Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Good Old Days of Rampant Consumerism

I remember those days.

I remember the days when shopping malls were flush with shoppers, not walkers; when the bright daylight shone down on artful displays of art and books and calendars, not robots or fidget spinners, for sale; when the people-watching yielded diverse results; when game shops still sold computer games; when my generation didn't yet have a name and hadn't yet been blamed for anything.

And who could forget the music?

It may have been only a mild upgrade from elevator music, and it may have been liberally sprinkled with the sounds of birds, because the few I spotted had no reason to be making so much noise, but mostly you couldn't hear it through the chatter and rustle of people moving.

If you yearn to revisit those days, in lieu of finding a centre that hasn't fallen into a ghost town, or the predecessor of Doctorow's prophetic Makers, you can listen to Mallwave.

Yeah, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

If you're familiar with vaporwave, mallwave is a sub genre. If you're not familiar with vaporwave, it's all the tuneless music you're used to hearing in places that either sound dead without the background noise or places that have background noise that you're not supposed to hear. It's also probably cheaper than licensing a radio station to play top hits of the #0's (fill in whatever decade is relevant to you).

Mallwave takes some of vaporwave, some of the too oft' repeated music that we barely hear any more (unless once upon a time it was a favorite), and crafts it into a form that is supposed to sound better in wide open enclosed spaces with terrible acoustics and a fair echo.

It's not for me.

I'd rather listen to a random conversation noise generator if I want to reminisce.