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Pitching up - not so much, unless it's percussion or it's an old school rave track.

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I think I made a big rambly post about this a while back, but I'm actually a supporter of the nostalgia/sampling trend in current indie electronic/hip hop/pop. To me it suggests a new generation of producers (which I guess I would place myself & about half of Soundcloud/Bandcamp into) who've been given easy access to technology & information musicians of the past could only dream of, but also a prevailing sense of everything having been done before & done to the point of over-saturation.

 

In an attempt to express ourselves we've, consciously or not, turning to the past, studying it, breaking it down & putting it back together (literally in the case of vaporwave), trying to move beyond previous conventions of genre/harmonics/song structure & create something new that could not have been envisioned before its creation. And I think it's slowly inching towards that goal, because some of this stuff does sound pretty weird when you look at it objectively

 

It seems new releases that fall on the more conservative side of things are called derivative of past artists, & more experimental output is called soulless irony lacking musical value. This doesn't really surprise me because that's literally what happens every time music does anything

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It seems new releases that fall on the more conservative side of things are called derivative of past artists, & more experimental output is called soulless irony lacking musical value. This doesn't really surprise me because that's literally what happens every time music does anything

 

Yeah Simon Reynolds mentioned that in a new book Retromania (this is like the 46934th time I've plugged it but its super relevant) - true novelty and experimentation isn't being heralded but that's partly because it seems like everything has been done. He also mentioned how he can't find a "zietgiest" for the last few years - i.e. scenes/genres or universally popular (or at least well-known) hit singles that trigger exact and specific memories. Like you can tell a 1964 hit single from a 1967 one, but what about 2004 versus 2007? What will be the stereotypical "00s" sound when referenced decades from now - will broad referencing even exist? Or compare the well-documented social phenomenon like the Acid summer of love or even the early dubstep scene to something as quick and short-lived as new rave or chillwave, etc which were all hyped then declared "dead" or replaced with "post-" subgenres by the same journalists who hyped it.

 

I totally came off as a dick early in this thread, the truth is I love this kinda stuff: hauntology as a musical concept especially. This whole idea of taking existing art and pop culture, the more forgotten and obscure the better, and creating a new sound and aesthetic around it - or beyond that a seemingly alternative reality.

 

Also, I thought of this earlier today - there's really opposite ends of a spectrum of artists explicitly referencing the past: those who emulate it exactly with new compositions and those that extensively manipulate existing samples. Com Truise, Ford and Lopatin, or M83 all make pop with vintage equipment and techniques, often to a teeth of how it was done in the 80s. It's more in the vein of artists that make throwback 60s sounding rock, 50s country 70s metal, 90s VGM, etc. It's a lot harder for artists to stand out unless they really shine talent wise, and plenty of good but forgettable producers as well; think of how many synthpop, italo-disco, and dance-punk singles came out in the 00s. On the other end are artists like James Ferraro, Ariel Pink, VHS Head, Black Moth Super Nova, 1991, Matthewdavid, Burial, and genres like witch-house, chillwave, vaporwave, all the Ghostbox artists, etc. I find this music a lot more emotionally charged and interesting when done right, even the more gimmicky copycat stuff can be cool. There's a lot more variation possible: recording on and off sources like cassettes, mixing digital sounds with analog sources, cutting up and pitch-shifting familiar samples, etc. Lot of new sounds from unintended methods and references. Sure it can get a bit too gimmicky for it's own good, but those who really execute well are often the artists I love most.

Edited by joshuatx

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http://dummymag.com/features/2012/07/12/adam-harper-vaporwave/

Is it a critique of capitalism or a capitulation to it? Both and neither. These musicians can be read as sarcastic anti-capitalists revealing the lies and slippages of modern techno-culture and its representations, or as its willing facilitators, shivering with delight upon each new wave of delicious sound. We could apply to their music a term used to describe a certain sentiment and praxis that has recently gained currency among philosophers of capitalism: accelerationism. Accelerationism is the notion that the dissolution of civilisation wrought by capitalism should not and cannot be resisted, but rather must be pushed faster and farther towards the insanity and anarchically fluid violence that is its ultimate conclusion, either because this is liberating, because it causes a revolution, or because destruction is the only logical answer.

A bit too political in that article, but it gets at the gist of things I think.

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Ok so, first chillwave, now vaporwave.

I feel slightly sick.

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Ok so, first chillwave, now vaporwave.

