Rolling Synthwave/Retrowave/Outrun 2017 Thread

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I know a few of you like this stuff, a few synthwave albums got nominated for the 2016 EOY poll, so I thought I'd start a rolling thread. Maybe their already is one, but search is disabled so sorry. If there already is one, hopefully I can get a mod to lock this and I'll post on that one.

Mitch Murder has already released like a bunch of stuff... None of it seemed especially strong.

What I really like so far is Lazerhawk - Dreamrider
https://lazerhawk.bandcamp.com/album/dreamrider
https://open.spotify.com/album/5sE8JtVAJH23pYT4ZRAVwh[/url]

It's got your typical Vangelisish slower, emotive deep synth-pad stuff as well as faster toughd00d nightdriving type stuff. I think my favorite track on it is Hypnic. It has one track with vocals, Feel the Rush Tonight feat. Gunship, which is also really well done. I typically don't like tracks with vocals (cause they're usually boring and badly sung), but I did like that one, it's kinda emo. I'd describe it as emo-pop of the 00's mixed with OMD's tender/depressio songs. I imagine for many people that sounds like the worst thing ever, lol.

Clearly, feel free to post new stuff you like and are listening to!

This German website is pretty awesome for new discoveries, and g00gle tr4nslat3 does a pretty good job of turning it into English: [url]http://www.tl80s.de/[/ur;]

Frobisher, Monday, 13 February 2017 18:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Thanks! :D

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Monday, 13 February 2017 21:12 (one month ago) Permalink

i need to get the gunship album.

they are supposedly making a follow up.

this stuff was the soundtrack to 2016 for me.

started off with perturbator of course, followed by his label mates : dynatron, tommy'86, gost, and dan terminus.

all of which is available : https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/music

then the other night i watched'it follows' with a fantastic soundtrack by disasterpeace :

http://music.disasterpeace.com/album/it-follows

mark e, Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:39 (one month ago) Permalink

another place to pick up some nice compilations to hear more :

https://newretrowave.bandcamp.com/

there are some free comps at the bottom of the page, the 80s dream vol 1-3, and a few eps.

mark e, Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:44 (one month ago) Permalink

awesome, thanks for the recommendations mark!

Frobisher, Friday, 17 February 2017 03:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Those 80s Dream compilations are really good.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 17 February 2017 03:46 (one month ago) Permalink

I generally prefer the tough guy/drive into the sunset to destiny shit, but this one is very sweet and uplifting.

larry appleton, Thursday, 23 February 2017 03:49 (one month ago) Permalink

did there use to be an ilm thread for actual 1980s tracks with the sad nightdriving vibe? I thought there was, but I can't find it

soref, Sunday, 26 February 2017 20:03 (one month ago) Permalink

drive into the sunset to destiny shit

Here's a good example of that for those inclined

larry appleton, Monday, 27 February 2017 23:22 (one month ago) Permalink

https://www.reddit.com/r/outrun/

calstars, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 02:13 (one month ago) Permalink

I just bought the debut album by Into The Fire, a UK duo whose music is sort of synthwave crossed with postpunk (some very New Order-ish bass lines present) and early 80s UK pop.

https://intothefire.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-fire

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 02:27 (one month ago) Permalink

love this Palm Highway Chase record, melancholy Carpenter vibes, relentless-8th-note-stabs. there's something a little rough or blown out about the production that gives it a strange lovely understated glow

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:06 (one month ago) Permalink

a lot of kris menace stuff fits in here, like this one with fred falke:

simply huge sounding

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:13 (one month ago) Permalink

some lifelike too, obv

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:15 (one month ago) Permalink

sorry, these are all old

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:18 (one month ago) Permalink

Winter Severity Index - Human Taxonomy

some Italian postpunk/goth shit, I guess? the album is actually from 2016, but I don't think it's ever been mentioned on ilx. Mushy (aka Phantom Love, aka Valentina Fanigliulo) was once a member of this band and it seems like her music is slightly better known.

ridiculously dope soul (unregistered), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:26 (one month ago) Permalink

Drab Majesty
The Demonstration
(DAIS Records)
Release Date: 1/20/2017

http://drabmajesty.bandcamp.com/album/the-demonstration
http://open.spotify.com/album/2OjnZ8zI3lfjaOvi7xXAHP

Surprised this hasn't come up yet in the thread... As Brooklyn Vegan said when they premiered the album before it's late January release, "Drab Majesty started as the solo project of Andrew Clinco (aka Deb DeMure), who also drums in Marriages, but expanded into a duo in 2016 with Mona D. The Demonstration is their first album since then, and the followup to their 2015 debut Careless. It’s rooted almost exclusively in ’80s synth-goth (making for a good fit with Cold Cave) — you can hear a good amount of Robert Smith in Deb’s voice, but musically Drab Majesty are closer to like, Clan of Xymox (who they’e opened for), than The Cure. Drab Majesty may wear their influences on their sleeve, but they do this sound well and The Demonstration is pretty damn enjoyable."

