Hypnagogic pop is a style of music and related media that explores elements of cultural The term was coined by journalist David Keenan in an August issue of The Wire to label the developing trend, which he characterized as “pop. In an August piece for the The Wire, journalist David Keenan coined the term “hypnagogic pop” to refer to a developing trend of s lo-fi and post-noise . Hence, the trend of “hypnagogic pop,” a term coined last year by The Wire’s David Keenan to refer to music reflecting a memory of a memory.

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However, one instance of a subgenre materializing from the world of music criticism—hypnagogic pop—is representative of not only a minor music trend of hazy, dream-like nostalgia, but a far-reaching cultural perception. Hypnagogic pop or h-popaccordingly, is hypnagogix subgenre with loose boundaries, as it deals more so with the aesthetic similarities of artists prone to lo-fi productions, a clear dependence on the past, and DIY techniques of distribution.

The particular sound of h-pop is heavily influenced by the decade in which many of these artists were watching Saturday cartoons and drowning themselves in the synth-driven scores of early video games: Drawing on this past, much music tagged as h-pop would sound perfectly at home blasting through an FM radio station forever lost in Occupying the ethereal space between the past and present, Ariel Pink especially seems to rely on borrowed elements from his childhood in the eighties to articulate a sense of overwhelming nostalgia felt by the present.

Inspired by the eighties Disney cartoon of the same name, Ducktails began as the side project of Real Estate drummer, Matt Mondanile, in a Northampton tool shed during his last year of college and has since spawned several albums and EPs.


Hypnagogic pop

Several of which were, naturally, released exclusively on cassette. Rejecting the modern ease of high-end production values, many h-pop artists turn to recording music videos with old VHS camcorders—splicing together old cereal commercials and snippets of MTV as a visual representation of their collaged sound. Distorted images and odd color saturation aid in a surprisingly cohesive articulation of a nostalgic aesthetic through both the music and its keenqn representation.

This piecing together of multiple influences and reference points from a familiar culture is often grounds for critique, as some claim that the work falling under the h-pop umbrella is merely a derivative collage as opposed to a genuine synthesis of their influences.

With such an intrinsic relationship to the cultural products of the past, some claim it ultimately denies the possibility of creating anything original.

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hypnagogkc The authenticity of these artists is subsequently called into question. This critique fails to daivd the inherently derivative nature of art. The artistic mutilation of these sources is often to the degree that an entirely new entity has been created. Our modern world is one of such hyper-connectivity that we are allowed a previously unimaginable vantage point on all that has come before us. H-pop makes use of that to mesmerizing effect. These artists are at their best when channeling revisionist nostalgia as an approach to songwriting.

This highlights a major parallel between the philosophy at hylnagogic in hypnogogic pop and the larger societal shift towards an instant nostalgia for the past. The aesthetic and inspiration behind h-pop is perhaps the most accurate representation of our modern cultural perception, which has become a pop-art collage of all that has come before. There is a proliferation of individuals on the Internet i.


We have become convinced that past decades were inherently better.

And while that may not be entirely true, this impulse to rework and romanticize has led to a great aural aesthetic. The primary source for future generations becomes vague and inaccessible. With the erosion of decade barriers between styles of the past and present, we have entered into a hyper-reality of musical freedom, where the lines between the reality of decades past and our modern reinterpretation of it become almost meaningless.

This debate—which would quickly dissolves into rhetoric more inaccessible than sadcore—ignores the possibilities of a continual reinterpretation of the past, all davis through a nostalgic golden haze and played back over a fuzzy cassette tape by the likes of Ducktails and Ariel Pink.

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Worst “genre” created by a journalist part : ‘Hypnagogic Pop’ by David Keenan.

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