Future Funk (also known as New Disco, not to be confused with nu-disco) is a sub-genre of Vaporwave born during the middle of The New '10s; along with Vaportrap and Simpsonwave, it is one of the most well-known and popular subgenres of the movement, and like its sister and mother genres, was born and remains primarily active on The Internet. It can be best described as "vaporwave that can be danced to".
While Future Funk shares Vaporwave's central structure of using modified and extended samples from popular music, it is more strongly rooted in synth-funk and Alternative Dance than in electronica. Future Funk is also typically much Lighter and Softer than Vaporwave, carrying a more fast-moving and upbeat tone compared to its mother genre's more melancholic and sarcastic direction. This is most strongly exemplified by the fact that unlike Vaporwave, which focuses on sampling synthpop and pop rock, most of the samples used in Future Funk are taken from City Pop, a typically upbeat genre of Japanese Pop Music popular during The '80s. Like the western pop typically used in Vaporwave, the general tone and aesthetic of City Pop was heavily rooted in the economic upturn Japan experienced during the 1980's, particularly the 1986-1991 financial boom. However, while Vaporwave often criticizes the sense of greed and naivety born out of the socioeconomic climate of the 80's, Future Funk embraces the "life is a party" atmosphere of the era.
Additionally, the visual aesthetic of Future Funk differs from Vaporwave in that, while it shares its focus on 1980's and 1990's iconography, it does so in a more nostalgic and fun-loving way compared to Vaporwave's more critical and satirical approach. In particular, Future Funk focuses heavily on classic anime such as City Hunter, Kimagure Orange Road, Bubblegum Crisis, and the works of Rumiko Takahashi— with Urusei Yatsura being among the most popular choices for Future Funk.
In short, Future Funk can be considered a Spiritual Antithesis to Vaporwave in that while Vaporwave is cynical and sarcastic, criticizing rose-tinted Gen X & Millennial nostalgia towards the 80's and 90's, Future Funk is much more jovial and celebratory, embracing said nostalgia and utilizing its positive elements to craft a retrofuturist party atmosphere.
See also Synthwave, another Internet music genre with the same origins and aesthetics that Future Funk but with original creations instead of being based on samples as in Vaporwave; Nightcore, the inversion of Vaporwave but also internet-born, sample-based, anime-themed, and upbeat-based as Future Funk; and City Pop, the Japanese Pop Music genre from The '80s that Future Funk is mostly based.
Notable Future Funk artists
- マクロスMACROSS 82-99 (Trope Maker and Codifier)
- SAINT PEPSI (actually known as Skylar Spence, also Trope Codifier)
- Yung Bae
- 悲しい ANDROID - APARTMENT¶
- Architecture in Tokyo (also known as Young Muscle)
- Yuni Wa
- Dan Mason ダン·メイソン
- Future Girlfriend 音楽
- Night Tempo
- Daft Punk (considered an Ur-Example)
Future Funk in other media
- Muse Dash has the Muse Radio folder, which consists entirely of songs of this genre, all of which share an 80's city background with lots of pink and blue scenery.
- PopSlinger is filled with a lot of music inspired by future funk, 90s magical girl anime, and city pop that fits with the story and gameplay.
Tropes Future Funk commonly utilizes:
- Adaptation Amalgamation: Various Vaporwave and Future Funk songs usually mix two (or more) different songs and convert into one. A good example is Yung Bae's "Anibabe" that mixed an 80s J-Pop song with a 70s Disco song in English.
- The Alliance: Seen also in Vaporwave, but it's most frequent here: a lot of Future Funk songs are usually collaboration between artists who made a song together as a team.
- Caps Lock: As in Vaporwave, various artists use their names in all caps.
- Covered Up: There're some cases that remixes of old songs (or even other Vaporwave/Future Funk ones) became more famous thanks to their Future Funk remixes being the original versions forgotten by them. A know case is "葛城 ミサトYEBISU" by マクロスMACROSS 82-99, being more known the remixed version by Yung Bae.
- Dance Sensation: The main difference with Vaporwave, most of their songs are very danceable.
- Deliberate VHS Quality: This is seen a lot in Future Funk's music videos, using commercials and anime scenes from The '80s and The '90s, especially done by the YouTube channel Artzie Music that promotes Future Funk music using this resource.
- The '80s: The main inspiration for this music genre. Also The '70s (for Disco songs) and The '90s in some cases.
