What’s the deal with Vaporwave and A S T H E T I C ? I get the nostalgic fascination of past styles and iconography, like the newly popular 80’s/90’s/VHS look. But to fetishize the aesthetic of emoticons and early 00’s computers and CGI? Either the cyclical tradition skipped ahead, or the internet progressed so much everybody wants to return to the simpler time of the digital stone-age; but only ironically.
Karman is the moniker of a California based musician. He has released three albums since 2012, the latest being 2005 Forever in 2013. As a hip internet musician the albums are only available online through the internet label Senzu, and his own Bandcamp.
I’m not entirely sure how exactly to categorize his music. Obviously it’s electronic that uses lots of various samples and the music is very A E S T H E T I C, but the covers and samples aren’t the usually stuff you find in vaporwave artists like Blank Banshee, MACINTOSH PLUS, 2 8 1 4, and similar. I’d might put 2005 Forever in the subgenre(because of course there are at least 14 subgenres of vaporwave) vapor-pop.
The album starts off with some interesting samples of a news report about a young blogger who blogs about his suicide, live-streams it. Of course the news report really presses the “horrors” and corrupting power of the internet. Then it takes off to some very well made vaporwave-ish electronica with lots of classic “software sounds”. Skpye, and MSN chimes, notifications harmonizing with poppy beats.
Unfortunately, the fun samples fades away after the second song, and they are sorely missed. Still good music, but not as memorable and interesting…
2005 Forever is the last we have heard of Karman. Maybe he got tired of the novelty of slowing down 80’s pop songs and making CGI collages, and went on to more normie music. I choose to imagined that he collapsed in front of his beige brick tower and 19″ CRT, with the screen flickering with pink pastels and CGI dolphins, OD on FIJI water.