One of the interesting trends in the electronic music of the last few years has been an embracing of early 80’s film aesthetics; not just the synth-heavy sounds, but an attempt to vividly recreate the feel of all kinds of disreputable genre fare.
You can almost see in your mind’s eye the cardboard covers of the videocassettes: lurid slasher flicks and sci-fi would-be epics and teen dramas.
This is music as memorial for the death of physical media; rows upon rows of VHS tapes, each a tiny tombstone.
Chromatics, mimicking giallo films, right down to including film-style “credits” on the record sleeves. M83, attempting to evoke the actual narrative of John Hughes movies, not just their hip-for-the-time soundtracks. Boards of Canada, recalling warbling educational filmstrips and dystopian sci-fi.
Instead of taking Kraftwerk as their primary inspiration, it’s Vangelis; Tangerine Dream; Goblin; Jan Hammer and John Carpenter.
So much John Carpenter.
Sand Circles’ Motor City is an excellent example of the genre.
Though the album title makes you think you are getting some classic Detroit techno, what you are really getting is far less robotically funky, and more grimy and depleted.
More of that “nostalgia for a future that never happened”.
Layers of magnetic fuzz and stretched-tape warp give it a lived-in feel.
Emphasizing those sonic artifacts, calls to mind the physical Artifacts. Reels of videotape, housed in black plastic rectangles, that might as well have been the obsidian obelisk from 2001.