Defining Success


From WaveTV blog editor and musician, Caleb Welch, AKA Kaebl, comes a heartfelt examination of his own work and how he defines his own success in regards to music.


Synthwave is dead. Rock is dead. Punk is dead.  ____ is dead. Etc, etc, etc.

You ever find yourself thinking, “Yeah, fuck you, no it’s not. ___ isn’t dead, ___ is life!”? Cause if you did, you’re not wrong. Passion is what drives a genre, not content. For every genre out there, however minuscule or obscure, there’s someone pouring their entire existence as a human being into it. Even into such genres as forgettable as ambient noise (no offense to ambient noise musicians, but… you know what you signed up for). I like to think about how Kurt Cobain, ever the champion of the ironic, at the height of his career once wore a shirt that boasted “Grunge is Dead”. Keep in mind, he was the face of grunge.

So when I log into a group like the Wave Cave to see what’s going down and I see that it’s lost activity; and I see that it’s become a link dumping ground; and I see that people, nay even the founders of the group are spouting stuff like “Synthwave is dead!” — I laugh a bit. By dead, do you mean, “We’ve fallen out of the center of attention!”. Because if you do, I think you’re worried for no reason. For the people who like the sound of 80’s nostalgia, and retro emulations, now’s a great time to be producing. Is it something that your average everyday person is going to like? I think the answer is obvious — well maybe not so… In which case, I’ll tell you, people are more interested in the artist then they are the art they make. Take Taylor Swift for example, do you like her music? No, yes? Her music is catchy, right? But why do people dig her so much? It’s her carefully crafted persona, it’s the team of people that engineer her art into a product to sell to the masses.

We assume that it’s absolutely ludicrous to expect that any of us can find the same success someone like her has in our bedrooms with a few synths, a midi keyboard, a microphone and a laptop — but you know what’s really astounding? The fact that we persist. That passion drives and compels us to create this art. It’s the passion that brought Taylor to where she is today, so why doesn’t it work for us?

Well it works for some of you to a degree, but I’m guessing not to the degree you’d like. Everyone wants to be successful but I think what’s really in order is a reassessment of what success even is. If I asked you what success is, what would you say? Take a moment and define it for yourself…

Is it selling your music? Is it seeing a crowd in front of you? Is it something more, something less? Defining your success is something personal to each artist and even more it’s something that changes as you yourself change. Maybe now it will be getting likes on SoundCloud, but later it may be selling this music, or performing live, or even being a (relatively) famous artist associated with the genre. Setting your sights high is never a terrible idea, for what was it that one guy said, about landing among the stars after shooting for the moon? I forget his name…

You wanna know how I define success for myself? It’s knowing that I’m constantly growing as an artist. If I had a dollar for every song on my SoundCloud I deleted because it made me cringe after months of thinking it was the coolest thing I’ve ever done, I’d have enough money to buy a time machine that I would use to recapture the victory I felt when I first posted them. Walking through those songs that remain that I didn’t have the heart to send to oblivion is like literally watching myself grow as an artist and I couldn’t ask for a better example that I’ve become better at what I do; that I have a creative style; that I have an identity that I express through my music even if it isn’t conventionally successful.



The next section of this blog post delves into a history of the evolution of my music on SoundCloud and other places.  I’m inviting you to listen to how I’ve grown as a musician. You may cringe, like I did when listening to these. It represents 5 years of growth. If you’d really rather not, you can just skim through and really just scroll down to the end — that’s where the point really lies.


Along the way, I’ve noticed that I’ve never been one to tie myself to any single genre. Ever the eclectic, I’ve gone from genre to genre like Tarzan jumping from tree to tree. It usually was in line with what currently fascinated me musically at the time; In highschool I was in a garage band and we thought we were grunge, so we played shitty half-baked rock music; after that I started making music on my own, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just went with the flow and stuck to what I knew. I made some sort of psuedo-metal music that never found an audience with bandmates that I wound up falling out with. After that I took my first attempts at electronic music, at the time I didn’t know what I was doing so I downloaded a free program I forget the name of entirely. At the time I had a love affair with Massive Attack, so I thought it was my mission in life to make TRIPHOP, here’s the little diddy that came from that

Later I upgraded from that shitty sample based program to Ableton. At the time, dubstep had been growing in popularity so I looked up tutorials on how to make it. It was interesting to me, but I never pulled it off.

Here’s my first electronic song. A monstrosity, really. What was I thinking?

This next one was a little better, but what’s that description read? …

“Just something I made with Ableton Live 8 and a little vodka hahah”

At least it was closer to a real song, as far as genre goes? Maybe I was inching backwards towards trip hop

I’m gonna do us a favor and not include the shitty version of it I made by adding a glitch filter to the MASTER track. You can’t see it right now, but I’m facepalming myself.

Later I tried experimenting on my own with the program and came up with this in the same year, a bit more trip hop, but, not conventional. Looking back, I’d say it’s … unique, but I utilized some less than …. good techniques that made it ultimately kind of annoying to listen to.

This is when I learned about samples.

Then I became infatuated with The Glitch Mob and I wanted to make music like them! I had completely forgotton about Massive Attack… Or so I thought, listening to this makes me think that they were always in the back of my mind. My producing skills improved but they weren’t really there yet, were they?

