Summer Headrush 2009 Series (partially found unreleased James Ferraro albums; 2009)
James Ferraro is an American musician and artist, is most attributed to pioneering the genres vaporwave and hypnagogic pop. He wildly varies in genres and pseudonyms, ranging from hip-hop to new-age music. His most prominent record was Far Side Virtual, which was attributed to being one of the first vaporwave albums. As of August 2020, Ferraro focuses on composing modern classical music and ambient sounds, with his most recent work being the album Neurogeist.
Summer Headrush 2009 Series
In 2009, James would produce a series of new age and psychedelic albums, which he dubbed the Summer Headrush 2009 Series. The albums would range from ambient, new age, radioplay, and rock. According to Ferraro:
"The series was loosely based on visualizations that came to mind while receiving self-induced hypocapnia or as it’s commonly called "free fall", the albums being representatives of the free fall head space."
They would be distributed via homemade CD-Rs through his Muscleworks Inc. and New Age Tapes label. On the Muscleworks Inc. blogspot, Ferraro would post multiple announcements regarding the releases of the albums in his series, however, a chunk of them have never surfaced. Scarce information has been left in regard to the existence of these tens of lost records.
The following table displays albums that Ferraro had officially announced would be released as part of the Summer Headrush 2009 Series. They were each given their own catalog number and album cover, however, a percentage of them were never known to be released or be followed up on.
|Rerex 1||SHR2S 01||Released|
|Rerex 2||SHR2S 02||Released|
|Body Fusion 1||SHR2S 03||Released|
|Body Fusion 2||SHR2S 04||Released|
|Too Hot for T.V.||SHR2S 06||Lost|
|Wild World||SHR2S 07||Released|
|Son of Dracula||SHR2S 08||Released|
|Hacker Track||SHR2S 09||Released|
|Cyber Flower||SHR2S 10||Lost|
|Neo City / Estro Sim||SHR2S 11||Lost|
The albums in the following table are taken from images used in promotional material, which were not given any catalog numbers. Little to no info has been released since about their existence. The album titles being used are taken from their file names. The table will be organized alphabetically.
|Angels With Tongue Rings||Unknown||Lost|
|Grid Species||Unknown||Found (unconfirmed)|
|Hearts of Paradise||Unknown||Partially Found|
|Rehysteria||Unknown||Partially Found (unconfirmed)|
The following information is unconfirmed but is believed to be the correct tracklist for the album.
|Living on the Grid||16:41||Found (unconfirmed)|
|Chip Sacrifice||15:15||Found (unconfirmed)|
|Interface Hive Mind||15:02||Found (unconfirmed)|
Supposedly, someone on the James Ferraro fan discord (https://discord.gg/BPYW3GG), in early April 2020, revealed the music, back cover, and track list used in the album. The story goes that this person got the scans, and audio rip, from a friend who shares one of the potentially only existing CD-R copies of Grid Species, with someone else. The audio was also edited to boost the highs for a higher quality sound.
Below are the scans released.
User Finn has thankfully uploaded the whole album, along with the new images, to youtube. However, it is still unconfirmed whether Grid Species has really been found.
Hearts of Paradise
Supposedly, someone different, going by the name of Marie, joined the same James Ferraro fan discord in early January 2020, and brought with them previously unreleased audio from Ferraro's Summer Headrush 2009 era. This included three outtakes from Night Dolls with Hairspray, and an excerpt from Hearts of Paradise. The titles for the NDWHS outtakes are Brainteaser, TV Lobotomy, and Valleygirls From Out of This World, and the HOP excerpt title is LA Hooker.
Users CEO Hannah Banana and moonrocks have thankfully uploaded the audio to youtube.
The tracklist and length for Hearts of Paradise is still unknown.
The first noted mention of Rehysteria was by Ferraro on May 4th, 2010, with Olde English Spelling Bee following up on it 6 days later in their own blog. They both made promotional articles on their websites announcing a “new batch of James Ferraro releases”, including an image which displayed, from top to bottom, the albums On Air, Rehysteria, and Feed Me.
As shown in the image, Rehysteria was meant to be 45 minutes long, contain 11 tracks, and be released via CD-R for $10, on May 20th, 2010. OESB's article stated that “coming later this month will be the REHYSTERIA album, which James describes as a ‘prehistoric rewind in IMAX audio’” On Air and Feed Me would be released, but Rehysteria would not be followed up on for 7 years.
The following information is taken from the digital flyer provided by Ferraro and OESB, and is believed to be the correct tracklist. One issue with the image is how it provides conflicting information, showing different titles for specific songs between the back of the album and the box of information. It's unknown whether some of these differences were typos. The table will display any songs with different titles with the box information first, and album art information second.
|9,100,100 A.D. / 9,100,00 A.D.||Unknown||Lost|
|9732 A.D. / 9731 A.D.||Unknown||Lost|
|Primordial Soup / 0,000,000 B.C.||Unknown||Lost|
In December of 2017, in response to a delay for shipping out Ferraro's Human Story 3 vinyl records, OESB packaged each copy with a CD-R entitled Speed. There was also an email sent out to everyone, explaining what Speed was.
The email stated:
"How they went thru some different batches of unreleased recordings from our 2010-era hard drive and ultimately landed on this one in part due to several requests from folks who asked if anything else from Ferraro's famed Summer Headrush 2009 period might surface. Well, we have now answered those prayers from the hardcore Ferraro believers. We also uncovered the master tape for his unreleased Summer Headrush album REHYSTERIA but decided that it would be worthy of a vinyl release at some point (fingers crossed)."
They went on to explain the context behind the CD-R:
"Anyways SPEED is basically a "lost album side" for Last American Hero. Initially we had considered doing a double LP for LAH so James recorded & submitted this to us in the summer of 2009 -- but then we decided to keep LAH as a single LP and more or less forgot about this extra material."
It is unconfirmed whether this was written by Todd Ledford of OESB.
As of August 2020, it is unconfirmed whether OESB still has access to Rehysteria or still plans on producing a vinyl of it.
In the 2011 vinyl reissue of Ferraro's On Air, there are two songs entitled "Dino-Static 3000 A. D. Jumpdrive Mohawk" and "Coneheads In Fast Forward". The style of these songs, especially with the way they were named, has led a number of people to believe they may be taken from Rehysteria.
Thankfully one of these songs, along with the Rehysteria artwork, has been uploaded to youtube.
As of August 2020, these are unconfirmed to be a real find.
It is believed many of these lost albums are under the supervision of Todd Ledford from OESB. Based on the email from 2017, he potentially does plan on releasing Rehysteria on vinyl. However, his reputation and word is being questioned by a number of participants, since he has become a controversial figure in regards to online music communities such as vaporwave. This is primarily for his sketchy practices in running Olde English Spelling Bee.
James Ferraro himself may also still have access to old files or projects containing the lost music, but this is unconfirmed.