Mallwave is a microgenre of bedroom electronic music and smooth jazz meant to evoke nostalgia for the vibrant mall scenes of the 1980s and 1990s that many of the music's composers are too young to have experienced or at least remember.
Think of Mallwave as a hauntological soundtrack for an Orange Julius-fueled consumer culture where Suncoast, Merry-Go-Round, and Spencer Gifts anchored suburban reality. (Or, in the case of some of the moodier tracks, the kind of muzak that might play in your mind as you wander an abandoned mall in a Ballardian trance.)
From Hussein Kesvanio's feature in MEL:
“The nostalgia is so real you can cry and wish you went back in time,” reads one comment underneath the video “Neon Wave Mall (Vapor Mix).” “I feel a certain sense of… familiarity watching this footage. Almost like I myself have set foot in these places,” adds a viewer of “Corp Palm Mall.” Under the same video, another person opines: “Why wasn’t I born in this time? This video makes me realize how much things were not as advanced as we have now but it was better. I could be wrong, but sometimes I feel like living around the ‘90s sounds fun. Lifestyle is different, mindset is different and not as much laziness.”
According to writer Joe Koenig, this kind of feeling — a “nostalgia for a past you’ve never known” — is called anemoia. In his ongoing project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Koenig describes it as “the desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future.”
My old pal Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs will release his first proper solo album, Random Desire, on February 21. Above is “Pantomima,” the first single/video for the album, and it’s a beaut. Directed by and starring Greg’s longtime collaborator Philip Harder, this magnificent short film is a take on the “All That Jazz” […]
LISTEN: ‘Heavyweight Reggae.’ Yep, the name is right, and the channel delivers.
I’m glad he came prepared with a hand towel to ensure a good grip on the railing. I can’t help but imagine him in a dance-off with the footloose and fancy-free fellow made famous by this classic clip: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Total Frat Move (@totalfratmove) on Jul 18, 2018 […]
Most streaming fanatics have access to perhaps one or two go-to platforms that they use to binge-watch their favorite shows every night. But there’s always that elusive streaming platform that we secretly crave but never sign up for—leading to bitter nights filled with missed content. So why not enter to win not only a 1-year […]
Thanks to a series of progressive movements throughout the United States, more and more states are allowing people to smoke in the great outdoors with absolute freedom. Unfortunately, most pipe-makers have been slow to catch up with this new reality, which leads to avid smokers stuffing a cumbersome glass pipe in their pocket every time […]
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