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Ryan Trecartin, Hyperpop, and Disgust
A special kind of irony that turns against itself and becomes roadkill
I didn’t want to write about this. This topic is so obnoxious, that I would rather forget about it and move on. But whenever I discover and hear another random music track on YouTube with 60k views dubbed as “hyperpop,” with all its 2000s-era collage and Y2K irony, the art of Ryan Trecartin comes to mind.
I’ll tell you a secret. Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Sam Hyde all have appreciated and emulated the work of Ryan Trecartin. Trecartin’s 2004 film, A Family Finds Entertainment, is a pillar of Adult Swim-esque hipster comedy and surreal outrage. The Million Dollar Extreme collective and Hyde’s associates are nothing more than a right-wing leaning version of what Trecartin was doing at the Rhode Island School of Design. Even before Trecartin, Mat Brinkman, and Brian Chippendale established Fort Thunder in 1995 in Providence, and founded the aesthetics for the millennial generation’s interest in “punk” style basement “shows,” “all ages” house parties, and the future squiggle art styles of Michael DeForge, Benji Nate, Patrick Kyle, Katie Skelly, and comic stores like Partners and Sons out of Philadelphia that based their liberal art direction upon.
As much as I would love to talk about eccentric costume bands like Black Moth Super Rainbow, Lighting Bolt, Green Jellö, and Treasure Mammal, my main focus is on “hyperpop” and the error of its ways. I doubt it has anything to do with Mark Leckey and his pop-art collage films, like Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, possibly influencing Trecartin. That means I have to go back in time and bring up a 2000s-era controversial band. Who? …Blood On The Dance Floor.
Don’t get confused here, as this is all related to Trecartin.
BOTDF was formed in 2007 by Dahvie Vanity as a joke band. The first album, “Let's Start a Riot,” was the start of bringing over exaggerated irony found in popular music, by mixing and creating collage sounds of the 2000s styles of crunk, electropop, and screamo, with satirical lyrics about sex, violence, and transgressive hood jokes. Imagine the most generic club-sounding track ever, with a fast tempo beat, emo-style rapping, and lo-fi distortion. Dahvie Vanity’s humorous gags became his success and further paved “hyper pop” as a music genre that emulated the film aesthetics of Trecartin.
Furthermore, established “hyperpop” musicians like A.G. Cook cite Tim & Eric as a spiritual influence. His connection with Oneohtrix Point Never, and the creation of the pre-vaporwave demo, “Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1 Album,” should sound all too familiar with this new fad in irony and the performative attitude in postmodern electronic music. In addition to a sincere rap influence, 100 Gecs, a trans rap duo, has been dubbed as “hyperpop” for marketing purposes to reach Generation Z which is in tune with the LGBTQ subculture and TikTok aesthetics. The Wall Street Journal described the genre as "a cartoonish wall of noise that embraces catchy tunes and memorable hooks. The music zooms between beauty and ugliness, as shimmery melodies collide with mangled instrumentation." It’s full of satire and irony, yes?
As you can understand, this is why I don’t like to bring up “hyperpop” in conversation, because it’s hardly a genre but rather a form of American propaganda around global liberalism and transhumanism. You look at liberal culture vultures like Yung Lean and Bladee, who would be dubbed as “Soundcloud rap,” (actually white rappers), but instead, enforce not just cool kid irony, but a hedonistic and somewhat primitive behavior of “whites-only” Black-influenced self-destruction of the soul. I already explained what these Swede rappers are about in a 2021 video. Soundcloud rap is related to hyperpop as both so-called genres embrace the terminally internet-isolated community, and embrace the egalitarian post-truth narrative that nothing is meaningful, and anyone can be anything without questioning the origins of objective truth. Culture is negated, while subculture becomes apparent, and subculture needs an imagined community around shared aesthetics and consumer products based upon artificial pretensions. While global capitalism is burning down, it enforces a decadent culture to keep it going.
Because Soundcloud rap and hyperpop embrace the worst aspects of liberalism and Americanism, these subcultures produce the most dysfunctional fan clubs ever. Awake The Rapper, also known as Robert Eugene Crimo III, is both a hyper pop and Soundcloud rapper who committed the 2022 Highland Park parade shooting and killed 7 people plus 48 others injured. He released the hyperpop-sounding EP “Brainwashed” right before his massacre.
