On Shuffle: James Ferraro – "Blood Flow"


I still haven’t heard Sushi yet, Ferraro’s most recent album and follow-up, under his own name, to vapor/computerwave cornerstone Far Side Virtual. In between we had cold-blooded mixtapes from BEBETUNE$ (inhale C-4 $$$$$) and Bodyguard (Silica Gel), Ferraro’s alter egos and outlets for ultra-cold-chillin’ soundtracks to late-night celebrity parties and LA vamping. “Blood Flow” is the first track from his forthcoming mixtape, the appropriately titled Cold, which will also be released under the Ferraro guise on March 25. Turns out I may never have to listen to Sushi, regardless of its quality – if this track is any indication, the bridge between Silica Gel and Cold is a short, straight one.

Like “Blood Flow”’s immediate predecessors, its beats are stuttered and understated, its synths distant, alien, and forboding. Ferraro captures West Coast hip hop’s glitzy nature in a sneaky comedown, perfect for the bleary-eyed 4am partygoer not willing to pack it in, and instead coaxing his limo driver further down the Strip. The adjustments throughout the song are minute – wordless vocalizations waft airily around the composition, and synth flourishes appear here and there, but the song is essentially a mood piece for its four minutes, a headspace rather than a momentum-builder. Indeed, Cold’s website currently simply displays the album cover, release date, and countdown clock, but this information sits atop a video loop of an LA street at night taken by a handheld camera, and soundtracked by melancholy ambient synthesizer. Mood music indeed.

My fascination with Ferraro is lengthy and well-documented, and I’ll be there on March 25 to download Cold in all its glory (or humility, but that doesn’t really seem to be Ferraro’s style). I guess what I’m left wondering is, is this the stylistic end of the road? He’s now released at least two, potentially three, and likely a fourth album completely rooted in this style. Not that it’s a terrible thing – he’s really good at making this music – but what’s the next step? Is he completely beyond Skaters/Lamborghini Crystal? What about On Air and Night Dolls with Hairspray? Is there a new frontier to tackle? I’m curious, and hopeful, that there’s a yet-undiscovered boundary Ferraro’s going to cross, and when (/…if) he does, I’m sure it’s going to be fascinating. Until then, Cold it is.

RIYL: BEBETUNE$, Bodyguard, Mediafired


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