Synthwave: If Tron and Megaman had a music baby.


Wait. You don’t know what Synthwave is?

Time travel back with me for a minute here. A lot is going to be left out, but I will give you a good rundown of what it is or how some believe it came to be.

 The 80’s

 The 1980’s was a decade of great technological change. Arcade and console video games dominate the toy market. VHS and Beta cassette tapes fought fsynthwaveshowor domination of the home movie rental market. Personal Computers developed through the rapid advancement of new technological achievements. The audio cassette’s accessibility and freedom opened doors for custom recordings and portable players of various sizes. Drum machines and electronic instruments dominated the electronic landscape including the introduction of the synthesizer machine. The ability to manipulate sounds electronically opened a massive world of new sounds and exploration for musicians wanting something new to harness within their own skills to produce sounds that move people physically and emotionally.


The Movies

Movies of the 80’s played a major role influencing artists. Composers like Vangelis, John Captenter, and Tangerine dream, Brad Fiedel, Paul Hertzog, Jon McCallum, Chuck Cirino, and Harold Faltermeyer are some really good examples of composers who influenced the scene from their work in the 80s Synthesized music evolution. Soon artists like Com Truise, MN84, Lazerhawk, Mitch Murder, Noir Deco, Tesla Boy, Teeel, College, Electric Youth, started releasing music that triggered a massive attraction for more musicians to develop their own music like Protector 101, Perturbator, Miami Nights 1984, Le Matos, VHS Glitch, Gost, Judge Bitch, Dance With The Dead, Droid Bishop, and many more! Soon online pod cast radio stations from Radio Pure Gently like Synthwave Sundays, Synthetix FM, and Outscape started doing interviews with artists giving them more exposure to people who are looking for that new sounds they never knew they would love.


The Music

The name “Synthwave itself just kind of manifested itself to loosely label the genre even though the definition of Synthwave is somewhat different when the same name was used to describe a style of music in the 80s The sub genres are often called Dark, Dream, Outrun, SciFi, and many other names with the word “wave” attached to the end. No one really knows why and some artists don’t like it, but it caught on and is growing fast.


Over the recent years, Synthwave artists started making their unique style heard on video games and movies. Most notably Ubisoft’s “Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon” with music by PowerGlove. With its entire game style being a throwback to the action SciFi movies of the 80s, PowerGlove nailed it with his nostalgic sounds. The game even won awards for best soundtrack! Movies like “Drive” with music from The Chromatics, and Kavinsky brought a lot of attention to the retro style of visuals, cars, and Synthwave music is a magical combination. Independent films like “Turbo Kid”, “Rage”, and “Kung Fury” utilize Synthwave artists for making the soundtracks. More games are on the horizon for exclusively using Synthwave music like Drift Stage, Chrome Death, and Desync. This is why SynthTrax was formed. The love for this music inspired SynthTrax to bring the artists to the stage along with the feel and visuals that captures the soul as much as possible for people to enjoy live!

Bottom line. We are on the verge of something big. We don’t know how well we can describe it, but we know it is there and it is bringing a lot of great positive minded and talented people together. Synthwave scene is building more and more every day. Get in and check out these artists music on soundcloud and bandcamp. Google their names. Search Youtube. Start your path of discovery into a world of sounds that you will not regret.


Author: Bryan Young

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been doing a blog dedicated to this music and running a community on Facebook that has 4000+ members since 2012.

    Please visit Synthetix.FM or Synthetix Music on Facebook for the best of 80s inspired synthwave scene.

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