And what about hyperpop pioneer Dahvie Vanity? Vanity is currently being investigated by the FBI as a potential child predator and serial rapist. It could very well be just another case of obnoxious cancel culture, but remember, the themes of hyperpop and related to the work of Trecartin, who shines light upon the popular culture’s fixation on pedophilia and irrational sexual exploitation.
We don’t look at Trecartin’s work and say to ourselves, “Wow, maybe I should emulate his ironic style and create my satirical version!” No. When we watch Trecartin’s A Family Finds Entertainment, we feel some kind of disgust the same way we look at roadkill. It’s the same feeling we get from reading Sade, Bataille, and Rimbaud.
Dennis Cooper, author of The George Miles Cycle, is an admirer of Trecartin. Cooper is aware that his novels Closer, Frisk, Try, and The Sluts deal with explicit and violent imagery of child rape and mutilation. Cooper is only expressing horror and aesthetics in the same way Trecartin is expressing some disdain for popular media. The same could be expressed with Peter Sotos and his work Bait, which exposes serial killer Ian Brady as an obnoxious and pretentious villain. Wow. Cooper, Sotos, and Trecartin don’t seem like bad people at all, do they? They instead sound like some kind of ethical moralists!
Coming across YouTube channels like Space Station Tunes reminds me of all the bad junk that Generation Z and older and hip Millennials think is cool to reproduce. It’s a collection of 2000s-era memes, wannabe Afro nerdy white boys rapping, all while creating this wall of sound that is meant to be “meta” and to prove a pretentious point that the ironic would never sincerely believe in. I tend to believe that hyperpop and Soundcloud rap are celebrated by the American state in the same way “cyberpunk” is used to push certain geopolitical narratives about Malthusian social control. Sure, the music is catchy and stupid in a novelty way. I get that. But it ends there. The point is that the so-called genre is used to push philistine behavior and enforce decadence, and exactly what anti-liberal advocate Francis Parker Yockey argued about that the popularity of Jazz a century ago is nothing more than “the expression of lust in a world of sound.” (Imperium, pg 637, Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group). That “world of sound” is a wallpaper that caters to the subcultural and consumer choices a distracted audience makes in a liberal world.
Getting back to Trecartin, Trecartin reminds me of Marquis de Sade in many ways that most people don’t acknowledge. Jacques Lacan once argued that Immanuel Kant’s philosophy would eventually lead to Sadism. Perhaps Trecartin’s film on disgust eventually leads to global capitalist irony. The eclectic nature of the arts constantly relies on compare and contrast collage art that proclaims nothing other than anything meaningful. As Pablo Picasso once said about the modern artist, “bad artists copy, great artists steal!” The vagueness of the hipster is bland on many levels and continues through the pretentious collage of hyperpop and Soundcloud rap.
America has a youth fetishization problem. It worships whorish behavior and proclaims people like Robert Mapplethorpe, Dash Snow, Tracey Emin, Larry Clark, and Marina Abramović as Moloch idols to emulate. It is no surprise that youth fetishization in the West is related to elite homosexuality and the conspiracy around Pizzagate. I feel bad for any young nonwhite, whitewashed artist moving to NYC or LA thinking they could hit it big in the “art world,” only then to realize they must become abused whores to satisfy a satanic regime of global capitalism. The so-called “art critic,” Peter Schjeldahl, says nothing but nice things about Trecartin, but makes you wonder if Trecartin’s entire career from the start has been a psychological operations to push irony, confusion, and bad video art. I believe Schjeldahl is a federal agent.
At least in Trecartin’s film, you can feel what the feeling of disgust is all about, and realize that hyperpop is not something to worship or admire, but is akin to looking at a child being abused. It makes me think that’s what the elite want, and they want to project that upon everyone else. It’s no innovative or original. It’s just degenerate.
Just watching the pedophilia being staged on the flickering commercials and bumpers on The Disney Channel makes us realize how the state propagates sexual control. We feel uncomfortable about hyperpop because it's about the sensationalism of pedophilia and exploitation of innocence through mass media and projected fame. Although constantly projected as irony or satire, what is ultimately transgressive is that Britney Spears, a blonde woman of perfection, is a slave for everyone's desires that could mean anything, hence “post-truth.”
Get over the irony. We are looking at a dead child. That’s enough to motivate you towards direct action.