Thursday 18 April 2024

Virgin Vacation - Dapple Patterns (Album Review)

Release Date: April 02nd 2024. Record Label: Various. Formats:CD/ Cassette/Vinyl/Download

Dapple Patterns - Tracklisting

Yellow Scissors




Dapple Pattern Prelude

Dapple Pattern II


Forest Reprise

Dapple Pattern I



Chan Chin Ho - bass

Wing Chan - guitar, synthesizer, glockenspiel

Step Ip - drums, programs, glockenspiel, electronic percussion

James Woodbridge Hedges - guitar, sitar guitar, synthesizer, percussion, glockenspiel, electric piano.


Dapple Patterns is the new album from Hong Kong based Instrumental Post-Rock collective Virgin Vacation with the band focusing on various levels of Experimental sounds that ventures through areas of Cosmic Rock, Psych Rock, KrautRock, Jazz. Surf and Ambient Rock. The sound is a tapestry of magical Post-Rock expressions which are quite flamboyant and wickedly over the top but never boring.

The whole album is wonderfully weird with Virgin Vacation clever use of Feedback loops, distorted guitars, electronic beats and the multitude of different instruments that the band used within the whole album. Virgin Vacation feel stuck in a never-ending time warp with their music inspired by multiple eras of music ranging all the way back from the 1950’s upto the present day. 

There is a certain “KITSCH” and free-flowing film soundtrack element which would make Quentin Taraninto blush with envy when the throwback Jazz/Pop/Rock energy of tracks such as Yellow Scissors, Ghost and Red allowing the band to have a deep meaningful creative energy which allows them to wholly original within the Post-Rock field.

There’s a lot to take in with this album as Virgin Vacation march to the mood of their own beat. However, there’s an epic distorted Cosmic Rock sound that leads the band to heavier areas of music which stay firmly in the background.

Other standout tracks include: Jupiter, Dapple Pattern II, Forest, and Dapple Pattern II which sees the band become more dramatic and focusing more on Ambient sounds with the dub-step grooves not feeling out of place from an Anime Series or Anime Movie.

Though, it’s the little sonic sounds, glitches and beats which impressed me the most. As Virgin Vacation explored into realms of Post-Rock that I didn’t think were possible or would go together. Surf, Dubstep and Jazz are not normally associated with Post-Rock but the band pull this off with magnificent style within the forty minute runtime of Dapple Patterns.

Dapple Patterns is full of cinematic wonder and a fearless creative direction which will leave you breathless. The musicians who make up Virgin Vacation are brilliantly talented and they prove this time and time again throughout the whole album. 

Though, the record won’t be for everyone. You may have to fully appreciate the Avant-Garde attitude of Virgin Vacation’s music. However, folks willing to take the journey with the band will be rewarded with a breathtaking Post-Rock album unlike you’ve ever heard before.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Virgin Vacation for the promo.


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