 

I feel slightly sick.

Witch house then chillwave and glofi and hypnagogic pop then seapunk then vaporwave actually.

 

In my opinion vaporwave is the best name. It's clever at least.

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If Vaporware is essentially a re-examination of mainstream nostalgia than it seems more like a celebration of the past than a critique. I don't think there is anything uncool or silly about taking pop songs and slowing them down or sampling as it can be quite enjoyable/pleasant. Nor do I think the language of pop music is bad or directly tied to corporate power, its simply a formula/language for communicating that naturally evolved because of its ability to do so. So generally I would say if the intentions are to destroy mainstream or capitalistic aesthetics/icons than a far more meaningful route would be to introduce what you personally find more communicative/emotional/intellectual. As this kind of statement is more representative of oneself and completely disregards the audience and industry that results from capitalistic institutions. So yeah I think if anything vaporware will only help mutate or remind the mainstream of whats trendy because it maintains the basic language/formula that already has existed and been used. The ones that tangent onto something totally new/fresh will shape the future more in the long term as we have seen with Aphex or Boards of Canada. They laid down a language that reflected themselves to such precision that you almost feel you know them, which inspired others to try and do the same, a form of recognition and celebration. But with mainstream recognition that process has already occurred and with more vicious and disruptive methods. It therefore exists and continues to exists based on its ability to force any reaction (bad or good) and can without hassle adapt based on new fashion.

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I like accelerationism *listens to Dark Steering*

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Vaporwave isn't always slowed down old stuff, you know. Fatima Al Qadiri is considered vaporwave I think, and she's all about new and flashy:

 

Edited by gmanyo

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naw dude you got it wrong that ain't vaporwave thats

'the new aesthetic'

check your facts son

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naw dude you got it wrong that ain't vaporwave thats

'the new aesthetic'

check your facts son

whatevs its close

 

point is the point isn't just nostalgia

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Guest RadarJammer

 

naw dude you got it wrong that ain't vaporwave thats

'the new aesthetic'

check your facts son

whatevs its close

 

point is the point isn't just nostalgia

 

 

This name shit is getting disorienting.

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Also, I thought of this earlier today - there's really opposite ends of a spectrum of artists explicitly referencing the past: those who emulate it exactly with new compositions and those that extensively manipulate existing samples.

i totally agree with this- i myself thought it was kinda interesting in that the "artists" doing vaporwave are (in their own way) doing exactly what most of the hauntology guys are doing except their source of inspiration is different as well as their method.

 

in a way, what vaporwave is doing is somewhat pointless because they don't manipulate or recreate the music they sample in any way, and because it's in most cases library music from the mid 80s, it would just be easier if you enjoy the sound to get the actual music they "sampling".

 

what i really like about this genre is the idea- this tv/video sound that's stuck in the past. what i don't like is the kwality of the sound which (i suppose) is meant to sound like that to drive that 2nd generation video/tv broadcast idea home

Edited by Nebraska

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http://dummymag.com/features/2012/07/12/adam-harper-vaporwave/

 

Is it a critique of capitalism or a capitulation to it? Both and neither. These musicians can be read as sarcastic anti-capitalists revealing the lies and slippages of modern techno-culture and its representations, or as its willing facilitators, shivering with delight upon each new wave of delicious sound. We could apply to their music a term used to describe a certain sentiment and praxis that has recently gained currency among philosophers of capitalism: accelerationism. Accelerationism is the notion that the dissolution of civilisation wrought by capitalism should not and cannot be resisted, but rather must be pushed faster and farther towards the insanity and anarchically fluid violence that is its ultimate conclusion, either because this is liberating, because it causes a revolution, or because destruction is the only logical answer.

 

A bit too political in that article, but it gets at the gist of things I think.

 

 

yeah, it's a good article. I think my main problem with vaporware is that I disagree with the premises. obviously it's worthy of great attention, either way.

 

 

I just don't really like the "accelerationist" idea. I think capitalism is at least kind of good. and a lot of these theorists tend to fail in convincing me other wise. obviously it has problems, i just don't see a great alternative. people gotta acknowledge that a little bit

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http://dummymag.com/features/2012/07/12/adam-harper-vaporwave/

 

Is it a critique of capitalism or a capitulation to it? Both and neither. These musicians can be read as sarcastic anti-capitalists revealing the lies and slippages of modern techno-culture and its representations, or as its willing facilitators, shivering with delight upon each new wave of delicious sound. We could apply to their music a term used to describe a certain sentiment and praxis that has recently gained currency among philosophers of capitalism: accelerationism. Accelerationism is the notion that the dissolution of civilisation wrought by capitalism should not and cannot be resisted, but rather must be pushed faster and farther towards the insanity and anarchically fluid violence that is its ultimate conclusion, either because this is liberating, because it causes a revolution, or because destruction is the only logical answer.

