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rob_giri
03-06-2011, 12:38 AM
So..

slim jenkins
03-06-2011, 01:00 PM
What?

;)

Waiting for my copy.

Yours
A Dedicated Retronaut (http://includemeout2.blogspot.com/2011/06/retromania-with-roger-roger-industrial.html)

connect_icut
03-06-2011, 03:59 PM
Did anyone see that article in the Grauniad yesterday? Hilariously irrelevant pictures and captions! Charlie's Angels????

slim jenkins
03-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Another one featured Sun Ra...most people aren't forward-thinking enough to appreciate him!

Benny B
03-06-2011, 05:41 PM
good article though. Really looking forward to this book. Seems like it needed writing.

crackerjack
03-06-2011, 05:51 PM
Did anyone see that article in the Grauniad yesterday? Hilariously irrelevant pictures and captions! Charlie's Angels????

Didn't see the piece, but Charlie's Angels is perfectly relevant to the book.

muser
10-06-2011, 11:56 AM
I'll be interested in to what conclusions he comes to about its cause. The accessibility to the past from the internet is an obvious one but I think theres probably more to it than that. I think for example the popularity of using old equipment has lead to people making more retroistic music even if they hadn't originally intended to, or for it to at least sound retro just by the sonic signifiers. But also theres all of the soul diva stuff, whinehouse, duffy etc which again may be less to do with more access as it is to do with just having a larger overall recorded music history for producers to pick from and market. I'm sure there are some wider social reasons but I couldnt even begin to think how you would join the dots to relate it to this really. Looking forward to reading this.

muser
10-06-2011, 11:57 AM
Is Retromania any different from the idea of Hauntology though?

crackerjack
10-06-2011, 01:02 PM
Is Retromania any different from the idea of Hauntology though?

I thought hauntology was a microgenre steeped in old reference points, or have I misunderstood?

Retromania is obviously a history of music's (and other art) increasing tendency to look backwards and frame itself with old reference points.

john eden
10-06-2011, 02:21 PM
Reynolds blanked me IN MY LOCAL on Sunday. Harsh par.

Having said that I am probably still going to buy the book*.

*When it's remaindered in 2018.

slim jenkins
10-06-2011, 05:36 PM
Ha! Wanker.
Started it.
'S alright, you know.

pattycakes
10-06-2011, 09:31 PM
I'll be interested in to what conclusions he comes to about its cause. The accessibility to the past from the internet is an obvious one but I think theres probably more to it than that. I think for example the popularity of using old equipment has lead to people making more retroistic music even if they hadn't originally intended to, or for it to at least sound retro just by the sonic signifiers. But also theres all of the soul diva stuff, whinehouse, duffy etc which again may be less to do with more access as it is to do with just having a larger overall recorded music history for producers to pick from and market. I'm sure there are some wider social reasons but I couldnt even begin to think how you would join the dots to relate it to this really. Looking forward to reading this.

Things were better back then. Old sounds remind us of when life was more fun and carefree. Also kind of feel like Quentin Tranatino has a lot to answer for with Pulp Fiction. Seemed like a big trigger for today's retromania.

edit: shouldn't post when drunk. scratch the tarantino bit.

IdleRich
11-06-2011, 01:12 PM
I thought hauntology was more to do with imagined, alternative, might have been pasts and the futures (or possibly present) which didn't grow from that but could have done. Ghost pasts and presents basically.
Although that's not quite what it says here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauntology

Maybe what I'm describing has more to do with retrofuturism and parallel worlds. But I imagine hauntology as a kind of retrofuturist other world that somehow overlaps and bleeds into ours like a ghost.

DannyL
11-06-2011, 02:24 PM
Reynolds blanked me IN MY LOCAL on Sunday. Harsh par.

Having said that I am probably still going to buy the book*.

*When it's remaindered in 2018.

I was possessed by the urge to shoplift a copy of Wire today in Smiths so I could read this. I failed though, because I am old.

crackerjack
11-06-2011, 02:30 PM
I thought hauntology was more to do with imagined, alternative, might have been pasts and the futures (or possibly present) which didn't grow from that but could have done. Ghost pasts and presents basically.
Although that's not quite what it says here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauntology

Maybe what I'm describing has more to do with retrofuturism and parallel worlds. But I imagine hauntology as a kind of retrofuturist other world that somehow overlaps and bleeds into ours like a ghost.

Oh. You'll gather I skipped that chapter :o

IdleRich
11-06-2011, 02:30 PM
Fucking hell - you're supposed to be setting an example to the kids you teach! Getting thrown out of clubs for taking gack, shoplifting - what's next, mugging old ladies?

crackerjack
11-06-2011, 02:32 PM
Fucking hell - you're supposed to be setting an example to the kids you teach! Getting thrown out of clubs for taking gack, shoplifting - what's next, mugging old ladies?

