Vaporwave: Where Nostalgia And Postmodernism Collide

Vaporwave: Where Nostalgia And Postmodernism Collide

This music is meta and it's awesome.
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So, it's 2016 and we are pretty far out from the genesis of rock 'n' roll in the '50s. Since then, pop music has become a mainstay genre that has evolved many times through the decades and descending from that are many sub-genres of music aimed at targeting specific audiences. None, though, could be as oddly specific or as spot-on as vaporwave. This semi-obscure music genre has gained popularity in recent years and for interesting reason.

Vaporwave parodies pop music, specifically older styles from the '80s. Through the use of sampling and computer made music, vaporwave pushes music to some interesting places. It combines popular or obscure songs from the '80s with a commercial or lounge jazz sound. What you get is a very meta piece of music that not only asks you to take it how it is, but also consider what it was made from and what those musical materials mean. It's almost as if aliens were asked to make an example of human music and for reference were given stock corporate music, some not-very-popular '80s pop songs and elevator music all on worn-out cassettes and CDs with scratches on them. It's pretty bizarre and hard to explain, so below is a video of a popular vaporwave song.



Moving on, I'm specifically going to focus on the album "Floral Shoppe" by Macintosh Plus. It's one of the more popular vaporwave albums and the best example of the potential of the genre. It's a good place to start, though, as just the artist name and album cover give us an interesting idea of what this genre is about.



First off, the fact that the artist's name is Macintosh Plus is an obvious throwback to the popular Apple computer line from the '80s and our first introduction into the commercial themes. The album artwork itself is a conjuration of imagery meant to give a mindset of what this music represents. There is a focus on older technology. The word "MAC" next to the Japanese text evokes the idea of innovative tech products from Japan. Under it, the image of New York is another throwback to old tech. The pixelated image quality and the presence of the Wold Trade Center is there to remind us of something we would find on an old computer before the turn of the century. Dominating the left side of the cover is a marble sculpture which juxtaposes the pixelated art, checkerboard pattern and Japanese text. The sculpture itself, which would be popularly considered as art, is placed next to graphics that stem from the creation of consumer culture. Taking old computer graphics and putting it next to the sculpture is challenging you to consider: what is art? The computer graphics are a result of hundreds of years of human progress and were made by artists for commercial purposes. It isn't the traditional idea of art but falls in the definition, yet as a society we do not praise it like the sculpture. What you get is an image that's a bit hard to understand without listening to the music, but it's totally what this entire genre is about.

Now switch out the re-use of old graphics with the re-use of old music: pop songs, lounge music, synthesizers, etc. Taking all this and re-contextualizing it into something new is the bare bones of vaporwave. This isn't a recent development in music, artists have sampled older material for decades, but what vaporwave does and specifically this album is very interesting. "Floral Shoppe" makes the sampled music sound older.

The "Floral Shoppe" song "Lisa Frank 420/ Modern Computing" samples music from this Diana Ross song. If you listen to just the first few seconds of both, the similarity is pretty clear. Instead of taking the Diana Ross song and remixing it into something new (maybe a modern dance remix or something) the melody gets slowed down. There is even probably a filter that makes it sound grainier and the result is this song that is reminiscent of popular music trends of the '80s/'90s. The song sounds as if it came out of an old TV commercial and that is totally the point. It's oddly nostalgic and hypnotic.

The first song in the album "Booting" has skips in the music that you would find on scratched CDs. Instead, though, it uses those skips to further the song and create rhythm. The album is filled with these sort of things. It takes old sounds or music ideas birthed from consumer culture and re-contextualizes them out of the music computing limitations of the time.

Many are quick to judge vaporwave as it being a "joke". Not that the music is bad, but it itself is a joke. I really disagree with this statement. Behind the memes and aesthetic, vaporwave wants you to seriously consider what has been forgotten. The "consumer culture" music, the music that was made for advertisements and corporate videos that have been forgotten, are remembered here. The music is sincere and there are some beautiful songs in this album.

Jonathan Dean of Tiny Mix Tapes put it best, "['Floral Shoppe' is] one of the best single documents of the vaporwave scene yet, a series of estranged but soulful manipulations of found audio that carefully constructs its own meditative headspace through the careful accretion of defamiliarized memory triggers." Vaporwave is innovative and unique. It'll probably never be mainstream, but it is definitely the best example of postmodern music yet.

