyped “Infinite Pleasures” album, a follow up to his Sensual Paradise release on Pool House Ltd. Well, it’s been released as of today, and just from a listen to the tracks on the Bandcamp page, I knew I was in for a treat, a personal slice of heaven, or maybe even a little taste of a sensual paradise.
“Bodyshake” kicks off the album, and it’s a slow and funky little escapade into the night’s fragile journeys. It’s calm but (to me) a bit creepy, like a man who promises you everything who secretly hides sinister ulterior motives. It’s like a slow-motion nightclub scene or an opening song from a film like Night Rhythms. “Womb Party” is following that, and is very much a hip-mover. It could get me up and working if it was just a bit faster, but it’s perfect the way that it is. It’s a very imaginative song, where desires and fantasies are just right around the corner, or even beginning with the closing of your eyes. I felt very relaxed listening to it, and I can’t get it out of my head, even while writing this. Sweet jams are already here.
“Sadboi Jizz interlude” is a pause in the relief and tension-wasting to a little flirting and teasing, just casual seductive winks and maybe even being a peeping tom, if you’re that desperate for lust. It’s a slow and sexy little break, which doesn’t break the mood of the album like most interlude songs do, it’s very relieving to know that every song can fit in with the tone. “So In Love” gets right back to the romance, in the mental way. You can’t spell emotional without the letters m, e, n, t, a and l. Love is everywhere in you, and her face never seems to go away, her shining eyes always break your train of thought, and your heart feels warm and like melted gold. It’s a track I found myself imagining lost love to (as of writing this, I’m honest to god tearing up, omg why it is so good), and it’s my personal second favorite track on the whole album, I’m glad to have taken this journey.
We get right into the business with the 5th track, “Sexual Healing “. Man, this song is jam-worthy. I can feel the pleasures and feelings of the main character, and the want and need of more of it, more and more to feel better and feel good about themselves, now that they have an infinite source of love. The song’s sampled lyrics gets funky fresh saying “it’s time to get loose, everybody’s got the juice”. It’s a swinger. Now it’s time for the first collaboration track featuring mainstay future funk artist ConsciousThoughts on the song “You And I”. It’s not as future funky as I was hoping, but it works wonders for a slow dance song. I’d totally be dancing with my future girlfriend on a song like this at prom, in a restaurant, or even in our bedroom, just in each others’ embraces, whispering the only words we need: “I love you”. It’s very surreal and heartfelt, like he actually wants emotion to be outward in the album, it’s amazing.
“Sensual Paradise” marks the halfway point in the album, and is also a reference to his previous debut album, Sensual Paradise. It feels like a song that never made it onto the album, while also feeling like a tribute to the album using the fresh and refined feelings of this album, it’s an experience of what I like to call “past-forward”, that feeling of false nostalgia, thankful these 80’s-inspired tracks are modern and here but also wondering how they fit into the actual 80’s decade and culture, is it all for not or is it for a reason? It’s like a relationship gone sour or even depleting. It’s heartbreaking, and such thoughts can wander around your shaken mind after losing the one you love, it’s a beautiful song, and it’s my favorite to listen to. Now, onto Side B of the album.
“Transparent Blue” is the 8th track following the previous song, and it’s something of a departure (I’d like to think so). It’s sound is more soft and meaningless, like time passing without any love or lust given, there’s no point without someone to hold or someone to hold you. You need that warmth, that comfort, those feelings of pure romance. It’s short, tender, beautiful. “Baby, Let’s Do It” is the track following, that brings all those feelings right back to light, and marks the official turning point for a relationship. This isn’t like those eager or rough times. It’s a time of meaning and passion. It’s soft, beautiful, with care and passion not aimlessly strewn about. There’s a deeper sense of love involved here, and it’s a time for change. I feel different from listening to it.
“The Salt of Your Skin” is an aftermath of the previous night’s warmth and softness with a breeze of cold air and raindrops gracing the Earth. It’s a newfound sense of responsibility, as if to internally say “you’re worth something now, don’t become nothing”. It’s another interlude track, not as good as the other interlude tracks, but its still a delicious track to partake in. The last collaboration track arrives, “It’s A Good Life” featuring the talented Future Girlfriend Music, in a future funk masterpiece from him and Karate King. I found myself spinning and grooving around my room and in my chair, it’s really hard not to dance to after just 30 seconds in. This feels more like it would belong on his upcoming future funk EP, but who cares? It’s a dance-your-pants-off song with rhythm, soul, and heart.
“Groovin’ With Luis” is the shortest song on the album, so I won’t say much about it, but let it be known that it’s a perfect track to take a break to, relax, chill out, calm down, let those muscles unwind. It’s a little break from all the drama and lost love. “Passion Fluids” is the second-to-last song on the album, and it’s (to me) the darkest track on the album. What kind of fluids? What demented sense of passion? What love is being gained, what respect is being earned, what love is lost? You don’t know, as those ulterior motives from earlier now come to fruition. All she ever wanted to do was hurt you, in the worst way possible. It physically strikes you, mentally breaks you, and emotionally scars you.
“Dreaming in the Afterlife” is the final track, and KARATE KING pulls out the softest track for an ending to all this love and madness. The love wasn’t worth it, the passion was false, the times they spent together were all for not. It’s also a sad track, and its feelings are pure and gone. I feel genuinely heartbroken listening to it, no jokes or adding for the amazing-ness of the song. I feel sad listening to this. The loss of the perfect love, the hole in your heart, the ringing pangs of restless pleasure. It’s an uncomfortable song. The entire album has those feelings of love, passion, pleasure, and broken hearts. I implore all looking for a soft night, a calming week, or a relaxing month…all to experience heartbreak and sadness. Enjoy, my pretties.