'chillwave continuum'?


some things i sent in a discord group chat stoned and listening to live skaters (i'm aware that 'chillwave' started as hro making fun of volcanic tongue):

"also wish people more eloquent than i were verbalising 'the chillwave continuum' in retrospect
i think its mutation reads roughly that... this postmodern self-deprecation, 'i'm impotent beyond reconstructing prior reference points, oh i am overburdened with history, oh history can not move forward' just isn't true. even stuff that sets out from this premise eventually encounters the world moving forward, and finds itself compelled to move forward with it. something insular, 'limited edition', fugitive furtive samizdat-xerox, aesthetic-specific, eventually becomes about more-open/deeper-listening to music and aesthetics in general, at a world level, it becomes very crowded and the older material becomes open to all kinds of interpretation, outside of this spectre of how fucking sad western media culture is. it becomes psychedelic in spite of itself
so we have to keep moving forward from what we've learned in the last decades
it betrays a real desire for 'the collective subject', for communism [and also a PROFOUND frustration w having grown up knowing nothing but 'neoliberalism' and its ideological machinery, this is fundamentally where it starts from i think, generational ting]
despite starting out very much like, petit-bourgeois art in the noise scene, or turning into these too irreverent and lax for their own good self-hyping blog projects... that's not what people are remembering from it already. they're remembering shit that stood out in spite of its milieu, that was prefigurative
idk jus ramblin"

how do the competing microgenres/microaesthetics of 1999-2009 reflect this process or perhaps others, dematerialisation being a big one ofc and bucolic reaction to dematerialisation, maybe 'militarisation of civil society'/surveilance-state expansion/surface dematerialisation of porn (stuff like hospital productions + vatican shadow, ascetic house, posh isolation, the whole thing of power electronics and rhythmic noise)
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earlier messages about our stupid pseudo-hyperstition rich entango:
"the best chillwave is not 'suburban' but Fake Suburban. tentative 'suburban' looking small town but it's surrounded by freezing woods [ie, the Outside is going to eat it, any second now]. the best chillwave is not 'backward looking' but totally zonked out and in the moment, living now for right now with all that implies, good and bad. the best chillwave is not 'reactionary' but completely indifferent.
shredding totally by accident.
and there was a weird, moment in its 'golden age' of being able to capture people's attention with. totally unprofessional over-linkage and mutual-self-promotion and hypehypeHYPErstition
i feel like people's 'chillwave'/'vaporwave phase' is/is going to be what 'emo'/white 'crunk'/'scene phase' was to a slightly older group of people in the same generation. and the latter laid the groundwork for the former [fundamental and increasing embarrassment of 'growing up online'?]
and idk that train of thought kind of sums up what bbj is?
rich entango is totally disgraced. he didn't do anything evil, he was in many respects less problematic than many of his peers, many of the people he fucked heavily with
but for a while he was just embarrassed and deleted everything
it's like josh burke disappearing, rebranding, reuploading a bunch of his back catalogue and then disappearing again (but this time not deleting everything)
embarrassed because embracing vapidity is embracing vapidity. no matter what ironic distance
or sincerity, wholesomeness, for that matter
which is maybe just another kind of disavowal of that very vapidity.
see also: chillwave itself being coined by hro to make fun of volcanic tongue, then being embraced by people; people's attempt to smuggle chillwave under differentiated, mutated names/visual tropes once people started associating what's really an umbrella term with something very specific
which is suburban, backward looking and reactionary."


ok ok here's a concrete example of one direction of development from this '09 stuff
wavves is a landlord (and ducktails is a creep and sam mehran did himself in)
dean and inga's post hype williams trajectories are a very different direction from this
as are
datavis to internet club to wakesleep to dj internet visions to barely makes music anymore (but still psyched about music)
vektroid: hardcore continuum (demos)-dubstep microgenres-chillwave continuum-hyperreal cyber datastream (hardcore continuum HD)


Well-known member
I support this thread but I've never heard of chillwave or any of the listed artists. My guess would be only Crowley, third form and web eschatology know what any of this means


