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Mallsoft and malls

Baron Boogie BOOL

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I've decided to make a high effort post this time for various reasons about something which I am loathe to, but out of which emerges a new found love.

Malls.
Don't like.gif


Mallsoft
That's the stuff I do like.

The Rock Reaction GIF by MOODMAN




So, having spent much too much time in malls a child, I've developed an unhealthy aversion to them. Naturally mallsoft was a genre I avoided to forget all the hundreds of hours spent suffering in those islands of limbo.

But then came a comment from some users about mallsoft, and naturally my interest sparked, but after listening to this trenchant album, my favorite Mallsoft and arguably the first and perhaps best in the genre, I delved into myself and looked this old suffering in it's featureless face and decided it's time for us to acknowledge this subgenre and embrace it as a necessary champion in the greater Vaporwave locus.






For a little more on malls and less my reaction to them.

The pioneering Austrian architect Victor Gruen is credited as the grandfather of mall architect and design. His vision as an architect was to prioritize people over cars in urban and suburban areas, and designed the first outdoor mall in the USA, the Kalamazoo Mall.

Kalamaoo mall 1960.jpg



Europe in the early 1900's was a time when major changes were occurring on all levels of human experience. With the permeation of modernism and ideas of a new modernity, automobiles were the rave and the way to get around major metropolitan areas in Europe was to say not to carriages and yes to cars. But not everyone could afford to have a car at their disposal. So Gruen though of creating community areas in the cultural backwaters of suburbia in US, as a hope to lure people from their cars and into contact with one another. Malls would indeed be a place for shopping, but also offered food, relaxation, and green space.

In his original ideations, malls would be a connection between residential and commercial areas, and would include libraries, doctor's offices and other public spaces. The idea of commerce was not altogether discarded in designing the malls. Before he began designing malls, Gruen worked on designing retail shops and storefronts in New York City —prim, modern, glass encased facades that renounced the ornate and busy complexity that had preceded them. Designed during the Great Depression when the economy was in dire straits, were intended to lure customers in, keep them there to ultimately coerce them into buying crap.

This successful trap to consumes became known as The Gruen effect, and to this day it still works.

Eventually, Gruen was disown his bastard spawn, expressing deep regret and revulsion for how malls had worsened rather than ameliorated urban sprawl, and how this was not isolated to just the US.

But times change, and the spawn of malls are now being engulfed by the forces of surveillance capitalism and new digital contenders, most noteworthy being Amazon.


dead mall.jpg


dead blue.png


empty atrium.jpg


Here's a little poem I wrote on malls.


A sea of grey at its feet
Grey Steps of a weed grown ruin
And before the spacious entrance
A flickering neon banner reads,
"Abandon all woe ye who enter,
And enjoy your shopper stay..."
Though the rest of the text is cracked
Rent and disfigured by the shadowy hand of fugitive time,
Crackling music from no apparent source
Becks us in with a disembodied finger
And maddening smile
Into this wonderous and magical world
of the Mall.

This mausoleum of time
Where the deepest desires
Are just a swipe away
Always behind a smudged display
Where the grimacing workers
Ground to a ghost-like existence
Watch as the few wanderers pass them by
Following the echoes of the siren song
Echoing in the static spaces,
The music mixing with the bite of stale fried food
The dead groan of shuffling shoes,
The dim haze which bleeds through the cracked skylights
Nourishing the faux tropical plants
The dazed worker waters as he moves past
Roving gangs of guttersnipes
Who run a racket behind the lopsided gates
Of the bankrupt mattress store
Where the discounted dreams

Enjoyed by the smiling people in the ads
Rest forever behind shutters,


Those dreams the imaginary smiling people in the ads enjoy


Seem lost in a bliss forever frozen in

That grey



Place,

Frozen
like the looped song from the speakers


inside

that empty



grey

mall


where

woe
has abandoned its wares,
And liquidated
it

to
Emptiness,

the keeper of dreams.



----
Please also share your favorite mallsoft albums or your relationship with malls.
 

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mast

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It's interesting how the creations of so many artists and thinkers become things they no longer identify with and outright dislike or disown. A sort of Dr. Frankenstein parallel.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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誰かがモールに強い嫌悪感を抱く可能性があるのは奇妙だと思います。私はそれらが好きでも嫌いでもありません。それらは商業の器であり、それ以上のものではありません。一度通り過ぎて忘れてしまったエリア、別世界を垣間見る。モールは単なる楽器であり、私たちが適切と考えるように使用されます
 
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Baron Boogie BOOL

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It's interesting how the creations of so many artists and thinkers become things they no longer identify with and outright dislike or disown. A sort of Dr. Frankenstein parallel.
Sad but true. Too many great ideas and works were reappropriated for those in power.
 
