Vaporwave is a genre that emerged in the early 2010s. It is often characterized by a nostalgic fascination with retro cultural aesthetics, commercial fragments, and technology, as well as a critical or parodic preoccupation with consumer capitalism, popular culture, '80s yuppie culture, and new-age tropes.
Vaporwave grew out of styles such as witch house and chillwave, as well as related internet communities. Musically, it is often characterized by its heavy use of samples from late '70s, '80s, '90s and early 2000s popular music as well as lounge, smooth jazz or elevator music. Samples are often pitched, layered or altered in classic chopped and screwed style.
Vaporwave is also home to a multitude of sub-genres, which include the following: mallsoft, which combines the typical vaporwave style with a reverb-heavy, atmospheric sound, and utilizes themes of shopping and the buildings in which it occurs - vaportrap, which typically puts ambient synths and pads with trap-styled drum patterns atop its samples - future funk, a more upbeat take on vaporwave that is reminiscent of nu-disco both in production and sound - vapornoise, which typically lathers the original vaporwave style with distortion and glitches - broken transmission, a sub-genre that takes any one of these styles (typically the chopped-and-screwed approach) and applies it to samples taken from commercials and similar media - utopian virtual, an approach that tends to involve sounds akin to MIDI sequencing and a heavily electronic sound, mostly themed around the concept of perfect life - hypnagogic drift, a more ambient take on the chopped-and-screwed style, making copious use of phasers and delay - late night lo-fi, a style that primarily samples funk and R&B to create a soulful atmosphere, and VHS pop, a style that combines the typical vaporwave style with punchy hip-hop beats.