Could vaporwave be the future of music?

by birtanpublished on July 2, 2020

it's hard to describe vaporwave without

sounding like you're kidding so here is

some vaporwave

let us begin if you're already familiar

with vaporwave please forgive me for

retreading old ground especially if you

think that the genre died in early 2013

at least I'm not doing a seapunk episode

if you've heard of seapunk before you're

already exhausted and annoyed that I'm

about to talk about it again that's me

talking about see Punk on MTV in 2012

which i think is probably an important

starting point see Punk has started as a

joke on Twitter in 2011 its steamrolled

from there into a tumblr meme a music

scene and finally found its way to

mainstream culture through artists like

Lady Gaga Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj

thanks Sam see Punk wasn't built to last

but its aesthetic fascination with 90s

internet culture and graphics morphed

into another tumblr born music scene


what is so interesting about vaporwave

is its anti-capitalist political

underpinnings it's like if Rage Against

the Machine was built on a foundation of

elevator music instead of rap rock first

there's the name vaporwave is a play on

vaporware a non-existent product used by

a company to hype up its image or its

value and the aesthetic of album art and

music videos tends to either mimic your

old Geocities website template or the

VHS tapes that you hide in your mom's


vaporwave tracks themselves detune and

scramble lounge smooth jazz and music

mocking the emptiness of this hyper

capitalist music by recontextualizing

and reimagining it

admittedly not everyone making vaporwave

is trying to offer a thoughtful Marxist

critique of contemporary consumerist

culture some of it is just dumb and

funny but in the way that it forces you

to rethink the look and sound of a piece

of everyday culture it's not unlike ytp


youtube poop music videos are the

musical cousin of YouTube poops

hey celsa wake up huh no I can't go on

without Elsa I'm gonna jump a weird part

of the YouTube ecosystem and wider remix

culture for the better part of a decade

poops and poop music videos often use

nostalgic snippets of audio and video

just like vaporwave it's just a

different subcultures nostalgia and well

no one is written a think piece for

slate about how ytp MVS are subverting

the mainstream capitalist culture of

video games there is something

subversive about using the symbols of

big business for a purpose outside of

their original intent even if it's

really stupid stupid is certainly one

way to describe a lot of vaporwave when

the wire picked james Ferraro's farside

to virtual as its album of the year in

2011 the magazine had to publish an

explanation of their voting process just

to deal with the controversy the

selection had caused

the beneath vapor waves novelty exterior

there is both a worthwhile political

agenda and a sonic foundation that's

still being explored

I've actually argued that vaporwave is

the first genre of music to so

explicitly draw its influence from music

with no artistic purpose that in

attempting to give meaning to soulless

music it's actually opening up new sonic

possibilities that once the novelty

wears off will have an effect on

mainstream music that is far bigger than

seapunk at its mainstream peak Rihanna

on Saturday Night Live what do you think

is vaporwave a novelty worthwhile is it

dead do you see the connection to

YouTube poops let us know what you think

in the comments and be sure to subscribe

for new episodes of this exists every

week be excellent to each other our last

video was all about number stations and

the mysteries of the Cold War and we had

a lot of great comments we're gonna talk

about a few of them mat 99 J exposed my

mind to this strange mystery at the

Lincolnshire poacher appearing again in

2013 this time as a phone number

including a link to a reddit thread

about this in the description but

basically you could call this number and

it seemed to be the broadcast of

Lincolnshire poacher or something

similar to it that you would hear

repeating numbers the song and that is

scary as hell supposing this was all

connected to mi6 but I couldn't actually

find any proof connecting to mi6 anyway

there's a lot of stuff that you can

follow if you want to go down that hole

but really interesting that that is one

contemporary morph one contemporary

evolution of the world of number

stations gl might wonders if the buzzer

or uvb-76 was in fact just an attempt at

ordering a pizza a futile decades-long

attempt to order a pizza and that this

was in fact a terrible way of trying to

get dinner lunch some sort of late-night

treat for yourself I think this is

totally possible and I would suggest

that if you were the Russian spies

operating the buzzer station you in fact

try push for pizza if anyone is not

familiar with push for pizza it's

basically the yo of Pizza ordering and

has the best video explanation of

anything I've ever seen a video

explanation for link to that

the description the ultimate racer

congratulations on your achievement

wondered what the chances were their

comment appearing in this video and I'd

say the chances are pretty good Congrats

on being both the ultimate racer and in

this video

Zee desk along with several of you

complained a bit about the title of the

last video it was something along the

lines of Cold War radio mystery revealed

and there was some belly aching that

nothing was actually revealed in the

video in my opinion the revelation that

these were most likely used to

communicate with spies during the Cold

War that the Russian station had been

abandoned and moved and the urban

explorers had checked out the site and

taken photos

qualified as enough of Revelation to use

that title but if anyone felt misled by

that I do sincerely apologize I think

that the goal of this show is to

communicate interesting ideas and

explain you know pop culture and in

general sort of wider cultural phenomena

and I certainly would be bummed out if

anyone felt like I was just trying to

get you to click on something up with a

style so in the future it will be

something that I will keep in mind and

hopefully we can have titles on these

videos that are both exciting and make

you want to click on them but you know

don't ultimately leave any of you

feeling kind of ripped off and I think

that's a fine line that you always need

to walk when you're making anything on

the Internet

well people complain about clickbait

it's stupid because you know what if you

spend time on something you want people

to click on it I'll because anything

wrong with that but if someone

ultimately watches one of one of my

videos and then feels like you know they

didn't get what they were promised in

the title that's a bummer so that's

something that I will keep in mind Steve

from Latvia corrected a mistake in the

last video where I kept saying UV 76 I

was probably just thing about ub40

I don't know anyways uvb-76 the buzzer

and if I misspoke which I obviously did

I apologize

thank you Steve from Latvia alfredo Iran

asks if I could also include music

recommendations along with the weekly

book recommendations that I've been

doing at the end of the last few videos

which leads me to two questions one I

love Goodreads I use it to track my

reading I set a goal of reading 50 books

this year

it's looking good but I really like the

sort of interactive and social element

of that and given that so many of you

have suggested great books in the

comments I was thinking it might be fun

to form a Goodreads group like a

shitheel Reading Club where we could

pick a book a month and actually all

read it and talk about it there and we

could mention at the end of these videos

is that something you guys would be

interested in let me know in the

comments if the shitheel Reading Club

holds any value for anyone we can figure

out how that would work the other thing

is obviously music is a big part of my

life a huge part of the show if I were

to set up an account on a streaming

service what is the most popular

streaming service with you guys is it

Spotify is it our do audios my you know

drug of choice

we just got Spotify in Canada is it

Google Play you use Pandora let me know

and maybe that's something that we can

also incorporate because I would love to

be sort of doing a weekly music

recommendation of you know new releases

or whatever it is just steal stuff from

Anthony Fantana so let us know what you

think about those two different ideas

and hopefully we can kind of continue

this conversation in a way that extends

beyond just you know some YouTube

comments and stuff that would be fun so

instead of a book recommendation tell me

what you think about those ideas and

we're back next week with fun


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