Contributed by Guest Writer
There’s always a certain appreciation for retro material among music fans. While we may tend to gravitate mostly toward the music that comes out in our own time, many who love music like to look back several years or even several decades to appreciate older artists and bands. Usually, this is an independent effort; you like what you like, and these days it’s pretty easy to get your hands on most any album you could possibly want (at least in digital form). What’s been somewhat surprising, however, are some of the ways in which pop culture and entertainment are starting to embrace older groups in different ways.
Vinyl & Cassettes
One of the most baffling trends in music in recent years has been the resurgence of vinyl. It’s not that it’s hard to understand why people like them. Talk to your friends who consider themselves music connoisseurs and you’ll undoubtedly be treated to an explanation of why vinyl makes for superior sound. But in an age in which we tend to compress our listening and viewing options, the re-emergence of vinyl was fairly counterintuitive. Even more surprising, then, was the comeback of cassettes, which started to become apparent last year and runs directly against the grain of the digital download age.
The preference for vinyl and cassettes among so many of today’s music fans does not necessarily mean renewed interest in older artists. As it happens, modern albums and soundtracks are actually being released in these forms also, simply because they’re trendy. But there’s an old school flavor to these formats, and even some younger music fans embracing them are more tempted to explore older artists in the process.
Online Slot Gaming
The most unexpected embrace of retro artists and bands has come via the online casino industry, and particularly some of the developers in charge of creating engaging and unique digital slot reels. NetBet is one noteworthy name in this category, known for listing a plethora of games and working with 27 software developers to create a variety to suit different audiences. And as a result, it hosts several games that have musical themes.
Musical slots appear to be getting more popular of late, with groups like Guns N’ Roses and Motorhead licensing their material to developers, and even artists like Jimi Hendrix inspiring tribute games. These titles are largely designed to appeal to existing fans, but it’s difficult to measure the potential impact of putting retro artists in a decidedly modern gaming environment. We could well be seeing a gradual process turning young internet gamers into more open-minded music fans with a taste for and interest in older acts.
Maybe the most impactful trend in pop culture with regard to older music is the movement toward engaging, deep-reaching soundtracks. Inspired in all likelihood by legendary directors like Quentin Tarantino, who’s known for infusing his works with fascinating and varied soundtracks, modern filmmakers appear to be latching onto the idea.
The biggest example from the last few years is the Guardians of the Galaxy series, which features two films (so far) that center on cassette mixtapes enjoyed by the main hero. And more recently, the summer action hit Baby Driver has been called “a music nerd’s dream,” featuring a retro-inspired soundtrack that is practically sewn into the action sequences of the movie. Films like these don’t just play interesting music in the background. They’re actually using old, iconic tracks to improve the action on screen in a way that makes the musical fun and memorable to younger audiences.