Cover Image Credit: derpibooru.org

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The 10 Most Overrated Halloween Costumes College Girls ALWAYS Choose

Stop rotating the same 5 costumes already, ladies.
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We've all been there. How hard is it to come up with a creative Halloween costume? Or is it? Here are 10 of the most overrated Halloween costumes that you should NEVER do again.

SEE ALSO: 11 Feminist Halloween Costumes You Don't Need Cleavage To Feel Sexy In

1. A cat

It's time to stop.

2. Risky Business


3. Harley Quinn

I get it, Margot Robbie is hot as f***, but you're not so...

4. An athlete

Do you even watch sports? Plus, don't you wear this theme enough at frat parties?

5. Superheroes

One word. basic.

6. Police

Is this so you can blend in when you get arrested?

7. Anything With A tutu

Didn't we wear these enough as babies??

8. aliens?



We get it, you like glitter. Save it for bid day ladies...

9. The Purge

Anything to show some skin while managing to hide your face. Let's face it, Hillary Duff did it best in "Cinderella Story."

10. Anything else that requires ears and a tail

"I'm a mouse, DUH."

Cover Image Credit: Abbey Coleman / Pinterest

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18 Types Of Mini-Golfers You Come Across On An 18-Hole Course

Which type of mini-golfer are YOU?

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Mini-golf: A fun activity that has been around since 1916. We have all played mini-golf before and have probably played a variety of courses over the year. The one thing you might not always realize is the players around you. Next time you go mini-golfing take a look at those playing around you and see if you can find these 18 types of players. Even see which of these mini-golfers you fit!

The professional golfer.

This is the golfer who always has to look at the hole, line up his shot every time, and takes the rules seriously such as adding a stroke when the ball goes out of bounds. I mean it's mini-golf, you don't need to line up ALL your shots.

The driver.

This is the golfer who drives the ball as if he was on an actual golf course. It's one thing if you have a power swing, but this person typically drives the ball purposefully.

The obnoxious one.

This is the golfer who is just wild and all over the place. They make such a big deal out of every play, might make irrelevant comments, etc. It's just unnecessary.

The cheerleader.

This is the person who is constantly cheering others on. Even if it's a bad play they'll say "awe, it's o.k! You still got this!"

The family with the annoying kids.

This is the family where the parents don't know how to control their kids. This is where the kids will go to the next hole before their parents, destroy some of the property, or even interfere with other people golfing.

The family that tries to act like a family.

This is the family that you can clearly see is just acting like a family. It could be as simple as a family that seems tense and is just playing together to a family where the dad and kids are playing while the mom just walks around with them filing her nails.

The group of 8+.

This is the group that holds EVERYONE up. They don't care if there are 8+ balls on one hole at a time. If you are this group, please let people behind you go ahead.

The inseparable couple.

This is the couple that is all over each other. They're constantly kissing if they aren't playing or they are taking pictures of each other.

The teenage girls.

These are the girls acting all innocent and taking selfies while playing while their parents sit near the entrance for them. It's the only thing they can do without parent supervision.

The oldie.

This is literally a grandma or grandpa who is naturally just slow. They are so adorable, but it'll take a good 2 hours to play a full 18 holes with them because of how slow they move.

The smokers.

These are the people smoking cigs or cigars while playing. Let's just hope they aren't smoking around kids and put their butts in the little buckets at each hole.

The slow pokes.

These are the golfers that just take forever. If you are a slow poke please be considerate of those behind you and let them go ahead of you.

The competitive one.

This is the one who is constantly up in your face about how they're going to win. They are the ones who can't just enjoy a game of mini-golf.

The out of bounder.

This is the golfer who constantly hits the ball out of bounds. At that rate you don't even give them a penalty stroke because they'd be up to 10+ on one hole.

The goofball.

This is the person who just acts silly. They could be the ones using a child's size putter or balancing on different rocks or stumps on the course.

The clueless one.

This is the one who never realizes what hole their on, when it's their turn, or what they are even doing.

The scorekeeper.

This is the golfer who takes keeping score seriously. Or this could just be the person who naturally always keeps score when you go mini-golfing.

The normal couple (or group).

These are the people we all love. It's the people who like some friendly competition, but don't goof around. They move from hole to hole at a good pace and keep to themselves. They also are cognizant of those around them. These are the mini-golfers we all love and should strive to be.

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