My experience at 100% Electronicon

Table of Contents

Last Edited: Mon, 2020 Aug 31

1 Introduction

1.1 What is this?

This is a recollection and writeup of my experience at and around the 100% Electronicon festival. Although it is partially meant to be read by others, it is also meant to be a description of what I did and felt during the day, so that I myself can remember these events better while I read this. Therefore, the style of writing might resemble more of a diary entry (or collection of diary entries), but still, even for a diary entry, this description might be very Additionally, I like writing in a way that kind of reflects how I felt in the moment, so that I can better put myself into the situation I was in back then while I read this. I also therefore start a lot of sentences with "I" in succession. Typos are very possible.

The takeaway is: It might not be a very smooth read, but it wasn't meant to be one. Enjoy.

2 Backstory

2.1 Before the Festival

My best friend and I, who are both from Germany, had a long overdue big vacation together. I also owe my grandma in Los Angeles a visit every few years, and when I found out about Electronicon taking place right when I was planning to visit my grandma, I knew that the stars were aligned and I had to do it.

So here we are: My best friend (Huen Salvador) and I had a blast in Los Angeles, going to the Magic Castle, playing Smash (64 and Melee competetive scene), and just everything was awesome. The East Coast was next.

Before going to New York City, I stayed at David Shears' place in Baltimore, and Josh Brody also came around and we played a few friendlies. Shears, as always, is right about everything he says, especially about Pika being the worst character in the game. Now it's time for NYC. I am lucky that my cousin, who just moved to Manhattan, let me stay at her place. The last time I had been to New York City was sometime in 2000, and a second time maybe in 2002 or so, my great aunt lived there and part of my family is from there anyway. My mom also used to live there for almost 20 years in the 70s and 80s, "back when NYC was still cool", as they say.

On the 28th or 29th of August, I got a reply from Jeff Cardinal (VAPERROR, one of my favorite artists) that he was down to doing an interview with me as the interviewer. I had asked him a few days before about it, and he was very nice and welcoming about it.

3 The Meetup and the Concerts

It is August 30th in this section.

3.1 "Tape Swap" Meetup

There was a meetup a day before the festival, called "Tape Swap". The meetup was awesome. It was at a place called Meantime Co. in Brooklyn. The people selling tapes in front of the place (can somebody tell me who they were? I think they were (or at least in part) the people responsible for the meetup) were super friendly and very knowledgeable. I felt like a total scrub. I usually feel like I know a lot about vaporwave, but it's just like going to the University of Bonn for mathematics. This just is where all the supernerds are and you have to accept it and embrace it. They had copies of Nmesh's new MiniDisc release Dream Sequins. One of the guys there told me a bunch of cool trivia about MiniDisc. Apparently, there is only one place in the United States where they still make it or something. Also, according to that guy, it's almost impossible to get hard pressed MiniDiscs. Additonally, he also said that the recordable MiniDiscs (of which kind the Dream Sequins MiniDisc was of) do not degrade like normal CD-Rs do. I am unsure how accurate these facts are.

Dan Mason, Pad Chennington, and others I am forgetting to mention stopped by. That was sweet. The live sets were pretty sweet as well. When I came inside, people from the Private Suite magazine were selling their magazines and even limited soaps and bath bombs, which I thought was cool. I bought a copy, and they were super friendly. They also shared a table with Pacific Plaza records. Representing them was Trucks passing Trucks, who was super friendly and nice to talk to. I bought a few CDs (sadly all CD-R), including Trucks Passing Trucks' rectangular CD, which according to him has never been done before in Vaporwave.

I was considering to go to the show by HAWAII94, 18 Carat Affair and Surfing in Brooklyn. Trucks Passing Trucks told me about a party he was maybe going to at this underground place (that is underground famous) that is closing and having one of their last parties, which sounded interesting to me, and Flying Lotus also had a concert in NYC that night, of which I could still get tickets online. You see, this is what I hate about NYC: The city is so awesome, that I have to make a really hard choice between really great events. I will always envy the people who live here. I chose to go to the vaporwave performances, and it was all worth it.

3.2 The Concerts

I really enjoyed taking the subway through Brooklyn. The subways weren't "sub" all the time, in Brooklyn it is mostly more like a "super"-way (as in "over"-way instead of "under"-way), so I was able to see the sunset on my way to the concerts. It was just beautiful, and I really liked the atmosphere of streets being beneath the subway tracks. I even got to jump the turnstile (wow OMG I'm like sooo authentic). But it was all justified: there were two seperate turnstiles for the different directions, and I swiped my card at the turnstile for the wrong direction. It was a week pass card (35 bucks or so, really great price!), but still it didn't let me swipe again, it said something like "card already used", it is obviously a measure to prevent people from using a single card for multiple people. I am sorry for going into such detail about such a trivial detail.


