195o's inspired african print lover

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Retromania and the internet time machine

Well this post is a bit of an open ended question and one I'm not sure has an answer. I am a big retro fan but I cant help but wonder, is our constant look into the past, shutting down the opportunity to innovate or produce anything new? It seems I am not the only one who has gravitated towards this idea. In fact it has been something that has repeatedly popped up on the radio and in blogs over the last few days.

As a person who is partial to a bit of retro myself, it feels a little hypocritical to pick holes in it. I love Mad Men and the clothes of the 1950's and 60's. I like listening to Disco and Funk in fact I mainly listen to old music. Even the new music I listen to often samples music of a different time and place.

Writer Simon Reynolds discusses our cultures obsession with music of the past in his book Retromania, you can read about it in depth in this Guardian article.
I feel that this so called Retromania is effecting every part of our lives from the clothes we wear to the music we listen to, to the things we put in our homes. We get exited about things that were outdated before our time like vinyl and record players. Dancing round our front rooms to the same songs our parents listened to. Even holding in high esteem music our parents would have been ashamed to listen to. After walking into an 20 something artists studio for the 100th time and hearing Bob Dylan blasting out of the ipod docking station a voice in my head cry's, isn't it time we moved on? If we spent a little less time listening to the music of the past and invested a little more time supporting the music of the future, maybe the tween market would die down and we wouldn't be forced to listen to, yet another autotune rendition of some song that was too grim the first time round.
Like I said earlier its not like I'm a maverick myself. I'm not riding the cusp of a new wave of innovation because in my hart of harts, I'm not sure there is one. the more I think about it the more I wonder how can anyone do anything new? Even when you think you have and some sort of brain wave a quick google search turns up 100 people that are doing the same and that have done it before you! Would I be a more cutting edge if I turned off all my cutting edge technology shut my door and just got on with it?
I was talking with some friends about this earlier I asked what will define this generation if this generation is just a mish mash of things form the past? She said 'mybe that is what defines us?' 'we are the generation that takes the best its form the past and by putting them together turns them into something new' I hope she is right because if Lady GaGa is the most forward thinking and experimental person out there I might just lock myself away and be done with it!

P.S if you want to read a little more on this subject have  look at this very eloquent blog post by Ekow Eshun

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