Review: "VHS" by Modesta

I found this gem on an old VHS I picked up at Goodwill. From the cover I could tell it was some promo video for an old synthpop band from the late 80s or early 90s called Modesta. The VHS cover was all faded. I guess I liked the retro style so I kept it around my apartment for months.

Without a VHS player, it just sat around. I mean, come on, it's 2018 here. Eventually I thought, hell, I kinda want to play my old copy of The Dark Crystal on VHS, and I might as well see what this "Modesta" thing is too.

So, I found an old VCR at Goodwill, came home, and took out the VHS cassette. The plastic clanking noise of loading it into the VCR sounded eerie yet completely natural.

I picked up the dusty Samsung VCR remote and hit play... static fuzz dissolved into a huge emblazoned "VHS" - it's funny that producers used to be super stoked on VHS technology.

VHS: The Video Home System (VHS) is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes.

These beautiful cinematic pads enter as a drivey hi-hat keeps beat, followed by a majestic synth line and sub bass filling out the low end. A funk drum beat comes in, crisp with analog warmth.

In the music video there's some goofs dancing around in hats and sunglasses making bad dance moves - it must have been a dark time for dancing back then. But I like it and am reminded that nothing stays stylish for long; they don't seem to care.

The song has an A/B quality, with high strings accenting the root note, coming in and out every 4 measures or so. The vocal delivery is lush and sultry:

"You laced your heart with tape delay... Trust me you live in a maze. You're sleeping, false feelings"

Loving the picky funk guitar, rhythmic analog keyboard, and extra effects to fill out the beat, like shakers and open hi-hat barks. In all, the psychedelic electronic textures place the song in the vaporwave realm - similar to Saint Pepsi or Blank Banshee but with a more indie pop vocal delivery and song structure.

If you want to "live mindlessly" where timelines and boundaries converge, check out this VHS. I'll even lend you a copy if you want.



Retro R&B-infused indie rock duo with an electronic charm.

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