|Hello my name is Darrin and I’m a child of the 70′s. I remember lots of the groovy things that went on in the 70s and all those funky b-boy hip hop feels and classic arcade video games of the early 80′s.
I had the bell bottoms, plaid pants, funky hats, crochet vests, polyester shirts, pro keds, a switchblade comb in my back pocket, feathered hair, books of ultra funky chevy vans, Big Wheels, GI Joe, Stretch Armstrong, Evel Knievel, Legos Galore, Fidget, Lite Brite, Shrinky Dinks, Atari 2600, Atari 800, and a Supergoose BMX bike. I even bought my first Kiss record when I was 6 years old at Two Guys – the album was Kiss Alive. I followed that up with Monkees Records and Cheap Trick, Jethro Tull, Lyndrd Skynrd 8 Tracks. Then everything was cemented with heavy vinyl doses of Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Rush, and Van Halen. I also watched The Monkees & Batman every day on TV like it was a religious experience.
Around 1984 I become fully immersed in Hip Hop culture and became an avid break dancer for a crew out of North Arlington, NJ called the NA Steady Rockers. When it came to hip hop fashion I was sporting a Kangol, Gazelles, Lee twills with front stitch, matching Le tigre shirt, name plate belt buckle that said “Darrin”, all sorts of phat laced addidas & suede pumas and a leather bomber jacket. In 1985 I taught myself how to scratch DJ and I’ve been DJing all sorts of music ever since then. I was even spinning Chicago House Music in 1986 and was mixing techno music at rave parties all over the country during the 90s. Yeah I’m old skool boyeeeee!!
My Musical Journey
I remember getting fully hooked on rock music in the first grade. This was mainly due to my love of The Monkees TV show and looking at Kiss in 16 magazines. I was obsessed with Ace Frehley and I started to learn how to play the guitar in order to be like him, that had to be way back in 1975.
I’m as eclectic as they come. Psychedelic & Garage Rock, Mod, Dub, 73 Jazz Fusion, Psych Soul, 72-74 Funk, Sunshine Pop, Classic Rock, Raga Rock, Acid Folk, New Wave, Synth Pop, Avant Garde, Acid House, Techno, Drum n Bass, Trip Hop and 80s Rap – I love it ALL! I love it all so much that I bought my 1st drum machine in 1989 (an Alesis HR16) and taught myself how to programming drum beats. In 1992 I bought my 1st digital sampler – The Korg DSS1 and a copy of Cakewalk 4.0 for DOS. I eventually purchased enough gear to build a dance music production studio. This lead to a prolific career as an electronic dance music producer and a full time career as a professional audio engineer – working for both Sony Music & MTV in the heart of NYC. You can even read an article that I wrote about the history of house music on House Legend Rodney Bakker’s website
My Retro TV Obsession
I still watch retro 60s & 70s TV shows religiously, what’s there not to love; Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Batman, The Monkees, Hawaii 5-0, Zoom, Wonderama, Sid & Marty Kroft shows, Good Times, What’s Happening, All In The Family, Chips, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Happy Days, Soap, Threes Company, Mary Tyler Moore, The Odd Couple, Quincy, the list goes on and on…
I was also really into the Electric Company when I was young and I now realize my love affair with motion computer graphics comes from watching this show all the time in the 70s. The scanimation technique that the show used is still the grooviest most fluid computer animation I have ever seen.
On being a digital artist
So here I am today with this blog and graphic design business called Retro Rebirth. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time then to create psychedelic retro based digital art of all my music & pop culture loves from yesterday and print them on products for others to enjoy also.
All the products are hand crafted by me, thus becoming unique one-off items. From the initial design concept, through multiple digital renders and then professionally heat pressing the image onto various products, a Retro Rebirth product is a true piece of original hand crafted artwork. This stuff doesn’t get shipped on a boat from China.
I am also a big fan of helping to protect the environment. I make