Chillwave: What Is This Alt-Bro Talking About?

Chillwave: What Is This Alt-Bro Talking About?
Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray

We here at Rocks Off try to stay abreast of as many up-and-coming genres as we can for the sake of attempting universal coverage (and we do it all for you), but sometimes even we gets blindsided. This "chillwave" business has come out of nowhere, and none of us have even the faintest idea what it is. It seems like the more we investigate, the more clouded it gets, because due to the contrary nature of the culture, no one we reached out to would admit to being involved with chillwave in any way. Still, we figure there must be a rapidly growing chillwave underground here in Houston. Right? Well, should one ever show up, to help Rocks Off readers get acquainted, we took the data we collected from chillwave hotspots like Hipster Runoff and fed it into a computerized translating program similar to Babelfish. The program gained sentience, and now believes itself to be an actual chillwave DJ by the name of "Intrinsic Hopeflash." Here is what it told us, with a translation provided after each paragraph for those of you who do not speak chillwave.

Actually I go by Ålęki Rą vØnzzzzgwk♥. That's who I am & that's the role I play within the glo-fi musical art project that is Intrinsic Hopeflash, bcuz people think that it's my solo project & it's not bcuz I share it with the universe :). I hope 2 b part of something bigger than myself or bigger than u or bigger than every1 and when I spin dem waxes in the clubz I totes feel like I am. I read a lot about philosophiez & hauntologiez and kewl smart stuf like that, so I'm alwayz trying 2 werk it in2 my music & I think I hav but who knowz lol. Can n e body rilly say they understand how n e thing works? Like if I go 2 a show & Panda Bear is there & everybody's paying attention 2 Panda Bear, couldn't they just as eazily pay attention 2 me bcuz aren't we all basically the same stuff, & stuff? I mean like matter & moleculez & shit, so rilly if u think bout it when his last album got a review score of 82 on Metacritic that's rilly like kinda my 82. And it's also kinda ur 82 xcept not rilly bcuz ur not a DJ lol.

Translation: Intrinsic Hopeflash feels at one with the universe, especially as far as being one with the universe allows him to take credit for whatever he wants to take credit for.

Chillwave: What Is This Alt-Bro Talking About?

N e way, even tho I don't like 2 refer to myself as a chillwave DJ, I wuz one of the 1st peeps to get in2 chillwave in H-town. I got in2 it last summer when my friend Kevin, who u may hav seen spinnin around town, he goez by Sponder F5ve Bleu now (he sounds kinda like Steve Aoki but that's kewl cuz maybe the universe rilly runs backwards so maybe Steve Aoki sounds like him). N E WAY (tangent, lol) Kevin & me accidentally ate like 5 or 6 shrooms & went 2 the Neon Indian outdoor show & I started talking 2 the grass bcuz it was grown by God 2 tell me that I needed 2 buy a rilly nice synthesizer whenever the trust fund my parents set up 4 me matured, & then like 2 weeks l8r it matured & I was like "Wow, God is super smart, I guess I'll go buy that synthesizer." & so I did & the next day I booked my 1st gig at #'s. It wuz super awesum bcuz every1 I went 2 high school with wuz there & they could see me with my sweet haircut & American Apparel hoodie spinnin dem waxes. & the dj's @ the clubz so far hav been super nice 2 me xcept some of the old old old Alt-Bros who aren't even in college n e more so who the fuk even cares about those douches, they're all about January & I'm over here, I'm already July.

Translation: Intrinsic Hopeflash is an amalgamation of every upper middle-class trust fund baby who ever got into techno because his parents gave him a Macbook when he graduated high school but failed to make him get a job. He's also name-dropped several different artists by now, although as far as we know there is no "Kevin." Intrinsic Hopeflash likes to attribute his impulsive, self-serving decisions to "God" and "the universe," like most space cadets.  

Chillwave: What Is This Alt-Bro Talking About?

So like basically I hooked up my synth in2 my Macbook & I just kind of hit the presets in tha synth & kind of make shitz up as I go bcuz I like 2 keep it improvizational like jazz, even tho I rilly don't like jazz very much. I think someday I may learn 2 play keyboards bcuz it seems like it might help but whatevs I'm doing it 2 it & that's all that matters. I keep it totes 80's up in here, I wear my sunglasses @ nite even tho I don't really like that song either. But that's an 80's song, rite? Yah, I just checked Wikipedia, it wuz totes 80's. Lulz I wasn't even born yet.

Translation: Intrinsic Hopeflash secretly hates all of his influences - if you can even really call them that, because his "jazz improvisations" are less like Charlie Parker and more like Wesley Willis. Intrinsic Hopeflash has virtually no musical ability, but is good with electronics.

My parents go stay n New Hampshire n the summer but I'm staying here bcuz I got my trust fund & my synth & my Macbook & my mad peeps & I'm not leaving unless like every1 suddenly becomes lame like they always do lolz. But then again I might tour bcuz chillwave isn't sposed to b about n e 1 place, it's supposed to like be from everywhere so I think I'll probably just gtfo of Houston & go be everywhere like the universe says ur sposed to. U should b on the lookout 4 my 1st album, it's all new material I wrote last week & the first 100 copies come packaged w/ a remix CD but I totes don't own the copyrights 2 n e of those songs so like don't tell ne1. But u should blast my shit in ur car and just chill out your mind harmoniez. The album is called Awakenights Amidst the Vibecurrents (Glowing Sea, Translucent Hearts: Serenata il Festiggio, Vol. 0.1) & it's super smart & super chill & you'll

Translation: Intrinsic Hopeflash wants to tour behind his upcoming album, but also wants to stay home? Your guess is as good as ours. We ran a simulated pot-smoking program inside his mainframe as requested, and he sighed and muttered "Aw yeah... that's good... that's good shit... I'mma go write" and promptly shut down. So far we have been unable to reboot Intrinsic Hopeflash.

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