Old News: Vaporwave came and went

Posted by Jakub


People have talked about Vaporwave for years as a genre we even posted the music on the blog for years, no one really cared to call it that besides the deepest end of the bandcamp and tumblr culture and its looked down upon to even say it at this point. So instead of talking about it here on ISO50 i’ll just dig up a few classic free albums for you guys and post them up here. The genre is too fun not to share, its mostly just slowed down soft pop from the 80s and 90s that is pitched down, I imagine it was paraded around by Japanese teens and maybe some 15 year olds in California.

What started it all:

14 Comments Leave A Comment


Dave Lawrence says:

June 26, 2014 at 10:10 am

“Aquatic Ambiance” takes me back, and is my go-to, keep-it-on-repeat work music for when I just need some background sounds.

I’d play that underwater “Donkey Kong Country” level over and over again, just to hear the song.


Anonymous says:

June 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

i always thought the aquatic ambience song was creepy when i was little.

and vaporwave still seems to be alive and kicking, i’m always discovering new vaporwave artists every week. it seems to be trend that the vaporwave artists keep themselves as faceless as possible, so maybe its all the same person. Chuck Person?


Joey says:

June 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm

“Wave Temple” by Internet Club:

I discovered vaporwave through this video. Internet Club took a Force MDs 80’s electro piano loop and processed and screwed it to create something so alien to me. And what I can I say about the gorgeous video. A perfect future utopia in Dubai where shopping malls acts as temples of possibility and mundane things such as commuting by monorail are quasi-religious experiences.

For me, “Floral Shoppe” stands out as probably the best collection/album of vaporwave tunes out there. Obscure 80’s pop, fucked up sax samples, and pristine new age are all there, like hazy musical memories.

But anyway I leave you with “Transparent” by Internet Club, perhaps the most beautiful vaporwave track ever. This is art.


Matt says:

June 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I love this genre. A friend told me about it years ago and it didn’t make sense, but now there’s a large catalogue it’s easier to process. It makes me laugh. A few healthy more commercial releases I think helped me go back and discover the sound. I love the Business Casual label. And yeah you could add Wave Race 64 to that list. You can totally hear the influence a lot in some releases :) in many ways it’s nostalgic for kids that grew up in the 80’s, but I also think there’s a yearning for young kids that didn’t grow up in that time but wish they did.


Lucas says:

June 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

For true vaporwave fans, visit the following:

Fortune 500 have been closed for some months now, but it has produced, what I would consider, some of the gems of the genre. Artists like SAINT PEPSI (in all his new found glory) and luxury elite can be traced to it.

My personal suggestions would be: luxury elite, ULTRA ウルトラ, マクロスMACROSS 82-99, CYBEREALITYライフ, and DONT/ BE/ 正方形.

I believe DONT/ BE/ 正方形 was the most prolific out of the group – however, I have no idea what ever happened to them.

Here’s a classic:


Jarson says:

July 2, 2014 at 1:11 am

Never really thought of aquatic ambience as vaporwave. love that whole dk soundtrack though. pretty crazy that all of that apparently was made with hex code, no midi, no samples (or very limited samples at least)

that being said vaporwave has always been something that i thought id love, because im way into the eccojams/sunsetcorp/games side of lopatins’ work, but everything ive heard on the internet has been pretty underwhelming.

I do love a lot of the stuff that people posted above me though


Jarson says:

July 2, 2014 at 1:15 am

also theres an updated version of the aquatic ambience theme that is reallllly good. the same dude made it for a new donkey kong game


Joey says:

July 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Wow thanks for the great recommendations, Lucas! That track by DONT/ BE/ 正方形 you posted is amazing. Vaporwave at its finest! I love 80’s synthfunk and boogie — those rich, beautiful chords and snappy moog basses. So tracks like that I really love.


Joey says:

July 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Oh and if anyone wants to upload DONT/ BE/ 正方形’s “A R E C A C E A E” or “43°” to dropbox or something that would be great! Those releases seem to have vanished from the Fortune 500 bandcamp (in true vaporwave fashion — forever in internet limbo).


morgan says:

July 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

So bizarre- i spent the whole weekend alone, listening to ECCOと悪寒ダイビング on repeat on the beach, and in my van with my bose portable speaker. At one point, a extra serious frisbee match took place, between a man in his late fifties, and a nude woman. His actions were swift, but everything was still in slow motion. It even had the perfect amount of low brow, as most attempts at making between the leg retrievals, were failed with grace. I wandered from beach to beach, did some minor fiberglass work on my 7’6″ , drank some beer and ate chips with hand chiseled garlic slices from a chisel i procured from K-mart, with Little Ceasers internal- still boasting its early 90’s branding. K-mart was late 90’s. For some reason,- whatever universal processes, are effecting the enjoyment of this soft, windblown, high rise one piece bikini, with an endless horizon of neon windsurfers in the distance, seems to have arrived or left at the perfect time.


coolman1 says:

July 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm

This post reeks of “we liked it before it was cool” in them most condescending and pretentious way.


amused says:

October 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

coolman1 said it best. i think its funny how saying vaporwave is dead became some hip thing to type and post online.


Ismene says:

October 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Amused – Coolman1, who cares? Why is it a bad thing for people to get excited about something?