I'd like the record to show I never mug old ladies unless really desperate.

IdleRich
11-06-2011, 02:44 PM
I meant DannyL.

john eden
11-06-2011, 02:51 PM
I was possessed by the urge to shoplift a copy of Wire today in Smiths so I could read this. I failed though, because I am old.

I've finished with my copy of that issue now. So I could send it to you...

Or I dunno, burn it or something. ;)

Mr. Tea
20-06-2011, 04:40 PM
From what I can gather, the term exists in large part because it's a pun ("'auntology" = ontology) in French. Kind of how the term "metrosexual" exists because "metro" rhymes with "het(e)ro".


I thought hauntology was more to do with imagined, alternative, might have been pasts and the futures (or possibly present) which didn't grow from that but could have done. Ghost pasts and presents basically.
Although that's not quite what it says here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauntology

Maybe what I'm describing has more to do with retrofuturism and parallel worlds. But I imagine hauntology as a kind of retrofuturist other world that somehow overlaps and bleeds into ours like a ghost.

I like that last sentence.

The thing about the mania for the revival of old styles is that it's been going on forever - imperial Rome's emulation of the art and architecture of classical Greece hundreds of years earlier, the Renaissance taking cues from the Classical civilisations, then neo-Classical architecture in the 18th century, neo-Gothic in the 19th...though I guess with today's pop music the difference is the sheer range of styles and periods that are being recycled or pastiched, be it trad folk, '60s pop-rock, post-punk, synthpop, trad metal, rave or big-band jazz.

A few years ago I was at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club and there were people there, most of them younger than me, dressed in the costumes of just about every decade of the last century from the '20s to the '80s.

IdleRich
20-06-2011, 05:08 PM
"though I guess with today's pop music the difference is the sheer range of styles and periods that are being recycled or pastiched, be it trad folk, '60s pop-rock, post-punk, synthpop, trad metal, rave or big-band jazz."
Isn't that just because culture happens faster now though? There were probably more styles and fashions in the 20th century than there were in the previous five hundred years. More things happened so more things to recycle.

Benny B
20-06-2011, 05:15 PM
The thing about the mania for the revival of old styles is that it's been going on forever - the Roman's emulation of the art and architecture of classical Greece hundreds of years earlier, the Renaissance taking cues from the Classical civilisations, then neo-Classical architecture in the 18th century, neo-Gothic in the 19th...though I guess with today's pop music the difference is the sheer range of styles and periods that are being recycled or pastiched, be it trad folk, '60s pop-rock, post-punk, synthpop, trad metal, rave or big-band jazz.


In the book Reynolds makes the distinction between these older revivals and 'retro', in arguing that todays revivals are increasingly drawing on the very recent past and often have an ironic edge to them. Whats more the retro revivals are becoming more like the fashion industry in that the reasons and motives behind them are becoming increasingly arbitrary...like, 'whats this season's look?'. So its really a very different thing than Classical Greece coming back or whatever.

Anyway, its another great book. Certainly pretty pessimistic but I found very little to disagree with in it. The book has a very wide scope and the evidence and analysis he's put together is quite overwhelming. We have some fucking serious issues nowadays.

Anyone else finished this yet?

Mr. Tea
20-06-2011, 05:57 PM
Yeah, I guess the revival of recent decades that are within living memory for a lot of people - e.g. 20-year-olds in Ramones T-shirts obviously don't remember the '70s, but their parents do - is a bit different from reviving styles from centuries ago. And there's the whole 'irony' thing, but I find that's such a widely used and abused concept these days it's rapidly losing any real meaning.

Benny B
20-06-2011, 06:18 PM
such a widely used and abused concept these days it's rapidly losing any real meaning.

*sigh*

like everything else in this godforsaken world ;)

Mr. Tea
20-06-2011, 06:47 PM
Haha, touche...but I think it's true, I mean irony is quite a specific and subtle concept but people use it lazily these days more or less as a synonym for "insincere" or "parodic". Or, if you're Alanis Morisette, "slightly unfortunate or annoying" (ironically).

you
20-06-2011, 08:21 PM
I thought irony is like metallic?

Anyhow - I still have not got this book, really ought to from the sounds of it. I keep banging on about acceleration at the end of history, endless red-shift, and how we will be sampling yesterday before the end of next week - hyperculture ( cyberspheres ) speeds up retrofication.....

I was sat down with a girl the other day and she asked me "You mean there is nothing new? Do you believe you (me) can make something new?" I replied soberly - "no."

Retro feels like a syndrome, whereby unique contexts and juxtapositions are created out of established stuff - but nothing is new, things are created through collage and post-production - think about Relational Aesthetics, massive art movement, but it was essentially life in an art context, but when picasso was sketching his art was new art, nothing imported just executed totally totally differently to anything before.

