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Music / James Ferraro

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"I am Flintstones." (?)

James Ferraro (born November 7, 1986) is an American musician, composer, producer, pianist, vocalist, poet and conceptual artist.

His discography ranges from the 'hypnagogic pop'-defining 2000s period of his work, which featured surreal lo-fi drone soundscapes among tape-manipulated TV samples and arpeggiated synths, to his more modern and sophisticated work which shifts from electronic classical, to trap music, R&B and rock, to glitch music, sound collages and ambient music. His albums, often highly conceptual, follow themes like hyperreality, cybernetics, pop culture, modern America and the collapse of civilizations.

He can be found on Twitter and YouTube.

Notable work:

  • Multitopia (2008)
  • Clear (2008)
  • Discovery (2008)
  • Marble Surf (2008)
  • Chameleon Ballet (2008)
  • KFC City 3099: Pt.1 Toxic Spill (2009)
  • Wild World (2009)
  • Last American Hero (2010)
  • Night Dolls with Hairspray (2010)
  • Far Side Virtual (2011)
  • Sushi (2012)
  • NYC, Hell 3:00 AM (2013)
  • Skid Row (2015)
  • Human Story 3 (2016)
  • Fanfare for the Boston Marathon 2017 (2017)
  • Anthrospray: Music for Extinction Renaissance (2017)
  • Troll (2017)
  • Four Pieces for Mirai (2018)

James Ferraro's music contains the following tropes:

  • Advert-Overloaded Future: Far Side Virtual takes place in one.
  • And I Must Scream: His ongoing Four Pieces For Mirai project focuses on a fictionalized version of the botnet of the same name, who seeks only to free humanity from technology while unable to save its environment or make its own decisions.
  • Artistic Stimulation: His middle to late 2000s music under the name 'Lamborghini Crystal' was supposedly entirely created while he was addicted to huffing computer duster.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: His 2018 interview for The Wire slowly delves into...interesting...allegorical ideas of his.
    "The Earth has to burn", he philosophises. "Things need to burn in order to be renewed. I think that's what makes it more intense, is that yearly land is prevented from burning. I think there should be some artificial setting of fires." It seems an apt analogy for his outlook.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: His Twitter is...well...
  • Concept Album: Nearly his entire discography is conceptual.
  • Creepy Monotone: Maybe not an entirely intentional element of his music.
    • NYC, Hell 3:00 AM incorporates text-to-speech voices on a level that achieves Nothing Is Scarier.
    • Parts of Skid Row invoke this, especially with the lyrics (which were originally poems).
    • Anthrospray: Music for Extinction Renaissance bases its lyrical content entirely on an epic poem by Ferraro about fidget spinners, 3D printed buildings, climate change and "the rape of Demeter". It is read out entirely by text-to-speech voices who show no emotion whatsoever.
  • Cryptic Conversation: A lot of the text-to-speech dialogue on his 2010s records (i.e. NYC, Hell 3:00 AM and Human Story 3) ends up being this way due to a combination of disturbing prose, tech lingo and brand names.
  • Downer Ending: "Nushawn" on NYC, Hell 3:00 AM.
  • Drone of Dread: NYC, Hell 3:00 AM and Anthrospray: Music for Extinction Renaissance in particular.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: See Sampling below.
    Wikipedia: The sounds Ferraro uses are those that humans encounter but are not aware of. These include television jingles, cell phone ringtones and ATM machine noises.
  • Genre Roulette: Chronologically; free folk/drone, hypnagogic pop, vaporwave, alternative R&B/art pop, trap, funk rock, electronic classical, glitch music and post-industrial music.
  • I Have Many Names: Ferraro's early work has been released under tens of different names. Just to name a few: 8pashupinath, Acid Eagle, Angel Snake, BEBETUNE$, Edward Flex, K2, Keyhole Voyeur, Liquid Metal, Nirvana, The Wooden Cupboard and Lamborghini Crystal, which was a band created with himself under the name of "J. C. Peavey". However, most of these had just one album released under them.
  • Jump Scare: Sections of "Burning Prius" (the piece, not the intro to Skid Row) and "Troll" achieve this quite strangely.
  • Madness Mantra: "American violence / American violence / American violence" at the end of NYC, Hell 3:00 AM.
  • Sampling: Supposedly inverted.
    James Ferraro: I sample my own sources of sounds. I use AT&T Natural Voices and text-to-speech generators so it's all original content.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Capitoline Wolf".
  • Spoken Word in Music
  • Stylistic Suck: Far Side Virtual, which uses deliberately cheesy synth sounds to mimic corporate jingles.
  • Vaporwave: One of the Trope Makers, next to Oneohtrix Point Never. Although...
    @LIL_ICEBUNNY: fuk is vaporwave?
  • Vocaloid: "Troll".