Tuesday, December 19, 2017

early-Noughties nostalgia?

A man argues that the year 2000 is now officially retro.  It being 17, 18 years ago - which is almost two decades, and 20 Years being the traditional cyclical point at which things get revived or start to seem quaint.

What he (Matt Novak) specifically means, though, is that the year's 2000's ideas of "futuristic" now seem retro-futuristic. (The site he's writing for is Paleofuture, which is all about retrofuture).

I don't remember that much actual futurism or futuristic-ness in 2000. Although it's a year that seems indistinct in my memory... I'd have to strain to actual recall what was big or happening in music, or pop culture that year.

(Strains for a bit)

2step in the UK was still dominating the Top 40 in 2000...  the Timbaland R&B wave, although peaked, was still rolling...  dancehall...  Southern rap in the bounce and crunk style...  All of them pretty shiny and modern, yes, but futuristic? I'm not sure. If it was futuristic it was pretty much a continuation of the Nineties vibe of future-now, shiny digital sleekness).

But there was also - in the early 2000s - a lot of actual retro happening in real-time. There was the garage punk revival, the electro / Eighties revival was taking off, there was the early stirrings of the postpunk revival, Even filter-house and Daft Punk had its nostalgic, past-recycling aspect.

So it's not really the case that 2000 that has become retro; it's more that it was the beginning of the retromania era that was the Noughties.


  1. I would argue that the year 2000 itself is indeed retro at this point, much like Novak said. In addition to being more or less a continuation of the late 90's as you stated, a lot of the styles and fashions that prevailed that year feel very antiquated in 2017. I'm not sure about the noughties in general, but to me there are plenty of music videos that scream "It's 2000".

  2. Here is another article about the year 2000 and its appeal

    The Y2K aesthetic: who knew the look of the year 2000 would endure?

    Perhaps there is a specific appeal to that 1 Jan 2000 - 10 Sep 2001 period. What we imagine the decade might have looked like if it wasn't knocked off its axis.

    Although as one writer put it at the time...
    "A telling aspect of the backlash against the 1990s is that it was well underway before Sept. 11 and even before the decade itself was over."