Friday, February 28, 2014


Droid tells me about a new tweak in reggaestalgia:

"If you ever do an extended edition of  Retromania, you need to take a look at the
Euro digi-dancehall scene. Though it probably peaked a few years back, its no exaggeration to say that much of the best reggae these days is being made in (mainly) Northern Europe with JA vocals. The interesting thing is that much of it is/was based on the original 80's digital dancehall template with the likes of Tubby's 'Tempo' as the holy grail. People like Jahtari & Raggattack, who are using all the same gear - old Roland and Casio's to create a perfect copy of the original. This seems to me to be perfect retromania material as you have a genre that was obsessed with technology & computers and a particular vision of the future, now being fetishised by modern producers using ancient technology to recreate the same sound. General updates on the scene can be found here:

He adds:

"Its funny in that the 'digital era' in dancehall really only lasted maybe 4 years before samples took over and the overtly 8 bit sound disappeared and that video game style with loads of bleeps and overtly synthetic instruments dated incredibly quickly, despite many tunes referencing computers & technology. Peak years probably 85-88. Not to say that the vibes weren't there. What's interesting about euro digi dancehall (as opposed to UK digi-dub, which is more of a homegrown variant on UK steppers) is how completely convincingly the style and vibes are captured. These guys are picking from the point where the punanny redefined dancehall (again) and digital fell out of fashion, using the same gear, (Linn drum, Oberheim DX, Yamaha RX5, Casio MT-40, DMX etc...) and they make some serious tunes."

Duly noted, Droid! 

So, when it comes to the 10th Anniversary Commemorative Edition (Expanded / Updated) of Retromania, what else should I add, do you think? The last three years have seen rich pickings on the new-old, old-new, recreativity and hyperstatic fronts, much of it documented on this blog. (There's also been a few future-reactivated currents that gainsay the book's gloom-with-a-view that would warrant acknowledgement).  Obviously Daft Punk and Random Access Memories could take up a whole chapter. Haim, a few pages. But what else?  (Not limited to music, either).  

1 comment:

  1. You could add an interesting "Retromania"-Aspect to your book regarding cars and motorsports. I am a motorsports nut and (regulated) vintage car racing has been a success story throughout the last decade. While racing with vintage cars and motorbike has started in the 1970s and has been seen on the motorsports scene ever since, it never gained such a high profile until the noughties really. Even in regular motorsports events you often have a class now of "youngtimers" (=cars roughly 20-10 years of age) competing. Fully fledged vintage car racing championships are now being covered on sports tv channels. I am an Austrian, and there is an excellent car magazine here called "Autorevue" which my dad collects since the first issue from January 1965. This magazine has always been oriented towards the current automotive technology. While there was an article or feature bout a vintage car in there every now and then in the august 2012 issue the editors intorduced a new steady section of the magazine dealing with vintage cars (meaning cars at least 20 years of age), which takes up roughly 20 % of the rags contents.