I was never even aware of the existence of the ‘Vaporwave’ genre maybe as recently as six months ago. Vaporwave is electronic music that utilises 1980s mood music and smooth jazz via tropes and distorted samples, mainly to provide a satiric commentary of some of capitalism’s and consumer culture’s worst excesses. It’s different, it’s making a statement, it’s at once disgusting and thrilling, it sounds quite unlike anything else, and it jumped immediately to being one of My Favourite Things. It’s experimental, it’s abrasive, it’s self-aware, it’s challenging, it’s exciting. I love it. I’d be proud, honoured and- dare I say it- woke if I were to be considered one of the notable early adopters of the movement.
Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to be happen, as vaporwave has existed since the early 2010s after emerging as a more ironic take on ‘Chillwave’ (another genre I was not aware of). Me being considered an early adopter of vaporwave because of the handful of shouts on this list (and there will be more) is like me naming Brian Eno on my 2014 list marking me out as an integral part of the early success of Roxy Music. Yes, I know Mojo Magazine made that claim in a 2017 cover story, but I’ve actually attempted to distance myself from that article many time in the past. Anyway, in August the guy who used to be in The Monkees claimed himself a fan of the genre, so now it’s officially over.
I needn’t worry though, as even though I missed my opportunity to be the Official Vaporwave Spokesperson, it has already fractured off into countless sub genres that there may well be time for me to stake a claim on before the bass player of freaking Manfred Mann, or some shit, steps in:
- Signalwave. Also referred to as ‘Broken Transmission’, this is the extreme, brutal and even less compromising side of vaporwave. Definitely catering for those people who don’t like their music to aim for such bourgeoisie concepts as being ‘enjoyable’ or even ‘listenable’
- Hardvapour. Beginning in 2015 as a response to vaporwave (going as far as to spell the fucking word correctly), hardvapour incorporates more rock, metal and punk sounds into the melage to create a much more- get this- hard sound. Many people have argued that hardvapour’s more violent sounds mean it shouldn’t really be considered vaporwave at all- I could join that conversation!
- Taserwave. Molly Ringworm worked as a policewoman in Los Angeles when she first noticed the incomparable sound an unarmed black suspect made as she would attempt to taser a false confession out of them for hours on end back at the police station. Her six hour debut album ‘If You’ve Done Nothing Wrong Then You’ve Got Nothing To Be Afraid Of’ is considered the origin of the taserwave genre.
- Aperwave. A twenty seven year old bonobo ape studying for a masters in music at the University of Southern Brown Willy decided to experiment into what types of vaporwave are more likely to be made by male, female and undecided sheep dogs throughout the county of Cornwall. Despite it’s name and originator, aperwave actually has little to do with Old World tailless anthropoid primates, the student’s name just happened to be Stuart Aper.
- Wavinggoobyesayinghello. Among the most notable accomplishments of Ringo Starr’s solo career.
- YouvapegoodbyeIwavehello. See above.
- No Deal Wave. Even though the scene’s originator claimed that ‘no deal wave is better than a bad deal wave’, I’m not so sure.
- Bad Deal Wave. Oh, turns out she was right.
- Trumpwave. Originally a simple genre that consisted solely of the artists breaking wing into the microphone for up to twelve minutes per track, it has recently been co-opted by the American alt-right to reprsent something very different.
- Davewave. Music that was originally shown on the BBC around five years ago.
- Vaporousy. The originator thought up the title of this genre, but couldn’t think of a cheap joke to go with it.
- Double Talking Jive Get the Money Motherfucker Wave. Yeah, I’m done here…
‘%’ is probably as pure a distillation of the genre’s best points as you’re likely to get , an absolutely perfect 20 minute blast of creativity and excitement. NYSE is also very likely the only artist on this countdown with less Twitter followers than me.
Dude, I just said that…
This (rather uninspiring) entry might be my last for about a week, as I’m about to journey to Scotland to make MRSN’s final presentation in order to win a grant of £40’000 to spend on a new Digital Employment Skills course for refugees (including a significant pay rise for The Ginger Prince). I… really thought I’d get a lot higher than fucking sixty five before I left. I’ll be returning on the 14th and ideally want to be finished before the new year, so I’ll be then aiming to post the 64 remaining reviews in 17 days, at a rate of 3.76470588235 per day. That’s not impossible. Or insane. Is it…?
Not on Spotify, so you’ll have to buy it I’m afraid