Rick Owens the designer really interests me with regard to this theme, he makes like neo-grunge meets goth fashion - and none of it is strictly new, and grunge and goth are both pretty recent - but he's seen as one of the most innovative big designers out there.... I guess there is an acceptance that there won't be any thing new, like the womens trouser suit, that what people are looking for is a good orchestration, a nice context collage of retro materials ( anything previous, or culturally entrenched )...

IdleRich
20-06-2011, 08:29 PM
"Haha, touche...but I think it's true, I mean irony is quite a specific and subtle concept but people use it lazily these days more or less as a synonym for "insincere" or "parodic". Or, if you're Alanis Morisette, "slightly unfortunate or annoying" (ironically)."
Well, it's subtle but I don't think it's specific - irony includes dramatic irony, romantic irony, sarcasm and lots of other types as well which are all quite different. I guess the main defining quality of irony is a difference in knowledge between two (groups of) people giving a different meaning to the same events or words or information.

jenks
21-06-2011, 09:46 AM
Half way through - thought the chapter on collecting/collectors - Ch3 was spot on. Started to wish he'd move a bit faster when he went on to discuss Northern Soul but generally very persuasive piece and I am finding very little to disagree with - every time I think he could bring X in here, they turn up next page. Maybe it's from twenty plus years of reading his stuff? Also I think he has fine tuned his style somewhat and now it's a little less frenzied, a little less lapel grabbing.

slim jenkins
21-06-2011, 05:25 PM
So far so good as far as chapters on YouTube, file-sharing etc go - the irony: many of us use Now technology to explore Then - but retromania's really just another word for the kind of nostalgia that's gripped generations since they grew up after the Second World War - and the technology's enabled us to become captivated by Past glories we never knew existed, aswell as revisit those we experienced. Competing against a magnificent history, it seems that modern music can't 'win' (unless you're 14 and just found Wobbly Step, of course).

gumdrops
10-07-2011, 10:38 AM
about a 100 pages through this so far. the stuff about file sharing habits is pretty spot on. oddly despite the books premise it is making me quite nostalgic.

gumdrops
30-08-2011, 09:55 AM
reading this on starkey (the historian, not american uk bass guy), made me think of retromania -



For the past is another country, and there is a liberation in imagining a world that is human yet utterly different from our own. As the globalised economy ravages the last pockets of truly pre-industrial culture everywhere on earth, it is increasingly in history in the contemplation of other times when people thought in other ways that we can free our minds to imagine otherness.

Gregor XIII
30-08-2011, 03:11 PM
I should really read this book. Does he mention Lyotard in it? I've been thinking recently, that the loss of 'narratives' have a huge thing to do with this. Once, we knew what we wanted the future to be - liberalist or social utopia. Now, thinking about utopian futures is severely discredited - the most important idea of the future in the sphere of politics today is probably the dystopia of the climate movement, otherwise it's people like the tea party, looking to the past. So we don't know how to find the future anymore, ergo, we wallow in the past.

continuum
30-08-2011, 04:32 PM
reading at the moment. will post some thoughts when i finish

pattycakes
01-09-2011, 12:44 PM
i dunno if i agree completely with reynolds that having too much music in mp3 form is as bad a thing as he seems to be saying

my own collection is too much (best part of a tb and shrinking) and fairly widespread in genre. when i realised that i was becoming a fairly serious downloader i kept it in mind that i would be sure to have a broad enough selection so that if i felt the need i could always have a new style or area to explore, basically to avoid over saturating myself with anything. obviously there are limits but i made a big effort with that. also it helped towards having a john peel meets gilles peterson meets theo parrish meets old school solid steel era coldcut who occasionally hang out with nurse with wound type radio station when i put the whole thing on shuffle

also there was the thought that maybe one day it would become impossible to download music or i would be living on a desert island and would need enough music to somehow stay sane

like reynolds, a large amount of it comes from album blogs, but unlike him i see it as having my own massive record shop where i can rummage through stuff and find shit at random. maybe the odds of quality are a little higher than an actual record shop due to the discernment of the bloggers i used to follow. well actually, the odds are higher, but there is still a lot of fodder to wade through, which only adds to the random record shop vibe of it. there were only a few bloggers who i followed which managed to stay consistently great, but there were like 50x more which were were only occasionally great and then the rest of the time just flogging pap with a convincing blurb to hoodwink you into believing they had just dropped the heaviest shit ever on you

at the moment i`m mostly listening to things on shuffle and occasionally i`ll hear something that makes me rush to the screen to see what it is. a lot of the time i will have forgotten what it was 2 songs later and in a way thats a good thing. a fleeting moment of excitement, maybe i won`t ever hear that song again?

