“In Sega’s absence, the 1992 undersea videogame Ecco the Dolphin has developed a perplexing life of its own. Back in 2010, musician Daniel Lopatin released a cassette tape limited to 100 copies that contained an album called “Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1.” Not only was Ecco‘s name in the title, but the tape’s artwork was a chopped-up image of the original game’s cover art (created by fantasy scene painter Boris Vallejo) as a tribute to it.
“As to the cassette tape itself, it contained 14 unnamed tracks of slowed down, fragmented, and looped pop tracks. These are said to be “echo jams.” While the screwy micro-loops are jarring, beyond that the music’s glacially slow tempo in parts is somewhat narcotically profound in effect; hazy, meditative, perhaps even transcendental. It’s this that has become the foundations of an art movement known as “vaporwave.” The distorted audio remix and Ecco the Dolphin were a big part of the movement’s aesthetic inspirations.”