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Yes, yes, it's ANOTHER thread about hauntological shit. But isn't vaporwave, by the process of aestheticization inherent in it, ultimately a celebration of all the soulless corporate trash it purports to poke fun at? I realize I'm generalizing somewhat and not all vaporwave necessarily has anything, positive or negative, to do with capitalism. But if you listen to something like Ferraro's Far Side Virtual, or Luxury Elite's TV Party, doesn't it conjure an image that seems genuinely desirable, even if it's empty? Even at its most uncanny (like a lot of the "broken transmission" subgenre) doesn't it aestheticize its subject matter and thus make it more bearable if not outright enjoyable? Isn't that why the aesthetic has taken off to begin with?

Is there any way to really pull off this "ironic" approach to music without ultimately producing either a celebration of what you're trying to attack or something that nobody actually wants to listen to? If we wanted to turn this method against capitalism could we instead create nostalgia not for the ultracapitalist 80s but for times of greater cooperation and a genuinely functioning society? Would there even be any point to doing so?


I agree. The 80s was the heyday of neoliberalism.
Any nostalgia for the 80s is propagated by zoomers who never experienced it firsthand.


Creating nostalgia to a time we cant go back to anyway isnt helpful




Does this not miss the alternative: That its very desirability is the attack? That the problem with the system is not the idealized bliss of consuming America Online using your NTT DoCoMo Pocket PostPet that you bought in The Mall, but the fact that this reality was never delivered. Faintly proposed, occasionally, accidentally, but always actually absent. Even Japan didn't get to experience it. Vaporwave is a technological and cultural equivalent of David Steel ("From rising hope to elder statesman without any intervening period whatsoever."), something literally nobody has ever lived but a great number are familiar with.

So then you think: Insofar as I desire this, even if the desire is consumerist (and we may say "objectively wrong") and so on, this desire could not ever be met, would not ever be met, and will not ever be met. The system which promises an infinite multitude of market choice cannot and will not give me a specific car-crash of early CGI, the good 1% of the californian ideology, Japanese proto-Y2K advertisements, Korean Pokemon translations, and Mac OS9 memories from school which is partially unique to myself while having enough commonality with similar confabulations in the minds of others to birth a label.

For actual 80s nostalgia one would be better looking at Synthwave. Although it only appropriates one 80s style among many, it's something with some precedent in an actual period of history and so winds up taking a more reactionary bent to Vaporwave's vague progressiveness.

For hypercontextualized technocratic Britain circa 1960-70 where witches lurk behind every set of tower flats and where benevolent (yet haunting) social(ist?) planners watch from afar, try hauntology as a genre. (But here I would say the aim is again not quite nostalgia: The whole thing is, of course, the haunting of the present by the ghost of a future which everyone knew was coming but which never actually came.)


By your logic, liking clasical music would be a celebration of monarchy. I guess Marx and Engels aren't real socialists considering they were big fans of classical music and many composers from their period and before.


Vaporwave may certainly be celebrating capitalism, But Sovietwave sure as hell does not

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