Frustrated that I couldn’t make the music I wanted, I went back to the drawing board and continued to experiment. I made a plethora of songs that found their way to a landfill, rotting somewhere in the hardrive a busted laptop. As I searched to find my voice, I did everything from conventional to avant guarde involving porn samples (thankfully among those rotting in a dump). Nevertheless, I was getting better from my first foray. In this track, I didn’t understand how EQ’s work, and I used a lowpass filter on the master track to add dynamics by altering it’s automation. More facepalming… Nevertheless, River Styx remains one of those songs that I always think about, and I wish I still had the project files — maybe it’s because I was high when I wrote it, but crafting that song was nearly a spiritual experience.


After that I said, “Fuck this noise” and I went back to my first love, guitar. I used a loop station to play with myself, ha… playing with myself. I had grown from what I used to play and began to understand melody a bit more, but I was limiting myself in ways I never forsaw.

I began experimenting with that loop station and my keyboard, and wrote stuff like this too

I stopped giving a fuck and went back to my roots

Then I began a cringy acoustic phase where I was 3deep5me

But then I finally found a voice for myself when I recorded this song

I wrote a whole album after that because of that song, you can find it here.

During that process, I worked with a real producer in a studio (Chris Cunningham of Basecamp Recording) and he helped me understand what the process was like to record, and mix and master. I learned so much, I was inspired to go to college and learn about it. 

(It didn’t go over well.) I dropped out from that program several times. And throughout this cycle of taking music theory classes and music technology classes, I honed myself. I went through some challenging mental health issues at the time as well (which probably contributed to my failures in college), nevertheless I channeled that into music. I went back to trip hop —

Then I thought I wanted to make video game music, but I wound up mixing in some of my own experimental nonsense. I began to like my music more and more as I continued, and it began to get better.

I made more experimental music before I finally discovered synthwave; I even bought myself a decent microphone and began singing over it. The track ‘Just One,’ I would later remix to a better version of itself.

I started using my instruments in conjunction with electronic music too

Then I finally discovered synthwave. It seemed like this magical music that could capture a depth of thinking in a cinematic way that I couldn’t describe. The movie ‘Drive’ inspired me, then  my friend told me about the genre and all its musicians and I listened and listened and listened. I loved it.

I wish I could show you some examples of my starting synthwave stuff, but it’s nearly all deleted.




For every song I currently have on SoundCloud about 10 got deleted or never were even posted. I loved Synthwave so much; I joined Synthwave Producers — from there I joined the Wave Cave to hone my craft. I began making more and more and more and more.

The most successful of which (with 10 likes!) was probably, The Rouge… which… HOLY SHIT, I SPELT THAT WRONG!! Facepalming once again.

I got good enough to have a song find it’s way onto a compilation album, Brainwave.

Track # 19

Then something changed… I grew weary of synthwave… I still tried making it, but file after file after file piled up and there was nothing I liked. I even made a brief foray into vaporwave and just silly stuff like this

Soon, my inadequacies caught up to me. I was listening to more and more stoner rock, and I was obsessed with it. I had just joined a band and we were working on making some killer music but we never took off… I wanted to capture that feel into my electronic persona, so I began to make what I called Stoner Synth… I made by far my most popular song on my sound cloud, Pyschosurgery — which took over a year to perfect, and with the the help of Kendall Sandhop was properly mixed and mastered. For once I felt like I had true potential. I worked on a whole album of stuff like this, that sadly was never finished or released.

After a while, I found myself in a punk band, Halley’s Return. My interest in making electronic music started to diminish, but every now and then I found myself in the mood so to speak. I traveled through different avenues, hearkening back to every genre I’ve ever fancied. I wound up making some of the best Synthwave I’ve ever made!

I got really into Puscifer then I started making some minimal and moody music; along with reworking older songs into better mixes.

Piano driven stuff, my keyboard skills were growing

I was even able to cover a song I loved from a tv show by ear.

Finally my last foray into electronic music was going back to what I first got into it for, what I really wanted to do with it; make video game music

But then my punk rock band took off — I was playing shows all over the state. I had little time for this electronic music, and my interest diminished. It had served it’s purpose in making me a better musician. I still feel the itch to make this music, but far less often now that I have a live avenue for it.

I joined another band, and this is what I’m currently doing with my musical setup — recording stoner rock guitar riffs for future reference.

You may have noticed I took a harsher tone towards my earlier work than my latest — in regards to that, I think about something a friend once told me, “When you bake a cake, you’re better at baking cakes at the end of it then you were at a start of it”.  So when you define success for yourself, take a look at what you’ve already done. Watch yourself through your memories and know that you’ve grown, and that you will continue to grow. That’s what keeps me going. That’s how I define success.


“ScubaWave” FourFox [WaveTV Review]

WaveTV writer/reviewer and prolific music maker Patrick Keller (AKA Red Comet 3) got an exclusive listen to FourFox’s newest album, ScubaWave — now available on BandCamp and iTunes.

Strangely this album feels somehow both unassuming, if perhaps a little insubstantial, and simultaneously militant in it’s use of the types of syncopated chord stabs that would have been unacceptable 10 years ago. It never quite “gets there”, or rather I feel that it never really gets around to making it’s point clear to us as we listen. That being said this album does have a few things on it’s side, namely it’s quite musical, the hooks are hooky, and the engineering is flawless, if inoffensive.

