What is HYPNAGOGIC POP? What does HYPNAGOGIC POP mean? HYPONAGOGIC POP meaning – HYPNAGOGIC POP definition – HYPNAGOGIC POP explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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Hypnagogic pop (sometimes used interchangeably with “chillwave” or “glo-fi”) is a 21st-century style of pop music or a general musical approach which explores elements of cultural memory and nostalgia by drawing on the music, popular entertainment, and recording technology of past decades, particularly the 1980s. The term was coined by journalist David Keenan in an August 2009 issue of The Wire to label the developing trend, which he characterized as “pop music refracted through the memory of a memory.”
The genre grew out of mid-2000s American underground and lo-fi scenes as diverse artists began reaching back to retro cultural aesthetics such as 1980s radio rock, New Age music, MTV one-hit wonders, and Hollywood synthesizer soundtracks, as well as analog technology and references to outdated pop culture. Hypnagogic pop has been described as an “American cousin” to the British hauntology scene and as a contemporary update of psychedelia. It would gain prominence in the late 2000s through artists such as Ariel Pink and James Ferraro, with the term receiving some criticism from artists and journalists. The style partly inspired the 2010s Internet-based vaporwave movement, which amplified the experimental tendencies of the genre.
In an August 2009 piece for the The Wire, journalist David Keenan coined the term “hypnagogic pop” inspired from a comment made by James Ferraro. Keenan referred to a developing trend of 2000s lo-fi and post-noise music in which varied artists began to engage with elements of cultural nostalgia, childhood memory, and outdated recording technology. Among these artists were Ferraro, Spencer Clark, Ariel Pink, Zola Jesus, Ducktails, Emeralds, and Pocahaunted. He employed the psychological term hypnagogic as referring to the psychological state “between waking and sleeping, liminal zones where mis-hearings and hallucinations feed into the formation of dreams.” According to Keenan, these artists began to draw on cultural sources subconsciously remembered from their 1980s and early 1990s adolescence while freeing them from their historical contexts and “hom in on the futuristic signifiers” of the period. Keenan alternately summarized hypnagogic pop as “pop music refracted through the memory of a memory” and as “1980’s-inspired psychedelia” which engages with capitalist detritus of the past in an attempt to “dream of the future.”
Common reference points include various forms of 1980s music, including radio rock, new wave pop, MTV one-hit wonders, New Age music, synth-driven Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks, lounge music and easy-listening, corporate muzak, lite rock “schmaltz,” video game music, ’80s synthpop and R&B. Recordings often used “deliberately degraded” or analog instruments and techniques, including tape hiss and FX. Also common was the use of outmoded audio/visual technology and DIY digital imagery, such as compact cassettes, VHS, CD-R discs, and early Internet aesthetics. The music is often issued in the form of limited-edition cassettes or vinyl records before reaching a wider audience through blogs and YouTube videos.
Critic Adam Trainer wrote that hypnagogic pop was defined by a shared “musical approach” rather than a particular sound, and that it draws from “the collective unconscious of late 1980s and early 1990s popular culture” while being “indebted stylistically to various traditions of experimentalism such as noise, drone, repetition, and improvisation.” He notes its preoccupation with both decaying analog technology and the bombastic representations of synthetic elements in 1980s and ’90s popular culture. While critic Simon Reynolds says the style was tied to Southern California and its culture, Trainer says the style “arguably” emerged from numerous simultaneous scenes inhabited by artists working in a diverse form of “post-noise neo-psychedelia”. The genre has been described as an American counterpart to Britain’s hauntological music scene, which also engages with notions of nostalgia and memory.
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