Vapor Jazz. You heard that right. Vapor Wave paired with Jazz.The official soundtrack to the Sega Genesis masterpiece, Barbershop Simulator is a vapor jazz album. If you’ve ever played Va11-HallA -also known as Bartender Simulator 2077 – and mixed drinks in its dystopian cyberpunk future then you already know the vibes you’ll experience listening to the Barbershop Simulator soundtrack. Down Tempo and Chill paired with lead lines active enough to keep you aware of its presence. It’s LoFi Beats to Study To’s cool cousin from abroad.
On August 29, the year 2023, a new post from L2014 on thecoil.com titled “Y’all remember Barbershop Simulator?” Went live. The replies were filled with a mixture of accounts. Some trading secrets for how to beat the final boss, others asking where to play it, and even more people claiming the game never existed.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“Damn why is the soundtrack like ultra good deep house music?”
“The last boss was hard. The trick is to start the fight off with the 1 hour late appointment and then combo into the gotta order food. He gets so mad he loses about half health. Hope that helps.”
“Steam got an simulator game for damn near everything, Sega was ahead of its time with this one”
“Y’all really had me googling this sh*t like it was real.”
The music really is something special. This is one of the few albums that I can listen to without speaking a single song from start to finish. My only gripe would be that a few songs towards the 80% mark of the album feel a bit drawn out. Otherwise, it’s a great relaxing album. Stand outs are:
Press Start – This banger captures the energy of a jazzy 90s Start Menu loop. It goes so hard that I’m sure I’d never press start just so I can listen to it a bit longer.
Haircut experts – Main Character introduction music. This is the type of track that plays in your head when you know that you’re the main character of a TV Show and have a killer outfit.
Staff meeting – One word. Climax. You’re in the rhythm of your work. A flow state. Cutting your client’s hair. In the zone and your body moves before you think. This track features a jazzy horn and keyboard leading you into a trance-like state where you just nod your head as you work.
Now after reading all of this. You might want to play the game that started it all. However, that’s the thing. It never existed. This entire franchise is a concept album created by our lovely Brazilian producer slowerpace 音楽. A couple of comments from the album’s YouTube page describe this idea pretty well. Everyone else believes that they played this game or are trolling. Most likely trolling.
“For some reason I’m utterly fascinated by the idea of this game that never existed. I’m imagining something like VA-11 HALL-A where you chat up your customers while giving them their regular haircut, all while a jazzy soundtrack plays in the background.” –@LOL-funny-videos
“This is Borges level art: making music for a game that never even existed yet that creates an atmosphere that no 90s video game ever could.” -@kaptnstrumpfus6759
For the uncultured among us (me included), Jorge Luis Borges’ literary works are renowned for their intricate and mind-bending narratives that challenge perceptions of reality, fiction, and time. The comment suggests the music is as profound and imaginative as Borges’ stories, evoking feelings of a non-existent, atmospheric 90s game.
As someone who used to produce Jazz Hop beats, the experimental sampling featured in this album really caught my ear and I wanted to learn more about the producer’s approach. So I did some research (checked Instagram) and found the producer and sent them a message, and here are the results:
The Interview Article is still in writing. So Tune In later and see it posted here on KJHK.