The New Cosmic Voyagers

In the 2000s, a number of artists on the noise scene gradually swapped ear-scouring feedback for more dulcet synths and arpeggios rooted in the Berlin school of the 1970s. Chief among them were Emeralds, whose dozens of cassette and CDR releases, and subsequent spin-off projects such as Steve Hauschildt, Mark McGuire Imaginary Softwoods, Outer Space, Mist, et al (not to mention scores of releases put out by John Elliott’s Spectrum Spools label), generated a prolific cottage industry in psychedelic burble and shimmer. At the same time, Oneohtrix Point Never and other artists tagged as “vaporwave” were channeling yesterday’s VHS fantasies into a retro-futurist uncanny valley, where Windows 95 startup chimes served as doorways to new dimensions of perception.