Sterling Campbell had co-founded a cassette label and a VHS tape label in Ottawa, but needed a new creative outlet after moving back to Cornwall, Ontario, to be closer to his daughter.“I was like, ‘I need to start something up for myself here,’” he says. “‘What’s the most ridiculous thing I could do right now?’”The answer was Strudelsoft, the label that the 36-year-old bills as the first vaporwave imprint dedicated exclusively to releasing music on 3.5″ floppy disk.The misty, Internet-fueled subgenre has long thrived on nostalgic physical formats. Vaporwave’s sound, often produced by slowing down and/or reverb-drenching existing songs to walk the line between the sentimental and the sinister, is a perfect match for cassette tapes, those beloved relics of hissier times. Now a boomlet of patient and creative label owners are recovering an even more esoteric medium: the Eighties and Nineties artifact once used for Windows installations, AOL trials and sessions of Doom.“Floppies are cheaper than cassettes, they don’t have to be tediously dubbed, they look appealing, they’re available in a lot of colors and have cool designs that people like,” says Matthew Isom, 40, of San Diego plunderphonic vaporwave label Power Lunch, who notes that floppies also cost substantially less to ship overseas than cassettes.
Must watch. Must listen.