End.Game is a dark, dreamy synthpop album, all swooping pads, punchy beats and mysterious retro auras. It's the work of Luscious-235, a joint-venture between Sid Luscious (of 80s fame fronting The Pants) and "the artificial entity known as Unit 235".
This album immediately seizes a special place in my heart because it was inspired by my short story Mixtape of Lost Decade and its mythology of the 19A0s: a forgotten era between the 1970s and 1980s so culturally traumatic that it erased itself from our collective memory. Artifacts from the 19A0s, the story goes, now leak out through the internet and other liminal spaces—and here we are.
You can't expect an unbiased review from me, then, but obviously you should go and buy this album right away.
It is, after all, an act of archaeology.
End.Game. by Luscious-235 Read the rest
This excellent 1982 TV commercial for Mattel's Intellivision game console features a "computerized" futuristic newscast that predates both Max Headroom's cyber-pisstake on the media and A-Ha's rotoscoped classic "Take On Me!"
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A masterfully-executed selection of LP covers that "imagine how your current favorite singers would look like in a 80s version." The artist is Fulaleo from Australia. Read the rest
16 thousand people have watched this ambient yet vaguely sinister YouTube video alerting viewers to the existence of "illuminati pyramid" clocks. I recently found a 1984 Seiko original at a garage sale for $2—my new favorite toy!—and thought I'd share the ancient wisdom.
Best of all, it preserves bacon much better than the late-2000s replica. I wish it would stop talking to me in my sleep about the Clintons, though.
Photo: Selçuk Oral Read the rest
Created by James White (previously), the Neo-Noire font represents the apogee of 80s-style brush type. It's $30 at his online store and comes with uppercase and alternate caps for the lowercase, numbers and a layered PSD exemplar so you can see how those glowy gradients are done. Read the rest
Arc Symphony is a text-only game about being a fan of an elaborate Japanese Playstation RPG in the 1990s. Designed to evoke an old-timey USENET group and the ancient DOS PC used to connect to it, it's a perfect and mysterious capturing of a long-gone moment. To promote it, the creators that never existed. designed jewel cases, complete with glossy booklet (no disk, of course), in perfect imitiation of a PSX game
At shows, people spot the clever mockup and say, hey, I remember that game.
People tell them they remember playing it.
People insist they remember. There are fansites.
Arc Symphony works because of Park and Evan’s marketing of it—it becomes easier to pretend to be a fan of the game when they’ve managed to slip a little nostalgia for it into your drink. Both Park and Evans were very surprised by the success of their campaign, and how quickly it got away from them.
“It’s actually really unsettling when it stops just being indie game devs having fun with each other,” Park said, “and starts being, well, rewriting cultural memory…”
Previously: Nomen Ludi, the game you can't quite remember. Read the rest
This generates names of Defunct Computer Companies That You're Sure You Can Remember From the 19A0s
Three legendary synth musicians -- Morgio Zoroger, Xangelix and Carla Wendos -- competed in 1986 for the right to be anointed Lord of Synth. Read the rest
If technical descriptions of how they achieved the amazing graphical feat flew over your head, this pictorial explanation makes clearer just how insane this thing is.
The idea that such multi-color trickery was possible came to me some time ago, as I was looking at reenigne's code for patching up composite CGA emulation in DOSBox; messing with that patch during development gave me a much better picture of composite CGA's inner workings. When I had ironed out the basic concept for this hack, I divulged it to reenigne for 'peer review' and for testing on real hardware. Soon enough, we had an improved recipe:
Take two familiar (though officially undocumented) tweaks. Blend to an even mixture producing a new effect.
Add one crucial new trick – an ingredient of reenigne's devising.
Test and calibrate until blue in the face.
It's also a great look at the workings of CGA for the interested but nontechnical layman.
Released at the Revision 2015 demo party, 8088 MPH is a vision of previously undiscovered possibility (a perfect entrypoint to the 19A0s!)—there's even MOD music, including digital samples, at 6:40m, like it's just no big deal at all to do that with 1981 hardware
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"It takes a lot to make a stew". Read the rest
Enjoy 'Mixed Paganini,' by the Studio Di Fonologia Musicale Di Firenze. Published in 1967, it sounds like a weird, hectic video game from 15 years later. The songs were programmed by Pietro Grossi; the 7" disk was "distributed as a Christmas and new year gift by the Olivetti company." [via] Read the rest
Los Angeles. The Future. 1995.
A string of disappearances throughout the underground night club circuit has driven law enforcement to initiate a manhunt for the elusive figure they call Starcadian.
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It's completely functional; better than the real thing, even. Read the rest
Glitché is the evil twin of all those old-film, toy-lens, Instagram-style apps. Pick a photo, then glitch it all to Hell with broken NTSC emulation, weird 3D pixelation and heightmap extrusion effects, and delicious MPEG-style compression errors. For a $1 upgrade, the free app lets you save animated GIFs, too. [via Joel Johnson, below] Read the rest