Greed is Good: The Influence of 1980’s Business Culture on Synthwave

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I would like to reiterate that by no means do I consider myself to be an expert in anything nor is it really my place to ever pigeonhole someone into a certain genre or subgenre less they declare themselves as such first and foremost. That said, in the past couple of posts I talked about two such things in regards to subgenres with “spacewave” and “cybersynth” respectfully but now I come to a bit of an impasse due to the fact that, while there is a certain theme of which a few artists have written their music around, there really isn’t a clearly defined name for such a subgenre.

Some call it “officewave,” others “yuppiewave,” whereas I have personally bounced around such terms as “wallstreetwave,” “stockmarketsynth,” or “businesswave.” Again, none of these are wrong per say nor are they entirely right due to there being no real clear consensus just yet or at least one that I can decipher. Then again, as stated before, I’ll always leave it up to the producers themselves to define and label their own music because they know it best.

Nonetheless, much as “spacewave” concerns itself with themes of invoking imagery of space and “cybersynth” is drawn from the cyberpunk genre, this particular subgenre seems to be inspired by a rather specific aspect from the 1980s: namely the crossroads of greed and excess between the rise of wealth and the culture of business. If it’s to be assumed that a lot of synthwave is simply inspired by both media and culture of the 1980s, as well as more modern takes on the decade, then I think that this particular subgenre does as well albeit with a more focused look towards certain examples. To me, at least, said examples of inspiration seem to range from period appropriate film releases such as 1987’s Wall Street to the somewhat modern examples found in 2000’s American PsychoContinue reading


Space Knife is the hidden gem of Stranger Things

a1343759893_10 (1)Stranger Things, both in its first and second season, was full of little nods, winks, and Easter eggs to pop culture and everyday life of yesteryear but did you know that there were some more modern things hidden in there too? We’re already familiar with the theme song and the entire synthwave inspired soundtrack, masterfully done by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of S U R V I V E, but while that music has taken front and center stage there’s been another act and their music hiding in the back, just waiting for their time to shine. While I cannot take any responsibility for their discovery, I can at least inform other people of their existence and, more importantly, I can highlight their music as a result. Without further ado, I introduce: Space Knife! Continue reading

Synth Spotlight: Atom Force

0010844250_10With a handful of singles to their name, and one album, Atom Force is that proverbial unstoppable force that isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Especially not while they’ve got their second album coming out soon just along the horizon, as well as a few more surprises, all of which we touched upon in the following interview. That all said, just how did Atom Force get involved in making music in the first place anyway and why synthwave?

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Synth Spotlight: Maximum Turbodrive


For some time now there has been this cross divide between genres, namely synthwave and metal, where the two have come together to create something else entirely yet still retaining those essential sounds of both. Like metal it’s hard, it’s heavy and, though it’s mostly categorized as being either dark synth or dark wave, it’s also oddly dreamlike (or perhaps nightmare like?) much like synthwave as well. There are many acts leading the way in such an emerging genre such as Perturbator, GosT, and Carpenter Brut (of which Maximum Turbodrive certainly derives some of their influence), although in the end it is not simply a question of leaders and followers but each act’s unique past which brought them to the proverbial dance that ultimately sets them apart.

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Electric Runner: Darkest Ways

a4019998677_10It’s been almost a whole year since Electric Runner released any new material after their impressive debut with last year’s The Beginning in December of 2016, but the wait has certainly been worth it with the release of their sophomore effort in the form of Darkest Ways. Much as the name would imply, the EP carries with it an all around harder and heavier edge than it’s predecessor but, not only does it retain that same high quality and impressive production skills that were on display in their debut, it proves that the extended time off was not wasted; there is no “sophomore slump” here at all. 

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Synth Spotlight: Stripper Cop

22491982_1956165967964252_8214357957478135826_nThe word “cop,” at least in relation to synthwave, often makes one think of already established acts within the genre such as Futurecop! and Timecop1983 but now there’s a new cop walking the beat in the scene: Stripper Cop.

It may seem a silly name, although really what name isn’t to some degree as far as synthwave is concerned, but behind the eye catching moniker is music that’ll equally catch your ears despite said producer currently having but one song to their unique name. Regardless of this fact there’s still plenty of potential to be gleaned from that single track and, after speaking with Stripper Cop, I feel they do indeed have the tools and the talent. Continue reading

Synth Spotlight: Wyndsrfr

a4204680436_10Despite just releasing their self-titled debut album not but a few days ago, on October 20th, the synthwave producer known as Wyndsrfr is already making waves in the synth scene with their unique sound and is therefore poised to make an even bigger impression in the future as a result. With a history in the music industry already in their arsenal, and a passion for electronic music to boot, I interviewed this promising producer to find out more about them and to also help introduce them to a new audience.  Continue reading

Synth Spotlight: Vampire Step-Dad

0005214567_10Today is Father’s Day and I therefore thought that now would be as great a time as any to shine the ol’ Synth Spotlight on everyone’s favorite supernatural surrogate patriarch: Vampire-Step Dad!

I already reviewed his latest and greatest release, “Love Bites,” which again is amazing but when you reach a certain age you just have to ask your father the really tough and awkward questions, like why is “My Biological Father a Werewolf“?

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Synth Spotlight: DREDDD

0010374517_10I am convinced that DREDDD is a machine of some sort, perhaps a half-man/half-synth hybrid, built in a lab deep underneath Mega City One. I say this because, not just a couple months ago, I reviewed his first album entitled “I Am DREDDD” which was quite the pulse-pounding and adrenaline-pumping debut. In that time he has since released three more albums, a single for Alien Day, a sampler of his work in partnership with Echosynthetic, has a Versus album with FacexHugger due out soon, and a live show is on the horizon. While we sleep… he synths.

Seriously though, on a personal level, I feel both proud of his accomplishments after first being highlighted on my site and ashamed of myself in not doing more to cover him since then. Regardless, consider this spotlight less an excuse for me to try and catch up with DREDDD and more to help bring you up to speed with what he has to offer before the big fight, because there’s no chance in hell that I’m going to miss out on covering that Versus album with FacexHugger.

As mentioned before, I already reviewed his first album “I Am DREDDD,” so let’s begin our spotlight with his second which is simply entitled “EP2.” Now, I won’t go through each and every song, rather I’ll just run down some of the highlights.

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