I arrived at the station (along with others I met at the meetup), Myrtle Av. It was so pretty. The street with all the small stores and food places beneath the subway (that wasn't sub) tracks, the people, the lights, just the whole atmosphere in Brooklyn, I just love that. The concerts were at a place called Baby's All Right. The shows were amazing. I sadly missed most of HAWAII94, but I got to see 18 Carat Affair and Surfing. 18 Carat Affair had really cool visuals in the background, and after the show, I was able to ask him how he did it. He told me a bit about circuit bending and recommended the book by Reed Ghazala. I also had a short chat with both members of Surfing. I am not sure, but it could be that this event where it was revealed that Lee Nania of HAWAII94 was a member of Surfing.

After the concert, I went back home to Manhattan where my cousin lived and went into a grocery store. I randomly met 18 Carat Affair there again, that was pretty funny.

4 The day of the Festival

It is now August 31, obviously.

4.1 The main event

I arrived 15-30 minutes before the doors opened at the venue, Elsewhere. The line was obviously pretty long already and people were taking pictures and videos of the line, which was expected. This was the first glimpse of what people dress like for vaporwave events (well, actually second glimpse, I was at the meetup the day before, but they weren't the full spectrum of people). I was wearing

  • Hamilton brown double knee pants from Carhartt (older model with rivets)
  • a little oversized dark red flannel-like shirt by Eddie Bauer (out of profuction)
  • light pink socks with Teva sandals, with the stupid pattern on the straps
  • yellow handkerchief (RIP Franzi + Bert) around my neck (like Protoman, a.k.a. Blues)
  • grey cap with N64 controller ports
  • white and red with blue Adidas jacket with "TC Sport Treff" written on the back (when it was colder)

I have a mullet by the way, so yeah I am a vaporwave stereotype. The last haircut I got was about 1-2 months ago, and it was one of the best I have had yet, which is nice because it is not so easy to get a hairdresser that does a good-looking, let alone any, mullet. I didn't feel like wearing fan merch. For me, fan merch is for the outside world, for the normies, and being clothed in style of the scene is for inside festivals, concerts and events of any kind inside the scene. Some other people were clothed with fan merch, which to be honest was also very nice to see. A lot of people felt like they were clothed over the top, like low effort (2013?) vaporwave albums and album artwork were. But we all gotta embrace that shit. At least I didn't see too much outrun stuff. Sorry for gatekeeping.

I got the schedule while in the line, and after looking at it, I knew that I was going to miss the first half of ESPRIT's set. When I came in, I got the festival mixtape (on tape), which I was promised to get as I bought the ticket early. Apparently, I was one of the last guys to get it, a people just a few spots after me didn't get it anymore (according to some guy who told me).


Figure 2: The Electronicon schedule

I got in, and immediately got into the "Zone 1" floor, where ESPRIT's set was So yeah, I missed the first half of ESPRIT, but going inside, I had a blast. The visuals were interesting. I can't say much more than that. I wasn't really "in the zone" and couldn't go crazy or totally indulge myself. Yet.

Then there was Dan Mason in the "Hall", the main stage. Everyone was so hyped for Dan Mason. I have heard his music, but I never gave it enough time to sink in for me. I went in and out of his show, and needless to say it was awesome! He himself was also really enjoying it, and he got very emotional on set, I think he said something like "This is the best day of my life!".

During this time I checked out the rest of the venue: The roof (where NxxxxxS was playing) and the loft briefly. Behind the loft was a weird neon sign in the shape of a thumbs up and a thumbs down, and there was a button that when you pressed it, it alternated flashing the thumbs up and thumbs down neon light and then it stopped on one of the two. It was art and the description label said that you are supposed to ask it a question (it sounded more esoteric) and then press the button. Behind that room was a small room with chairs set up and a movie playing. The movie playing wasn't on loop, changed throughout the day. Eventhough I didn't spend any significant time there, I actually thought this was kind of cool, and I love parties where there are different forms of entertainment. Music and dancing, places to sit and talk like a bar (not really "entertainment", but still), an outside area, art to look at, and a quiet room with no dancing or talking, just like that room with the movie.

I went outside behind Zone 1. There was a merch stand where the Private Suite magazine people were, and I think they also shared it with other people who were selling t-shirts and stuff. I was able to talk to them and they were very nice. I told them about the interview with Jeff that I was going to do, and we discussed how it could be released in one of their future issues. Under the stairs that led up to the loft and further up the roof, there was the merch stand of the festival. I got the Electronicon poster and Green T-shirt. They were also selling white and black "100% Electronica" T-Shirts that said "New York" on them. That was interesting for me, as online the black ones say "New York", but the white ones say "Los Angeles". The people selling at the merch stand weren't able to tell me why, since they were from the Elsewhere venue. The poster also came with a sharpie, that I purposefully didn't make use of for the poster, and it also came with a glowstick on a string. The poster was a problem. I was able to store it in my backpack that was at the wardrobe, kinda, it was rolled up and I kept it rolled up with the string that was included with the glowstick. The poster got damaged a little (mostly due to much later having to carry it around again, more on that later). At that merch stand, a guy convinced me he was Nmesh, and since I don't know what he looks like, I fell for it. He said that Nmesh told him before that he should fool people as a joke because they look so similar, and I guess he succeded. Totally cool guy by the way. Shortly after I also saw a Nmesh merch stand in the Hall, where I bought the Dream Dream Sequins MiniDisc and a T-Shirt.