I think it's quite good, very retro obviously, but a very enjoyable album including the four remixes that came on the CD.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:27 (one month ago) Permalink

^ my favorite album of 2017 so far, so good.

the standout track from his previous album sounds like slowdive:

just another (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:38 (one month ago) Permalink

that album sounds pretty gorgeous, not sure it fits here though, too grey and cold, not enough sports car vibes

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:54 (one month ago) Permalink

From the 80s, so I guess it would be "wave" instead of "retrowave". I think this would sound good on a nightdriving playlist.

larry appleton, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 04:18 (one month ago) Permalink

such a great great track by Yello.
one of my favourites.
as a teenager i used to blast this on headphones as loud as my ears would allow, late at night, in the dark.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 10:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Wolf and Raven : that one hits the spot.

not sure re the more goth stuff ..
i like the machine arcade graffix/synth soundtrack side of this.
which yes will become tiresome after a while,
but at the moment, its still very enjoyable.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 10:46 (one month ago) Permalink

well, temptation got the better of me i picked up the GUNSHIP cd today.
rather glad i did, nice to have this style of analogue synth stuff thats not brickwalled a la a lot of the GoST/perturbator material.
and according to the wiki page, its not soft synths, but the lads have a massive collection of original hardware ..
also, had no idea but they released the album on cassette with a c64 game on the other side.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:08 (one month ago) Permalink

why does every one of these bands use the art from the same image meme generator

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 15:11 (one month ago) Permalink

no idea .. seems to be part of the rules of the outrun genre.

i had never heard of outrun until this thread, and from a quick dig around, it appears to be very specific subgenre with narrow parameters both in sound and vision.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 15:25 (one month ago) Permalink

ahh .. as per the reddit link by calstars upthread !

missed that earlier.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 15:26 (one month ago) Permalink

and : https://www.reddit.com/r/outrun/comments/33r5mi/what_is_outrun/

mark e, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 15:27 (one month ago) Permalink

sure but it makes it impossible to take any of it seriously

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 17:08 (one month ago) Permalink

sorry for the irrelevant post upthread -- I thought this thread was a catch-all for old-school synth revivalism, but it looks like you're after a specific aesthetic. this outrun stuff wasn't on my radar until now, so thanks for that!

ridiculously dope soul (unregistered), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 17:28 (one month ago) Permalink

This is super thread and is possibly the king of all music to accompany exercise for that Rocky Balboa running up the steps feeling

the article don, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 20:41 (one month ago) Permalink

sure but it makes it impossible to take any of it seriously

lol I mean it's just fun music it's not a thinkpiece

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 23:54 (one month ago) Permalink

not if every time you listen to it you are conscious that the art makes it seem as if it was conceived as a shitpost

if you present your music as a meme it will be treated as such

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 01:37 (four weeks ago) Permalink

also it is quite a feat for not a single person involved in that reddit thread linked upthread to mention the name Giorgio Moroder

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 01:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink

surely you mean sergio valente?

calstars, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 01:50 (four weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i hadn't considered kids making memes and stuff. it does straddle the "are you kidding me" line a lot of the time. i just revel in the neon vibes,

a but (brimstead), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 02:19 (four weeks ago) Permalink

man all subgenres come with non-musical signifiers, some of which are really shitty. yeah you can judge synthwave by the crappy cover art memes just like you can judge disco by the bell-bottoms, and you're not wrong to do so, but sometimes enjoying music involves deliberately turning a blind eye to some of its worse non-musical signifiers.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 02:35 (four weeks ago) Permalink

This stuff deserves no discourse whatsoever. Just listen and enjoy, that's really all there is to it. Popcorn VHS fantasy music.

larry appleton, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 02:50 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Trans Am's synthier stuff and aesthetics feel like a precursor to this stuff

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 05:01 (four weeks ago) Permalink

This stuff deserves no discourse whatsoever. Just listen and enjoy, that's really all there is to it. Popcorn VHS fantasy music.

this is it for me.

i know i will tire of it, but at the moment, it's pure ear candy.
that said, the releases on blood music are a step away from the outrun material, and often use different visual templates (mainly heavy metal espeically GoST/Perturbator)

mark e, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 08:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Trans Am's synthier stuff and aesthetics feel like a precursor to this stuff

― blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown)

I completely agree... Futureworld could easily be called a synthwave album.
And even Kavinsky was doing his thing before the genre really had a name.

