Tag Archives: Vaporwave

One Release a Week is Business as Usual for Vaporwave Label Business Casual

Business Casual

Every Friday at noon (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), like clockwork, a new release from Pittsburgh-based vaporwave label Business Casual enters the world. According to label founder John Zobele, the main reason he can operate with this kind of quiet consistency is because of Business Casual’s longevity; the label just celebrated its fourth anniversary in May. “You get people thinking, ‘It’s Friday. A new Business Casual Release is coming out. Gotta go check that out,’” he says. For the past four years, the label has attracted some of the most exciting innovators in the electronic micro-genre.

In addition to the weekly releases, every other month there’s the release of a “BizBox,” a package of exclusive tapes (sometimes new releases, sometimes reissues) and extras. The most recent BizBox featured two tapes from popular YouTuber and producer FrankJavCee, best known for his “How to Make Vaporwave” video, which has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. The next BizBox, due this summer, will feature tapes from 猫 シ Corp., and will contain reissues of three of the artist’s currently sold out releases, along with bonus material previously unavailable on tape.

This punishing release schedule and high demand are the result of hard work from a label that was initially started “out of spite.” Zobele—who records and releases his own music under the name chris†††—explains: “Back in 2013, I heard Oneohtrix Point Never’s album Replica, and I was inspired by it. I’d been making plunderphonics-style sound collages and YouTube Poop mashups, but the track “Sleep Dealer” from Replica was my introduction to vaporwave-style music.”

Zobele made a demo and sent it to Fortune 500 records. He never heard back. “I thought, ‘You know, I don’t need them,’” he says. “There weren’t really that many vaporwave labels around at the time, so I decided to start my own, and to make it bigger and better than any other.” Some of those first chris††† tracks eventually became parts of his infamous Frasierwave album, while others were abandoned. Zobele contacted other vaporwave producers that he had met online, and gathered 12 tracks that were presented as Digital Office One, Business Casual’s first release. From that beginning, Business Casual has grown into what Zobele describes as “more or less a full-time job.”

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The Merch Table: June 2017

Merch Table

Illustration by Paul Grelet

Every month, The Merch Table brings you the best and most bonkers merchandise you can find on Bandcamp. We commend bands and labels that get a little creative and think outside the tote bag. Whether it’s a fashion accessory, a piece of art, or something entirely unique, The Merch Table showcases inventive, original—and, occasionally, downright strange—stuff that you might want to get your hands on.

To mark the official start of summer we’ve got fly T-shirts and slick baseball hats for all your festival needs.

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PLUS100 Records: Not Your Typical Athens, Georgia Record Label

100 Plus

Jeff Cardinal is busy. He’s recently completed fall semester classes at the University of Georgia, which means it’s time to focus on his label, PLUS100. For a little over a year, PLUS100 has been releasing a series of acclaimed vaporwave (and genre-adjacent) albums, and while Cardinal is able to run the label and create music as Vaperror during the school year, the summer break gives him more time to focus exclusively on music.

After a brief period creating work inspired by early Aphex Twin, Cardinal began making music under the Vaperror name, releasing those albums on a variety of labels. “After those were released, I started thinking of starting my own label,” he says. “But I knew that if I was going to start a label, my first release had to be something special. At the time, t e l e p a t h and I were collaborating on an album. That seemed like a good place to start.” The resulting record, the ambient, dreamlike 超越愛 by テレヴァペ (Televape), was PLUS100’s first release in October 2015.

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In “Naturewave,” Forest Sounds Mask Sinister Subtext

VaporwaveNature-600

Pyravid

Vaporwave is notorious for its many proliferating subgenres and memes, but there’s one strand that appears to have been largely neglected by most commentaries and breakdowns of the genre to date. And while “naturewave”—for lack of a better term—isn’t big enough to be recognized as a legitimate subgenre by the vaporwave community, the number of albums that this term describes has been steadily growing since at least 2014. As with every other branch of vaporwave, the specific characteristics of these albums tend to vary, but all of them share a fixation with nature and the natural world, which is evident in their predominantly leafy green artwork and the often New Age-y sounds they appropriate. But more than this, they’re also fascinated by the ways society perceives and constructs nature, and with how the natural world is often used as a dubiously reassuring counterpoint to the artificiality and coldness of the modern world.

Here are the records filling out the “naturewave” sound.

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The Flourishing Electro Scene in the D.R.

Volt Phonic

Volt Phonic

The Dominican music scene is in the middle of an electronic revival. Well, a slow revival. But as musicians and fans across the island can attest, something is happening. Clubs are beginning to host more nights focused on electronic music. Encouraged by both ease and price point, teenagers are swapping electric guitars for ProTools. And in April at the Isle Of Light Festival in Santo Domingo, an event that features artists from across the Latin world, the music of over half of the artists contained some kind of electronic element.

“The scene’s still in diapers,” explains Dominican beat maker Bacayne, of his country’s emerging electro fascination. “It’s underrated. We have the capability of growing and being more global.”

House music is currently king, according to a few of the musicians listed below, but a subtle shift is on the way, as the way as more artists are beginning to play with beats inspired by disco, Detroit, vaporwave, and even their dreams. From electro pop to synthwave Merengue, here are eight artists from the Dominican Republic who have mastered the machines.

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