Neon lights: Retro-futurism and the use of electronic instrumentation in Pop Music history


by Arne van Petegem

PXL Music

7.5 at 12:30-14:30 (United Studios)

“Neon lights: Retro-Futurism and the use of electronic instrumentation in Pop Music history” is a two hour inspirational session. It will be presented as an illustrated listening session and discussion centred around some key moments in pop music history where new technological innovations (Moog modular synth, 808 drum machine, Autotune…) were pushed to the front and opening new pathways in sound experience. At the same time these innovations are running the risk of already sounding slightly outdated at the moment they are being used, hence the “retro futurism” tag. They are songs and sounds that instinctively feel new but simultaneously might make us feel “nostalgic about the future”, to quote an often used definition of retro-futurism. I think this session is suitable for students in the field of music production (or related disciplines) as a general inspiration and starting point for further exploration. At the same time it could also be suitable to a wider audience interested in that point where music technology, pop music history and a sprinkling of cultural theory meet.