- The Faceless: As in Vaporwave, Future Funk artists started this way. Thanks to Yung Bae, this is becoming averted since more artists have shown their faces to the public, and even to albums themselves as Yung Bae does since a couple of years ago.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence:
- Some clips used The World Disco Dancin' Championships from the '80s as part of the videos, especially the ones from Yung Bae.
- Some scenes from 80s anime that contain dance scenes are used as well for music videos.
- Gratuitous Japanese:
- To start, various of the artists names are written in Japanese letters (katakana mostly, but there're also in hiragana and kanji), as well various songs are named in Japanese, even when the samples used are in English.
- Most of the Future Funk artists use samples from City Pop songs, which apart from a few notable exceptions are sung in Japanese, using a couple of samples to remake the entire song.
- In some Yuni Wa's songs, there's the Japanese version of "You're now listening to Yuni Wa" at the start of them.
- Averted with ミカヅキBIGWAVE, who's one of the few artists (if not the only one) that comes from Japan.
- I Am the Band: As in Vaporwave, most of the songs are made by a single person. In Future Funk especially, most of their artists are DJs that make their own mixes.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to Vaporwave, which often goes in surreal, dreary, and cynical directions, Future Funk is a lot more cheerful and more about celebrating what made 80s pop so great.
- Looped Lyrics: Seen a lot in Future Funk, sometimes overlapped with Chorus-Only Song.
- Lucky Charms Title: This doesn't happen as much as in Vaporwave but there are still some artists that use it like 悲しい ANDROID - APARTMENT¶.
- Product Placement: Used in the first wave of Future Funk when 80s commercials are used for the first Future Funk music videos as these ones.
- Rearrange the Song:
- Not song extracts are used to create new songs, some ones got a Future Funk remix by some actual artists. Yung Bae is known to make this with some Hip-Hop songs and SAINT PEPSI does this too with Pop songs. The most known song of this is the 悲しい ANDROID - APARTMENT¶ remix of Modjo's "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)".
- City Pop songs usually fall into this. Songs like Mariya Takeuchi's "Plastic Love" have been used as base to create a lot of different songs just by rearranging the song or using a couple of lyrics or just the rhythms.
- Retraux: The music videos as well the effects in the songs are clearly based on The '80s and The '90s, mostly thanks to the anime from those years.
- Series Mascot:
- Lum from Urusei Yatsura is often considered as the mascot of Future Funk, like Hatsune Miku for Vocaloid, appearing in many videos dancing as in some scenes from the series.
- Also Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon (the 1992 anime) is usually credited as one, especially thanks to マクロスMACROSS 82-99's SAILORWAVE album.
- A special case is ミカヅキBIGWAVE, who has his own mascot, Mikazuki-chan.
- Spiritual Successor: Along with having roots in Vaporwave, Future Funk is in all but name the third wave of French Filter House,note with its fast-paced house beats and disco-based sampling.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Even more than Vaporwave, Future Funk based its aesthetic into 1980's Tokyo. The use of many 80's and 90's anime clips in Future Funk videos helps reinforce this.
- For many, Daft Punk is considered the direct precursor to the genre (already being Trope Codifiers of French House, to which Future Funk is essentially a spiritual successor), often serving as an inspiration for Future Funk artists, many of whom sample or even remix the band's work to create new Future Funk songs. Their 2001 album Discovery (as well its anime adaptation Interstella 5555) is considered a particular source of inspiration not just for the sound of Future Funk, but also the aesthetics of it, to the point where some music videos in the genre appropriate clips from Interstella 5555.
- City Pop, the 1980's Japanese Pop Music genre that inspired Future Funk, is also known as this. In fact, various Future Funk songs are mostly new remixes of established songs from this old genre. Artists like Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi and Sugiyama Kiyotaka even gained renowned fame worldwide thanks to Vaporwave and Future Funk after their new listeners found where those Future Funk songs first came from.
- When It All Began:
- If you want to enter into Vaporwave territory, Future Funk is a good place to start. Also, influential artists like マクロスMACROSS 82-99 and SAINT PEPSI started first in Vaporwave before they created Future Funk sub-genre years later.
- As said above, also Future Funk is the gate to (re)discover the City Pop genre from The '80s.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Most of Future Funk songs has nonsense lyrics thanks to the samples being chopped and used indiscriminately (in Japanese mostly.)