Frobisher, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 19:54 (four weeks ago) Permalink

yeah the french were on this early i feel.. see also:

a but (brimstead), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 19:59 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I also would agree, there is no discourse needed. It's nostalgia fluff, mainly. It's about your futuristic muscle car and your homemade spaceship that really works and the first love your life that dumped you and that feeling you got when you read Neuromancer for the first time.

You could tie it into late stage capitalism and the crumbling legitimacy of neoliberalism and a desire to return to simpler, more clear-cut geopolitical narratives such as those of the 80s, but I think that's overthinking it!

Frobisher, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:00 (four weeks ago) Permalink

huh went to spotify and trans am is back with a very synthy single!

http://www.stereogum.com/1927581/trans-am-alles-verboten/music/

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:21 (four weeks ago) Permalink

"And even Kavinsky was doing his thing before the genre really had a name."

didn't click until this week that the genre name, outrun, was taken from kavinskys album.

that cant be something that happens too often i.e. a genre name lifted from an album name ?

mark e, Thursday, 2 March 2017 10:23 (four weeks ago) Permalink

one that does not use arcade video stylings.

i've not seen this before :

looks like old 80s movie clips, but i dont think they are ??

warning : not for the faint hearted.

mark e, Thursday, 2 March 2017 10:51 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Pretty sure "outrun" comes from the old car racing video game

a but (brimstead), Thursday, 2 March 2017 16:29 (four weeks ago) Permalink

what I assume anyway, I don't really know

a but (brimstead), Thursday, 2 March 2017 16:29 (four weeks ago) Permalink

ahh, i have never heard of that game.
i guess that's where kavisnsky got the album title from.

mark e, Thursday, 2 March 2017 16:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i think it's the game

this stuff feels like an outgrowth of chiptune stuff, maybe they grew tired of the limited sonic palette of chiptune stuff

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 2 March 2017 18:13 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Step back a few more years to '02 and you've got Thomas Bangalter's singles on Roulé and the Irreversible soundtrack, one of the tunes from which is "Outrun," though it fits less on this thread than other tunes like "Night Beats" and "Paris by Night."

andrew m., Thursday, 2 March 2017 19:49 (four weeks ago) Permalink

yeah that works ..
not heard any of TBs material before.
suspect some of the munich machine album by (dj) hell fits this groove now,
but have to be careful that we dont drift into electroclash ..

mark e, Thursday, 2 March 2017 20:05 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I need to make an workout playlist with some of these songs

larry appleton, Friday, 3 March 2017 04:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This stuff gets me pumped

larry appleton, Friday, 3 March 2017 04:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Some precursors to the Synthwave boom

Ural 13 Diktators (2001):

FPU - Crockett's Theme (2003)

and the granddaddy, Laserdance - Power Run (1984):

"by 2017, the world economy has collapsed..."

Siegbran, Friday, 3 March 2017 08:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

why do synthwave people have such horrible taste in vocalists?

clouds, Friday, 3 March 2017 13:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This is from 5yrs ago but fits the bill:

Neil S, Friday, 3 March 2017 14:46 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I like that, you don't often hear this sort of stuff in lo-fi, but it works great.

larry appleton, Friday, 3 March 2017 14:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Same sort of time, same ballpark, perhaps not as much Outrun

Neil S, Friday, 3 March 2017 14:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I mean the most immediate precursor is the entirety of italians do it better

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Friday, 3 March 2017 18:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I mean the most immediate precursor is the entirety of italians do it better

yup.
well kind of.
the symmetry release is definitely part of this groove.

for those that like the more laid back neon sunset vs vangelis side of this,
then the pre-blood music releases by tommy'86 and dan terminus are very worthy.

https://tommy86.bandcamp.com/ << includes some ILM fave Sally Shapiro collaborations

https://dan-terminus.bandcamp.com/

mark e, Friday, 3 March 2017 18:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

as someone who bought the neon pink Drive vinyl soundtrack, I think yes

Neil S, Friday, 3 March 2017 21:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

andrew m., Friday, 3 March 2017 22:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Search also: Tangerine Dream Thief soundtrack.

andrew m., Friday, 3 March 2017 22:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

^precursor city

andrew m., Friday, 3 March 2017 22:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

amazed that the Stranger Things soundtrack hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet

boxedjoy, Friday, 3 March 2017 23:07 (three weeks ago) Permalink

*mentions things*

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 4 March 2017 00:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Italians do it better aren't as garish and unapologetically maximalist though.. most synthwave has more in common with big room trancey house, just with 80s synth/drum soundz

(IMO/e)

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 4 March 2017 01:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Or you know the loads of hooky spacesynth instrumental cheez that's been churning out of Europe/Russia uninterrupted through the late 80s/90s/00s...

