Sunday, 22 June 2014

By White People, For White People: Butler Explores Unnecessary Electronic Music Genres from the Last 4 Years

Ey up, what's good? I done been busy with various real-life things, but here's a hot slice of Hipster Guide. Electronic music has blown up in the last few years, and merging with social media and an increasingly internet-obsessed demographic, has led to some weird genres with unique characteristics. Come with me and I'll show you 4, namely Sea Punk, Witch House, Nightcore and Vaporwave. It'll be an education and you can learn a bit about how I live my life and how hard it is.

Sea Punk

 We kick off with arguably the only one of these genres to leave the internet proper. Sea Punk basically started off as a joke about basing your entire life around the sea. Then it became a music thing. This happens sometimes in a mass collective consciousness such as social media. 
                                             Aww yeah, that's some hot 90's 3D

 As with seemingly every new musical direction recently (apart from dubstep and look how that shit turned out) Sea Punk takes it’s influences from the past, namely the 1990’s. You got weird computer gifs, you got Sonic, you got The Simpsons, you got improved yet still shitty special effects, you got repetitive high-pitch 90’s House, you got that slightly glossy neon that is different from 80’s neon but you need a degree in Cultural Ironicism like me to tell.

This guy was my Senior Lecturer

  Sea Punk is also the possible crucible of the “Hipsters love triangles” thing. A lot of the music videos are coated in random geometrics, ostensibly for effect but who knows. Maybe they are Illuminati. 
               It's as if a million hipster Tumblrs cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced
  I say this genre is the only one which “broke out” of the internet, purely because an Azealia Banks track had a lot of sea related stuff in it, and sort of summed up the whole in a possible parody. But things like this are so self-aware anyway it is almost impossible to tell parodies apart from the genuine. This is my life. This is what I live everyday.

What the fuck is even going on

LISTEN TO: Ultrademon (sort of), Blank Banshee

Witch House

 Come with me on a journey into the realm of make believe. You are a Goth. A die-hard Goth. No not the Rome sacking kind the other one. You love black, metal and spooky stuff. But you are also a believer in the future. All this guitar and drums, a bit old hat yes? Maybe some of this electronic music you’ve heard about in derisive sneers in your local Lord Of The Rings’ namesake pub’s metal night on a Friday could help?


Actual Witch House Fan

 Goths just wanna rave too. Unfortunately, they saw that fucking awful movie Queen Of The Damned and took the vampire who heard bad metal and came out of his slumber’s message to heart; It is totally Goth to be into future stuff.
    Please watch the whole thing, even if just to see that Twilight wasn't the first film to ruin vampires

  Or maybe it is totally Goth to cram as many random shapes into a word instead of letters as possible? That’s kind of a big deal in Witch House. It’s a weird one, apart from the instruments used the whole scene is pretty much just Goth, except if it was born in the 90’s by nerdy kids with synths and eyeliner as opposed to nerdy kids with guitars and eyeliner. I kind of dig what it’s doing? I suppose it is a bit like the natural progression of the whole movement as electronic music continues to blow the fuck up and at least it retains some of the theatrics of the Goth scene.

But seriously if you don't love Goths, fuck you

  Equally pleasing is how seriously they all seem to take it, which only enhances how amused I am by the theatrics and ridiculousness. The SPOOOKKY bass lines are some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. Spooky bass. Creepy beats. Dark black void of soulless drops. Goth House. It’s brilliant and silly.

So spoopy.

LISTEN TO: Crystal Castles,  CRIM3S, Salem

Night Core

Oh God no

Fuck fuck fuck

Piss on it

 Take a normal house song, sped it up a bit, pitch it up and add an anime. BOOM! NIGHT CORE! It’s an incredibly silly thing that seems to be a way for Goddamn LoL nerds to reclaim happy hardcore from the Boston gay scene where it originated. They do this by adding anime, because for some reason adding anime to a thing is not considered a capital offence yet.

 The music itself is honestly pretty generic trance, just sped up. There is nothing really original about it, lest you for some reason deem it not being another DJ 4-4 masterpiece to be original. Or the anime artwork, which if you do deem original, I am forced to assume you are in fact a child suffering a grievous head injury.

  I am left asking why was this music created and what culture it sprung from. As mentioned before, it seems very big in late night hardcore gaming circles. I guess methamphetamines are as well, which would cover the hugely elevated bpm and associated mental state to enjoy a Japanese chipmunk yelping over a series of rapid beeps. This shit is like the transmission we get from the aliens to try and drive us mad. It’s just fucking shite.

LISTEN TO: Don’t fucking listen to any of it you dumb nerd


  The latest birthing of the great hive mind of the internet is Vaporwave, following on Sea Punk’s 90’s fixation, Vaporwave goes a decade back. The whole deal behind vaporwave is a sort of simultaneous idolatry and iconoclasm of the 1980’s, taking 80’s lift music, infomercial synth ejaculations and generally soulless shite made to sell stuff and running it through a Windows emulator until it goes all hazy and weird. It’s pretty top.
                                                       This is the whole thing
  One of the more distinctive and therefore mocked aspects of vaporwave is the ‘aesthetic’. It’s most easily described as the splash screens for 1980’s and early 90’s software packages, with lots of bright yet flat colours, strange CGI landscapes and odd prop use. The classical bust is a common motif, along with splashing Japanese kanji everywhere like it’s Blade Runner or Firefly fanart.
                                                    Big Hair + Emotionless Staring = 80's
   Quite unusually for a musical genre, it also has an alternate reality backstory. Maybe this isn’t actually that surprising on second-thought, given that there is such an oversaturation of wikis that media which hasn’t even been released yet still has a tightly controlled fan wiki. No matter how thin on the ground, these wikis will exist, even if they are just 4 pages long. As such, vaporwave is supposedly set in an alternate reality where Japan is the dominant culture, also techno-corporatism and anti-capitalism or something. Vaporwave is not immune to the fate which befalls most internet-based movements which attempt to be political, as in the actual message or ideology taking a backfoot to the visual media and tweeting about it. Though nearly all of the discography so far has been available for free so I guess I can’t sneer too much about the undirected leftist bent to the subculture.
                                           Also there's this amazing Pepsi video
  I actually quite like it, there’s a neat little blend of ambient music, electronic and chill that while not being wholly unique, is at least pretty listenable and unusual. At the very least, it is by far the best of the bunch, though that isn’t saying too much after the “I am a Goth who doesn’t want to look like a racist” mish-mash of Witch House, that dull self-celebratory 90’s mirror of Sea Punk and the abomination that is Night Core. What the fuck is Night Core. Who the fuck let Night Core out.

LISTEN TO: 1991, Macintosh Plus, Saint Pepsi (early 2013 stuff)


  1. What's "real life"? Is that something i should know about?
    Some of this music isn't too bad.

    1. Nah man, I like vaporwave and most of it is alright if ridiculously pretentious and self-aware

  2. You should change the site's motto to 'didn't need to know it, but weirdly glad I do'

  3. Subtext, "and now I do, I don't know what to do with it".

  4. Please don't sum up my entire university career in two comments it is depressing