If voice assistants like Siri had existed back in the ’80s, they might have had a slightly different user experience than we’re used to today. Squirrel Monkey imagines what life might have been like if Siri shipped on a 3.5″ floppy and downloaded answers via a 1200 baud modem.
If there was one new sound that turned up more than any other back in ’80s music, it was the Yamaha DX7 and its cutting-edge FM synthesis. Polyphonic explores what made the DX7’s sound and tech unique, and some of the many artists who incorporated it in their music.
Mashup maker Darth Blender chopped up bits and pieces of classic sci-fi, superhero, and fantasy footage to create an awesome retro take on the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, had the movie come out sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I-ron Man is the best.
Techmoan is back with more awesomely weird retro tech. This time, he shows off the Roland MT-80S, a compact music player that played back MIDI files using songs stored on a 3.5 inch floppy disk. Since it was designed for learning music, it also packed a digital metronome.
8 Bit Universe presents an amazing chiptune cover version of the Muse classic Knights of Cydonia that sounds like it could have come straight out of a late ’80s side-scrolling shooter. We’re thinking something like R-TYPE could have easily used this as its soundtrack.
For anyone who grew up watching TV in the ’80s and ’90s, the Cheers theme song will immediately bring back fond memories. But let this version play, and things get a whole lot less cheerful. We don’t care if everybody knows our name. There’s no way we’re going to this bar.
The Floppotron plays a song which feels like it was tailor-made to be performed on old floppy and hard disk drives – Eurythmics’ 1981 classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). The synth sounds just work perfectly on the computer hardware, and who are we to disagree?
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross recorded a fantastic tribute to John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween, adding their own haunting style, while preserving the synth sound that made it a classic. From the upcoming John Carpenter’s ‘Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998.
The always educational Captain Disillusion takes a break from debunking viral videos and questionable crowdfunding to kick off a new series about the masters of visual effects. The first episode looks at the ahead-of-their-time visuals in the Back to the Future trilogy.
Director Fred China and his team are currently raising funds for a documentary about the creation of Tim Burton’s 1988 classic Beetlejuice, which features amazing, never before seen archive footage of production of the film’s clever visuals. (Thanks John!)
Digital artist Florian Renner created this neon-lit promo video for the synthwave collection Magnatron 2.0 from New Retro Wave. While the imagery and sounds are certainly inspired by the ’80s, they’re also crazy slick and futuristic. The track here is Star Fighter by Wice.
Techmoan digs up all kinds of strange and wonderful “high-tech” stuff from the past. One of the crazier items has to be this cassette tape which defeated the entire purpose of a cassette, making you load in tiny reels of tape. Perhaps this was the precursor to the fidget spinner.