丹丹 (DanDan), the side project of Austrian dreampop/synthwave artist “Diamond Incarnation,” has quietly built a catalogue of consistent future funk releases, each with a dreamy feel which often crosses into vaporfunk territory.
As well as standard cassettes, each 丹丹 physical release offers a “Collector’s Edition;” and 丹丹’s most recent album, October’s 屬靈的愛 (Shulingde Ai) is no exception. These include a poster, flyers, stickers and a branded tote bag.
The posters are A3 size and boast a mottled gloss finish, keeping with the vaporfunk aesthetic of the albums they accompany. For album art purists, these are a good way to properly appreciate the cyberpunk cityscape imagery which is synonymous with 丹丹’s work. The tote bags are a novel concept, and a rarity in the world of future funk gear. Each is black, with accompanying artwork, and generously sized, making them practical for thrift store tape hunts. The handful of included stickers are shaped like bookmarks, so you can either hold your place in your favorite vaporwave magazine or plaster them up and spread the word of 丹丹. The whole package is presented in a neat box with artwork relevant to the album.
The DIY nature of 丹丹’s physical releases may surprise those used to the factory-standard, mass-produced items typical of larger labels, but therein lies the beauty of the product. These are items hand-crafted by the artist, individually numbered and offering a personal touch which is reminiscent of the early days of the vaporwave scene. That is not to say that there is any noticeable compromise on quality – it is clear that care has been put into every item to deliver a product which stands up in terms of finish and, more importantly, sound quality.
At €28, the “Collector’s Edition” of the album may be out of the price range of some; this is offset by some of the most affordable cassettes available in the genre at €6 each (before postage), which makes 丹丹’s catalogue an excellent starting point for those looking to either start or add to a future funk collection on a budget. However, for those willing to take the plunge, a thoughtful and lovingly-presented package with a personal touch will be your reward.