Mallwave / Mallsoft

Mallwave / Mallsoft

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Updated Mar 01, 2019 at 03:16AM EST by 3kole5.

Added Jan 30, 2019 at 04:57PM EST by Adam.

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Mallwave, also known as Mallsoft, is a subgenre of Vaporwave music meant to elicit nostalgia using imagery of shopping centers and remixed anonymous soft rock muzak one might hear in a shopping mall.


While there is no precise album or artist that can be credited as the originator of Mallwave, early Vaporwave artists such as 情報デスクVIRTUAL (an alias of Ramona Xavier of MACINTOSH PLUS fame) and Mediafired, both of whom released albums in spring of 2012 on the label Beer on the Rug, played with the aesthetic in what is generally considered a creepy, uncomfortable manner, perhaps in critique of Western capitalism.[1]

More holistic representations of malls in vaporwave began in the early to mid 2010s, with the independently released Hologram Plaza by Disconscious on April 9th, 2013 (shown below, left), and 식료품groceries' album 슈퍼마켓Yes! We’re Open released on March 1st, 2014 initially by Dream Catalogue. (shown below, right)

On October 2nd, 2014, 猫 シ Corp. released Palm Mall,[2] which was later uploaded to YouTube by Vapor Memory where it gained over 240,000 views (shown below, left) On November 4th, 2015, YouTuber rapidbeta released "Going to the mall [モールミックス] (Vaporwave Mix)," gaining over 38,000 views (shown below, left).

On September 14th, 2017, YouTuber Cecil Roberts posted a video in which "Africa" is edited to sound as though it is being played in an empty mall. The video gained over 2.2 million views (shown below, left). This was the first of many videos Roberts posted giving eighties songs the "empty mall" effect, though none were as popular as "Africa" (example shown below, right).

On January 30th, 2019, Mel Magazine[1] covered the rise of Mallwave online.

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Top Comment


Not gonna lie, I like shopping malls. There's something about how they're designed that comes across as vaguely futuristic to me. The open-space architecture, skylights, fountains, plants, artistic tile-work, and neon lights make for a very inviting structure. Of course, it's supposed to be inviting so you want to go in and spend money, at least they do a better job at it than most stand alone department stores. Also one of the few places where you can find arcades anymore.


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