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I was just thinking about the uselessness of genre while writing tomorrow's review. Perhaps an essay on the subject is in order?

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Indeed it is. There are a few places where genre might be in order, but only for very big-tent categories like "Rock" or "classical"; even then there will be so many exceptions that the whole idea might become useless. Do Glenn Branca and Michael Gordon make rock music, or classical music? Is ambient a kind of rock, because it's recording-centric, or is it its own genre? Is hip-hop a kind of rock? Is rock a kind of folk music? All I know is we don't need to split things up into a bazillion sub-micro-genres, like this: https://musicmap.info/ or this: https://everynoise.com/

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Jun 16, 2022·edited Jun 16, 2022Liked by William Collen

Cool article, you're going down a rabbit hole you will never get out of and you've only scratched the surface. I've done so much internet work listening to vapor, especially from 2019-2021. Still waiting for the genre's 'big break' song into the mainstream, feel like it's inevitable, but maybe Floral Shoppe was it already.

I've also recently built up a massive vapor cassette collection (bought most of them off of Discogs). Need a nice rig though, my walkman is busted.

I still stand by News at 11 as being the best vapor album. Historical 'period pieces' is where the genre really shines.

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Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yes indeed, the vaporwave seems to be bottomless on YouTube, especially the compilations and mixes. I'm listening to "News at 11" right now per your recommendation. Good sounds indeed.

I don't know if this is true vaporwave, but it has affinities, especially the Donna Summer section that starts at 4:25 -- https://youtu.be/3i9J2VRzgKs

There's something about slowing down the songs. It gives them such a grand, monumental, profound quality. Perhaps that is where vaporwave gains some of its power: taking the mundane sounds of the 80s and 90s and giving them a depth and sublimity they previously did not have. Here's an example, from a more recent song, but it has the same vaporwave-esque vibe: https://youtu.be/1pDRJhOA2FY?list=RD1pDRJhOA2FY

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While I think the slowed-down aspect is one thing, what I really like about the genre is that each album essentially has its own vibe. This is partly conveyed with the covers, which are always uniquely done and convey the feeling you will be transported into. News at 11 is taken from clippings the morning 9/11 happened, meant to illustrate an America that died that day.

Overall, the entire genre is about compiling ephemeral snippets and jingles, mixing and matching them, and creating something new and ethereal. If you want to listen to "OG" vapor which does this really well, I highly suggest checking out PrismCorp Virtual Enterprises - Home™ (2013) and all of Vektroid's stuff which basically kickstarted the genre. She also made Floral Shoppe.

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