Figure 3: My damaged poster :(

I then checked out a little bit of christtt and FM skyline, who I got to meet and get a signed CD of EarthSim. As you know I can't miss out on CDs. Then Nmesh was on stage. If I am not mistaken, The big guy with the denim jacket (I think) who was responsible (or the organizer?) of the meetup on the day before was right on stage with him. I don't know what he did, I think it was the visuals, maybe also the music. The show was pretty sweet. He played some newer stuff (I think), and then the second half was mostly a mashup of Dream Sequins. I was so hyped when "Climbing the Corporate Ladder" was playing. I was hoping for his industrial stuff, but at the same time I knew that that wouldn't happen. Afterwards, I was able to meet him at the merch stand where he signed my MiniDisc. He also revealed to me that his "Hard Classiks" compilations were form 2004-2005, I think that's what he said. I am not completely sure if it was at that time, but if I am correct, then at that time there was this huge line for a copy of Saint Pepsi's "Hit Vibes" vinyl. I was just there to meet Nmesh lol (damn 2007 me would have never thought that I would be using "lol", I hated when people used that all the time IRL, now I do it my self, as always by first doing it ironically).

Then I did some more wandering. A little bit of Golden Living Room on the beautiful roof, and weird shit I've never heard before from "CREEPS", which was in Zone 1. They had merch there as well on a stand way in the back, very crowded though. And then I stumbled into Negative Gemini's show in the Hall. And wow. What a welcoming surprise. I have only heard of Negative Gemini, not listened to her music, but now I got to experience her music first hand, and it blew me away. The music was very electronic at times, which got me hooked, and she had this chillwavy style to her. Her outfit was super pretty: She had pink hair and a beige two piece outfit (I don't know how to call it, one was able to see her belly button ya know?). It had "CHA" written on her top and "NEL" on her skirt. That shit is kinda dumb and it kinda takes away from the aesthetic for me usually, but at the same time that's what vaporwave is all about, and in that way it actually adds to the aesthetic. She really knew how to make the crowd enjoy the show, and she engaged with the crowd a lot by going up close to it while singing and dancing. She even grabbed someones hand and let him scream into the mic, which is cheesy but still cool that there is so much interaction. I so much wanted to get close and freak out dancing, but I couldn't get there because everyone wanted to be in front I guess. She also took out her guitar, which was some kind of Jaguar (I mean what else would one choose for vaporwave), and later a drummer also joined her on stage. It was awesome. After her show I was able to meet her at the merch stand in the back of the Hall. She was super sweet. I told her that I liked her hair and asked her about how she did it, since I am considering to do the same with my hair on the back of my mullet. We started talking about bleaching and coloring a bit, and then she told me that the way she colors her hair is actually good for the hair (which is damaged by bleaching) since it is done with some kind of conditioner. Since I don't know shit about bleaching and coloring this was an interesting conversation to have, and also I just like asking people about how they do the stuff they do when I like it. I also wanted to ask her about the way she does her music but that is usually to involved for a conversation at a merch stand.

I then went ahead and bought the last "Negative Gemini Motel" keychain, which I got autographed. She said that she didn't have it made from a Hotel supply store or keychain manufacturer that made them for hotels, but she designed it specifically and had it made in China. It says "Room 7", and they all say Room 7 since 7 is her favorite number, which she told me later via email.

