Eliana

NASA really knows how to grab your attention. These retro space posters are simply amazing.

Earth

Earth

Ceres

Ceres

Enceladus

Enceladus

Europa

Europa

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour

Jupiter

Jupiter

Kepler-16b

Kepler-16b

Kepler-186f

Kepler-186f

Mars

Mars

Super Earth

Super Earth

Eliana

It's funny to see people so obsessed with rebellious lifestyle ideology being resold by luxury designers when it was so revolting to begin with - it's probably about as subversive as your fifty year-old Harley riding coworker's obsession with Marlon Brando or something.

Eliana

I'm all for hearing some orchestral stuff mixed in, expanding the score, so long as it isn't overwhelming. System Shock is definitely a game that deserves alot of electronic music, but most importantly the style should be predominantely retro.

Before we start I think it should be pointed out that very few of the tunes from the original score were actually just a looping track.

The music engine in System Shock 1 was designed to:

  1. play MIDI patterns in sequence (like a playlist) based on a rule set that involved some RNG
  2. overlay MIDI patterns, picking from multiple variants of the same overlay to match things like chord progressions
  3. select main patterns and overlays based on in-game context

Admittedly, overlays were frequently used as MIDI-based sound effects (which were synced with the music) and the dynamic aspects of the music itself were rather subtle and limited.

It would be cool to see some of those old design ideas come to life and be improved upon in a remake like this.

By retro, I mean two things. Firstly, using proper analogue keyboards or convincing VSTi clones of them. Synths such as the Oberheim OBX, Mini-Moog, Roland Jupiter 8, Juno 106, D50, Yamaha CS80.

Vangelis & Bladerunner come to mind.

The 80s were also filled with examples of orchestra, synths, and contemporary beats mixed together. It can be done, and when it is done right, it is beautiful.

Though this track isn't cyberpunk, illustrates my point that you can blend these things.

Secondly, one mistake I hear in alot of modern electronic music is overkill in bass and percussion. People want to hear more than a drum or bass machine. Music should be immersive & full spectrum. If it were me, I'd be approaching the electronic portion of the game's music, from a symphonic perspective first, and then working in arpgeggio beats, bass, drums into action sequences, but as I said, not overkill. Complimenting the track, not burying everything.

Eliana

When I was in high school I was exposed to the new wave retro. And that sort of stuck with me. I will bounce around from retro to vintage, but they sort of work, depending on how you blend them, and how strong your transiation is.

I saw a playlist on Spotify with this title, and it got me thinking about a lot of bands that have popped up somewhat recently and have a sound similar to the music of the 60s and 70s - weird, drug-fueled, beautiful music that leaves you feeling a bit hazy.

I think a lot of it comes down to analogue vs digital music.

We've been absolutely bombarded with digital sounds for over a decade and a lot of musicians and listeners simply don't like that sound, or at least, it isn't what really speaks to them personally. Maybe too, I think modern music is a bit strange in that we have traditional music like classical, folk, opera etc that carries on for generations but since the 50s musical styles have kind of come and gone in popular culture within a decade so I guess it feels stranger people playing 70s music because we give genres such a short lifespan these days, I dunno.

I probably articulated that point pretty poorly, but anyway.

I'm listening to a lot of the bands you listed but I'd also add Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price that I can think of as being really recent.

I wanted to see if other people had pertaining to recent bands (came around after at least 2005, which was sort of where I got started) that they consider to be "retro." I'll start with a couple of my favorites.

  • Tame Impala
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Mac Demarco
  • King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
  • The Babe Rainbow
  • The Redwalls
  • Temples
  • Mild High Club
  • Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
  • Foxygen

You don't have to name 10 bands, but I figured I'd get the ball rolling. I'd also love to hear everyone's opinions of "retro," and what it means to them in music and media. Or why you feel your band or a previously mentioned band has this sound.