Overall it’s very clean, crystalline and sparkly. There are a few interesting things, that I for one am glad someone is trying, for instance the tempo changes of Fox One are neat, and there’s some interesting squelchy bits on Big Fish, that actually threaten to be visceral, but never quite make it there, probably for the better. The album has a hip hop flair to it, reminding one of JJ circa 2010. It plays itself off with a cool self assurance, but unfortunately it’s tied it’s fate to an aesthetic long since past the tipping point of oversaturation. Thankfully the most overt nods to synthwave are rendered originally and sparingly.

I can’t think of anyone else making music like this, in that it has a since of realness about it that puts the vast majority of VST rockers to shame. I think all synthwave producers would do well to give this one a listen and sit quietly for awhile and think about what they’ve done.

FourFox definitely points in the right direction, modern EDM connotations and all. To be sure, FourFox could position himself to be at the forefront of a new kind of synthwave music, one more concerned with interesting bits of synthesis and a more eclectic take on rhythm, melodic structuring and production style. This brief batch of songs, however, is not the signpost type of album that signals that there’s a new sheriff in town, but perhaps it doesn’t want to be that album in the first place.

The album flies by, and indeed all of the songs do individually, never taking too long to establish their own themes, before subverting our expectations and going through a few variations. But this may be the most significant weak point of this album, it implies more than it says, almost as if it can’t be bothered to follow it’s own advice. It implies a larger

world just around corner, but doesn’t take you there before it’s short run time expires.

While there’s definitely something to be said about getting in and getting out, I for one wish that almost every song were longer, Daffy’s Luck for instance seems as if it comes and goes after having only just taken off it’s shoes and asked to exist for awhile. It has a great groove, which could stand on a big EDM stage, with it’s electro-swing posturing in the bass and ultra cool guy polysynth lines, but I feel like it doesn’t entirely mine the rich soil it creates.For those would be synthwavers out there, listen to this album instead of whatever other lukewarm, plastic detritus is littering soundcloud these days. Take note of the care and precision with which FourFox has structured his melodic anchors. Take note also, of his use of rhythm, and how he twists and molds it to his liking. Listen to the various waveshapes he’s fucking with and know that there are more sounds out there than whatever free plugin pack you torrented and aren’t tweaking. Minimalistic, certainly groovy, with a bunch of reverb properly deployed in all the right places, but also a bit of a lightweight when it comes to taking advantage of the mostly very strong musical ideas it puts forth.

I like this music, but for me personally it doesn’t draw me in to it’s world, but maybe my expectations are just slightly above where FourFox was ever intending to go with these songs, they do come off with a certain vaporwave-eqsue throwaway quality that can be quite charming, but I’d rather hear the extended cuts, even if they went too far, atleast I would know how far this extremely capable and smart arranger and producer was willing to go.



Kendall Sandhop (member of Brothercom), founder and manager of Wave TV, had a pretty a e s t h e t i c chat with Cody Troglin, AKA the incredibly prolific and talented artist, PZA. This marks the 7th interview in an ongoing series of artist to artist interviews hosted by Wave TV.

What is your favorite Pokémon?

Alakazaam or Snorlax tough call

How did you first hear about vaporwave?

When I first heard vaporwave it was in around 2010 on gorillavsbear they had a James Ferraro mix and I listened and was like whoa I need more.

Does the genre of p i z z a w a v e include other artists, or is it exclusive to your music?

Pizzawave is open to anyone who wants to claim the genre. I created it so obviously I need to keep evolving the sound.

You were producing other types of music before you invented p i z z a w a v e , right? Give us a little bit more on your musical background.

I was super into Slowdive/Ride/MBV just shoegaze with elements of pavement and Mac Demarco but I started out making hardcore music in high school HxC

What are your thoughts on Spotify potentially purchasing SoundCloud?

Fucking do it, it’s all capitalism… so it’s expected that $ will ruin something good.

How long do you typically spend making each of your tracks?

The longest I spent on a song was 2 days no sleep just depressed and lonely the fastest was about 10 hours

How many different record labels are you on now?

No idea I’ve lost count at this point.

I have your album Purecaster on tape and I think it’s a great piece of work. How many physical cassette tapes have you put out so far?

11 or so there’s more coming out but I don’t want to commit on it until it’s ready to be released.

They say  v a p o r w a v e is dead. What do you think about that?

I don’t think vaporwave is dead. I think it’s evolving more and more. I mean with releases coming out from King Quartz, Christtt, Balents, Sea of Dogs, Nmesh, Telepath, Persyn, HKE, I mean I could keep going and going. Because look at the scene it’s only evolving into even greater sound than where it started.

You flood everyone’s feed with memes on the daily. How much time would you say that you spend on Facebook every day, just reposting memes?

I spend about 3 hours online just posting through all the pages I follow. I love comedy and memes are a great window to laugh instead of just totally being in bed crying wishing I had a cool dog or something. Shoutout to animals because they rule.

Let’s have your top 5 favorite musical artists at the moment, any genre (besides v a p o r w a v e ).

Slowdive/Mac Demarco/The beach boys/GG Allen/Ride

Ok now let’s hear your top 5  v a p o r w a v e and/or synthwave producers.

KING QUARTZ/ PERSYN/ VHS DREAMS / SEA OF DOGS / BALENTS (all seriously close pals of mine)

What is the future of v a p o r w a v e?