Then it was VAPERROR's turn on stage. I was sure to get in front this time. I was so hyped. VAPERROR's show was probably the most anticipated part of the festival for me. I was ready to have my world rocked. And boy did that happen. He immediately began with one of my favorite songs of his, "MistCorp '97", from his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 album. It works so well with a crowd. The visuals were crazy. He teased it on his twitter. It was a mixture of gameplay footage of some weird Undertale fight mode like thingy (please tell me what it is if anyone knows, it looks like he made it himself?), Earthbound, Super Mario 64, Tales of Symphonia, and more that I forgot. One moment everyone remembered (Pad Chennington mentioned it, I saw a written review that mentioned it and I even saw the clip), was where the crowd went wild when in the background Mario 64 was playing, and mario defeated the Big Bob-Omb on Bob-Omb Battlefield, and Jeff (VAPERROR) didn't get why everyone was cheering. I actually thought that was kinda annoying but whatever. He played stuff from Polychromatic Compiler (e.g. CD64), obviously Mana Pool (e.g. 808 Dreams), Acid Arcadia, I think also DJ Camgirl and Love Potion, and his newer stuff. He also played "That Thing U Do!" I think. I can't remember anything from System Delight, Et Al., or Illumina EP, but I am not sure, I can't remember everything. His newer stuff was so awesome and I am looking so much forward to his new release(s). Jeff was very energetic on stage and was dancing along. He talked alot between songs. His transitions were abrupt (I really don't want it to sound negative), and he sometimes spoke a few words between songs. He actually played a lot live, I remember seeing some kind of Akai MPD or something, it wasn't just effects and mixing, and he also played live on a synth which was really cool. Like a real concert. I can't believe that I am almost forgetting that these acts were all supposed to be concerts and not DJ sets. Sometimes the latter is what a lot of the shows felt like, and if there was singing, that was most of the music being done live, so it was nice to see VAPERROR doing a lot of the instrumental music live.

Then I took a small break. I just wanted to walk around and talk to people. This was during Equip's, Fire-Toolz' and Surfing's sets, which I walked through here and there. Pad Chennington told me about his Future Funk (and French house) set at the afterparty. Then I also met the Whitewoods guy who did this one video with a bunch of views with a vaporwavy style, before vaporwave was a thing (although Sunset Corp laready uploaded stuff, and Whitewoods even took some the same footage). I honestly can't recall what I did most of this time, but whatever. Maybe I also got to talk to George Clanton shortly, but I am not sure, I think that was later.


Figure 4: Whitewoods businesscard

Then it was time for telepath's concert on the roof. As mentioned by others, it was beautiful. The sun was setting, the lights were beautiful, and everyone had this aura of respect for the big telepath, who was in a shiny glimmery ghost suit to cover up their identity. It was cool, but I did go away for a bit just to see if I could find Jeff Cardinal, who I had been trying to contact via twitter messenger before, as he suggested (I actually don't use twitter, I did this all for him haha), since I thought this would be the best time for an interview. I then was finally able to see and talk to Jeff Cardinal, who was selling his and some of telepath's merch in the Hall. I bought a copy of telepath & Agia's The Light Of Our Love, signed by telepath (and this was the only hard pressed CD I could find on this trip). He was just packing his stuff to end his time at the merch stand, and I think we loosely said we would do the interview right after he packed his stuff. I got my backpack with my recording device, camera and headphones out and waited at the loft for him since it was quiet there, which I told him via DM on twitter, and he wanted to hit me up on twitter to confirm. Sadly, he didn't. I missed the rest of the telepath show for that reason (I watched the rest of it online on Vapor Memory's channel days later). Since I had all my stuff out, I had to carry around the rolled up poster, which was in the water bottle net on the side of my backpack, secured with the tightening thingy that is on the sides of the backpack. So some people bumped into me and the poster and it got some scars, as mentioned before.

Then there was the rest of George Clanton's show. The crowd was really having it. George was wild, he was stage-diving, the music was awesome, there were blow up aliens being released from a net that hung in the middle of the hall, I remember the crowd singing along with "Dumb", he played the guitar, in fact the exact same Jaguar as Negative Gemini, and I think he was the only act to use the lights that were arranged in a huge matrix in the background (the others had a white canvas infront of that to project the video onto), which looked pretty damn sweet. It really was a big show. I did miss George's announcement though, as I was ready for Death's Dynamic Shroud.wmv.

Then it was Death's Dynamic Shroud.wmv on the roof. I was so ready for that, since they are also up there with favorite artists of mine. On stage were James Webster and Tech Honors, Keith Rankin didn't come. They also killed it. There was singing, there was there choppy stuff that they are known for, and they played a bunch of stuff from "I'll try living like this". It was all really energetic. They didn't play that one song I don't want to spell out in Korean, but it's that one with the "Work it Out" sample from Sonic R, nor did they play CD Player pt III, which I consider to be their most famous songs. I do think that stages need not be there to only play the well-known stuff (in fact, mostly I like unique experiences better than bread and vegan butter stuff), but those songs are very-well suited for the stage, and it would have been hype. I enjoyed the show on the roof while eating pita and hummus with a Snapple, which I had in my backpack which I was schlepping with me.

