Costanza, Apartment 5A – Seinwave Music
The television sitcom Seinfeld has been an important part of Internet culture for some time. The Vaporwave genre, however, takes this to a new level by elevating Seinfeld references from simple memes to a fully formed art. Some have even called this a new sub-genre of Vaporwave and dubbed it Seinwave. (Get it? It’s a homophone for sine wave.)
One of the newer artists in this sub-genre is Apartment 5A, who appeared on the scene in May of 2016. Starting with their name (a reference to Jerry Seinfeld’s fictional apartment in New York City), this artist’s music is full of Seinfeld sounds and samples. Nevertheless, Apartment 5A’s tracks aren’t just Seinwave, they are excellent Vaporwave too.
Apartment 5A’s debut album, Costanza, was released in May 2016 and is definitely worth checking out. While only about eight minutes in length, Costanza fully captures the Seinwave and Vaporwave aesthetics. The first and title track, “Costanza” begins with a quote by George Costanza stating “Let me ask you something. What do they get for a tune-up on this?” It then slides into the rest of the track which layers George talking through a catchy lo-fi loop.
The next track, “Groovy,” is more upbeat and is reminiscent of some of Telan Devik’s Vaporwave music. This is followed by “Primo” which sounds a bit like the Seinfeld theme song remixed and piped into a club. “Far Out” returns to the smooth, bassy feel of the first track, “Costanza.” “Daze” comes next and continues with this vibe. The album draws to a close with the song “Friends” which appears to have been created in partnership with Vaporwave artist Turntboi95. This track is upbeat, and unlike most of the others, includes vocals.
Since releasing Costanza, Apartment 5A has mastered several more singles and another album. One single, “Marine Biologist”, is an obvious play on George Costanza’s failed career ambitions in the Seinfeld series. Yet, the track sound less like Seinwave and more like a Vaporwave song mixed with Japanese vocals. In addition, the video for it uses images of swimming dolphins and feels a lot like Seapunk.
Apartment 5A’s second album, Cosmo, was released in June of 2016. Returning to the Seinwave genre, the album follows a similar formula to Costanza. Along with the album name being a reference to the character Cosmo Kramer in Seinfeld, the music makes use of samples from the sitcom’s dialog and theme music. Nowhere is this more noticeable than on the title track, “Cosmo” which begins with a discussion between Kramer and Jerry.
Several of the album’s track names also connect with key moments in the show. The second track “Giddy Up” and the third “Isosceles” pay homage to humorous snippets of Kramer’s dialog. Both of these tracks are groovy and strongly exemplify the Vaporwave aesthetic.
There is one final Seinfeld reference in the album. The last track “Apartment 5B” is named after the location of Kramer’s apartment in the sitcom. The song, which has a calm ambient feel, uses vocalized pops that are reminiscent of the Seinfeld theme song. It’s the perfect ending for an album that is destined to become a Seinwave classic.
Apartment 5A is a unique Vaporwave artist whose strong work is helping to legitimize the Seinwave sub-genre. One can only hope that future works by Apartment 5A will build upon the foundation created by these first two albums to achieve even great auditory heights.