The original Deca-Disco piece was written in 2003, just after the start of the war on
Musically the neo(n) retro/neo 80s trend is at least as strong (if slightly less visible) than it was in 2003.
Rather than trying to conceal his artifice, sonic prankster VV/M produced a literally fetishistic neo New Beat project, Sabam, which at least temporarily re-animated the sleaziest corner of the eighties electronic spectrum. Despite this, New Beat remains relatively neglected and hasn’t experienced the same level of revivalism. This may be because New Beat’s unapologetic embrace of sleaze is too honestly cynical and appropriate to our times for even the Trash and Nag Nag Nag contingents.
Still engaged in their underground guerrilla struggle against what they see as this Global Darkness, Bunker Records are retreating ever further back into the shadows, releasing 1 or 200 edition vinyl copies, and compromising their underground purity by creating an instant market for speculative record dealers. Nevertheless, some very fine underground electro continues to leak out from the Bunker.
What all this proves is that stylistically the eighties are far from over and that there is now a series of ‘eternal’ and ‘neo’ eighties sounds, which continue to morph and develop and which it seems no amount of exploitation, cynicism or over-exposure is able to kill off. It may be that as recession turns to depression and mass social instability becomes ever more present, the glitzier core of neo(n) retro will fall away, but since most of the original archetypes driving the scene emerged in the period of mass unemployment and the Cold War, it may be that intensifying crisis only intensifies the sharpness and relevance of eighties electronic aesthetics.