More new fascinating tones and more experimentation with sound and probably just pizza everyday.

Check out PZA on bandcamp and soundcloud today!



Kaebl, musician, admin of the Wave Cave Facebook page and editor of the Wave TV blog, discovered Logan Presley (AKA Organelle Spy) through the Wave Cave and listened to an album he released just a day before. He reviewed it in real time, here are his thoughts on the album.


There’s so many talented, undiscovered artists out there.  Through groups like the Wave Cave, you can find a lot of them. Some of them want to ask other artists for advice, others want to get there stuff out there. Some just do it for fun.  In either case, the Wave Cave exists for networking between artists, and getting undiscovered artists of any level more exposure.

Logan Presley is one of those artists. Age 23, from Valley Springs, Arkansas, he started his project as Organelle Spy (an anagram of his own name) in early 2016. An experimental vapor/vaportrap artist, he started gaining interest in the genre after his cousin Cody Troglin (PZA) introduced him to it sometime last year. His favorite artists include PZA, Taffy Fang, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound, ODB, early Ducktails, Balam Acab, and Noah Lennox.

Phosphenes is Organelle Spy’s 9th album, available on bandcamp.

Now… Onto the review!


On the whole : The use of delay has been very prevalent in this album giving it a very cohesive feel. There’s a lot of use of rhythmic breaks and Organelle Spy’s selections of sounds and samples are great. The hi-hats in most of the tracks is kinda static, I felt as if there could have been a change in panning, velocity or filter to make it more dynamic. The tracks lead into each other very well, creating a sort of wave of tempos, from slow to fast and fast to slow. There were a couple strange sounding leads and samples that didn’t seem to fit at first but then I realized that they serve as counterpoint to create a unsettling feel like “What am I doing in an abandoned mall?”. Overall I’d give it a 8/10. Favorite Track: Rosemary Mint

Lobby — the sample he uses is very calm and when the vox comes in it reminds of a track from Hotline Hiami. It has several parts, good progressions and transitions.

Jacuzzi — is very ambient and chill, the phaser creates a very watery effect when combined with the leads and hi-hats reminiscent of jets in a hot tub so the name is apt. The vocal sample near the end is very cool– the ending itself catches me off guard in a good way.

Espresso — this track utilizes a very cool technique with the rim hit that reminds of Macintosh Plus. The drop into the vocal sample is dissonant and kind of scary — possibly representing the effects of caffeine; it kind of fades back into harmony while still being subtly dissonant. The break up of rhythm afterwards is refreshing and I really like the glitch reverse cymbals after that — refreshing break from the hi hats.

Dark Chocolate — very cool chill pure tone lead part in the beginning, after a jarring transition the guitar sample is very relaxing. There’s a couple of breaks in rhythm and interesting percussion part that sounds fairly unique.

Blacklight — this one is metallic and whispery, with ambient undertones in the beginning, much slower temp then the rest which is a nice change in tone for the album at the beginning of its second half. The heavy portmanto lead in the beginning sounds goofy in a good way, like being stoned and jumping from cloud to cloud ala Mario World 3. The delay effect and rises create a tension that battles the relaxing feel creating a strange emotional sensation.

Bad Trip — I’ve had a bad trip once, this embodies one fairly well. It’s starts of with an rhythm that’s displaced and more elements come in — its a very much an intentionally unsettling effect. IT reaches a climax than resolves its way down signifying the end of delusions and hallucination.

Rosemary Mint — Very euphoric and uplifting, a good contrast from the last track. The sub bass sounds fucking wonderful; it transitions from chill to badass back to chill.

Light Mist — the vocal samples and sine lead are very trippy, and the ambience of the album reaches it’s climatic conclusion. Evokes heavy waves. Some vibrato chip leads come in that don’t really seem to fit the rest of the track, like maybe you’ve gone too far from shore, but later it goes back to relaxing waves like you’ve decided you no longer give a fuck. Organelle Spy saved his best for last.


Support artists like Organelle Spy, get Phosphenes today!



Kaebl, musician, admin of the Wave Cave and editor of the Wave TV blog, sat down and recorded his thoughts on fellow Wave Cave admin, Taylor Christian Russel’s latest release: WAVEPUNK.


If you’re like me, you’re probably getting bored of all the generic copycats out there in the scene. Or if the style in general: it’s stagnating because somewhere along the line the status quo took over. It isn’t about the art anymore so much as it is about the aesthetic or false nostalgia. If you’re like me, you grew up listening to rock and roll, and music featuring live instruments. Grunge, post grunge, hard rock, stoner rock, metal; music with a live feeling and music with emotion. Seems like that hard, loud angry and angsty feeling I grew up listening to is lost in modern music, especially in this specific scene. For a while I was okay with that… but that part of my mind never died, it just feel asleep. Now it’s awake screaming at me: “Where’s the emotion? Where’s the performance? I want to feel something when I listen to music again!”. And that part of me is right… I want to hear what the artist’s soul has to say; not just trying to emulate other artists or finding a sound. I want to hear a reflection of the artist. I want my music to be real again.

And that’s what WAVEPUNK has done.

