2013, 1995 Style

Published:  July 18, 2013
2013, 1995 Style

Following on from our ’90s revival issue in March, Pat Armstrong (formerly of Boccalatte and now at The Global Mail) comments on the recent emergence of “nintiesification” – which involves taking aesthetic qualities and devices of the ’90s and applying them to contemporary design and media. Is this just a current stylistic trend, an inevitable part of an endless cycle of nostalgia and cultural recycling, or is there something deeper going on? Take a look.

When, as a teenager, I discovered that people had a shared nostalgia for old formats — vinyl especially — my first thought was something along the lines of “This will never to happen to our crappy media.” But as always, if you wait long enough, everything comes around again.

Michael Ozone – Perfect Systems (2012)

This 2012 video clip for Melbourne musician Michael Ozone’s “Perfect Systems” recalls a youth misspent mucking around with Kai’s Power Tools and a pirated copy of Avid Xpress, and at times could feel like a mid-career Severed Heads clip from the early 90s.

Stephen Farris – Orange Mellow (2011)

Similarly, Stephen Farris’ 2011 “Orange Mellow” looks (and sounds) like it belongs on that 180 minute VHS tape you dubbed favourite Rage video clips on to in 1992. Though it was undoubtably sequenced digitally, it is replete with tabe wobble, bad tracking, and teletext-style titles throughout.

As the post dates on those two videoclips attest, though, this particular aesthetic throwback has been going on for a while now, especially in music. A micro-meme of more direct 90s appropriation is happening on YouTube right now, though: “1995 style” edits of the credits of contemporary popular TV shows. A few are shown below.

(Like the top comment on one of these videos says: switch to 240p for the full experience!)

Game of Thrones – 1995 Style

Breaking Bad – 1995 Style

The Walking Dead – 1995 Style

As someone who has enjoyed the radical uptick in the quality of TV dramas over the last decade, though, I have to wonder: are these “1995 style” opening sequences a product of genuine nostalgia? Or a gentle dig at the sometimes cheap productions of the 1990s, through the prism of the “new golden age of television” we’ve just spent the last few years basking in?

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One Response

  1. Nicholas Trewartha

    As a child of the 90′s I say, let 90′s nostalgia influences come in waves

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