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Baron Boogie BOOL

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誰かがモールに強い嫌悪感を抱く可能性があるのは奇妙だと思います。私はそれらが好きでも嫌いでもありません。それらは商業の器であり、それ以上のものではありません。一度通り過ぎて忘れてしまったエリア、別世界を垣間見る。モールは単なる楽器であり、私たちが適切と考えるように使用されます
You have a quite a logical point here, zen like too. But places and people imbued with early memories are often quite difficult to detach from. Though it is just a physical object, the object has created a bad connection with me. But nevertheless, malls and the their decay are yet another lesson in impermanence.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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You have a quite a logical point here, zen like too. But places and people imbued with early memories are often quite difficult to detach from. Though it is just a physical object, the object has created a bad connection with me. But nevertheless, malls and the their decay are yet another lesson in impermanence.
なぜあなたはモールが嫌いですか?どんな悪い経験をしましたか?
 
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Hraelth

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I have quite a few positive memories of malls, but as a whole they were just a poor replacement for the traditional town squares that Americans bulldozed to replace with endless suburban sprawl wasteland and w*lm*rt.
 
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Hey, great thread Bio, thanks for making it! I am once again voicing my support for the More Bio Threads 2k21 Movement!

I didn't grow up with malls, I grew up in a pretty isolated area and I only went to my first mall a couple years ago. I know mallsoft features a lot of other locations sometimes, like grocery stores, though the grocery store I grew up around didn't have background music that played. I started listening to mallsoft pretty shortly after I got into vaporwave, around 2015 I think, and at that point I had no actual, physical, lived experience to ground mallsoft in.

To me, mallsoft has always kind of been Peak Background Noise, I really enjoy the way it sets a scene as well! I think even though I had no experiences to relate it to, things like song titles and samples used could really take me to what ever place the music was inspired by, even though that's kind of a vague thing with no memories of a location like that. It's always been really calm and comfortable listening.

I want you to know that when I went to a mall for the first time I very much had a "WOW, JUST LIKE IN THE VAPORWAVES" moment, it definitely put the albums into perspective more and it was cool to see something I had heard about for years in the flesh finally. I think malls have a lot of novelty, but it varies from mall to mall. There's something really funny about say, a store that only sells olive oil in the middle of a mall, or a soft pretzel stand, or a food court, or a single arcade cabinet in a wide open space, or like a public ballpit, or an extra ugly Starbucks. Chains of stores and public fixtures recontextualized by their relation to a giant indoor space like that.

The mall I last went to has white tile on the floors and the walls, so the only differentiation for things is the store signs. There's a Starbucks in basically like, a manmade, tiled cave. The Uniqlo in there has extremely low ceilings and feels like it's in a different building. It has 4 stories and each one is identical but features different items, also the food court has a location that only sells really weird cheese. There's a clothing store in there that has light blue walls painted with clouds.

I'm a sucker for novelty, giant buildings, and stupid retail spaces. I'm excited to go to more malls and shopping arcades in the future.
 

Baron Boogie BOOL

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なぜあなたはモールが嫌いですか?どんな悪い経験をしましたか?
I cannot tell you how many hundreds of hours I was lugged around, and felt like a purse chihuahua brought along shopping with others, buying and returning things ad nauseum. Many many times I escaped the stultified stores and wandered around basking in a fleeting freedom only to be caught like a fugitive and forced to wait for attended hours on end, past closing hours on one store to be lugged to another store.

But in the end it was a bitter lesson in deeply understanding the Gruen effect and the tactics salepeople use to foist over your hard earned money after they exhaust you with so many options.


purse dog.jpg



sell.png


buy shit.jpg
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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I cannot tell you how many hundreds of hours I was lugged around, and felt like a purse chihuahua brought along shopping with others, buying and returning things ad nauseum. Many many times I escaped the stultified stores and wandered around basking in a fleeting freedom only to be caught like a fugitive and forced to wait for attended hours on end, past closing hours on one store to be lugged to another store.

But in the end it was a bitter lesson in deeply understanding the Gruen effect and the tactics salepeople use to foist over your hard earned money after they exhaust you with so many options.