I listened to it over the course of a weekend and wrote my thoughts down in real time for each track, and I gotta say overall, this album is amazing, unique and refreshing – it’s like a beautiful, busted-up and bandaged neon, punk-rock diamond among the rocks. Everything ties together and if you listen closely enough, you can hear a story being told. This an album that you need to hear all the way through, there’s no dull moments. The album art by the way ties into this emerging style perfectly by the way: a great combination of early punk rock and 80s aesthetics – WAVEPUNK! So without any further dicking around, here’s the rest of my review…


Starts off with a hypnotic feel, and pulls you in gradually, then the drums come in and you’re transported, through a portal perhaps. The space of the song is large and full of awe. It’s breathing in you in and makes you feel like you’re weightless, observing some fantastic cosmic wonder in slow motion.


You Get Me High


Chelsea Owen of Oceanside85

Where Terraform took you, is the alleyway to a sleazy bar. The guitar is so dirty and and the synths flutter as you enter the bar. Oceanside85‘s vocals fit this track perfectly, it’s got a very live feeling that I think is rare in this scene. This isn’t just a song for a drive at night, this is a song for kicking ass. “When I get low, you get me high” is such a catchy lyric, and I’m sure that it applies to a lot of people.


In Too Deep


The next track, In Too Deep, starts off super ominous, with a beat that once again pulls you in, but this time there’s a bit of hesitant anticipation, like you’re not sure what you’ll find behind the door. You open it and it’s a kind of fucked up scenario, but you’re on a mission, so you carry on. This IS Stonersynth. It’s down-tempo, dark, driving, hypnotic and sleazy. TCR fucking slays the guitar, and not in a show-offy way that many other guitarists are won’t to do. He uses it artistically; it fits the mood perfectly for what could be a grimy, action, detective movie. TCR should be scoring films


Desert Rose

The album takes a turn and brings you too a saloon in the west. The west but populated by neon cowboys. Synth-western. A style never yet heard before… The chorus invokes a bit of Stevie Nicks. The crescendo and following fade out leaves you with a haunted feeling. Like your trip to the past has ended.



Taylor Christian Russel, AKA, THE TCR


Right away this song lets you know that the dark is coming. This feels like a return to dark-wave and outrun. The feeling of dread in this track is palpable. But, lo! Help has arrived; You’re not alone in this fight. You’re given the strength to fight till the end. The solo in this song is face-melting.

Darth Spader II


Seems we’ve come to some happier shores; this song evokes immense feelings of nostalgia – it’s very emotive and when the lead guitar comes in, it pierces into your soul and gives you the urge to dance. A lot of nuwave influence here that is pretty pleasing artistically, it provides a moment of calm– a sort of eye of the storm in this album.


From Underground


This track is heavily reminiscent of the Tron Legacy soundtrack to me. In the album I’d say it works as a kind of interlude or a change of scenery; a dark follow up to Darth Spader II. The bell tones have a really great melodic effect that evokes a bittersweet feeling; representing a Pyrrhic victory of sorts.


Death Disco


Wanna know what it sounds like in a nightclub populated by vampires, zombies and skeletons? Well this track will take you there friend.


What We Do is Shadows (feat Stillz)


This collaboration with Stillz goes back to the Synthwestern feel the Desert Rose first introduced. With a gradual and epic buildup it seems like a tumbleweeds are moving past in slow motion as the protagonist and the villian get ready for a shoot out at high noon. All while maintaining a retro and electronic feel. Masterfully executed. Did I mention TCR should be scoring movies yet? My favorite has to be the “whistle” sine waves near the end with the pitch bending. There’s something I really love about that; I remember the first time I heard anything like that was from the Metroid Prime II soundtrack– when you’re in the water area.


Wicked Waltz (Interulude)


This track is the perfect outro to the last song; punctuating the aftermath of a gun battle perfectly.


We Are Electric


Starts of really strong with guitar chords– rare in synth music. Then the bass comes in and lets you know you’re in for a ride. It’s atmospheric and tense, then hits the gas pedal for a drive through the night on a dusty gravel road. Harvest moon piercing the clouds in crimson red light. As red as the cherry on your cigarette; which as the guitar comes in you toss out the window and put the pedal to the metal. You’re king of the fucking road. This track can imbue you with power if you let it.


After the Burn


This song is the last track on the album, and functions as an outro to the powerful ballad that was We Are Electric. This song is a remake of an older song of TCR’s by the same name; I recognize it from the Fratelli85 show on Happy Tentacle Radio. The melody and sonic structure in this track summon immense feelings of nostalgia, and of optimism. Which makes it a perfect track to end a superb album on: I’m definitely looking forward to more TCR’s creative and unique releases.


You can listen to WAVEPUNK for free on Soundcloud (embedded below) , but I HIGHLY recommend you visit Raindragon’s Bandcamp and buy it!

I would like to also mention that TCR’s EP Snake & Dragon is a wonderful sister album to this. Thanks for reading, now go out and buy TCR’s music!



Music has reached such a low point that newcomer artists are actually AFRAID to ask for a price when they put their music online, out of fear that they’ll be criticized… That’s so unacceptable! Ask a few bucks, you’re making a statement…”

Brendon Hicks, producer and Wave Cave admin (Crystal Bear!) engaged in a conversation with one of the coolest personas in the scene right now: George Dervenagas (VHS DREAMS). Such topics as the validity of vaporwave’s ironic consumerist mentality, how the era of Name Your Price has affected musicians, and cliche Synthwave tropes were not safe from this interview! This is the sixth interview hosted by WAVE TV in a series of artist to artist interviews with talented, undiscovered artists.