 

A bit too political in that article, but it gets at the gist of things I think.

 

 

yeah, it's a good article. I think my main problem with vaporware is that I disagree with the premises. obviously it's worthy of great attention, either way.

 

 

I just don't really like the "accelerationist" idea. I think capitalism is at least kind of good. and a lot of these theorists tend to fail in convincing me other wise. obviously it has problems, i just don't see a great alternative. people gotta acknowledge that a little bit

 

 

Agreed. It's just new fashion for something thats been there. Definitely allows a lot of interesting ideas/exploration, but the notion that it is behind some grand goal of anti-capitalism is a bit reaching.

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http://dummymag.com/features/2012/07/12/adam-harper-vaporwave/

 

Is it a critique of capitalism or a capitulation to it? Both and neither. These musicians can be read as sarcastic anti-capitalists revealing the lies and slippages of modern techno-culture and its representations, or as its willing facilitators, shivering with delight upon each new wave of delicious sound. We could apply to their music a term used to describe a certain sentiment and praxis that has recently gained currency among philosophers of capitalism: accelerationism. Accelerationism is the notion that the dissolution of civilisation wrought by capitalism should not and cannot be resisted, but rather must be pushed faster and farther towards the insanity and anarchically fluid violence that is its ultimate conclusion, either because this is liberating, because it causes a revolution, or because destruction is the only logical answer.

 

A bit too political in that article, but it gets at the gist of things I think.

 

 

yeah, it's a good article. I think my main problem with vaporware is that I disagree with the premises. obviously it's worthy of great attention, either way.

 

 

I just don't really like the "accelerationist" idea. I think capitalism is at least kind of good. and a lot of these theorists tend to fail in convincing me other wise. obviously it has problems, i just don't see a great alternative. people gotta acknowledge that a little bit

 

 

Agreed. It's just new fashion for something thats been there. Definitely allows a lot of interesting ideas/exploration, but the notion that it is behind some grand goal of anti-capitalism is a bit reaching.

 

I also think that the point of the music actually isn't completely that. I think Vektroid himself said that viewing it as purely anti-capitalist misses it a bit (it was in a youtube comment somewhere, don't quote me on this); it's also fun to listen to. The capitalism thing is also sort of about the corporate destruction of art. It's kind of like Andy Warhol in song form.

Edited by gmanyo

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHeMijugJRY

 

from

 

http://blankbanshee.bandcamp.com/album/blank-banshee-0

 

not too heavy on the corporate 80s samples, but the artist describes it as vaporwave, and i dig the tunes

 

edit: found it by just poking around here http://bandcamp.com/tag/vaporwave

Edited by luke viia

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Guest pachubatinath

I'm really enjoying this genre -yes, it is easily to dismiss because of the simplicity of procedure and powerfully ironic appeal of the source material -but hipster is just too easy a word to bandy around.

 

Sunup Recordings are excellent, some of the artists there are really developing beyond vaporwave and that's the interesting thing: the genre is so fly-by-night and has so many adherents that eventually it'll run out of steam and the flab will drop away. We'll be left with those artists that develop interestingly or take the techniques employed to other genres for further experimentation.

 

Replica was one of my favourite albums of that year, if not #1, and it's gratifying to see the ideas that were so spine-tingling spun out in new directions. A lot of it is shite, true, but there are some gems in there, I promise.

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imo most of the music in these subgenres is no better than stuff posted in ylc.

seriously, back in '06, college kids with laptops had to beg for people to listen to their shitty music, now they got a way to make people listen to it—give it a hip new title and make everyone wonder what it means.

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"back in 06", lol

 

a simpler time

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imo most of the music in these subgenres is no better than stuff posted in ylc.

Pretty sure most of it is made by the same kind of people as in YLC & receives roughly the same amount of attention

 

i think that's the way music's gonna go - less one artist or album becoming popular, & more one particular sound that gets bounced around for a while by thousands of amateur producers with some tracks going kinda viral on the net & a select few *show playing* artists getting indie label attention

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