Boomkat Product Review:
Essential reissue of Gerald Donald's hi-gloss 2001 electro full-length "Virtual Geisha", that dissolved his Drexciyan concepts into technological and philosophical landscapes inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra, Manga, and anime.
If Drexciya mapped out an African American sci-fi superstructure centered around Detroit, Donald spent his following years exploring the rest of the world with his interconnected web of solo and collaborative projects, including Arpanet, Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus, Heinrich Mueller, Xor Gate and Glass Domain. Japanese Telecom was a short-lived project that emerged in 1999, disappearing abruptly after two EPs and an album. The album has remained out of print since its release in 2001, and is thankfully now available again with new artwork.
'Virtual Geisha' finds Donald at his most cartoonish; the wormy Drexciyan basses and clipped electro-funk drum patterns are omnipresent of course, but augmented by bright melodies informed by YMO. This influence is most evident on opening track 'The Making of Ultraman', a wiggly, spare dancefloor bullet that's tied together by saccharine city pop chords. The title track is even more vivid; the synths aren't out of the ordinary for Donald, but everything sounds brighter - painted with thicker strokes.
If vintage Drexciyan funk is all you want though, there's plenty of that too, from 'Beta Capsule' with its moody squelch and immediately recognizable stabs, to 'Virtual Origami 2' and its spiraling, flocculent pads. Remastered for this new edition, it's never sounded better.