August 7 2023
The Landscape Channel, vaporwave, and more
The Landscape Channel was patient zero (or one) in the vaporwave epidemic and this YouTube fan channel (started in 2019) has archived some videos and full albums they released. TLC was set up in 1988 by Nick Austin of Beggars Banquet to pair relaxing videos with “ambient music,” not a term that would be used for these tracks now. According to this 2000 article in The Argus, Austin got some of his screensavery images by filming “the flowers in his front garden and the Sussex countryside.”
The muzak and smooth jazz and ambient and vaporwave nexus feels heavily under-theorized and under-covered. It simply isn’t the case that this is lesser music and that the Good Stuff is serious songwriters with their binders on stage (hi Lucinda I love you mom). Dan Lopatin’s theory of “timbral fascism” helps us figure out how we got into this particular caste system, but there’s a long way to go. The albums that slap in that playlist slap all the way: no meta, no irony. Look for albums by Cayenne and Phil Manzanera in that feed and let’s talk.
Thank you for asking—I was at the Great Kai Cenat Influencer Riot on Friday, which seems good enough to reason to share this report released last November about what police actually do: “U.S. police spend much of their time conducting racially biased stops and searches of minority drivers, often without reasonable suspicion, rather than ‘fighting crime.’” As an antidote, read Nicolò Molinari on territory and the struggle.