|Stylistic origins||Plunderphonics, electronic, pop, smooth jazz, funk, R&B, lounge, elevator music and various other types of commercial music|
|Cultural origins||Early 2010s, United States|
|Typical instruments||Audacity (audio editor), SoundForge, Ableton Live|
Vaporwave is a subgenre of electronic music that originated in early 2010s. It is characterized by its heavy use of samples from "the most reviled forms of music in the recording era," including '80s lounge, smooth jazz and Muzak." These samples are altered in various ways such as slowing down, layering, pitching down and chopping up in order to create vaporwave music.
The genre emerged in 2011 from Internet connections, such as Turntable.fm. In subsequent years, it gained popularity through websites such as Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Last.fm and 4chan. Chuck Person's 2010 release, Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol.1 and James Ferraro's, Far Side Virtual are regarded as a "catalyst" for the development of the genre.
Concept and aesthetics
Vaporwave has been associated with various terms such as accelerationism, anti-capitalism and anarcho-capitalism. Christian Ward of Stylus stated that "vaporwave is a reflection of soulless techno-corporatism." The genre was also described as "ironic and satirical or truly accelerationist" by Adam Harper of Dummy Magazine, who argued that the term "vaporwave" itself is also reminiscent of a passage from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, "all that is solid melts into air." Vaporwave musician 情報デスクVIRTUAL, alias of musician Vektroid, described her album 札幌コンテンポラリー as “a brief glimpse into the new possibilities of international communication” and “a parody of American hypercontextualization of e-Asia circa 1995."
Vaporwave also draws on early internet imagery such as glitch graphics, late-90s web design, outmoded computer renderings and cyberpunk aesthetics. Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs was also described as an influence.
- Holly Herndon
- The Historical Dex
- Infinity Frequencies
- James Ferraro
- Vektroid (a.k.a. Macintosh Plus, 情報デスクVIRTUAL, Sacred Tapestry, Laserdisc Visions, etc.)
- Metallic Ghosts
- Oneohtrix Point Never
- Galil, Leor (February 19, 2013). "Vaporwave and the observer effect". Chicago Reader. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Lhooq, Michelle (December 27, 2013). "Is Vaporwave The Next Seapunk?". Vice. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Parker, James. "Datavis + Forgotten Light Prism Projector". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Harper, Adam (December 5, 2013). "Pattern Recognition Vol. 8.5: The Year in Vaporwave". Electronic Beats. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Blanning, Lisa (April 5, 2013). "James Ferraro - Cold". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Bowe, Miles (October 13, 2013). "Q&A: James Ferraro On NYC’s Hidden Darkness, Musical Sincerity, And Being Called “The God Of Vaporwave”". Stereogum. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- Ward, Christian (January 29, 2014). "Vaporwave: Soundtrack to Austerity". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Harper, Adam (December 7, 2012). "Comment: Vaporwave and the pop-art of the virtual plaza". Dummy. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "情報デスクVIRTUAL - 幌コンテンポラリー". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Ravens, Chal (February 7, 2014). "The Priest And The Wild Boys: William Burroughs As Musician". The Quietus. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Mr P (20 August 2013). "Vektroid (Macintosh Plus, Laserdisc Visions) teams with rapper Siddiq, launches store with sexy Macintosh Plus tank". Tiny Mix Tapes (in English). Retrieved 12 February 2014. "Vektroid (a.k.a. Macintosh Plus, 情報デスクVIRTUAL, Sacred Tapestry, Laserdisc Visions, etc.)"