Artist to Artist with Crystal Bear! (that other Canadian Synthwave artist)

Many of us have heard of George Dervenagas A.K.A. VHS Dreams, whose latest remastered release “TRANS AM” was released to much fanfare. I’ve always had a deep respect for him and I loved the shit out of his latest release. The artist also heads “Pool House Ltd.”, a music label that specializes in bringing a multitude of genres (Vaporwave, Future Funk) to the forefront. Some of the incredible talents include Bubble Keiki バブル景気 , GH, LifeMod and of course Karate King空手王 . Pool House Ltd. seeks to separate itself from other electronic indie labels with interesting and risque artists/releases.As a jealous untalented artist who wants to steal his stems, I have been given the opportunity to ask a few questions.


Why are you so mysterious Mr. Dreams?

Mysterious? Me? I am a whore of publicity, I love exposing myself* to the public! Every aspect of my personality and life is reflected on the music I make obviously therefore, by gaining an insight in all of this, one can understand my music in a deeper extent; maybe even to the extent I perceive my own work right? Interestingly enough, last night as I was sleeping I had a dream where I was supposedly having an exhibition in some gallery or something, but had no artworks there at all. Someone was asking me why I haven’t got any art made, ever, yet call myself an artist. I said “I am the art itself”. What an amazing dream that is, isn’t it?

*editor giggles

What would constitute a perfect day for you? (I would assume it would be not having to answer inane questions from an idiotic Canadian who is a complete hack/fraud and sellout)

Doing nothing else but daydreaming while lying on the beach during a hot day, under the shade of a pine tree. That’s my ideal day. I’ve actually done this before. It would also have to not involve answering inane questions from an idiotic Canadian who is a complete hack/fraud and sellout!

Do artists just like hearing themselves talk? 😉

I sure do. Everyone else does too, but they won’t admit it. If you talk too much about yourself you risk of being considered self-indulgent which can be frowned upon. But at the end of the day, who cares really? Look, I was born in a shitty country, raised in a shitty village, fought depression for seven years and went through tons of shit after that just to manage and get the little recognition I’ve got so far. Boasting and bragging about your accomplishments is an act of rebellion in itself when society has tried to shut you down on every occasion. Hmm, I think I’m gonna take the “post ‘n’ boast” approach on social media from now on.
Do you ever find the drama in the scene tiring?

No, I quite enjoy it! It gives me the laughs. Is life interesting without drama? As long as people are honest and not afraid to express opinions, speak out or criticize others there will be drama, people will clash with each other for their different stances in life, art, everything. Both harmony and chaos are welcome. So I say let there be drama, otherwise your scene will be as socially interesting as a tea party in Buckingham Palace.
What was the main motivating factor in starting Pool House Ltd? Is it the best thing since Casco’s Cybernetic Love?

On the conceptual side, the label is pledged into promoting and continuing one of the main styles of Vaporwave that I can briefly describe as slowed-down old tracks that evoke summer and “feel-good” vibes. We certainly lean more on the Floral Shoppe sound than ambient or experimental Vaporwave. On the ideological side of things, the label is in favor of sampled material and preferably as cheap and lazy as possible because it was born out of my need to exercise my ideas against extreme copyright control and traditional “art-making” notions. It really was a plunderphonics ideal that gave birth to the label. About “Cybernetic Love”; asking an irrelevant second question after the first is an obvious ripoff of Karate King’s interview style.

What makes your label different from other labels, specifically, what separates you from the labels who steal from their artists?

That I don’t steal from my artists! (laughs) Vaporwave labels commonly do not charge for music, so there’s nothing to steal like some Synthwave labels do. However I always put a minimum price on my artists’ releases, 1 pound, to make a small statement and hopefully incite the fans to think like “Hey this guy makes cool stuff I enjoy, I’ll toss him 2-3 bucks for that”. You should see the artists’ reaction when at the end of each month they receive any money their fans give to them. It makes them feel tangibly rewarded, and gives them hope that they could become full-time artists in the future! Even better, they might make a living out of slowing down other people’s songs. What else do you want in life?

Why should people care about physical releases in relation to the common person who doesn’t give a fuck about things like tapes or even Vinyls/CD’s? Are you trying to get rich off the backs of hard-working fans who spend 20 thousand dollars on synths they never use?

I think the main reason someone wouldn’t give a fuck about physical releases is that they haven’t been initiated into it. The question could be something like; why should people care about collecting stuff? Should they care? I don’t know. I just think it’s great to have a collection of music records. Most people have a collection of things they like anyway if you think about it, be it clothes, video games, shoes, gadgets et cetera. If you really like music and you like to own things you’ll end up buying CD’s anyway. It’s a tangible object and feels better than simply listening to music on YouTube; you now own it, it’s yours. I wouldn’t try to convert people into getting cassettes or vinyl if they don’t care about music enough. These items are collectibles designed for a specific type of music lover anyway. And wait.. are there any fans who spend 20.000$ on synths they won’t use, but buy music? Where do I find them?

How does Pool House Ltd. help to foster the communication between listener and artist…between label and artist? How do you ignore people who want free music all the time and who just want to “Collab bro”?


