Trumpwave and Fashwave Are Just the Latest Disturbing Examples of the Far-Right Appropriating Electronic Music

Producers are turning synthwave and vaporwave into fascist propaganda. But history is full of similar examples.
January 31, 2017, 6:16pm

Last February, a website called Rave News  reported that leading vaporwave producers were gathering in Montreal for an emergency summit to discuss "creeping fascism" in the scene. Vaporwave, an electronic subgenre conceived on the web in the early 2010s, is perhaps best described as post-apocalyptic mall music, with producers like Macintosh Plus and Saint Pepsi (now Skylar Spence) warping muzak, smooth jazz, and dated adult contemporary into airless, warbling soundscapes. It was a progressive-leaning genre that seemed to satirize consumer culture. "I always assumed it was transparent through my work that I leaned left," vaporwave pioneer Ramona Xavier, the woman behind Macintosh Plus, told THUMP. But now, according to Rave News, vaporwave was mysteriously attracting fascists. The article's comments section was quickly swarmed by neo-Nazis eager to defend their interest in vaporwave. "The National Socialists who lived in the time of Hitler were big fans of Richard Wagner," one wrote. "But in modern times, it is appropriate for us to turn to modern music." There was just one problem: the report, like everything else on Rave News, was fake news. No anti-fascist meeting of vaporwave artists had actually taken place. Read more on THUMP