Vaporwave is a musical genre and art movement that emerged in the early 2010s from indie dance genres such as seapunk, bounce house, witch house, or chillwave.
The genre emerged in 2011 from online communities, such as Turntable.fm. In subsequent years, it gained popularity through websites such as Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Last.fm and 4chan.
The imagery associated with vaporwave includes glitch art, Renaissance sculptures, '90s web design, outmoded computer renderings and classic cyberpunk aesthetics. Use of Japanese characters and other non-western writing systems is also prominent. The visual components of works by John
Foxx and other electronic musicians from the 1980s are considered influences of the vaporwave aesthetic.
Vaporwave was first characterized by its heavy use of samples from late 70's, the '80s, '90s and early 2000's music, typically lounge, smooth jazz or Muzak. Samples are often down pitched, layered or altered in classic chopped and screwed style.
Though a good deal of Vaporwave focuses on the nostalgia of the '80s and '90s simply to create a soothing, hypnotic appearance and elicit an emotional undertone, or to be left intentionally emotionless, a large portion of Vaporwave music and aesthetic continues to give off a Warhol-esque critique on über-consumerist society via a separation of product and commercialization.
However, it is worth of note that the aesthetic of Vaporwave has been adopted by MTV and Tumblr TV - corporations themselves. This music is widely considered to be in the adoption of another gene called dank memes.
Vaporwave has garnered some notable attention from the music press as of late. Most recently, artists such as Vektroid, HKE, Infinity Frequencies, 2814, and R23X have gotten covered by music sites and blogs such as The Guardian, Dummy, Fader, FACT, The Wire, Thump (Vice), Red Bull Music Academy, The Quietus, Resident Advisor, TinyMixTapes, Marcel's Music Journal, Cokemachineglow, The Needle Drop, and others.