View attachment 5550


View attachment 5551

View attachment 5552
それが利用できなくなるまで、誰もが何かを当然のことと思っています。それから彼らはそれを懐かしい思い出で振り返ります。言っておきますが、モールは現代の資本主義の戦術のいくつかほど侵襲的で迷惑なものではありません。彼らは今日の基準ではほとんど古風な趣があります。
 
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NanoraaJuice

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There's two malls in my area and one I went to as a kid still holds up today, not only in what looks like steady finances thanks to the mall owner acutally keeping up with the building but with visual aesthetics as well. Then there's another mall that I went to as a kid and still frequented a little in my teen years that has a nice looking food court but is essentially a rotting corpse with meat falling off the bone, which is soon to be sold to become what I believe is a college campus.

Pictured here is the good mall that has yet to keel over and die.
1626396713193.jpeg
 
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There's two malls in my area and one I went to as a kid still holds up today, not only in what looks like steady finances thanks to the mall owner acutally keeping up with the building but with visual aesthetics as well. Then there's another mall that I went to as a kid and still frequented a little in my teen years that has a nice looking food court but is essentially a rotting corpse with meat falling off the bone, which is soon to be sold to become what I believe is a college campus.

Pictured here is the good mall that has yet to keel over and die.
View attachment 5570
This looks like the inside of a space ship
 

NanoraaJuice

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It really does look like a spaceship, that's the food court but it get's like a blue-ish hue during the day.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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There's two malls in my area and one I went to as a kid still holds up today, not only in what looks like steady finances thanks to the mall owner acutally keeping up with the building but with visual aesthetics as well. Then there's another mall that I went to as a kid and still frequented a little in my teen years that has a nice looking food court but is essentially a rotting corpse with meat falling off the bone, which is soon to be sold to become what I believe is a college campus.

Pictured here is the good mall that has yet to keel over and die.
View attachment 5570
比較のために、あなたの腐った死体モールはどのように見えますか?
 
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NanoraaJuice

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比較のために、あなたの腐った死体モールはどのように見えますか?
I'll be using images from google since I don't have any images (let alone the camera to take pictures in the necessary quality) of the interior and I'll tell a tale of when I worked there at the merry go round.
Savannah Mall sold to New York developer - Business - Savannah Morning News  - Savannah, GA
Sky City: Retail History: Savannah Mall Revisited
Savannah Mall 2014 - YouTube


The images do the mall more justice than they should, but the interior is starting to decay, water damage has become more prevelant, and I believe there is mold starting to form on the inside of the roofing. There was one evening when I worked the merry go round where there was heavy rain and it near caked the inside of the food court floor in water. There were leaks in bad spots, in the first image if you look at the columns you can see rectangular shapes sticking out, those are spotlights for when it gets dark. The rainwater that was leaking into the building would fall onto the glass of the lights and start smoking but it didn't turn into a hazard and as far as I'm concerned it hadn't destroyed anything in the "short term". The ferris wheel and possibly the rest of the court had to be closed early as no one was willing to stick around in the mall that day.
 
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Baron Boogie BOOL

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I'll be using images from google since I don't have any images (let alone the camera to take pictures in the necessary quality) of the interior and I'll tell a tale of when I worked there at the merry go round.
Savannah Mall sold to New York developer - Business - Savannah Morning News  - Savannah, GA
Sky City: Retail History: Savannah Mall Revisited
Savannah Mall 2014 - YouTube


The images do the mall more justice than they should, but the interior is starting to decay, water damage has become more prevelant, and I believe there is mold starting to form on the inside of the roofing. There was one evening when I worked the merry go round where there was heavy rain and it near caked the inside of the food court floor in water. There were leaks in bad spots, in the first image if you look at the columns you can see rectangular shapes sticking out, those are spotlights for when it gets dark. The rainwater that was leaking into the building would fall onto the glass of the lights and start smoking but it didn't turn into a hazard and as far as I'm concerned it hadn't destroyed anything in the "short term". The ferris wheel and possibly the rest of the court had to be closed early as no one was willing to stick around in the mall that day.
this is a beautiful mall! so much sun and space!
 
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Baron Boogie BOOL

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比較のために、あなたの腐った死体モールはどのように見えますか?
Here's one mall near my hometown, and this is a nice picture of the grand food court.

cesspool.jpg


Here is it's best perspective taken on a rare sunlit day. This is typically what it looks like during the day.

sunlight.jpg
 
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