Subgenres and internet music scenes are often a thing of great pretense, in-jokes and general adolescent oneupmanship. From Chillwave to Seapunk, music mini-movements have littered the last half a decade or so, each defined by a devout set of fans and haters, a unique (and often bizarre) aesthetic and an element of borrowing from music of the past.
Internet music in general never really registers on the wider conscious of popular culture, despite being plastered and shared all over the web. It’s the sort of stuff that, unless you’re genuinely intrigued when stumbling across it, will go straight over your head and be forgotten about.
S I M P S O N W A V E
The idea of editing Simpson’s clips over already superfeels Vaporwave tracks is so brilliantly internet and a little ridiculous it's kind of just right. Vaporwave is a blurred mix of pop, cool jazz, chopped and screwed and new wave that reminds me of the whole Myspace 8 Bit movement meshed with the Drive soundtrack. The result is pretty cool, but when played alongside super-nostalgic Simpsons clips, it's a pretty amazing. Something equally rooted into today as it is in the past, Simpsonwave is the Internet genre that you can't help but get behind.
Precise genres, subgenres and subsubgenres only really exist because of the web. Go into a record shop and look for the “rap music” section and you know you’re in the right place. However, search Google for “rap music” and you’ll struggle to come across anything that isn’t about the biggest rappers, albums and labels in the world, which isn’t what you want when looking for music.
Today, we live by hashtags and keywords, it’s how we connect, aggregate and communicate. It allows us to be very specific and it’s exactly why daft names such as Simpsonwave or Seapunk exist in the first place. The way we use tech means that we want and need to drill down and get specific quickly, otherwise the Internet would just be one big mess, I guess. Once a common title is in place for a genre, it allows a simple shared idea to snowball and become a thing, an idiology or a feeling very quickly, and before you know it, you're sat watching Simpsonwave playlists on YouTube.
Technology and nostalgi
As tech moves faster, those living with it are very quick to seek out the feeling of nostalgia. Genres which are rooted in actual subcultures, such as Punk or Garage, might be a thing of the past while the future is more about using sounds and images of the past to create new things so they fit and make sense for the here and now. It’s a pretty weird concept, but just consider that you have an app on your phone that emulates a notepad (remember those things?!) and you quickly begin to realise that tech nostalgia is already all around us.
Have a very Simpsonwave summer
So, no real conclusion here, but the whole Simpsonwave movement has reminded me how bright and summer-ready the sound of Vaporwave is. We’ve thrown together a playlist of some cool Vaporwave sounds for you to enjoy all summer long, regardless of whether you’re sat indoors on the Internet, sat indoors staring out of the window or sat indoors thinking about being sat indoors all summer long.