MIDI Janitor - Bulk Order
Released: January 4
The lo-fi aesthetic can be approached in many different ways including digital reproduction and external processing through old gear. But in this case, Jonathon Orr (under his moniker of MIDI Janitor) approaches this aesthetic from the gorund up using nothing but salvaged gear including a MIDI controller found in a literal dumpster and sample packs from decades ago repurposed to fit his needs. This approach manages to reflect heavily in the resulting music with everything seemingly having a haze or film about it, almost in a vaporwave fashion but without being overdone.
Detuned synths and cheesy beats beats blend together seamlessly to create chill vibes that are both nostalgic and innovative. A notable stand out for me is the late night infomercial of the 80s-inspired "Vapor King" with its faded beat and melody that can't help itself but fall slightly out of tune with each note. But the opener of the album is equally moving to me as it makes no attempt to integrate percussion at all, instead giving a floating melody that is joined by half-whispered vocals that linger in the background. Bulk Order is both serious and playful while solidifying its message that anyone can do more with less if they simply have something to say.