Meet Vaporspace StL: Event Planner extraordinaire from St Louis, USA. Dealing in Live Vaporwave / Future Funk / Synthwave / Netmusic. Source: (partly) Instagram. Inviting us all to party with them, tag pics #vaporspacestl and follow their live stream at twitch.tv/vaporspacestl/. For some more specifics, their Twitter Bio mentions; Vapor-/Synth-/Chill-Water wave / Future Funk / LoFi / Net’tronica / streaming show booking, promotion, production, & support | St. Louis made | – If that’s not the whole package, I don’t know what is.
My kind of Music, with Vaporspace StL.
Sucked right into Vaporspace.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was working on Spotlight on Discoholic, I unexpectedly entered a parallel universe, called Vaporwave. Now I know what y’all are thinking… This girl has No.Clue. And you’re Right! I Don’t! But my curiosity was – not even mildly – triggered. I’m following a slightly different format here, but since boring does not compute with me, we’re good. Also, treat yo’self, click the artists pics 😉
Seemed I stepped through a Social Media Wormhole, only to re-emerge in an unfamiliar environment. A couple of things became clear pretty fast: these people basically shared 3 things: Music, Gaming and Anime. Such a joy to discover I am the only one not feeling 2 out of three and well, the third – music… I love it, I listen to it, I write about it, but I don’t Do It 🙄
If you’ve been reading my stuff, you know the level of tech I own… Well tbh, there was no level, but luckily, landing my previous IT job meant progress. Having been married to a gamer for a very long time, who has been in graphic design too and having a son sharing the same love, prevents me from being a total airhead. Our son especially is highly interested in Anime. Me, not so much…yet.
Does it all matter? No. Not really. Except for the part that whatever they are sharing on social media is mostly lost on me. Don’t get me wrong, I follow it with great interest, and I will keep on doing that, since the atmosphere in this universe is a very lively one, just breathing it all in.
Anyways, following along it was too irresistible to not want to become more knowledgeable about it all. And since music is the main thing on this side of my blog, I feel it’s my obligation to share this with you all. Maybe Vaporwave has been part of your world already, if not, let’s get sucked in together.
Of course, Wikipedia shares their info (if they’re even correct), but what better way to get more insight, than asking someone who’s been part of the scene for years? The day after Discoholic’s article was published, they posted this:
Announcing a live stream on Friday, October 16th – 10PM EDT on Twitch, hosted by Vaporspace StL. How convenient. I started following them and when they posted the same just a couple of days ago, I was sold. I quickly realized the best way to satisfy my curiosity, would be by inviting them for an interview. At least I’d feel a little more prepared for the actual show…I hope.
I will leave all explaining to Vaporspace StL, but let me just tell you: they’ve basically written this whole article themselves, I’m only the copy/paste chick. They responded to my questions with such enthusiasm, we did not even get past question 4 (I had 8), since the answers are Totally Freakin Awesome, you’ll soon find out.
What I Will Do, is mention all involved artists here, spread over this page. I think they all deserve to get more visibility. And since writing about independent artists is how my Spotlight section started, you would expect nothing less from me 😉
but first, a Big Thank You to Vaporspace StL! So awesome how you responded to my request, I really appreciate it ❤ All you readers, if you’ve ever wished for another, parallel universe, where greatness happens, please find them and all mentioned artists on this page!
Follow Wesley Nass also on Twitter
Follow FORGOTTEN VCR also on Twitter
Follow Myystic Panda also on Instagram
Let’s start with the obvious: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us: Who is Vaporspace Stl, what is it exactly you do and you’re a musician yourself too?
‘My name is Ronny Louvre. My buddy, the musician, Sound Market and I founded Vaporspace together in 2019 so we could throw some live vaporwave shows in St. Louis. Since we’ve founded the project, we’ve filled quite a few different roles.
Vaporspace is a concert production & promotion team, a scene development thinktank, a nightlife & progressive club experience, a radically inclusive vaporwave culture gallery, an embassy for St. Louis electronic music, a musician and artist support collective, an online community of global vaporwave fans, and- since Covid- a team of badass Twitch streamers working to produce rad vaporwave shows online!
Personally, I work on booking, organizing, promoting, & hosting our shows, I do a very small bit of technical work here and there, and we’re always working on our “big picture” strategies to grow Vaporspace and the vaporwave art scene in St. Louis and around the world.
I’m no longer an active musician, myself, but I was a house music vinyl DJ in the St. Louis underground club and rave scene at the turn of the millennium, playing a small number of gigs and parties from ’99 to ’06. But my Vaporspace partner, Sound Market, is actively releasing vapor music, so we have some good insight to the artist experience’.
