Help me recover a forgotten neologism for retro/nostalgia styles
February 5, 2018 4:04 AM   Subscribe

My latest white whale is a term for retro music/art that I ran into maybe a decade ago at most, which conjured the sense of nostalgia more than any specific era or style being resurrected. It was a simple neologism that may even have been built on the word "nostalgia", but no amount of searching is digging this up for me!

A few years before Vapourwave became A Thing, disco-era synth lounge effects were still strong, and serious musicians were hitting the studios to put out tracks that sounded like the theme tune to Taxi. Even Portishead's reunion sounded like a love letter to Robert Moog. This is the kind of music I associate with this term, although it was intended to be far more general.

I discovered the word in a rather pompous article on the then-current wave of retro music. It seems like the kind of thing that I would have found through the blue, but no amount of searching over the past two years has turned it up. In the article, someone likely as prominent as Brian Eno or David Bowie was cited as having coined this word. It was something like "nostalgiartifact", but rolled off the tongue better and was far more clever. The article talked about how the exploration of the forgotten medium often found genuinely new expressions that our minds still placed in the past.

I feel like it's such a useful idea and I'm hoping that my own rose-tinted specs aren't causing me to misremember the neologism as having been more suitable than it actually was!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be Simon Reynolds' Retromania?
posted by rollick at 4:17 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Or possibly Derrida's "hauntology", popularised in part by Reynolds.
posted by rollick at 4:48 AM on February 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

Good grief, of course it was Derrida! Thank you so much, rollick. I was approaching this from entirely the wrong direction!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:15 AM on February 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

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