The Sounds of Hell

There are certain sensations that we eventually became inundated by, and, after sufficient exposure, try to suppress to the deep recesses of our minds in order to maintain sanity. There are a few cases of this for me. For example, I often hear the sounds of MTV U playing in my college cafeteria, which I escape via earbuds. Or the sounds of ongoing construction, often resolved by the same solution as the prior example. But, a particularly notable example of this phenomenon came rushing back into my mind relatively recently, and I thought I’d share it with you all today.

A couple weeks ago, Chase and I were discussing YouTube Rewind, a blatant attempt at reinforcing memes and pandering to people in an attempt for publicity, when he mentioned a video called “YouTube Rewind 2007,” which mocked YouTube’s year-in-review series by applying the template to forgotten Internet trends of yesteryear, specifically those featured in YouTube’s early days.

There’s really not much to this video besides the synopsis I provided earlier, and it features many of the long-forgotten YouTube staples from over a decade ago, including: the shitty Windows Movie Maker title template with that light blue background, Crazy Frog, the Chocolate Rain dude, and many others. But, the content isn’t what I want to go over today, but rather the background music the video features.

How many of you all recognize this song? I guarantee, in fact, that a lot of you do, seeing as how it was used in countless early-era YouTube videos as background music – specifically those featuring the archaic Unregistered Hypercam 2 software, which enabled users to capture their computer screens for videos and the like. While many of us are probably aware of this song, I’d be willing to bet that few are aware of the story behind it.

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 9.22.03 PM

Back in the early days of YouTube, the site had software called AudioSwap that substituted copyrighted music with royalty free tunes at the user’s disposal. This song, as well as a few others that I’ll describe here shortly, were composed by the trance/electronic artist, 009 Sound System. Since “009” was numerically first on the list of usable artists, many uploaders just picked a song from 009 Sound System to use as their background music.


As a result, a veritable tsunami of YouTube uploads featured the same songs as background music, with the one I linked earlier – real name “Dreamscape” – being the most infamous. Other frequently used songs include:

Oh my god these songs…

Now, I gotta give credit where it’s due, so I’ll just go ahead and say that Alexander Perls (the fella behind 009 Sound System) did a fine job making these tracks. After all, their catchiness is definitely a reason why these songs, particularly “Dreamscape,” evolved into memes in their own right. But, holy shit, they result in an instant wave of annoyance, again, particularly “Dreamscape.” I guess after involuntarily hearing something for so many times, it only seems natural that you’d be annoyed by it, even if 009 Sound System’s songs are benign in the first place. I just thought this was an interesting phenomenon that I haven’t encountered too often. Perhaps I’m just being irrational towards these songs, but I know I’m glad that they don’t appear in YouTube videos any more.

Please, let me know: does anybody else feel this way from these songs? Or do you find yourself feeling nostalgic towards them? Or do you still have no idea what the hell I’m talking about? Let me know in the comments, and, regardless of how you feel about these tunes, thanks for reading! Make sure you check out all the other content on the site, as well as our weekly playlistSee you all next week!



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