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Modern Subgenre Classification

Lost Lands

Vaporwave has many different styles and arguably subgenres. However the validity of some of these have been called into question overtime. A famous subgenre guide back in the day mentions subgenres that are almost universally no longer recognized like Faux Utopian and Future Visions. This guide was written before Hardvapor, Slushwave and Dream Punk (if you consider it vaporwave) even manifested. Now a days vaporwave has the approach of classic style vs hypnagogic. However subgenres like mallsoft and broken transmission are generally still recognized. My question is, in our modern 2020 vapor world, what do you think the full list of defined subgenres are now?

Deleted member 795

Uhhhhh...huh? There's still people doing Utopian Virtual (proper term) out there. How is this "universally no longer recognized"?

Frankly, I don't think there needs to be a list of defined pigeonholes for vaporwave. For one thing, music is much more interesting when it DEFINES ITSELF...because it has to be some damn interesting stuff for that to happen. And thus far, that's been where vaporwave is at. Trying to "chop, cut, and chunk" vaporwave is a bad idea, especially since vaporwave's actual scene (both real world and online) would ALSO probably get chopped, cut, and chunked.

How is this bad? Well, I've seen how bad this can be from experience...in the rave scene, as it transitioned from being just a thing to a thing with lots of money associated with it. It ALSO had stylistic splits galore by around 1994...but instead of trying to get everyone to come together over this awesome body of music, the music press, scenesters, etc all tried to wrestle their little chunk away from the whole. And this divided PEOPLE in the scene; you had those who got convinced that they couldn't stomach jungle, you had others who insisted on shoving "diva house" up everyones' orifices, and on and on.

This nonsense started up c. 1995 here in the US scene, as I recall. And the result was a degree of scene fragmentation that was...ah, very _prickly_ and not at all fun. And this factored into what happened next, which was the music industry cooption along about 1998. You can actually SEE the change happen if you can access the full run of MTV's "AMP", which started as a glorious peek into the electronic music of the day, and even indulged in actual VIDEO mixing in its initial form. But when the industry planted its oversized ass on top of techno in order to "claim" it as theirs, the character of "AMP" changed abruptly. Like night and day, in fact. And a couple of months later, it had run off its audience and got cancelled.

A scene that functions on division, pigeonholing, and elitism will die. We've got plenty of examples. Why would we want to do the same thing to vaporwave?

Lost Lands

I never said anything about Utopian Virtual? I was talking about the Faux Utopian term, which is a totally seperate term used in the early scene. Furthermore pigeonholing is absolutely not what subgenre classification does at all, Subgenre classification usually leads to genre development in directions not thought of beforehand, IE see goth subculture and the existence of darkwave or Emocore subculture and the existence of skramz. The view that Subgenre classification leads to elitism and division may have been true in the rave scene but is absolutely untrue in many other scenes. The study of genre and subculture relys on being able to identify the music in terms. No one is trying to chop up the scene. I and many others are simply trying to catalogue and understand styles and trends. It's what allows rich history of scenes to be recorded. I'm sorry your experience has led you to a negative view of classification, but innately it's used for educational purposes. When people define music, others find ways to break those definitions. That's what leads to experimentation and innovation. Understanding music leads to evolution in works. But on the other hand I do understand your concern. However it is up to us to make sure elitism doesn't kill the scene, as we, the participants are responsible for it. Don't kill the educational aspect of music to hide from eltists, reject the elitist and keep the education, I think anyways.

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