Then there was televape. Yes that's right, I didn't go to Saint Pepsi's big return (in case you don't know, Ryan DeRobertis pretty much stopped releasing and performing as "Saint Pepsi", but rather as "Skylar Spence"), although I did bounce back and forth to see a little of him. Don't get me wrong, I love Saint Pepsi, his music was important for me to getting into vaporwave, but I wanted to see televape, also since I missed some of telepath's show. I can't really say much about the performance, other than that it was obviously awesome, and I was able to enjoy it a lot. I also went over to the loft to check out what Pad Chennington was doing there. It was pretty mellow, I guess he was getting in the groove for later. After the televape show, some people were talking to telepath, including Vapor Memory, who I got to speak with afterwards. Super cool guy. I have always admired his channel, and I find it so amazing that the channel is run by a single person. I also spoke briefly to Jeff, who hasn't been reading my twitter messages. Only now did he realize that he didn't turn on notifications for DMs or something. He gave me his phone number (OMG FANBOI MOMENT <33333333333333333 jk it's like whatever I like totes don't care and it's totally normal, I mean, we are just two human beings so I don't know what the big deal is) so we could communicate better. I said that we could to the interview at the loft.

The main events and shows were over, and the after party was going to start soon.

4.2 The Beginning Of The Afterparty

Before the Afterparty started, I got to walk around and talk to people. It could have been earlier, but I think it was at this point that I was able to talk to George Clanton. I got to ask him about the T-shirts that I mentioned before. He revealed to me that these white "New York" 100% Electronica T-Shirts were for sale only at this event. He said that he brought them only for this event, so that they could sell both white and black ones that both said "New York", since this festival was in New York. They used to sell white "New York" t-shirts before he moved to Los Angeles, but after he moved there, he wanted to change it to Los Angeles, but keep one color with "New York" on them. He chose black for New York and white for Los Angeles, because you can't put a white shirt on in the New York subway and get it dirty. I told him to include these facts (about the subway) on the online store of his website, and he said "Yeah, I should actually do that". Then, while I was on my way out and others started to want to talk to him, "Hey guys, I am here all night, but what I need to do right now is I got to go peepee, ok? I gotta go peepee" (something like that, but I know that he said "peepee" at least twice). I love how he is kind of a goofy guy, and it shows that his persona is genuine, but I suspected that anyway. For that reason, I went right ahead and bought a white "New York" 100% Electronica t-shirt.


I am also not sure if this was around this time, but I shortly spoke to FrankJavCee, and we were talking about the pronounciation of "XXYYXX".

4.3 The interview

While anticipating the interview, I set up my stuff at the bar in the loft and sent Jeff a text message that we can do the interview soon. He told me that they were doing a group photo that was scheduled at 23h, and we agreed to do the picture afterwards. Well I almost forgot that Pad Chennington's set was up at the loft. The crowd was getting bigger rapidly and it was getting loud.


Figure 6: The group photo Jeff was talking about

Jeff texted me that he is finally ready, they were done with the photo, and he was going to met me. He met me at the loft and we obviously had to go somehwere else for the interview. We went up to the roof to the back, that is when you go up from the stairs, all the way to the right. There was a small passage on the left because there was a fence set up. There were also others that I recognized being at the front of the VAPERROR show, and they were happy to see him. The view was beautiful, one was able to see the New York night skyline, the lights set up outside were pleasant, and it was a little cooler than before outside, which was nice because there was no air conditioning and everyone was hot and sweating. We sat down on the floor and I set up my Zoom H2n. I set it to the XY setting so that, loosely, one channel was for Jeff and one was for me, and I set the gain to minimize peaks (it did peak a few times still, though). Finally we were able to start what I had been anticipating for a while.


Figure 7: Jeff and me after the interview

[You can find the interview here.]

The interview went very well in my opinion. Jeff is a very sweet, friendly and helpful guy. I tried to keep the questions more technical and specific, focusing on details of his music. I didn't want to ask the typical questions that he has also answered in the past, like what is going to happen next, what are your plans, where are you from and how did you get into music et cetera. This worked pretty well because Jeff was very willing to go into much detail. The total recording time was a little less than 20 minutes, which was more than the 10 minutes that I had advertised to get him to agree to the interview (I did warn him though that it would take longer than 10 minutes haha). I thanked him that he was so willing to work with someone so unknown like me, and after asking if he was happy with how the interview went he even said that he liked the questions. That was really fun, and again, what a nice person.

4.4 The Rest Of The Afterparty

I then was able to witness the rest of Pad Chennington's set. It was energetic, full, and everyone was having a great time. Pad talked a lot during his set, as he was feeling the hype, some people were a bit annpoyed by this.

I went in and out of the hall and the party was getting started, I walked around a lot, went to the roof, talked to people, and I even got to try out a vape pen (with Cannabis liquids) for the first time ever. Some time later I went to the hall again and the music was just starting to really sound good to me. The setup were two laptops, the left of which (from the audience's perspective) changed from time to time, and the right one said "Skeleton Lipstick" on it's back, and I think the sign kept flashing in patterns, which looked cool, although it might have just been the strobing lights from the venue shining on the back of the laptop. My stuff, most notably my backpack, was still with me, and I finally decided to pay the 4 bucks again to have it in the wardrobe. Looking back I should have done this way earlier, I could have also protected my poster better this way.

