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What is Broken Transmission

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Broken Transmission is the informal name for vaporwave that is primarily focused on old media sampling, particularly from television ads and the like. Although this has been taken in many different directions (the cassette release of Laserdisc Visions adopted this approach), there are typically these unifying characteristics to these "broken transmissions": Sample-heavy, dated media aesthetics, and mild musical inclinations. These releases also may incorporate smooth jazz into themselves to invoke the garbage muzak aesthetic that vaporwave is built upon. In a way, broken transmission can be viewed as the truly "found sounds" subgenre of vaporwave.

Midnight Television (2011) [EP]

A Beer on the Rug classic, the self-titled Midnight Television is a very early vaporwave release, predating even New Dreams Ltd. on the label. Aesthetically, it is aligned perfectly with signalwave, even the track titles evoking this idea. The tracks are simply glorified samples, but even they will touch the memories of midnight television watching in the 1990s.

Channel 8

View: http://localnews1.bandcamp.com/album/channel-8

Like its forebearer on the list, Local news is similarly short and its track titles assuredly attempt to place the listener within its aesthetic, that of late-night television viewing. This release gained some popularity towards the beginnings of the second wave of vaporwave. "Midnight Jazz" perfectly exemplifies the signalwave vibe.

Fuji Grid TV
Prism Genesis (2011)

View: http://vektroid.bandcamp.com/album/fuji-grid-tv-ex

There's a case to be made for Prism Genesis being a good eccojams/vapornoise crossover.. Like ▣世界から解放され▣, it splices Japanese television sounds from advertisements. Did I mention this was also a Vektroid side-project? Alongside Sacred Tapestry, this project doesn't get the attention of other New Dreams Ltd. releases, possibly due to being retconned. Though possessing vapornoise tendencies, the barely musical samples ultimately make this signalwave, albeit different in orientation from the other releases.

Infinity Frequencies
Dream Recovery (2012)

View: http://computer-gaze.bandcamp.com/album/dream-recovery

A very popular vaporwave artist, Infinity Frequencies takes much in approach from Internet Club in that both employ strict curatorial work with minimal editing and both are prolific. This release, Dream Recovery not only serves as a great definitive release by Infinity Frequencies but also a solid vaporwave release and signalwave exemplifier. Dream Recover is a very atmospheric release that sounds as though it drew from numerous sources, all of which corroborate its placement here. Highly recommended.

by g h o s t i n g
View: http://dreamcatalogue.bandcamp.com/album/telenights

Like falling asleep on a recliner with the TV on, fading in and out of consciousness as flashing lights dance across your closed eyelids. Favorite track: Super Channel.


Virtual Trash

What an amazing post! Great introduction and description of each album. This is a style that i really like. Thanks for this ;)


Well-Known Traveler
Very great post on the Broken Transmission subgenre! Though, I feel like we can't talk about BT without talking about Dream Sequins® by NMesh or ▣世界から解放され▣ by ░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░ (aka internet club).

▣世界から解放され▣ by ░▒▓新しいデラックスライフ▓▒░


▣世界から解放され▣ is an album released that pushes the bounds of what is considered music, let alone vaporwave. Often using short repetitions of samples from TV shows and commercials with occasional downpitching, this album pushes the listener to ask "what is vaporwave?" and "what is music?". The listener is often presented with short tracks with little to no melody, creating bizarre soundscapes that sound as if you are stuck in a dying vhs cassette player. This album is one of the outer bounds of BT, showing the absurdity that can be achieved through vaporwave sampling and production techniques.

Dream Sequins® by NMesh


Dream Sequins® is an album released in 2014 that shows the more melodic side of BT. Through the use of a mixture of heavy reverb and delay effects, stretched samples, and funky drums/bass lines, NMesh takes us on a journey through amazing soundscapes of the analog and digital landscape. Songs like Public Radio International call back to radio, whereas songs like ΛVΘN™ NiteMare Liquid Mascara (feat. 회사AUTO) call back to 1970s to 1990s television. There is even a track (The Unconscious Connection) that calls back to a more modern medium, Youtube, in sampling the Needle Drop's review of the original Macintosh Plus album. This album shows us the extends of vaporwave that can be made through the careful curation and usage of samples from different media.
Macintosh Cafe.FM
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