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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the work of a small British record label, Ghost Box, whose output is set in a fictionalized version of the United Kingdom between 1945 and 1979. The label’s output has been described (by Simon Reynolds, among others) as hauntological, that is, as music creating a fictional, ghostly version of the past. This chapter argues that the virtual Britain created in the music released on Ghost Box is, in fact, a faithful representation not of the historical reality of the postwar UK but of the cultural assumptions and fears that shaped the period. The chapter discusses Ghost Box’s work as an example of radical nostalgia, as an investigation and critique of the cultural attitudes of the past, rather than a celebration of them.

Keywords: hauntology, virtuality, memory, nostalgia, electronica, Ghost Box

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