Hydrogen is an aesthetic designed to evoke a vibe of a combination of calmness, a feeling of being static or frozen in time, and enough strangeness to feel slightly surreal. Common elements of Hydrogen, like lunar imagery and retrofuturism, are simply effective ways to evoke these three emotions. In the 1930s, gaseous hydrogen was used in zeppelins to make them float; this feeling of slow, retro-futuristic lighter-than-air-ness is what gives the aesthetic its name.
Hydrogen was initially inspired by early retrofuturistic media, such as Georges Méliès' "Le Voyage dans la Lune" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Balloon-Hoax." Initially it was fully based on the emotions of certain static images contained within these works, removed from their contexts. Eventually this diversified: first beyond the confines of media into music and digital art, and later on beyond the confines of its initial aesthetic themes, replacing them with more unifying emotional themes.
Examples of the Hydrogen Aesthetic in Media
- Dust by M|O|O|N
- The intro of Plus Four by M|O|O|N
- The intro of Aural Psynapse by deadmau5
- We Love You Celestial by IAMTHEKIDYOUKNOWWHATIMEAN
- "electronic nocturnes" in general - generally simple bass or baritone synth melodies with lots of reverb and little progression
- The intro of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Hydrogen is a difficult aesthetic to find or make media for. Its primary themes require a kind of suspended animation that doesn't fit well with anything that has a plot.