the part where he talks about ipod shuffle basically equating to radio me kind of rang true there for a minute and i felt a pang of remorse. ages ago i half heartedly (due to the fucking mammoth task) started going through a few of the smaller genre folders and deleting tracks i`m certain i`ll never want to listen to again. thus being able to right click/play folder the genre (hiphop being one of them) and then having some assurance that 85% of what i`m going to hear is going to be pleasing to my ear. i realise i could have done this with playlists, but i never really got into them with winamp and i quite like windows explorer for navigating the folders. not into itunes at all

when i read his thoughts on it i first thought, `god, he`s right. i`ve taken the surprise and joy out of it.` but then i realised that if i wanted surprise i`d just tune into an actual radio station, of which there are plenty on and offline. i would like some control over what i listen to and i do still get joy from listening to the edited folders on shuffle (there`s enough there that i`m still coming across plenty of unfamiliar tracks)

it did raise one arguably interesting point when doing the hiphop deleting though, for my personal tastes, there just aren`t that many albums that i wanted to listen to all the way through. when i finished doing the hiphop folder i realized that there were only about 6 albums where i didn`t delete a single track and then a little over 15 more which were like 80-90% gold. so that kind of goes against the idea that we must listen to whole albums as the artist intended. i guess with hiphop though, it`s not as much an album type of genre as say, 70s rock. so maybe this point is moot? was strange to realise how many classic albums had some serious duds on them, too

the albums i usually do want to listen to all the way through tend to be the type of thing where a whole cohesive world is laid out in front of you that you can explore in your head as it plays along and it usually stays with you long after the fact. can`s tago mago for instance. a lot of instrumental music also fits the bill. and i guess a lot of music from the 60s&70s in genral does too

i agree that it`s a shame a lot of us barely have the patience to listen to a full track, and that people are losing the patience for proper listening, but in certain areas it`s just not really applicable. maybe i`m stating the obvious here, i dunno?

anyway, i think that as long as you are aware of what you are doing with your collection and not letting yourself become a skipper then i`d say the fact that so much music being available to us now is a wonderful thing

luka
03-09-2011, 09:00 AM
also there was the thought that maybe one day it would become impossible to download music or i would be living on a desert island and would need enough music to somehow stay sane

this made me laugh cos i sort of related to it. what music blogs did you use?

pattycakes
03-09-2011, 12:59 PM
mostly the jazz ones like orgy in rhythm, ile oxumare, and then for the krautier side of things, curved air, way back. think i posted a list ages ago in a music blog thread

one other place i got a lot of electronic stuff from was the funkysouls forum, google 'artist name' +funkysouls and you can get lots of nice results

luka
04-09-2011, 07:10 AM
yeah i downloaded stuff from those. curved air was pretty nuts then vanishd into the aether.

pattycakes
13-09-2011, 09:30 PM
only got like 30 pages to go and keep putting off finishing this thing. probably because i don't want it to end yet. a lot of it brings to mind bill drummond and the ideas he puts across in his book the 17 (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?8196-bill-drummond-and-the-future-of-music)

continuum
29-10-2011, 01:17 PM
Finished reading this the other day. Enjoyed it and made me flip back to the Post Punk / New Pop Interview book to read the bits I hadn't yet.

Not sure what to say about Retromania apart from I agree with most of it. Kind of leaves lots of open ends and threads that could be explored but no solid path to follow (which I guess is the point). Learnt alot about other types of music I didn't know much about such as rockabilly.

Don't know what else to say really. Definitetely worth reading. I hope the next book has more to do with UK Bass music - has enough time elapsed now for something substantial on this to be written by Reynolds?

rubberdingyrapids
11-04-2012, 09:30 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/10/paperback-q-a-simon-reynolds-retromania


What, if anything, would you do differently if you were starting the book again?
Define my terms more starkly, actually get into talking about what innovation and originality are, the various circumstances in which they occur and different forms they can take. I would also add a more upbeat final chapter, based on talking to people confidently engaged in trying to make future music: people working at the cutting edge of technology or combining sound and visuals. The book does end on an upbeat note, but it's not supported by anything, it's just a vague hope!

id like to read that as an article - dont see why that couldnt happen...

empty mirror
20-04-2012, 11:17 AM
I read this a while back. Really enjoyed it. Been reflecting on it a bit now that everyone is abuzz about the R&R Hall of Fame hullaballoo. Respect to Axl Rose for calling them out for being the anti-thesis of the spirit of rock and roll. Nice that he identified Hanoi Rocks as his influence. Listening to HR is like a decoder ring for GNR records. I can't listen to them without hearing a teenaged Axl's voice singing along in my head.

blacktulip
20-04-2012, 12:14 PM
I see Andy McCoy and Mike Monroe on the street all the time here in Finland. Once McCoy unwittingly dropped his scarf and I picked it up and caught up with him to return it. Another time he purposefully strummed an acoustic guitar into my face in the beer garden of his local restaurant.