A E S T H E T I C S with Blank Banshee, The Simpsons, and PS1 Graphics

Today we’re exploring the far reaches of the internet in search of smooth jams, low-poly video game environments, and obscure Simpsons references.

Recently, a reader asked me to describe vaporwave. For those unfamiliar with the roughly 5-year old genre of music and, uh, A   E   S   T   H   E   T   I   C   S, vaporwave is low-effort electronic music created by bored teenagers. The genre and creators all indulge in the aesthetics of late 80s/early 90s corporate and popular culture. Imagine a McDonalds training video under the influence of a thousand dab hits and a crippling internet addiction.

I was first introduced to the genre years ago with the work of Saint Pepsi via a late-night show on Sirius XMU. It was a fun listen, but after the music I quickly moved back to denigrating the work of professional troll Jose Mangin on Sirius Liquid Metal.

I missed out on something pretty cool by ignoring vaporwave since my initial encounter. I recently joined a Facebook group called Simpsons Shitposting and was immediately blown away by a video called “S U N D A Y   S C H O O L” by a video artist named Lucien Hughes. Watch it below and prepare to be blown away.

The music from that video is “TEEN PREGNANCY” by an artist called Blank Banshee. I enjoyed it so much that I sought out more of his work and DANG, I’m glad I did. In addition to creating cool electronic jams, Blank Banshee creates his own 3D-modeled music videos that fully explore low-poly video game environments. It’s delightful.

I highly, highly recommend starting with “ECO ZONES”,  a video that samples “Aquatic Ambience” from Donkey Kong Country (siqqqq) and immerses you in a paradise of Sega Saturn water levels and malfunctioning electronics.

Though not really a song, “REALIZATION” is a heady experience that offers a departure from the sunny vibes of “ECO ZONES”. It feels like a dream that could easily veer into a nightmare, or LSD: Dream Emulator.

“METAL RAIN” further explores the left hand path glimpsed in “REALIZATION”. The experience evokes a feeling of dread, that this Sad Satan-like setting could produce some nasty jump scares in its descent to hell.

“JAVA CLOUDS” brings us back to an airy atmosphere and Sega Dreamcast-quality graphics. If you look back wistfully on the beach ambience of Sonic Adventure, “JAVA CLOUDS” will make your heart swell.

Follow Blank Banshee on Facebook and check out his Bandcamp here.