Are '80s Nostalgia Remixes The Future of Pop?

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The ‘80s will never die. You could blame Stranger Things, but nostalgia for the last era of monoculture is strong to the point of unavoidable in this day and age: Artists love to remake post-punk, synth-pop, and various ‘80s styles with a quasi-ironic wink and lackadaisical revisionist style. Looking at you, Carly Rae Jepsen. 

Three decades since the golden age of shoulder pads, musicians continue to find joy (and new audiences!) in those dated drum machine sounds: Initial Talk, a Japanese producer, played with that nostalgia most recently in a thrilling remix of Dua Lipa “New Rules.”


There’s more: Where Initial Talk’s previous work was relegated to YouTube or his personal Soundcloud page, this remix was given an official stamp of approval last Friday and made accessible across all streaming services. Check it out below:

This expression of ‘80s nostalgia—the act of taking a modern pop hit and making it so delightfully retro—can be traced back to Canadian producer Tronicbox, who reworked songs like Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” an Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in ‘80s masterpieces, the latter a power metal redux. Seriously.

Initial Talk’s approach isn’t ‘80s specific—he pulls from the internet’s second favorite decade, the ‘90s, as evidenced in their mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and Madonna’s “Ray of Light.”

The cross decade pollination recalls early ‘00s mashup culture à la Girl Talk, but this “New Rules” remix proves that even as every decade and style is being reconfigured, the ‘80s will never leave our collective imagination.

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