Nightcore and the Virtues of Virtuality

Emma Winston

Abstract


Nightcore is a previously academically unexamined music scene, which exists entirely online and operates as a unique micro-subculture within the broader context of internet-based electronic music. A scene born on the internet in the early 2000s, nightcore has recently experienced something of a surge in popularity, and now refers most broadly to hyper-fast dance music with pitched-up vocals, which is based around sped-up tracks lifted wholesale from mainstream pop, rock, and EDM, often, but not always, with additional original production. Nightcore is remarkable both for its DIY attitude to deskilling electronic production, lowering the barrier to entry for producers to a point of near-nonexistence, and for its internet-centric, yet profoundly social approach to track dissemination and community.

This article traces the history and present-day status of nightcore, providing brief multidisciplinary analyses of tracks and production styles from a musicological, feminist and accelerationist perspective, and examines, from a primarily observational ethnomusicological viewpoint, nightcore communities and live ‘shows’ which take place solely online and gear themselves towards listeners and producers from all over the world. Since this article represents the first piece of academic research into nightcore, it is by necessity broad in its scope. This article hopes to prompt further research and discussion both within the genre itself, and more generally around online musical communities and the work created within them. 


Keywords


Music; Popular Music; Internet Culture; Subcultures; Gender; Nightcore; Micro-subcultures; Vaporwave

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ableton, ‘Products: Live Lite’, Ableton Live <https://www.ableton.com/en/products/live> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Agzarian, Nina, ‘#WCW: Ducky’, NLV Records (13 January 2016) <http://www.nlvrecords.com/wcw> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Allington, Daniel, Byron Dueck, and Anna Jordanous, ‘Networks of Value in Electronic Music: SoundCloud, London, and the Importance of Place’, Cultural Trends, 24.3 (2015), 211-222 <https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2015.1066073> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Babeisland, all i need (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 30 June 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/babeisland/all> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Barker, Kristy, ‘Ducky: “Nightcore is the nicest scene I’ve ever participated in”’, Dummy (23 March 2016) <http://www.dummymag.com/features/ducky> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Berry, Jonah, ‘Nest HQ's Guide to Nightcore’, Nest HQ (7 August 2015) <http://nesthq.com/nightcore> [accessed 21 July 2016]

Bridle, James, ‘The New Aesthetic: Waving at the Machines’, Web Directions South 2011: The Australian Web Industry Conference, Sydney, 11-14 October 2011 <https://www.webdirections.org/resources/james> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Cardiner, Brock, ‘Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles Talks Killing Your Darlings, Piracy and More’, High Snobiety (14 October 2014) <http://www.highsnobiety.com/2014/10/14/ableton> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Challis, Mike, ‘The DJ Factor: Teaching Performance and Composition from Back to Front’, in Music Education with Digital Technology, ed. by Pamela Burnard and John Finney (London: Continuum, 2009), pp. 65-75

Crook, James, Richard Ash, Roger Dannenberg, Benjamin Drung, Vaughan Johnson, Paul Licameli, Leland Lucius, and Martyn Shaw, ‘Audacity: A Free Multi-Track Audio Editor and Recorder’, Sourceforge (20 January 2016) <https://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Datafruits FM <http://datafruits.fm> [accessed 25 July 2016]

DJ Clickbait, n3v3r f0rg3t u (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 11 June 2016, <https://soundcloud.com/djclickbait/n3ver> [accessed 25 July 2016]

