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Signalwave: The sound of everyday TV

Shi_dawg

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It's crazy looking back and seeing something previously seen as mundane in passing become something you look on fondly.

Screenshot 2021-07-17 135706.png

signalwave (also known commonly as "broken transmission") is a branch off the vaporwave genre that mainly uses samples from various broadcasts, chiefly television commercials, 80s or 90s radio music, and TV shows among others. I was initially drawn to this subgenre in particular by its creativity and uniqueness found rarely in other kinds of music. It achieves being interestingly experimental without going completely off the wall in a environment where it seems a lot of experimental music can come down mostly to just shock value. It's an Idea that has continued to intrigue throughout my time participating in vaporwave's community, so I'd like show some of the more notable artists and releases to possibly give any newcomers a good starting point or just to give a few recommendations to anyone who might read this.

Fuji Grid TV - Prism genesis​


On august 2nd, 2011, Vektroid would release Prism Genesis under the moniker "Fuji Grid TV". This would be considered the first signalwave release and the album to set the precedent for all other signalwave albums in the future. this album featured samples from japanese advertisements and radio recordings chopped in a way that was reminiscent of old audio stutter glitches, which would go on to be a popular sampling method for future signalwave releases and a defining sound font for the genre. In 2016, vektroid rereleased Prism Genesis as Fuji Grid TV EX under the New Dreams Ltd. name. This new version dropped 5 tracks and featured extended cuts for the other 12 tracks. This album along with vektroids later works would prove to be very influential to the sound of signalwave

░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░ - ▣世界から解放され▣​

Taking a more experimental approach, Internet club released ▣世界から解放され▣ (Liberated from the world) under the name ░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░ (New Deluxe Life). This short album came out around the same time as Prism Genesis, releasing early January 2012, and since has become very controversial due to its more noisey and and less organized melodic structure. This entire album only lasts just under 20 minutes and is full of repeating and stuttering radio samples without any apparent structure. This style of signalwave would come to be known as "broken transmission", though signalwave and broken transmission are used mostly interchangeably. A lot of the community seems to be split on this album, some saying its too noisey and unpredictable to enjoy, while others enjoy the more experimental angle that Internet Club chose to take with this release.

天気予報- 雰囲気​

天気予報 (weather forecast, or more commonly known as "asutenki") released his album 雰囲気 (Atmosphere) on may 26, 2017 and had a subsequent cassette release on geometric lullaby on June 4th of the following year. This was one of the first releases on both geometric lullaby and asutenki's catalogue and what I believe to have brought signalwave to the forefront of vaporwave subgenres. with geometric lullaby being a prestigious label within the community, the cassette release brought signalwave to vaporwave fans that may have not heard signalwave before or have only listened to Vektroid's earlier signalwave albums. This album features 90 tracks many of which being less than a minute long, each giving an amazing experience in small portions. This album never feels incomplete as the whole album clocks in at more than an hour in a half, the samples stay their welcome perfectly without ever dragging on or being too short. Asutenki would go on to release many other albums in the same manner and continues to be a very popular artist within the signalwave genre.

New Dreams Ltd.- Sleepline​

another album from Vektroid; Sleepline, released alongside her Shader rerelease, Shader Complete, on February 14th 2016. These were the most recent signalwave releases from Vektroid with Sleepline being released nearly 5 years after its completion. This album mainly samples Japanese airline television promos and it really shows the growth of Vektroid's style within a short time from the initial release of Prism Genesis to the start of the sleepline project in 2013. Sleepline along with Shader complete got a release on vinyl on November 30th, 2018 on Aguirre Records and further cemented signalwave as an important genre in vaporwave (and I believe both vinyl are still available on aguirre records and Vektroid's bandcamp as of now if you are interested).


Other Important/recommended signalwave albums:​

New Dreams Ltd.- Initiation Tape: Isle of Avalon Edition
猫 シ Corp.- NEWS AT 11
猫 シ Corp.- Good Morning America
猫 シ Corp.- SUNDAY TELEVISION
Nmesh- Dream Sequins
天気予報- ひまわり画像
Alternate Skies- Global Outlook Note: I've heard people have bad experiences with doing business with this guy and the label "tracking waves" which I think is linked to him. I don't know the details, but if you intend on doing business with them, look into it and make an informed decision. idk I just like this album.