I wanted to dance. On the stage were the Virtua94 guys, and there were also people dancing in the background like TrucksPassingTrucks. There were even visuals in the background from Virtua94. I was having a blast. I wasn't sure who was doing the set, but I think it was Geo Metro and/or Shoji, and I might have also been there when Skeleton Lipstick was up (he was first), but he was there the whole time during transitions as well. Everyone was dancing like crazy, and they were even making a big circle to make space for people dancing in the middle to go wild. Some think it's cheesy, I think it's awesome. There were muscular mostyl topless guys dancing around crazily and awesomly in the middle. Then that guy who fooled me about being Nmesh told me that one of the guys that was on the stage was Gus from Kero Kero Bonito was there. He also told me about the wrong schedule that was upstairs at the loft, and we talked about who was currently playing etc. That was around 01h00, and I think Mr Hideyoshi was already starting to do his set when I got this information. I was having a blast. During Mr Hideyoshi's set (and before and after as well, I believe), they were handing and throwing out Terminally Chill t-shirts. I sadly didn't get one. If I recall correctly, someone was even throwing Nmesh t-shirts around at some point, but that might have been way later.


Figure 8: The wrong schedule

On and off I was noticing that Skeleton Lipstick kept playing between the sets of the others, and it looked like he was talking to everyone all the time. That's when I made the conclusion that this was his party, and he was helping with the transitions. What was also interesting is that Negative Gemini kept coming and going to one of the laptops, and Skeleton Lipstick was explaining stuff to her. She also did one of the transition or something, and it sounded a little off. Her set started at around 01h30. It might have just been him explaining his setup on his PC to her, because she did do the set on his laptop, but she wasn't the only one to do so. She started her set with the "Satisfaction" song by Benny Benassi, which got the crowd wild. I didn't enjoy her set as much as the ones before, so I started wandering around the venue again (which I was doing on and off anyway). I returned to the loft, and I saw 3D blast, who I also briefly saw right after Pad's set. He did vaporwavy stuff and he was really cool and entertaining, and did a really nice set from what I recall. It was more laid back, and more vaporwavy than the party, and I can confidently say that I basically "missed out" on most of his set, I was more occupied with talking to other people and dancing to the sets in the Hall. Talking about cool kids, Dan Mason kept chilling out at 3D blast's set and was chit chatting with him at the deck. Then downstairs, Skylar Spence was up, which was at around 02h00 (so if I recalled correctly, Negative Gemini's set was very short). He was wearing the George Clanton broken foot T-shirt. I also didn't enjoy it as much, and interestingly I got the impression that the transitions were kind of bad (or at least harsh).


Figure 9: Loft schedule

I walked around more, first I went up stairs. I met and talked to Pad Chennington again, and then I also saw Mr Hideyoshi, to whom I then walked up to. I gave him my praises and asked him what all these things were that I didn't understand about the party and about what Virtua94 was. Around this point I finally realized that "Terminally Chill" was the name of the party and that Skeleton Lipstick was the organizer. This is what we figured out together what lineup was like so far.

  • Skeleton Lipstick
  • Geo Metro
  • Shoji
  • Mr Hideyoshi
  • Negative Gemini
  • Skylar Spence / Saint Pepsi (Mr Hideyoshi didn't know this, I think I told him that)

Around this time more or less, the fake Nmesh guy also told me who this big guy in a suit is who I have been seeing around. Everyone was talking to him and he liked talking to everyone, and people were always saying "Yeah, that's him". His name is Dick, and he is behind "Porter Vong", who I've never heard of, since he is famous via his facebook page, which is about business or something, but it is all satire/jokes.

After Skylar Spence (Saint Pepsi), Skeleton Lipstick was back, doing what he has been doing all the time: playing inbetween sets. He even put on Cherry Pepsi by Saint Pepsi, and he did the good ol' turn off the music when the song goes "bring your own baby", but the crowd only hardly sang along haha. Then it was James Webster's turn (at around 3:00), and I was very looking forward to this. His set was really good, and he also played some dds.wmv stuff. There was also another guy beside him, it wasn't Tech Honors though. Then, my mouth started salivating au Pavlov. That's when I realized that CD Player Pt III was playing. I was so hyped. Just recently, I bought AOA's first mini album at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, from which the main sample of that song was taken. I saw James lip syncing "JEOM JEOM" and so on along with the song and I held up my phone that showed the album cover of AOA's first mini album, but he didn't pay attention to it.


