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.