Signalwave has to be my favorite of all the vaporwave offshoots and subgenres. I just wanted to make this thread to take a step back and show a bit of the history behind one of my favorite parts of the vaporwave community. I hope you enjoyed in some way, and happy listening.

:MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan::MachoMan:
 
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naa

Signalwave is one of my favorite genres, I really love how it takes mundane things like radio transmissions, TV commercials, etc. and lifts them up to a level where we can appreciate them more.

This is a really great post Shi, and a fantastic entry point into signalwave as a genre. I think you cover a lot of bases when it comes to specific signalwave albums, the recommendations are very all encompassing. Your reviews of each recommendation are also really thoughtful, and I'm planning to listen to everything on this list now that I have new insight on them from you. Thank you!
 

Shi_dawg

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Signalwave is one of my favorite genres, I really love how it takes mundane things like radio transmissions, TV commercials, etc. and lifts them up to a level where we can appreciate them more.

This is a really great post Shi, and a fantastic entry point into signalwave as a genre. I think you cover a lot of bases when it comes to specific signalwave albums, the recommendations are very all encompassing. Your reviews of each recommendation are also really thoughtful, and I'm planning to listen to everything on this list now that I have new insight on them from you. Thank you!
ah, thanks man I appreciate it a lot
 
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Shi_dawg

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also if anyone would like to see more, I actually really enjoyed making this. this is my first longer thread so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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信号波はかなりクールです。良いシグナルウェーブアルバムはまだたくさん出ていません。今後の新しいリリースを楽しみにしています。信号波の定義は緩く、投機的なままです。

私自身、同じ主題をカバーし、電子リミックスの黄金時代に人気があった初期のジャンルを好みます。とにかく、古いテレビ番組をサンプリングすることは常に楽しいものであり、音楽にニュアンスと深みを与えます。信号波はこのプロセスの次の進化であり、今後数年で新たな高みに到達すると思います。
 
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Shi_dawg

Vaporwave's #1 Dumb Fuck
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信号波はかなりクールです。良いシグナルウェーブアルバムはまだたくさん出ていません。今後の新しいリリースを楽しみにしています。信号波の定義は緩く、投機的なままです。

私自身、同じ主題をカバーし、電子リミックスの黄金時代に人気があった初期のジャンルを好みます。とにかく、古いテレビ番組をサンプリングすることは常に楽しいものであり、音楽にニュアンスと深みを与えます。信号波はこのプロセスの次の進化であり、今後数年で新たな高みに到達すると思います。
I hope so, Id like to see more innovation in this diverse genre. I feel like it is mostly untapped.
 
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naa

also if anyone would like to see more, I actually really enjoyed making this. this is my first longer thread so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.
I'd like to see more! I'm interested in any take you have, personally. If you have any recommendations for newer signalwave albums I'd appreciate it, I feel like it's a kind of neglected subgenre? There's not a lot of new albums out for it nowadays at least to my knowledge, and there's not a ton of discussion about it either.
 

Shi_dawg

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I'd like to see more! I'm interested in any take you have, personally. If you have any recommendations for newer signalwave albums I'd appreciate it, I feel like it's a kind of neglected subgenre? There's not a lot of new albums out for it nowadays at least to my knowledge, and there's not a ton of discussion about it either.
I don't know of many newer releases, ill definitely look into it. I know I already have an idea for the next thread, I want to bring some light to a little known subgenre that I think is very commonly overlooked.
 
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naa

I don't know of many newer releases, ill definitely look into it. I know I already have an idea for the next thread, I want to bring some light to a little known subgenre that I think is very commonly overlooked.
PepSiDawgwitcan Thanks man! I'd be really interested in hearing about more subgenres from you, there's so many I don't know. Vaporwave has a lot of obscure subgenres and it's so hard to recognize them sometimes, and easy to lose track.
 

Shi_dawg

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yeah i totally know what your talking about. this next genre will be one that I hold in high regards so I hope I can do it justice.
 
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