Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Language: English

Pages: 496

ISBN: 0865479941

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Language: English

Pages: 496

ISBN: 0865479941

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011

We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups . . . But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?

Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity―the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement's invocations of medievalism―never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?

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art style: washed-out, ‘photocopy-of-a-photocopy’ images that are like fading after-images of a dream that you’re struggling to cling onto after waking; and photo collages that montage images cut out of magazines (lots of eyes and mouths) and have an effect that is gauchely grotesque yet oddly powerful, and that above all suits the music. Cassettes could be considered a hauntological format because, like the scratches and surface noise on vinyl, the hiss of tape noise reminds you constantly that

Asian-American Black Eyed Peas), whose music is based on eighties electro. From cyborg divas like Lady Gaga to party rappers like Flo Rida and robo-R&B singers like Taio Cruz, the state-of-the-(ch)art is an omnipop that pulls every trick in the book of eighties and nineties club music, meshing together elements from R&B, electro, house, ‘Euro’ and trance to create a high-fructose sound of brash, blaring excitement. This super-compressed, MP3-ready, almost pre-degraded sound is engineered to cut

Asian-American Black Eyed Peas), whose music is based on eighties electro. From cyborg divas like Lady Gaga to party rappers like Flo Rida and robo-R&B singers like Taio Cruz, the state-of-the-(ch)art is an omnipop that pulls every trick in the book of eighties and nineties club music, meshing together elements from R&B, electro, house, ‘Euro’ and trance to create a high-fructose sound of brash, blaring excitement. This super-compressed, MP3-ready, almost pre-degraded sound is engineered to cut

Temple and Boris. Monsters of meta-rock, even their most out-there or heavy music feels like it’s wrapped in invisible quotation marks. But the stereotype (or is it in fact an archetype?) even crept into the television mainstream recently with Tremé, the drama series conceived by The Wire’s producer David Simon and set in post-Katrina New Orleans. One of its minor characters is a wealthy Japanese jazz fanatic who arrives in the Crescent City offering alms to struggling musicians, only to try

space, rather than across time; it was the ache of displacement. Gradually it shed these geographical associations and became a temporal condition: no longer an anguished yearning for the lost motherland but a wistful pining for a halcyon lost time in one’s life. As it became de-medicalised, nostalgia also began to be seen not just as an individual emotion but as a collective longing for a happier, simpler, more innocent age. The original nostalgia had been a plausible emotion in the sense that

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