I hate to admit it when some wanker makes up a downright terrible term to reign in a disparate group of musicians, but the whole hypnagogic pop thing sort of says it. In the August issue of Wire magazine, David Keenan asserts that bands like Skaters and Zola Jesus and Pocahaunted draw their powers from slivers of what they remember from 1980s pop sounds. Quote:
In keeping with this idea of being haunted by pop, [James Ferraro's] back catalogue is populated by revenant 1980s forms freed from their historical context: slimers from Ghostbusters, straight-to-video surf movies, TV dinners, old episodes of Beverley Hills 90210.
Sure, Sweeney is talking about collagists, but what about lo-fi revivalists? Maybe we call them bedroom artists for a similar cloistered sleepiness: they conjure what feels like old mainstream music filtered through dreams. With that in mind, I want Geneva Jacuzzi and Washed Out to start a strictly cassette-based mixtape battle. If there were ever hypnogogic pop tarts, here they are. Geneva Jacuzzi is an LA girl with an ear to watery casio funk love from a neon tunnel vision (she cites Morris Day and The Time, El DeBarge and Zapp & Roger), while Washed Out, out of Columbia, South Carolina, takes it a notch farther towards the lush, sultry, corny, and the apparently begging for 'analysis'.
Of course, the concept of a pop music that draws from an unconscious past (“the ones between waking and sleeping… where mis-hearings and hallucinations feed into the formation of dreams”) means that “hypnogogic” music is specific to its maker. So if you hear mid-90s era Sneaker Pimps in Washed Out's gooey kick drum thumps, don't worry too much about it, dude looks like he's 16.