FRAQ - Music for Anxiety Naps
Released: June 2
In his third release of the year, Dublin-based electronic artist FRAQ has created an album with a very peculiar charm to it. Rather than just being a straightforward ambient album, there is a lo-fi aesthetic to it that instantly reminded of the original Playstation era RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, The Granstream Saga, and The Legend of Dragoon. This theme can be heard throughout the entire album, conjuring up memories of gaming past complete with those blocky polygon graphics that wowed me as a kid. In fact, once I heard this album I had to go back to some of the soundtracks to those games I had spent hours on.
FRAQ takes a wide range of different sounds, all of which have the same vibe of coming straight from the 16-bit SPU complete with the looping and primitive digital reverb. He even takes the opportunity to cheekily point this theme out clearly with his "Tribute to Spyro," a track that gives an ambient vibe to the classic series. However, there are many other tracks throughout that give less obvious nods to the era of gaming such the over-world map-worthy "Western Interior Seaway" and the save point-sounding "Health Bar." It's a rather fun little trip down memory lane so long as you were there for that epic time in the early days of 3D gaming.