George a.k.a VHS Dreams is CEO and Founder of Pool House Ltd. a UK-based record label presenting styles such as vaporwave, deep house, tropical, nu disco and chillout.


I just ignore them, that’s all (laughs)! I try to bring the artists closer to the audience by letting the people identify with an artist’s themes, music and persona. It’s important for me that I take time with each artist that comes through the label to create this recognizable and distinct persona that gets transmitted via imagery, leitmotifs and music. LifeMod equals clouds in a cyber landscape, Bubble Keikiバブル景気 is a virtual plaza’s dream, GH comes out as an online party of some alternate 90’s and Karate King空手王 is a sensual experience on an internetic tropical shore. I find the key elements each artist brings to me and package them accordingly so that the listener can connect to them in special ways. I can only hope that our fans enjoy that experience!



Should music be made for purely artistic reasons? Do artists just inherently like starving themselves to death?

I don’t understand that concept. The ideal of the starving and suffering artist is a leftover of sad and ruined people that glorify failure. Instead, making your dreams come true through perseverance and determination; now that’s the true romantic ideal.

What’s your opinion on artists/labels who choose to follow the “Name Your Price” method of selling their music? Should it instead be renamed to “Free?”

If everyone has a “NYP” on their releases the scene will be left with no money, and money is what’s needed for a scene to begin taking off. Fans need to be shown that you need that money of course, ’cause if you give them the option to get everything for free you’re essentially telling them that you don’t need it. Which is good if you really don’t, as an individual, but if this happens on a “scene” level then expect no more that staying an internet niche for ever. Music has reached such a low point that newcomer artists are actually AFRAID to ask for a price when they put their music online, out of fear that they’ll be criticized… That’s so unacceptable! Ask a few bucks, you’re making a statement that you need that money to keep on making music and that people who contribute to you are actually helping you make your dreams come true. And of course true fans always reward their favorite artists tangibly.

Why do you charge so much for your music?


$6 is apparently too expensive in a NYP and free streaming era.


Because I deserve it! Also I’m in a constant risk of giving up if I don’t make a living off music. I might also be a money-grabber, but that’s something you’ll only speculate about and never have a definite answer hehehe.

Will you be taking Gold Doubloons as currency?

Sure! Roman Sestertii are also accepted! Anything that can be then sold and make even more money for me is accepted.

Adam Harper of Electronic had written that There are those who suggest (as I did) that vaporwave can be heard as an evocative conceptual project, and there are those (many of them the musicians themselves) that maintain that it’s just a bit of fun. Both sides are right and wrong, depending on the release in question, what you’re looking for, and how you want to listen.

Do you agree with this statement? Is Vaporwave really a criticism on commercial culture or a creative re-appropriation and celebration of it, or does it depend on the release itself? What separates the Macintosh Pluses from your 2814s?


Easily recognizable vaporwave albums.

I totally agree with that statement, it’s down to each artist depending on what he/she wants to do and say through it. For me what really separates Macintosh Pluses from 2814’s is that making Vaporwave with original compositions and instrumentation has no point ’cause this way it becomes just another genre that favors traditional music-making processes and ideals. The joy of sampling and making weird fun out of whatever track you sample is a unique aspect of it I think. The world needs this. The world has had enough of traditional music-making output and its ideals forced upon us. The world needs order-defying fun and a heavy dose of absurdism right now. I seriously prompt everyone to get into Vaporwave, Witch House and other internet genres that don’t require talent to be made at their basic level. Why should art be something only the talented few can do?

On the nature of copyright law, John Oswald stated that Professional developers of the musical landscape know and lobby for the loopholes in copyright. On the other hand, many artistic endeavours would benefit creatively from a state of music without fences, but where, as in scholarship, acknowledgement is insisted upon.”

Do you think that copyright law should be circumvented in the pursuit of creative expression and is acknowledgement of the sources used required? Why use samples as opposed to just original material entirely? (i.e What is Plunderphonics?) and is giving something a fancy term (Plunderphonics) just another way of dressing up copyright infringement?
I stand against copyright the way it’s implemented in general. Worse than that there are generations of musicians, many of them geniuses, that have been brought up by this idea of “this is mine” when it comes to music. It’s not only yours, it’s also everyone else’s. It belongs to the public conscience. Music and art would benefit from acknowledgements instead of lawyers and publishing companies trying to place walls and grab money. Plunderphonics are essentially a radical reaction to this, a protest via deliberate plagiarism and unauthorized sampling for creative purposes. I’m all for that. Most of my retro-inspired and Synthwave works plagiarize the “vibe” of other tracks and in some occasions contain unauthorized samples (examples include “Miami’s Finest” mimicking Jan Hammer’s “Payback” and Trans A.M. using slap-bass and kick samples from a popular 80’s track while at the same time mimicking Dance 2 Trance’s “We Came In Peace” in many aspects). My next release will include a lot more obvious sample use.

What kind of pirated VSTS do you use?

Those that are too expensive to currently buy. Usually it’s those that also have many presets. VHS Dreams is built on presets EQ’d on a ridiculously absurd level. I don’t think I’ll ever waste much time creating sounds from scratch, I’d rather just entertain people.

Is “Synthwave” dead? How many times can one person listen to “A Real Hero” without physically exploding? (I still like that track btw.)