Figure 10: My copy of AOA's first mini album

In the Hall, the people I remembered hanging out where I did the interview had this big bundle of baloons filled with helium. He gave it to me, I think the idea was that baloons were supposed to go around and the challenge was that whoever was stuck with them had to be sure not to lose them. On the other hand, I think it was possible to retreive it after letting go, at least inside, since the string was really long and there was stuff at the bottom to grab it. It was at that point that I noticed that someone put a USB stick into my breast pocket. Was it advertising? Was it a virus? Or a USB PC killer? Directly after that, I went outside, under the stairs. Negative Gemini and George Clanton were there (among others), talking to people. I still had some unanswered questions regarding the t-shirts, so I wanted to talk to him. There was a guy who started talking to George right when I went up to him, and he took forever. After fanboying weirdly he offered George a toke on his weed pipe, which was declined. I kind of cringed at that situation. It was finally my turn to ask him my question, but I first praised the event that he organised, obviously. I wasn't sure if they got old "New York" 100% Electronica t-shirts for this event, or if they produced them again for this event only, and if they were going to produce black "Los Angeles" ones for the 100% Electronicon 2 festival. He said that they were in fact the old ones from 2 years ago, they won't be produced again, and they won't do black "Los Angeles" t-shirts. He also told me about the shirts being in his basement or somewhere for years and that's why some of them are a little dirty. So indeed, I have a collector's item now. Then I showed him the USB stick that someone snuck into my breast pocket. He said that he saw them popping up in different places as well. We discussed what it could be. Obviously it could be a virus or something and one should be careful, but it is most likely advertising. I asked him if he thinks it's creative and funny, or an asshole move. He said it is kinda both, and if his stuff his good, then it's good, if it isn't then it isn't.


Figure 11: The mysterious USB stick.

After James Webster's set (and that other guy), some guy with a Terminally Chill t-shirt was up. George Clanton came to the stage and him together with Skeleton Lipstick also throwing Terminally Chill t-shirts in the crowd. I held out my hands, and it looked like George was making eye contact with me (he might have remembered the conversation), but the shirt obviously didn't reach me. This might have been a bit earlier, I am not sure. That was the last time they gave them away I think. Mr Hideyoshi also went up on stage again and more people from the crew. I tried to get more t-shirts but some other guy (with the audience) who was also in the crew said the t-shirts were all gone. Skeleton Lipstick was playing music again. In the back, the fake Nmesh Guy was hanging out, I wonder if he knew someone who was playing or someone from the organizers. It kinda looked like a back stage area, it was behind the stage on the left at the bottom of stairs going up to the stage. One was able to get there from the outside, I remember there being a guarded door on the outside that most likely lead there. The crowd was getting smaller and smaller. It was all begginning to mellow out. I still hung around the whole time, the music was still energetic, and I was dancing and dancing. During the end, Skeleton Lipstick talked to the crowd on the mic, I couldn't quite hear it, but he was basically saying how awesome this all is and how cool the crowd is, that vaporwave is great and that George is cool etc. He thanked the people staying til the end. I went up to the stage to Mr Hideyoshi and asked him if they had another t-shirt. He nodded assuringly, but when he came back, he said they were all out of t-shirts, like that other guy told me. It was then time to leave. The last thing I saw was Negative Gemini bringing stuff into a car or something, and I said good bye.


Figure 12: Me dancing in the Hall. Credit to Richard Sanders.


Figure 13: Yes, indeed, that's me on the phone in the middle of the dance floor. I feel ashamed. At the same time I just didn't care for posing for the stupid camera that in my face, since I am against that anyway, so maybe that was on purpose. I am pretty sure that this was when I was taking notes after I noticed something specific, for this exact article. Credit to Richard Sanders.

5 Final days in NYC

5.1 Visiting shit after the festival

The cheapest plane was on Sepember 5th, so I still had a few days to spare, which is cool because I always wanted to see New York City again since it has been so long for me. I didn't play Smash, sadly. I visited a lot of places in Manhattan. I got to be in Tannen's Magic shop, study in the Rose hall of the New York public library and I went to the Pasteur Pharmacy to get shaving soap. I went to the Bronx and visited famous spots there, and I took a trip to Staten island to see the skyline at day from the ferry, visit the housing projects, and see the skyline at night on the way back. I also visited the famous skyscrapers, Times Square (not my type of place, but the lights are still cool) and Grand Central station, and I sadly only saw the Oculus of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub from the outside on the ground floor.

The whole time, I still felt the afterglow of the Electronicon festival. It was just so awesome. I also kept in touch with Jeff Cardinal a little, I asked him a question ending with "[Y/n]" as to emulate command line prompts, so that he can just answer by typing one letter because I didn't want to give the impression that I wanted to type back and forth or that I needed a long answer. I noticed that on twitter he also wrote "[Y/N]" somewhere afterwards, I wonder if he took inspiration from me.

