After The Blank Banshee Show
A memoir about the Philadelphia show in 2017
I decided to bring my date to the Blank Banshee concert in Philadelphia. Originally, a TRS friend apart of “The Jersey Goys” Discord invited me to go to the event a month in advance. Unfortunately, he didn’t show up. So I decided to bring a girl I met on Tinder, thinking she would like what I liked. …You know, “Asian things.”
I could care less about this silly “vaporware” genre Blank Banshee is apart of. Already, I have seen Oneohtrix Point Never at the Union Transfer awhile back, and I thought it sounded like bland digital hardcore, and not the good Atari Teenage Riot kind. I admit, I am not a fan of vaporware. I really do hate Macintosh Plus and the gay internet memes I see everywhere trying to act all “old,” and “ironically authentic,” or “Italo,” and just seeing plain, stupid, retro-wave shit. It is definitely a fad among millennials, like remembering every single episode of Hey Arnold! or Oh Yeah! Cartoons for nostalgic purposes, but with technology or “wallpaper music.” However, I was in for a total surprise when Blank Banshee performed live.
I have not listened to his music before I attended the event. I knew he was an originator of “vaportrap,” which I thought would be gay rap music mixed with the shit that’s going around online. Again, I was wrong. I experienced an amazing movie of colorful assortments, accompanied with his music.
Banshee had an Akai MPC controller hooked up to his MacBook, along with an interface and a mixer. He was pressing, or triggering, samples along with the beat. He sampled an eclectic collection of memory bits, from old Windows 95 boot-up sounds, Sonic 3D Blast, and kitsch nostalgic noises from the 80’s generation.
“Postmodernism” is a disease among the Gen-X generation, and it is unfortunate if a pseudo-intellect would classify Blank Banshee’s music as “postmodern.” The term is incredibly dated and reserved for a naïve class of older white Americans who enjoy consumption. But rather, Banshee is a part of a new tradition of avant-garde musicians that sample, and take, what we are witnessing in the era we are living through. This was the original point of “industrial” music, and it’s samples around the “martial,” and of the “horror” aspect. The same can be said about Death in June, who uses right-wing imagery, and flirts with it, thus creating beautiful collage art, and a subculture to tag along with it.
And this is exactly what Blank Banshee is doing in the modern era.
I felt more like I was watching an unreleased, CGI art film, than participating in a concert. There was no moshing, sing-a-longs, or bobbing of any sorts ( I know hipsters try to do these things, but it has already became a mandatory pastime for white people to just stand at concerts). It really felt like I was watching Aim For The Ace! five years ago, and seeing the same event unfold in front of me, again.
The date I brought with me looked bored as hell next to me. …At this point, who cares?
The Blank Banshee movie had different scenes through each electronic song, though it felt like it was one big song and there was no end. It was like watching a rock opera with a plot and resolution. But I’m sure Blank Banshee could of been trying to advocate a secret political message behind his work. Such there was subliminal messages about love, overcoming darkness, teenagers buying banned music, and “chaos inside,” as the words write, along with references from Akira, to a very strange Pokémon creature everyone forgot about. It’s hard to pass the music as just stoner rock to get high on. Blank Banshee was rather a maestro conducting a postmillennial orchestra. It’s something found in the futuristic tradition of the 1993 film collection, Imaginaria.
The audience was unfortunately all white hipsters living in Fishtown (if you don’t know, it's the most obnoxious and Stuff White People Like neighborhood of Philadelphia). Sadly, there was only one white-male-Asian-female couple there. A cute pigtail brown Pinay was rocking out, and filming the entire set with her white, bearded boyfriend. (She was a little too animated, like a cartoon character). The other Asian girl was some small quirky girl in blue overalls coming along with her “friends.” I cannot really claim the event as “Asian-Aryan,” but certainly Blank Banshee was hitting on something about a plausible anime-realist society in the future.
With all the ironic hiragana and hangul text floating around, it’s hard to ignore the fact he is envisioning a Eurasian futurist society. Yes, white people really do enjoy this kind of twee technology, and growing up in this materialistic America of the 1980s, but Banshee was trying to say something else about our culture’s transformation. I thought maybe he was just a lone drummer, in search of a singer, to a band that will become the next Erasure or Depeche Mode. I even had the thought that if Tila Tequila was his singer, Blank Banshee would be much more revolutionary in pop music.
It was a surprise for me that I really enjoyed Blank Banshee. I’m not going to call him a simple “vaporware” or “vaportrap” act. He is tapping into something that has potential in the future. If Counter-Currents publishes books about avant-garde white nationalism, Blank Banshee is planting the seeds of something that is beyond the left or right wing dichotomy. I could see “the vaporware movement,” evolving into a philosophy about life, art, and aesthetics. By 2030, a small publishing company will become popular, exclusively discussing the post-vaporware aesthetics, creating vaporwave fiction, and contemplating on vaporwave philosophy.
The alt-right exploded in popularity online because of the real-life suppression of the political right, and political-correct tyranny we live under. The “alt-vapor” movement could have a future impact onto society. I already see it through the work of Robert Stark, and what he writes over at his blog. What is underground today, will have popularity in the future.
I just remember I was driving home after the show, and I was wishing I could hang out with Blank Banshee, or meet people similar to him. I wanted to be in that room again, with those same fans that want what I want.
The seeds I am planting, however, is “Asian-Aryanism.” It’s something that is post-vaporware, but as will unique on it’s own standing. I believe Blank Banshee, and I, are on creative different roads, that will lead to one destination. That destination is Eurasian futurism, and the anime-realist society, we will all be dancing in.
Revised on July 13th, 2023
Originally publish on November 3rd, 2017