“Real human being…”

I started listening to Synthwave at early 2013. Admittedly there were more interesting stuff back then ’cause it was the beginning of the formation of this core of producers doing this. Now it has been reduced to formulaic tracks and low standards are accepted. Those producers could stop making “80’s music” and instead make something interesting that hasn’t been done before. They could also stop being so hostile against anything that doesn’t abide by the formula. Identifying your sound with a certain era is cool, but look at what Chromeo or Lifelike  do and compare it to the general standards of Synthwave, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Is Facebook even necessary for promoting ones music? How many dog/cat videos can one watch before physically exploding?


Editor: “Thanks for giving me excuse to use this picture!”

At the start it is a great way to promote yourself. Especially when it comes to scenes like the aforementioned, where the press doesn’t give a damn it is quite a necessity. It’s sad that it is hard to escape it as a promotional tool, but it’s even harder to find outlets that are interested in covering these types of music. I personally find it a great way to directly communicate with fans, it’s great!


Do you blame Canada for Synthwave? (Famous hunk Ryan Gosling is Canadian.)

Miami Nights 1984 is also from Canada so yeah I blame you guys for unleashing this 80’s travesty upon us!

You mentioned in a recent podcast (Jonathan Hayes from Deep Web, check it out here at that Synthwave artists are logos making music.

Am I a logo that makes music? (Life as a triangle can be physically demanding…)

Everyone will go through that, it’s the first stage in someone’s career, then artists move into expanding and presenting themselves in a whole and more direct manner as they grow. Most Synthwave artists are hiding behind a logo. You don’t know who they are, what they say, what they stand for. They try to separate the artist from the art. In a way, it’s funny to watch this happening. It’s also sad ’cause it’s the artist that matters. Without him/her there is no art. Remember what I said above about how the artist is the art itself. If you’re afraid to express personal opinions or make a stand ’cause you might spook fans away, or prefer to hide behind some myth you created for your moniker then I don’t know what to think. Where they prefer a myth for themselves, I prefer reality for VHS Dreams.

Do you find the reliance of retro tropes and aesthetics (i.e action movies, and sci-fi imagery, grids, and scantily clad women) in regards to the “Synthwave ” scene to be


Gridscapes, Action, Retro fonts, Magenta and Cyan are common tropes of synthwave aesthetics.

overused? Should we embrace or just say “Fuck it?” to the overused cliches?

Cliches are fun to work with, but they bore me after a while, not to mention how they over-saturate the picture. The most entertaining thing to do is to take cliches and put them out of context though, or just present them in a new way. There’s no need anymore for overdone cliches of course. It’s time for Synthwave producers to get unstuck from the 80’s action movie trope and do something that’s new.



Should we just find new things to steal from in regards to the 80s culture that we were never apart of?

There are things to steal from the 80’s culture that most retro-influenced producers totally ignore, like House and Techno, there’s much more to that decade than cinematic soundtracks and lovey-dovey Synthpop. I personally love to steal from eras I haven’t lived or experienced. It’s like being a pseudo-archeologist, like.

To finish off, what upcoming and recent Pool House Ltd. releases should people be on the lookout for ? Any new plans for VHS Dreams?

We got two new artists, Perla Blue and Y2K coming soon, followed by our biggest thing yet; Volume 2 of “BUY NOW! Summer Vapors”, a compilation that includes some top tier names of the scene. in August. As for VHS Dreams, the rest of 2016 will be devoted on bringing TRANS AM into wax and releasing a couple of remixes and singles for the winter season. A new EP is coming in the summer of 2017, a continuation of the themes from TRANS AM and a lot different from what I’ve done in the past so far. Thank you for supporting me and I hope to see you around everyone!

Special thanks to George for letting me pointlessly waste his time. Please check out the Pool House Ltd. bandcamp at and VHS Dreams latest release “TRANS AM” at


[formatted and edited by Kaebl of Wave TV and the Wave Cave]


Harper, Adam “Pattern Recognition Vol. 8.5: The Year in Vaporwave” URL:

Oswald, John “Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative”


Hayes, Jonathan “Live From The Deep Web!”






PADDY: “If you wanna be good in something, practice. If you wanna do something properly, you have to practice 10,000 hours.”

MARK: Who does not prefer to see a cool show instead of staying all alone at home, bored to death?

Tim Waves, Brazilian illustrator, graphic designer, music producer (Miragem23) and associate of Wave TV and the Wave Cave had  a chat with two of the members of one of the most unique and exciting groups to emerge from the scene: Mark and Paddy of POWERNERD. Together they mused about how synthwave is evolving and what sort of inspiration it takes to fuse rock and synthwave together. This is the fifth interview hosted by WAVE TV in a series of artist to artist interviews with talented, undiscovered artists.


Hi! Tim Waves here AKA (Miragem23) for Wave TV!

Synthwave is a movement in ascent, and this is not new for us that, in some level, are tuned on the scene. We are seeing, increasingly, the influence of this movement in the mainstream media. But today, the power of this scene is not in mainstream, but right here (where?) in the internet underground, place of the best (and worst) artists of the universe since 3082. Speaking of power, today you can check a talk that I had with Paddy, producer and songwriter on studio and bass player/singer on live performances of POWERNERD, one of the best synthwave bands (yes, band!) right now!

Continue reading