6 Criticism

6.1 Cameras

One thing I didn't mention yet (to keep it all more or less positive in the sections above, and to focus on this subject in one section) is the cameras. I notice this all the time everywhere anyway, especially in the U.S.A., but I can't not criticise it at this festival. Everyone was filming anything and everything. I know this is a festival and not a techno club in Berlin, but still, I think cameras should go away.

On a more superficial level, it was annoying. I couldn't enjoy a show with out people holding their phones up to record the shows. For minutes at a time. Imagine your favorite artist performing in all their glory, and arms with phones attached to their ends at the top hindering your view. It's really annoying. Then it also comes across that they feel entitled to do this. Some people gave the vibe that they were annoyed by people jumping up and down to the beat because it was obstructing the camera. A few of these people went to the front just to hold up their stupid phone. It's not like it's good enough quality to upload or to watch again and enjoy at home anyway, and they also aren't Vapor Memory. For those who don't know: He was live streaming all kinds of different sets (in shitty phone quality). He was worthy to do this in my opinion, but I'll get to that later. If you want to catch a moment, they can film for a few seconds and let it be, but I guess they want sweet internet karma or something, because they were hold up their phones forever to catch crazy unanticipated moments or something. That's another thing: I hate it when people go to the front up to the stage, but are unengaged with the show, just talk to their friends, are on their smartphones, or annoy everyone with their entitlement to film the show from the front. The front area at the stage is supposed to be for the people who engage, dance, and jump up and down.

But the whole filming thing goes further for me. For filming the events, there should be dedicated people. Like Vapor Memory. People like him who do live streams etc should be able to go backstage or in designated areas to calmly film everything at a good distance, without annoying people or having to have strangers appear on video. And here we come to the main point I am trying to make: Privacy. We all know how important privacy is in this day and age. With computer recognition and everything, or even without, maybe some people don't want the world to know where they are and be recognized. In Vapor Memory's streams (that are avalable as videos now), which were filmed in the middle of the crowd, you can hear all kinds of people talking and discussing. I was almost worried that me talking about something cringeworthy with somebody else would get picked up by one of these streams, because I remember not noticing him filming right behind me. I could have been talking about crazy shit and not be aware that it was being streamed to everyone. You can hear other people's conversations a lot in his videos, for example check out the beginning of telepath's show.

As much as I like to hate Berlin and all the normies going to crazy fetish parties, at least they all embrace it, and at least the music that the clubs play is awesome and at least they are still true to their principle and tell everyone to not film or photograph anything ever inside the venue. They put a sticker on top of your camera lenses of your phone before you go in, so you can't spontaniously do it. You would have to peel of the sticker, and your bad conscience would kick in, and on top of that, everyone knows: NO PICTURES. People are taking drugs, doing sexual acts and people want to enjoy themselves in private. I guess this culture is normal where gay clubs are big, like Berlin. Even the Simpsons referenced this no picture culture in gay clubs thing. Especially today, I wish that we as a vaporwave community can be a little better in this regard.

The least I would want is a culture where it is "uncool" or looked down upon when people hold their phones up at the shows, especially in the middle of the dance floor, and that when people take pictures or videos, they make sure that nobody can be recognized in them.

6.2 Social media

One thing I got to witness during all of this is how discontent I am with the scene regarding communication and social media.

I wish the vaporwave scene were less normie.

In some ways the vaporwave scene is very particular and authentic, specifically concerning using "retro" gear. On example is the very passionate cassette scene, and there are even people looking into other obscure media. In music creation or visuals, a lot of artists use very specific tools from the past in order to recreate the authentic sounds or aesthetics (like 18 Carat Affair with circuit bending) instead of being all modern. I know that not everyone does this, and additionally I also do think that it is not at all wrong to use modern tools in specific cases. Eventhough there was a time where there was a lot of low-effort vaporwave being produced, where people were using weird shortcut generic "retro-effects" (in visuals as well), but most music production in the scene feels very authentic and in touch with the scene, and the consumers are mostly well aware of a lot of these things.

But social media? We are normies. We are so very normie in this regard. I wish we would extend our vaporwave culture not only to clothing and such, but also to our communication.

More on this in my dedicated article.

7 August 2020 Update

7.1 Some Notes

  • My Negative Gemini keychain broke.
  • 100% Electronica no longer sells their shirts in classic white Los Angeles and black New York.
  • You can hear me in the live performance of "Climbing the Corporate Ladder", screaming "Jawoll!" multiple times. It sounds kind of stupid.
  • Apparently Porter Vong is a not-so-cool human being
  • I still want to look into the mysterious USB stick. I am scared of it being a computer bomb. What I mean are these things that have capacitors and then force a high voltage into the computer, frying it (or it works something like that). I will do an update on this, what I need is a "trash" computer.


Figure 14: Broken Negative Gemini Motel Keychain Front


Figure 15: Broken Negative Gemini Motel Keychain back

8 Info

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