Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Give me one example of what you consider to be dieselpunk

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List one example of what you consider to be dieselpunk. 

With your example, describe why you think it is dieselpunk.

This example can be real or conceptual, and can span any genre of art, craft, or entertainment.


For example, I believe the song A Tap Dancer's Dilemma by Diablo Swing Orchestra is dieselpunk.

It opens with a swing-beat drum solo that was used predominantly in the 1930's.  From there it progresses to the hook, which is performed on heavily distorted electric cellos.  Then it launches into an opening performed by a brass section, and accompanied by a jazz piano.

The lyrics are sung in a distorted "gospel barker" tone, and are accompanied by a female close harmony section (a style popularized by The Andrews Sisters during the '40s), the bridge is performed in a non-distorted, technical guitar style, normally heard in '30s jazz guitar, and the lyrics have a pseudo-gospel feeling to them (harkening back to the roots of jazz).

Together, all of these disparate styles are mixed together in a post-modern way with contemporary production techniques, and include modern instruments and playing styles. 

The end result is altogether modern in it's performance, but still includes elements and themes that were popular during the Interbellum, which is why I consider it to be dieselpunk.

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Ed, you might find interesting a post I made to my blog about some Dieselpunk episodes on the original Trek series.

Exactly. Here is my wrist watch I wear every day. It's a Swiss-made automatic caliber following a retro-design of the early 1930s.

Another big issue is the camera industry with retro-designed digital cameras. Here is my digital Olympus P1 with a retro-design of the 1950s:

A nice piece is also the vintage case of my Leica D-Lux 3. The camera inside is not retro-designed, however.


lord_k said:

Surprisingly, most of the action is in the watch industry - with scores of 30s- and 40s-styled models with a quartz "heart" or sophisticated automatic caliber.

Nice items for the travelling dieselpunk are the slightly streamlined aluminum suitcases made by Rimowa. They always remind me of the great time of streamline trains.


P.S.: My retro-designed 1930s office desk may also count :-)

Agreed. However, I see another core difference between Steampunk and Dieselpunk. Steampunk is a quite new thing. It ermerged maybe 10 years ago inspired by some books and movies and is in some way related with the Goth scene (some Steampunks would protest on this statement, but just go to a big Goth event and you see the issue). On the other side, during the last 50 years, there have always been people loving swing music of the 1930s/40s, film noir, art deco style, fashion from that time and integrating all this more or less in their daily life style. Just nobody called them dieselpunks. The only thing really new in Dieselpunk is the label.


W.A. Seaver said:

And to me, that right there is the core difference between Steampunk and Dieselpunk (appearances aside): Steampunk is primarily about transporting the present into the past, while Dieselpunk is primarily about bringing the past into the present.

Colin Wels said:
No wait, DP at its finest is taking a MODERN object and making it look like it's from the period (cars, radio's etc)

Interesting point. In some ways I'm sure the 'dieselpunk' appellation actually drew the alt/fringe/goth/geek set to the aesthetic by way of normalizing it in geek circles. I think to some extent it's also been conflated with military-chic goth, which is older than dieselpunk as a label. These days, if you're that kind of dude, all you have to do is dredge out your 2000-era Marilyn Manson nazi cap and slap a pair of goggles on it and people will now call you dieselpunk.

Maybe not people on this forum, but in the club, I mean.

The P-111 Aircraft. Never left the drawing board, but boy oh boy did it look awesome. These were some late war German designs. I didn't even think it was possible to design such an airplane... but it could actually fly and has many advantages.




The games of the Wolfenstein FPS series, especially Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The game Iron Storm is definitely Dieselpunk, and Necrovision could also be considered as such.

The Mummy and Indiana Jones movies.

The anime Pumpkin-Scissors looks pretty diesel-punk to me, and so does the anime-movie The Princess and the Pilot.

Hi all,

I'm quite new to the world of Dieselpunk but I'm fascinated with the look and feel of it all!  I've been pleased to see from reading discussions on the forums (which have been fascinating, thank you) that there are a lot of girls who share my passion, but I've only come across a couple of female artists who have done Dieselpunk pieces.

Am I missing them or are they out there?  Anyone know their names or work?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

And for me, I think this image by Feng Zhu is quintessential Dieselpunk: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/530721137309480053/


Found this car on English Russia website. It looks like a caricature of a diesalpunk vehicle. And it's not fascist or Nazi in origin ; double word score.



Commercial with diesal noir vibe.


I think the movie, A Winter's Tale, is a diesel punk fairy tale. It has gangsters, the devil, dark atmosphere, and fantasy elements and violence. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837709/

That 4x4 is based on the

GAZ M72 Poběda 4x4, 1955

You can say, it's the world's first SUV. ;)

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