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Cassette Futurism or Formicapunk is works created in late The 60's, The 70's, The '80s, The '90s, and occasionally The nills, the fashion, architecture, and technology will have a certain...aesthetic. Whether it be the loud, bright colors and geometric shapes, the tendency towards stark plainness, or the lack of powerful computers and cell phones, it is clear that this is neither the Raygun Gothic of days past nor theEverything Is an iPod in the Future aesthetic that would follow, but a bridging point that contains elements of both styles.
- This [adult swim] Gold Commercial.
Anime and Manga
- Cowboy Bebop has a very 1970s aesthetic, including computer files that look like long-playing records, which is appropriate since it is set in the '70s- the 2070s.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion is a very high-tech setting, but set in an alternate future where a catastrophic asteroid impact (or so the public were told) and a number of ugly resource wars sparked by the resulting climate change significantly retarded the development of consumer electronics. It's telling that Shinji's SDAT mini-cassette player is easily his most sophisticated possession.
- The store in Back to the Future Part II is an in-universe example.
- The whole 2015 segment in the same movie heavily features this kind of aesthetics, but it's implied that they also have some form of advanced digital technology (though we never see it directly in the movie itself).
- The Fifth Element has a distinctive aesthetic that looks like a lot of '90s music videos. It's deliberately futuristic looking but also quite campy Raygun Gothic and Cyberpunk elements throughout film.
- Johnny Mnemonic future fashions and aesthetics in the year 2021 are based on 1980s and early 1990s fashions (especially the bright colors and heavy makeup on characters in Ralfi's club). Fax machines and VCRs play a more crucial role in transferring information than the Internet, and the design of the Internet is based on conceptual designs of cyberspace and virtual reality, as popularized by William Gibson's Neuromancer.
- A Clockwork Orange uses Brutalist architecture, which features stark, blocky and concrete shapes, to represent the future with some. Fashions are also very bizarre, with colorful wigs and bodysuits being fairly common. Alex plays music on a microcassette.
- Strange Days is set 20 Minutes into the Future, in a dystopian society that was only a few years away from the time of filming. The future aesthetic is mostly conveyed with loud, shiny clothing and punk stylings amongst the hip and degenerate crowd. Information is distributed by hand on discs, without any mention of the internet.
- Hackerman from Kung Fury is probably this film's most representative example.
- William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy features things as complex as human memories recorded on tape. Not to mention that three megabytes of hot RAM is apparently valuable enough to kill for.
- Most music videos in the 90s and early 2000s incorporating futuristic settings dive head-first into this trope.
- The video for "Scream" epitomizes this trope, depicting Michael and Janet Jackson in a monochromatic video of them dancing aboard a minimalistic spaceship that looks like something out of the Fallout franchise. In several scenes they are shown playing a futuristic version of Pong.
- The music video for the Spice Girls' "Say You'll Be There"
- Kylie Minogue's video for "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"
- NSYNC's "I Want You Back"
- The Backstreet Boys had several egregious examples, notably scenes from "I'll Never Break Your Heart" and the entirety of "Larger Than Life"
- 5ive's "Don't Wanna Let You Go"
- Will Smith's hit movie track "Men in Black", justified in that its source material was rife with the same aesthetic.
- Vaporwave is recent new music subgenre of electronica. The genre was born from Plunderphonics, (which has been around since the late 80's to early 90's). Vaporwave is more-or-less this trope in musical genre/subculture movement form, and became to what it is now by numerous nostalgic internet users from early 2010s.
"It is characterized by a nostalgic or surrealist fascination with retro cultural aesthetics (typically that of the late 1980s and early 1990s), entertainment technology, consumer culture and advertising, and styles of corporate and popular music such as lounge, smooth jazz and elevator music. Sampling is prevalent within the genre, with samples often pitched, layered or altered, sometimes in a classic chopped and screwed style."
- Myriad Song is designed with this aesthetic as a tribute to the classics. In universe it's stated that the Syndics only worked with analog electronics, no digital.
- Alien: Isolation does this deliberately as part of its Zeerust Canon, mimicking the original films' '70s/'80s vision of the future.
- Done to a limited extent with the Fallout games. While the vast majority of the series' technologies, aesthetics, and geopolitical backstory are retro-futurist throwbacks to the science fiction and culture of The Fifties, it features '80s style personal computers with monochromatic, green, text-only displays (though Fallout 4 features games with simple graphics that pay homage to classic real-life arcade games) and with "holotapes" being the main medium of transferring data.
- The InstituteEnough still follow the Atompunk aesthetic for the rest of their identity., also in Fallout 4 is considered mostly technologically 'advanced' faction than any factions in all games so far, due to with one thing, their Synths or Androids in Fallout 3 that are visually closerAs seen with the 3rd generation synths.to what looks like from the late 1970s-early 1980s fictional description of them.
- The Institute
- Quadrilateral Cowboy features clunky computers, Walk-Men that use records, and cyborg limbs.
- Shadow Warrior 2 has a quite '80s aesthetic to the cyberpunk part of the setting. There's one major mission where you have to stop a paparazzo from releasing sex tapes of Ameonna by destroying vending machines selling VHS tapes, which would definitely not be enough in this Internet-connected age.
- Classical futuristic id Software 3D shooters, especially Quake and Quake 2, are styled in this aesthetic.
- Cyberpunk 2077 is set in a very '80s/'90s vision of what the year 2077 would look like, in keeping with the pen-and-paper RPG that it is based on. The angular cars look like they came out of Ghost in the Shell or an '80s Detroit assembly line, The European Union (on the ascent in The '90s after The Great Politics Mess-Up) is an economic superpower whose "euro-dollars" are the global currency, and even with all the high-end computer technology around, the primary means of electronic data transfer is through an evolution of USB drives rather than anything resembling the internet.
- Wasteland and its sequel, Wasteland 2, both heavily feature machinery of this style and vintage whenever electronics are involved, the former having been made in the 80s itself and the latter following up on setting consistency.
- Formica Punk is basically the Punk Punk version of this trope within its universe. The name inspired a Tumblr blog (in French).
- This article lists several movies that feature that kind of aesthetics.
- Regular Show has a very '80s (and later parts with some '90s) feel to it, despite being set in the present day (around original show air is very likely early 2010s so show universe is likely based from). (One episode had the characters time travel to the actual 1980s.)
- All video graphics are 8-bit, the music is mostly Hair Metal, some episodes ape early-MTV music video techniques, there episode that Russia implied somehow still is USSR put not fully mentioned calling themselves while America's current president is very like Bill Clinton himself that and even two oldest main characters (Skips and Pops) backstories are like this with Skips's teenage school years that are act directing from 1980s high school film even its actually happen take place in early or late 1800s.