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hey, not everyone lives in under a rock like you, Luka, I've (probably) still got wavves, ducktails and hype Williams albums somewhere, even some solo blunt.


i'll maybe try to put a mix together and find some particularly Telling artwork of this period/continuum so people who weren't paying attention to this as it develops can get a feel for it. and illustrate that this is a continuum that stretches from the most abstract textural shit like double leopards to the most straightforward keyboard/sequencer pop (not necessarily a bad thing) like neon indian, and everywhere in between orbiting around floating over or coursing under. it's more of a certain set of fixations, jokey aesthetic propositions, zones (for lack of a better term; the spectre of chris marker in this stuff (hayao yamaneko, internet club) and stuff like 'altered zones' actually makes it somewhat fitting) than anything united by 'genre'.
i understand dissensus was and is probably more focused on forward developments in club/hardcore continuum and just engaging w popular music *generally* than stuff that was self consciously dealing w all these stupid fucking issues. which is good. but it feels like this trend kind of defines the 2010's, from my vantage point, really *growing up with this stuff* the same way lots of u probably, idk grew up with pirate radio in the 90s and early 2ks? and earlier net music trends
i think what i'm gonna do is link a bunch of skaters stuff (james ferraro and spencer clark) tracing their evolution and also a quote from a blog youse might be familiar w/ ab neoliberalism's creeping impact on culture and some chris ott videos


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few things worse than a music nerd who loves the sound of his own voice. god, that guy is unbearable.


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it's basically bourgeois concrete with the strikingly visceral immediacy of the post-war era of concrete abscent though isn't it? like, if we are talking about the transformation from formal to real domination where the worker no longer exists and only the proletarian remains, in a very real sense this can be boiled down to the artist no longer exists but the advertiser does.

Insofar as communism emerging out of the real movement of things, communist aesthetics long proclaimed the death of the author before barthes and them lot discovered it. the problem is communism will also abolish advertising as advertising contains the ingredients of all politics, and the transformation of those politics in crisis to total democratic domination and fascism. And i feel this is the weakness of this stuff, it is too much based on the personality gimmics of internet 2.0 as opposed to the somewhat more depersonalised communality of internet 1.0.



Well-known member
i'll maybe try to put a mix together

I made a bunch of mixes at the time, i would cover for an indie night back then and when we were both approached to run a weekend thing i decided i would use it as a platform to play a lot of it as a warmup and then let the other guy do his thing. I made 3 mixes that were punted about on cds and completely alienated anybody from engaging with the concept at all.

A complete failure, but i just enjoy making concept mixes around stupid themes, so i was happy.

Pt 1

Pt 2 (well, seemingly part of part 2, and i don't know where the rest of them are)

I hope this is helpful in some way...


Void Dweller
^ certainly helpful for me at least! I've never listened to any significant quantity of this stuff before (let alone in a well-organized way).

maybe a dumb question, but does the chillwave continuum you have in mind entail a successive series of genres in the same ways as the original nuum? if so what are the main ones? I guess chillwave to vaporwave is the really widely acknowledged connection. (probably redundant to even mention.) it seems to me like a lot of the main artists and lines of influence involved in this stuff have been pretty scrupulously mapped out, but the more formal aesthetic developments and 'zones' as you put it, not so much. (I mean, maybe they've been given meme names, but not much beyond that.) that's the most interesting part for me personally.

from what I've heard: in terms of the most popular/"significant" releases, a lot of vaporwave in 2010-12 had a very wild sampladelic quality (opn, vektroid, internet club, skeleton) even when it wasn't eccojams--whereas by the mid 2010s things got a lot glossier, more like proper electronic/ambient made with expensive softsynths and actual mastering. (I think telepath is the one who almost sounds like an echospace project?) by this point sampling is more used to get a "cinematic" effect than an esoteric, psychedelic one. maybe there's an analogous shift in the cover art? earlier art is often more collage-like or found images, but later covers look like you could find them on artstation. but that's all just one direction of many that things have gone in I guess. you mentioned vektroid as an example of how this stuff has evolved, and I do really like the direction(s) she's gone in recently--probably some of my favorite music from any era really.

lol'd at seeing ott cause anger/annoyance as always
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