On Friday, The New York Times’ Ben Detrick wrote about Seapunk, the microgenre churning out electronic music to a cult-like fanbase, which in our estimation, is only like, ten people deep. It’s funny that it’d show up in the Old Gray Lady, especially since they’re notoriously late to youth culture things or known to force trend stories, but indeed Detrick does take stock of the scene, which again, has to be extremely small. Some excerpts:
Sprouting from the digital petri dish of social networking, seapunk is a whimsical style that mashes together cartoonish aquatic themes, rave culture and a nostalgia for ’90s Internet imagery. The iconography, which exists almost entirely online, includes clip art of dolphins jumping through pyramids, aquamarine-haired mermaids with SpongeBob T-shirts, and psychedelic orbs flying over computer-generated waves.
Like LOLcats and pedobear, it is an inside Web joke that feeds off its own ridiculousness.
“Micro-genres dovetail perfectly with online media’s thirst for novelty,” said Mark Richardson, an editor at Pitchfork, a music Web site. “I also think there’s an overriding awareness of the absurdity involved that is part of the appeal.”
(via The New York Times)
#Memes, got it. Detrick also cites D.J./Twitter celebrity @LILINTERNET as the originator of the term, which makes him like a modern Shakespeare (“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any micogrenre,” I believe it goes). But apparently, this is up for dispute:
“No one will actually credit it to us,” said Zombelle, who lives in Chicago and said her offstage name is Shan Beaste. “There are people who work for Lady Gaga that are in my circle of friends.”
Azealia Banks, a rapper from Harlem, is the rare notable who has publicly praised seapunk: she wore green hair, name-checked the genre on Twitter and has described herself as a mermaid. But Ms. Beaste dissed Ms. Banks, too. “Mermaids are vicious harpies who lure sailors to their death,” she said, scorn cresting in her voice.
Even with Gaga and Banks “on board,” it seems like seapunk’s days are numbered.
As with any online trend, seapunk is probably fleeting. Chino Amobi, an artist from Richmond, Va., who makes electronic music under the name Diamond Black Hearted Boy, has already shifted from seapunk to slimepunk.
“It’s the toxic waste of 2012,” he said. On March 9, Mr. Amobi will hold a slimepunk rave in Brooklyn during the Arts Not Fair. “It’s going to be the saddest rave you’ve ever been to.”
This has been another installation of The New York Times Sizes Up The Microgenres.