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Flop rock: inside the underground floppy disk music scene


The first computery thing I do in the year 2024 is nudge a 3.5-inch floppy disk into a USB floppy drive that I bought from an online merchant working out of Singapore’s onetime hotbed of ’90s computer piracy. I’m briefly startled by the drive’s low mechanical whirring — a warm, ambient background score that instantly transports me back to my childhood. Some of my first painfully preteen journals were hidden poorly on nondescript floppies just like this one. I click on the disk’s sole file, an MP3 titled “Inability to Perform Social Activities Is Considered Inferior,” and Yasuyuki Uesugi’s growling wall of experimental noise rolls through my apartment like a rogue wave at the beach. The track is one minute, 27 seconds long,…

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