Since I hardly have a clue of what’s going on in the whole Vaporwave scene, please enlighten me with any piece of info you have 😃 How and when did you get started?
‘In my humble opinion, music scenes everywhere are working hard to adapt to the realities of the global pandemic, and vaporwave is no exception. I’m very proud of the approach that the vapor-scene has been taking during this crisis.
Most of our DIY labels are continuing to work hard on releasing great music, and there has been an incredibly exciting bloom of streaming shows being organized by lots of different teams of people, and this has done SO MUCH to help people around the globe come together, creating more community than ever around our music.
I think pandemics are generally bad for independent art scenes, BUT, I feel like “vaporwave” in particular is poised to do better than most, thanks to the scene’s largely online presence prior to Covid. Vaporwave is native to the internet, so having to be online isn’t so much of a burden!’
Please tell us about the Vaporspace project. What is it about and for instance, who do you collab with and how do you find them? What does it take to prepare a show?
‘Vaporspace was born in November of 2018, on my drive home to St. Louis following a George Clanton, Aaron Shadrow, & Equip concert I attended in Chicago. It was an incredible concert’.
Below an actual shot of the concert and Ronny with the guys.
‘I gotta take a moment here to tell you that George, Aaron, and Kevin- Equip- are among the nicest and realest people I’ve met. They were very welcoming and cool to talk to, and after the show, we all had a slice together. While we were eating, I asked George if he would be coming to St. Louis anytime soon for a show, and he told me that he didn’t think he had very many fans in St. Louis.
In my mind, those were my marching orders- in order to get these vaporwave musicians to come to my town, I had to do something to develop the local fanbase for their music. That was the origin of Vaporspace- putting in work to create a scene of vaporwave fans in St. Louis so George Clanton and other touring vaporwave artists would have a community ready to support them and attend their shows when they came through.
But that wasn’t all George Clanton would contribute to our Vaporspace project. George organized and threw Electronicon 1 & 2, the largest vaporwave festivals ever, in New York and LA in the fall of 2019. I had the incredible good fortune to attend both. You don’t have to take my word for what incredible shows they were- most everyone who attended will gladly share that they were among the greatest the concerts they ever attended.
The sense of community and excitement around these shows and artists was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. But from my perspective, as a vapor concert organizer, George created the greatest possible networking opportunity imaginable for me to meet musicians, artists, and content creators in our scene, and I worked hard to make the most of it.
The Electronicon shows helped me meet dozens of artists that we’ve had the good fortune to work with since George brought us together’.
Maybe this should be #1 lol, but how would you describe Vaporwave music?
‘Defining vaporwave is tricky, and I’m definitely not an authority on music theory, or the production techniques that some say are important to the conversation. But at it’s most basic, it’s an artistic movement that has bloomed around a subgenre of electronic music that gelled in the early 2010s.
Advances in production technology, an explosion of hard-to-find music being uploaded to YouTube, a resurgence in sampling as a production technique, the development of democratic publishing platforms (like SoundCloud and Bandcamp), and clandestine internet cultures where artists and musicians could hang out, collaborate, and sometimes even compete, helped a number of musicians identify with a sound and visual aesthetic that frequently evoked feelings of nostalgia for an idealized version of the 80s & 90s.
The development of the genre hasn’t been without hiccups. Extensive uncleared sampling became an issue early on, as some very talented artists faced big legal trouble from the music industry when their music caught fire.
Personally, I love sampling in electronic music and in hip hop. I think it’s an incredible archival ethos that takes remarkable talent to execute well. But it was unfortunate how the most successful young artists (who created the most bangin’ tracks!) ended up taking the biggest beatings at the hands of an overpowered legal team stomping out independent artists in the name of copyright’.
Understanding he was very busy with preparations and all, I mentioned this was already enough for a really nice article and we could leave the other questions, unless there was anything else he would like to add. This was the answer;
‘I’d hate to leave it on a note about me griping about copyright bs that I barely know about! And hopes for the future are pertinent!
I’m getting ready to take a leave of absence from Vaporspace at the end of October, after our Halloween show. My partners, Sound Market and FORGOTTEN_VCR, are going to keep Vaporspace running, continuing to make space for musicians and video artists to create and share their incredible art in this wonderful online club’.
I’m beyond grateful that we’ve been able to work with so many talented people, and I’m overjoyed that the remarkable Vaporspace team is continuing this mission to grow a vibrant scene for vapor-artists and their many fans’.
Again, big thanks to Vaporspace StL! Find them on linktree – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Twitch. It will be a joy to keep following you. I will add you to the Spotlight page and hope to keep up with updates 😂 And Ronny, thnx so much, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, wishing you all the best!
Everyone, tune in!! I’ll see you online ❤