The neon tsunami of techno utopia dreams which marked the 90s is back with a bite and perfectly updated for the era of Photoshop, the animated GIF and the viral memes which almost confirm our collective (mundane) experiences and have become the currency of choice for our virtual alter-egos on the Social Networking universe.
Dubbed Seapunk, this rave rehash started out as a micro-genre of electronic music borne of mock-serious musings by a clique of friends on Twitter that spread like wildfire on Tumblr and that actually sorta-kinda sounds like the hums of a euphoric child traipsing around suburbia with a golfish in his pocket, suffering from a nervous tic and hitting things with a spoon at light speed, but in professional terms brings together 90s house and techno music with pop and trap rap covered in new~age reptile spunk and pushed to an epileptic-inducing extreme.
Though still modestly gaining momentum, Seapunk looks set to be the next supersuper it-thing of the underground scene, spilling from the realms of URL to IRL and already becoming an aesthetic / sensibility marked by its nostalgia for ultra-retro pixelated 90s Internet imagery mixed in with (an almost erotic) penchant for aquatic themes (~*fluids~*), kawaii kitsch, animated digital dolphins jumping through Yin-Yang orbs and endless whimsical cartoon / video game references (like SuperMario and Earthworm Jim.. omfg Earthworm Jim was my childhood).
It's interesting reading about how Seapunk actually came about and the whole shebang surrounding the original band of 'Seapunkers' - especially since there appears to be a divide over the interpretation of the Seapunk phenomenon, with one side claiming to be the true founders of the "SEAPUNK MOVEMENT" and rearing to package it for a mainstream takeover, while the other claims for the virtues of a cheeky, ironic meme that should've remained as the summer shenanigans of a bunch of friends rather than a "press tsunami" destined to be a fleeting fad.
I guess at the heart of this lies a weariness towards the taking too seriously of something that was otherwise an ironic romp safe for consumption amongst knowing friends (sorta like racist/sexist jokes) that is inevitable once the said romp escapes into a wider context and the tongue-in-cheek celebration of bad-taste for bad-taste's sake becomes immediately dangerous; a disillusionment towards the seemingly emptied dramatic device of irony in general (?)
While I too am currently questioning the usefulness of irony in real life, especially in these times where inaction seems to be the only natural action, where cynicism has become the prevalent mood, where we've been laughing at imagined oblivions & apocalypses for so long it now seems ridiculous that we thought them ridiculous; where we're essentially laughing ourselves off into oblivion, and it seems like the comfortable reaction of irony (which draws it power from an assumed stable state of things) is now dangerous and irresponsible in the senseless chaos surrounding us.. . .
At the same time, I find the re-introduction of Rave in Seapunk so timely.. Surely it's appeal is that it is aware of its own absurdity, and that it feeds off its own ridiculousness - but beyond that because it seems to re-appropriate the ideals of the Rave movement and even the use of irony with an integrity seen in its grungier attitude (a rawness not just in aesthetics but also in expression of opinions).
Its great virtue is that it gives us an excuse to (like itself) caricature ourselves, distance ourselves from the chaos, appreciate frivolity and irony in themselves and through that expand and elasticize our personalities such that we return to the world better able to be whoever we want and say whatever we want. *I don't even know if I'm making sense right now.. and whether or not I answered the above paragraph questioning the use of irony.. . . lawdt you should just ALT+F4 on this page right now*
I say this because I've noticed in a few who've become almost ambassadors for the Seapunk movement, that they've all sorta used this as an excuse to put on neon wigs, stick-on nails, reptile-spunk lipstick, latex suits, SpongeBob backpacks and essentially transform themselves into stronger personalities able to use the stratospheric deliriums almost as gatherings for empowerment.
And finally, simply because Seapunk seems to be SO MUCH FUN.
Essentially the archetype of the whole Seapunk shebang...
Bring your noses real close to the screen and try to snort in the pixelated perfection of Alis Pelleschi for MEAT clothing (amazing latex-wear)
Also put together a little mixtape for this post:
1. Black magic - MVSCLZ
2. Out of space - Azealia Banks
3. True to love ft. Talk to animals - Unicorn Kid
4. Licky - PSY-Yung
5. Perfect (Exceeder) - Mason Vs Princess Superstar
6. Pu$$y - Iggy Azalea
7. Soul calibur - Frank Ocean
8. We should go to France - Urban Cone
9. Fear Us - Ssion
10. Nathan ft. Styles P - Azealia Banks
11. Aang - Nigga Liu Kang
12. Buffalo Girls - Malcolm McLaren
13. Voyage Voyage - Desireless
14. Fertilizer - Frank Ocean
15. A Fantasy, A Possibility - MVSCLZ
16. Lover come back to me - Dead or Alive
17. Starstruck ft. Space Cowboy & Flo Rida - Lady Gaga
18. My Sister Says The Saddest Things - Grimes
19. Stronger ft. Daft Punks - Kanye West
20. Made in America ft. Frank Ocean - Jay-Z & Kanye West