EasyFun, easyFun - easyMix (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 30 June 2016, <https://soundcloud.com/easyfun/easymix> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Fan Fiction, 1 w4nt U 2 Kn0w (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 9 April 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/fanfiction/1> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Fan Fiction, b3g1n 4g41n (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 10 March 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/fanfiction/b3g1n> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Fan Fiction, f4k3 (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 28 June 2016, <https://soundcloud.com/fanfiction/f4k3> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Feinberg, David R., Lisa M. DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones, and David I. Perrett, ‘The Role of Femininity and Averageness in Aesthetic Judgments of Women’s Voices’, Perception, 4.37 (2008), 615-623 <https://doi.org/10.1068/p5514> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Harper, Adam, ‘The Online Underground: A New Kind of Punk?’, Resident Advisor (22 September 2014) <https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/2137> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Harshman, Heath, ‘Why We Welcome Nightcore As The Next Breakout Genre’, Dance Music Northwest (25 July 2015) <http://dancemusicnw.com/why> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Henrik The Artist, Just Peachy (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 14 November 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/henrik> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Imran Khan, Fall Out Boy-Centuries (Sped Up To Right Amount) (online video recording), YouTube, 11 November 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qzWRnlY0do> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Internetparty, Last Time, (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 5 June 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/internetparty/last> [accessed 25 July 2016]

James, Robin, Resilience & Melancholy: Pop Music, Feminism, Neoliberalism (London: Zero Books 2015)

Kirby, ‘What is Nightcore?’, Nightcore Universe (8 August 2011) <http://www.nightcoreuniverse.net/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=930> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Loza, Susana, ‘Sampling (Hetero)Sexuality: Diva-Ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music’, Popular Music, 20.3 (2001), 349-357 <https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261143001001544> [accessed 25 July 2015]

Madden, Mary, Amanda Lenhart, Maeve Duggan, Sandra Cortesi, and Urs Gasser, ‘Teens and Technology 2013, Pew Research Center (13 March 2013), pp. 2-19 <http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Maikel631, ‘How to Nightcore a song! (NIGHTCORE TUTORIAL)’, Nightcore Universe (8 May 2010) <http://www.nightcoreuniverse.net/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=142> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Maikel631, Amazing Nightcore and Trance (online video recording), YouTube, 25 July 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/user/Maikel6311> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Marcus, George E., ‘Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 24 (1995), 95-117 <https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.24.100195.000523> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Miller, Daniel, and Don Slater, The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach (Oxford: Berg, 2000)

Non Stop NXC (@nonstopnxc), ‘What are you doing tomorrow night at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern, and 11:30pm GMT?’, Twitter post, 15 July 2016, <https://twitter.com/nonstopnxc/status/754117039921385472> [accessed 25 July 2016]

‘Non Stop Pop’, NTS Live <http://www.nts.live/shows/jack> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Pepsi, SoundCloud, <https://soundcloud.com/not_pepsi> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Pepsi Cola, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxNBvCX1cy5f8whl07mRCIA> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Reddington, Helen, ‘”Lady”: Punks in Bands: A Subculturette?’, in The Post-Subcultures Reader, ed. by David Muggleton (Oxford: Berg, 2013), pp. 231-251

Reynolds, Simon, Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 (London: Penguin Books, 2005)

Ribb0n, ≧◡≦ (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 6 November 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/ribb0n/alive> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Rodgers, Tara, Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press 2010)

‘Search: Ableton Tutorial’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ableton+tutorial> [accessed 25 July 2016]

Sharples, Staley, ‘PressPlaylist: Surati's NXC Sounds’, PressPlay (29 April 2016) <https://wearepressplay.com/2016/04/29/pressplaylist> [accessed July 25 2016]

Spencer, Amy, DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture (London: Marion Boyars, 2005)

Sterling, Bruce, ‘An Essay on the New Aesthetic’, Wired (April 2 2012) <http://www.wired.com/2012/04/an> [accessed 25 July 2016]

‘Statistics’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/en> [accessed 31 October 2016]

Tannen, Deborah, ‘Marked Women, Unmarked Men’, The New York Times Magazine, 20 June 1993, pp. 1-4

Tanner, Grafton, Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts (London: Zero Books, 2016)

Thomas, Russell, ‘Next: New Generation’, Dummy (15 November 2013) <http://www.dummymag.com/features/next> [accessed 21 July 2016]

Thornton, Sarah, Club Cultures: Music, Media, and Subcultural Capital (Cambridge: Polity 1995)

Underdog, internetparty & underd0g - home (online audio recording), SoundCloud, 15 October 2015, <https://soundcloud.com/underd0ge/home> [accessed 25 July 2016]




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24134/be.v1i1.20

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Winston

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/