TimeCop 1983

Published on May 29th, 2018

Full disclosure: I was a kid in the 1980s. I’m young enough today to remember some of the decade’s output fondly, and old enough to recognize a lot of it was just cheesy and bad. The rhapsodizing of ’80s culture has been one of the greatest PR tricks ever pulled.

So it’s heartening when people not tied to an era by the accident of birth can look back on it critically, screen out the dreck, and identify what in it is worthy of   preservation, commentary or update. That’s one impetus for the Human Music Festival, a caravan of retro electronic acts that converges on QXT’s Night Club in Newark, N.J., for a two-day binge of yesteryear sounds. Something that cool was bound to grow legs, and sure enough there is now an Extension Tour taking some of the main event’s performers on the road.

Jordy Leenaerts, a Dutchman known musically as TimeCop1983, is the aural embodiment of VHS culture and ’80s straight-to-video’s spirit. Informed by the gorgeous soundscapes that usually accompanied awful celluloid shlock, his newest effort, “Night Drive,” is a tour of the decade’s cocaine bravado and phony, sunglasses-at-night sangfroid, a murky alley dotted with pastels.

Æon Rings is the darkwave, electro-pop tandem of Brooklynites Davey Partain and Chuck Flores, who like the dystopic vision of 1982’s “Blade Runner” as much as they like the sweat-dripping fury of a thick club banger. Korine, from Philadelphia, is Morgy Ramone and Trey Frey, who’ve looked back in time to find ethereal, danceable sounds that echo with a promise of romance — proof the undulations of that decade’s weirdness still reach us today.

Does any of this mean that with reimagining and reassessment, the ’80s will come off  better than I remember — more substantive, authentically cooler? Probably not. But I guess in the same way my old man remembers, with his particular kind of fondness, the 1960s, I should relish the good stuff and keep rooting for the next batch of  musicians to make the best of an overrated decade.

The Human Music Festival Extension Tour with Timecop1983, Æon Rings, Korine, Meta4Machine and Mystvries is June 4 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach.  ~ Abel Folgar

Clip to Evernote