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 4 March 2017 01:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

it's not clear to me that groups like Laserdance, Proxion etc ever went away

now it's the kids' turn!!

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 4 March 2017 01:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

not officially in the synthwave realm, but this track fits nicely alongside it I think.

larry appleton, Saturday, 4 March 2017 04:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Laserdance did disappear for fifteen years or so, but resurfaced a few months ago. They sound exactly like they did in 1987:

Siegbran, Saturday, 4 March 2017 09:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That Ural 13 Diktators track posted above has sent me down a rabbit hole of dark, dramatic techno from the early 2000s. I would've gladly swapped out EBM for that stuff if I had known it existed.

larry appleton, Sunday, 5 March 2017 04:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

game precursors:

top gear:

skyroads:

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Sunday, 5 March 2017 05:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink

wow that Skyroads one is heady

example (crüt), Sunday, 5 March 2017 05:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Search also: Tangerine Dream Thief soundtrack.
― andrew m., Friday, March 3, 2017 4:18 PM (two days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I worked with a guy super into this stuff, chiptunes, game soundtracks, also metal but anyway he had never heard of kratwerk or tangerine dream & was blown away when I played out & told him what years it came out

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 5 March 2017 14:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I honestly didn't know about the dance music stuff like this happening in the 90s. It's great!

Frobisher, Sunday, 5 March 2017 20:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

xp -- the composer on skyroads was a chiptune/demoscene guy iirc (a lot of the old '90s kozmic music archive stuff is in this vein as well)

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Tuesday, 7 March 2017 03:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

most synthwave has more in common with big room trancey house, just with 80s synth/drum soundz

― a but (brimstead)

I actually don't see that at all, the structure and feel is completely different. Yes it has a few modern production tricks like compressed kicks etc, but compositionally it's a whole different thing. No mix-friendly intro/outro segments, none of the tension-release buildups for dancefloors and I don't think a lot of the topline melodies would work in club tunes - if anything this stuff specifically harks back to the mood-setting/'soundtracking' function of pre-dj culture electronic music.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 15:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i think any attempt to contextualize this stuff w/o putting video games at the center is misguided

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 7 March 2017 15:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think there's the stuff that orbits around video game music and the stuff that orbits around John Carpenter and The Terminator

example (crüt), Tuesday, 7 March 2017 16:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this is one of my all-time favorite games and soundtracks--the whole playlist is worth a listen imo:

adam, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 16:13 (three weeks ago) Permalink

maybe a little more low key than a lot of the stuff on this thread tho

adam, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 16:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Siegbran, you're much more right than I.. I think I have more to say about electrohouse and plasticity and lasers and stuff but the words aren't there.

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 7 March 2017 23:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Kuedo would probably fit in based on the initial first post description

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Wednesday, 8 March 2017 02:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

after another week of the usual suspects i'm still not fed up.

so, todays treat that i have just found on cd

more guitars than the outrun side of things, but definitely part of this groove.

mark e, Thursday, 9 March 2017 13:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

bugger ..

https://dancewiththedead.bandcamp.com/album/the-shape

mark e, Thursday, 9 March 2017 13:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

todays other treat from a couple of years ago :

download only this time, as £20 for 3 eps on 3 seperate cds is a bit mad.
some of this is totally outrun eg "L.A. Venice Bitch 80's"
apparently, carpenter brut was approached by blood music to join the labels synthwave roster as they all know each other and have worked/toured together,
but they could not see eye to eye on various things as the CB bloke can be somewhat awkward to deal with, so it all fell through.
would definitely have made for a label of choice had it happened.
will be interesting to see what blood music do when they come back into action.
label head is on a 6-9 month break after the chaos of last year, hence there is nothing available via the labels website shop.

mark e, Thursday, 9 March 2017 14:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Hasn't the Hotline Miami soundtrack come up here? It's somewhat more laidback but great top to bottom; I haven't heard any other Outrun release quite that satisfying.

cpl593H, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 13:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

never knew of it, cant buy it.

but will now check out MOON stuff ..

mark e, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 08:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Just found a new single released by Swimware, "2 Days Til Retirement" -- https://youtu.be/LtYSFo-M5kQ

It's got guitars! And it sounds very much like its from something that would be produced by Michael Mann.

Frobisher, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 03:09 (one week ago) Permalink


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